I wanted to introduce myself and say that it's great that this site exists.
I am an American citizen and my wife is Australian. We've been married for a year, live in the States and have navigated the US immigration system on our own thanks to a similar forum site like this one. The plan was always for us to eventually move back to Australia and, while we're still in the US immigration process (my wife has already had her green card interview, we're just waiting for it) we've decided that we want to move to Australia sooner than we expected.
As we're at the very beginning stages, I've done cursory research as to what visa we need and it looks like we'll go for the 309 and the 100.
My questions are:
1. We're applying for the visa while living in the States. How soon after the visa is approved, do I have to enter the country?
2. I've seen mention of using a migration agent (even on the Australian Govt's own site). Is this necessary? As I said, we navigated the US immigration system on our own our case is very straight forward.
3. I've seen that it takes upwards of 12 - 17 months for the provisional visa to be approved. Can you suggest what we should be doing right now to prepare for our application?
That's all I can think of for now. Thank you so much for your time. I'll be lurking and reading!!