In Jacksonville, my workplace was like a small United Nations office.  There were representatives from Brasil, Singapore, Thailand, Germany, India, France….  It was (and still is!) a great working environment and what’s more, a learning opportunity for an American girl from the ‘burbs like myself.  Stories about visa and greencard issues are always popular, and now that I am on the other side of the world in a different country, I am getting a taste of that for myself. 

Justin’s employer is sponsoring him, so we’ve been going through the motions to apply for a “Temporary Business Entry (Long Stay), subclass 457” visa.  And let me tell you, what a process!  Now I know why people hire lawyers to handle their visa-related details – it’s tons of tedious paperwork.  Checking boxes, filling in dates, getting copies, getting copies certified (notarized), etc….  We had to provide them with proof that we were a couple as well.  Hmm…10 years, I don’t know if I have any ‘proof’!?  The government suggests providing pictures with family and friends.  The only pictures I have are the ones on my computer, and it was quite hard to find a decent one that included both of us with friends/family that did NOT suffer from the “Solo Cup Syndrome.”  Haha! 

But, if approved, we’ll be able to stay and work legally in Australia for up to four years.  While we don’t plan to stay in Australia for four years, I guess it’s nice to know we have that possibility.  Besides, with the US on the brink of or already in the midst of a recession (well, according to news reports), it’s nice to have a back up plan – even if it is in another country.      

Everyone, keep your fingers crossed that all goes well!