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309 Partner visa. Sponsor and family moving from USA

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Hey guys 

I am an Australian citizen by birth and naturalized US citizen. My husband us a US citizen. We have 2 children and have lived together in th US for 15yrs. We are now planning to pack up here and move to Australia to be close to my family. It seems like it should be a simple process and easy to provide all supporting documentation of our relationship. Because we are living abroad we are applying for 309 for him. We are applying for citizenship by descent for our children. Any one have a similar story? Looking for any tips, high level summary or the timeline we should expect, required documentation and any road blocks we might hit. 

Does the “processing time” estimate start after you first submit? Or once all documents are submitted? Anyone know? 

Also any tips on shipping containers and customs? SO MANY QUESTIONS!!! So much to do. 

Thank you in advance. So excited for this next chapter. 


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  1. Get the kids Citizenship and passports granted before you apply for the 309
  2. Make the application as complete as possible, any missing documents or requests for follow up will delay the application
  3. In some circumstances, including where you have been in a long term relationship before you apply, you might not stay on the 309 visa at all. IMMI might grant you the permanent visa immediately after they grant the temporary 309 visa. Highly likely in your case 🙂
  4. As kids are involved both of you will need to provide Police Clearance certs, in the US these are from the FBI and can take a long time.Get onto these early, but not too early as they have expiry dates.
  5. processing time starts as soon as you receive the application acknowledgement letter.  Please note that processing times are a guide only.


With Shipping and Customs, 

  1. Use a reputable homewares shipping agent/removalist
  2. Photograph every thing that goes into pack
  3. Itemise EVERYTHING
  4. Include condition and age of anything that may have value.  You are allowed a certain value of personal effects, which is very generous, take the time to assess the overall value
  6. Be sure that nothing in the shipment will fail AQIS Bio Security
  7. No firearms, guns, knives weapons etc
  8. No pornography
  9. No animal skins, or taxidermy
  10. Sell all your appliances as most will work here (240VA 50 Hz power, compared to USA 11V 60 Hz) 
  11. Some modern electronics (PC's, Hifi AV may work, but check they have International ready power supplies.  Fridges, washers, dryers, other white goods will certainly not work.  Most rechargeable appliances will.




Makes me sick, in the fact that I must include a disclaimer. All opinions, advice and comments expressed by me are of my own personal opinion, and not that of a Immigration Agent, Lawyer, or related professional. They are given in the spirit intended, as an independant contributor, to a public forum. No implied, or expressed guarantee or undertaking as to accuracy or relevance is given.


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