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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys. I am an Australian citizen and my wife and I would like her to come to Australia for a year to live and work with me and have a holiday. She is an EU citizen from Finland.

We seem to have 2 visas available to her.

A Working Holiday Subclass 417 visa.
or
A Partner Visa for Permanent Residency Subclass 309

There is a problem with both these visas... and the problem is money.

The Working holiday visa requires that she have access to $5000 AUD (Approx 4000€) as well as extra funds to buy a plane ticket home.

The Permanent Visa costs $2000 AUD upfront. (Approx 1550€).

My wife wants to work for about 3-4 months in Finland and save money to come to Australia. She will be living with me and she will not need to pay any sort of rent, or food costs. She also has reciprocal healthcare, which means she is entitled to Medicare in Australia.

Is there any way that she could be granted the WHV without having to show $5000? We are working as hard as we can and taking extra shifts to try and front the costs but that is a ridiculously high amount of money, especially when you need sufficient money to buy a plane ticket on top of that... (Another $1100) $2500 would be doable. Even $3000 if we worked ourselves to death. But $5000 when you include the fact that you will need to provide plane ticket costs is just unfathomable.

However the option with the WHV is we only have to 'show' proof of the funds.. With the permanent visa we actually have to pay the entire $2000.
Though that would mean that she doesn't have the restrictions of the WHV and she can stay in Australia indefinitely. Would she be entitled to Centrelink after being granted the permanent visa?

My wife and I are very sad and quite confused because it always seems that there is some sort of massive roadblock in doing this. We are both in Finland now and I am due to return home first in about 4 days to Australia so I will be able to call up the immigration office and ask all these things. In Finland it was simple as for me to come here married and live, I was entitled to Finland's version of Centrelink from the moment I walked in as well as help finding employment which I did. The cost of the visa to stay here was only $250 AUD. Not $270 + Proof of $5000 + $1100 plane ticket money. This is crazy.

Currently this is probably what the bill for the WHV will be:

Plane ticket to Australia: $1100
Getting Marriage registered in Australia: $190
Paying for the WHV: $270
Showing sufficient funds to support self: $5000
Showing funds to buy a ticket home: $1100
Total: $7660 (WTF?!?)

That is a ridiculous amount of money just for a 12 month stay in Aust and with only being allowed to work for 1 employer for a max of 6 months. My home country really has not made it easy to be able to live comfortably with my wife. Even Finland only requires proof of $3000 for a WHV and there are multiple other visas avaliable if you are MARRIED. Whilst Australia only gives me the option to pay $2000 for a permanent visa or show proof of $5000 for a WHV. Why is there not a short term, temporary working visa to be granted to married family members that allow them to work that doesn't cost so much?

If I was to write a letter and sign it saying that she doesn't have to pay for accommodation or food and that she will not be really doing any travelling would that help to lessen the crazy amount of $5000? It won't cost even 1/5th of that much for her to be here...

My only question with the permanent permit is that if she gets it can she apply to Centrelink straight away after it is granted?

Thanks a lot for any help. I am quite sad and frustrated that my country has made it so hard for us to be together. My wife should be able to live here without issue because she is married to me...
 

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Hi Leijonasisu,

I have read in this forum from someone's comments that people that got the WHV were not required to show the $5,000. I think that requirement is mostly for people that do not have relatives or husband/wife to help with the housing/food expenses. So like you said above, you should visit DIAC to ask if you really do need to show the $5000 proof since she is married to you and you will be able to provide all those things.

However, may I ask why is your wife applying for the WHV when in a yr, she must go back? Do you guys plan to apply for the partner visa subclass 309 while she is in Australia? Depending how long it does take the process the partner visa subclass 309, wouldn't it be better to go for that visa? That way, she is going to be a permanent resident and I believe entitled to benefits like Centrelink. Yes, it will cost $2000 up front. But at least she doesn't have to buy another airline ticket to go back to Australia if she has to return after her WHV expires.

You did state above that your wife does still want to work 3-4 months in Finland to save some more money. Maybe by doing this, the partner visa would be on its way to be processed? However, you might need to check with DIAC to see how long it does take to complete.

I think after you speak .. probably better to see someone at the DIAC to ask your questions to make it clearer for you and your wife to make the best decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for your help!

Firstly my wife doesn't want to stay in Australia longer than a year. She wants to work and holiday and travel a little because we both just graduated our BAs here in Finland. Then we want to come back after that year and finish our BAs, making them MBAs.

This is why I think it would be sort of unreasonable to pay the huge $2000 fee for the permanent visa. Not only that but it takes time to be granted as well and she wouldn't be eligible for benefits whilst we waited. Paying for that would pretty much cripple all of the money that we have... of course the best situation for us is however we end up paying less just to get her foot in the door.

The WHV is good because it means she can come to Australia. Live with me, work and we can travel and then after her visa expires we can go back to Finland and I can go with her so we can both finish our MBAs.

Centrelink isn't too much of a concern. When I go back I will go straight back on Centrelink whilst I work. If she can't then it won't matter much because she will be working anyway. But after paying $2000 it would be sort of a mandatory thing because we just spent such a huge amount on simply a permit. Adding together of course the cost of the plane ticket and registering our marriage in Australia. It's a LOT of money.

If we don't have to show the $5000 amount then that's really good. However I just REALLY don't want her asked to 'step aside please' as she is walking into the country because they want to see if she has enough, and then send her on the next flight home in tears because they don't believe that she has enough to cover her expenses. It would ruin our lives.

It really irks me off that Australia is not more accommodating to spouses, in the fact that, if they wanted to come over and stay for a year and work then they could. I could understand if she was from a high risk country like Africa or something that they would ask her "Do you have enough money to live here?" but I don't know that even though she is from a Low-to-no-risk country if they would ask and if it would be a problem. And if me writing a note saying that she has no expenses here in the way of accommodation or food and that I can provide for her if they will take that note seriously and not decide to make a negative decision anyway...

Better safe than sorry. I've learned the hard way all-to-often. I will call DIAC when I get back home first thing and tell them the situation but I would like to hear from others if they have been asked to show proof of funds. I think we could probably work something out just to show the funds but spending months and a long time suffering and worrying about it, and then not have to show them would just be crazy as well.
 

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Thanks for more background information on your situation. Usually when people ask about partner visas, it's because the couple wants to be together in Australia for a permanent stay. It looks like this isn't the situation.

Yes, I would agree that the partner visa at this time would not be timely in your situation. Just because of the cost and it is a permanent visa that likely has a visa expiration which only affects if the person is outside Australia for so long.

I saw the following FAQ on some website. But there might be others on this forum who have applied and used their WHV to confirm what really happens initially entering Australia on a WHV.

Do I need a bank statement stating I have AU$5,000 to apply for the visa?No. Because Visa First will lodge your visa application electronically, there is no requirement to submit any additional documents to have your working holiday visa for Australia granted. However, applicants for an electronic working holiday visa are required to declare in their application that they have sufficient funds for a return onward fare to their intended overseas destination on leaving Australia. Applicants are also required to declare sufficient funds for personal support for the purposes of a working holiday. This would normally be around AU$5000 (€4,200/£3.500/CA$5,500) plus enough funds for the return airfare. Please note that there is no need to purchase the return airfare in advance.You can apply for the working holiday visa without showing evidence of funds however you should have funds at your disposal on entry to Australia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Hey mate,

Thanks a lot for your post!

I read that italic text online myself also. They state that you aren't required to show proof of funds but that you should have funds and also enough to buy a ticket home which is totally understandable.

It has so far been the ONLY place (apart from Wikipedia, but that's Wikipedia) that has said that there is no need to show funds of $5000. Wikipedia doesn't even mention the funds requirement:

http ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_holiday_visa#Australia

But then I just saw that here it does:

http ://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_Holidays_in_Australia#Conditions

The reason why we don't want to get a Permanent Visa is because my wife does not want to live in Australia permanently (and neither do I). She is not entitled to go on Centrelink for at least 2 years after getting the visa... (not that she needs it but some people do go for a Permanent visa specifically for that purpose to start the countdown) and at this point in time there is no need for us to pay $2000 when we plan to only spend 1 year in Australia and then another 6 in Finland straight after. We would ultimately end up having to travel back here so she did not lose her permanent permit in the first place because they are only valid for 5 years at a time...

So this is our reason. A WHV gives my wife the right to stay in Australia and work and travel and enjoy her time with me, without us having to front the cost of $2000 when the permanent permit does not fit our needs. In fact the permanent permit is total overkill.. and at this point in time I would like to spend any capitol that we make working on enjoying ourselves because we have done nothing but work and study these past 4 years. Also as I explained we plan to come straight back to Finland for 6 years afterwards so that defeats the purpose entirely.

I hate being paranoid but it is a huge decision to make. I know that the permit doesn't COST $5000 but it will take extra time to come up with that kind of money. I know that distance makes the heart grow fonder but enough is enough :tongue1:

I hope everything goes ok as well. If after reading these growing number of replies that one shouldn't have to have the entire amount especially if one has a spouse who can more than provide for them and free accommodation then I am going to scream if they end up asking her for the entire sum.
 

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It is understandable why both of you may feel paranoid about not having the funds to show the Australian immigration if asked. It would be a waste of money buying an airline ticket when all that is going to happen is for your wife to be sent back.

But I guess as a precaution, your wife can plan to bring some documents to prove to the Australia Immigration officer that she has no plans to permanently stay in Australia if she is asked.

1) Purchase a round trip airline ticket.
2) Copy of acceptance letter to MBA school? Not sure if your wife has already applied and been accepted?
3) Bring a bank statement of what money she does have in her account.
4) Credit card statement that she has this available credit if she happens to run out of money.
5) Copy of marriage certificate and your bank account statement as additional funds that she can
use while in Australia.

Just a few suggestions because it will all depend on the immigration officer that she ends up with. I don't know if this would work. But it would be what I would do to prove I'm really visiting Australia for a holiday and work for a short time,etc. But your wife shouldn't show anything unless she is asked.

As you said, I don't believe Finland is a high-risk country that your wife would be a standout to question. Unless it's one of those random checks they do.
 
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