So, I met a migration agent a few days ago. Okay, okay, hear me out those of you who insist that I can do this on my own. I know I can, but I feel more at peace having someone hold my hand. I also feel that since I am juggling studies, work, etc, I’d rather not let anything slip in the cracks during the application process. What’s more, you, my wonderful blog readers, get to benefit from the information I’d glean from my agent. 😉 Wouldn’t you like that? 😉
One of the trickier things about my PR application is how I can prove my stay in SA. For many with families, it isn’t really a problem. Most families would rent a home the moment they arrive in Australia, so the lease and the utility bills are proof enough of their stay in South Australia.
For singles who can’t afford to lease of an entire unit, it’s a little complicated. Fortunately, my agent told me what documents I’d need. I wish I knew some of these tips from the beginning!!
First, make sure you keep your documents in an organised manner. Be a hoarder of important documents! I keep mine in a file box.
- EFTPOS away! In Australia, you can buy stuff by using your ATM card. It’s called an EFTPos transaction. Now that’s valuable for folks like me that need to prove that I was in SA and not gallivanting in Sydney or Melbourne. It’s simple: Each time you do an EFTPos transaction, there would be a record of when and where you made said transaction. Fortunately for me, I was a lover of plastic from the very beginning, so I had records of that since I landed. Apparently, if you only have Internet transactions, that’s not satisfactory enough (Meaning if you transfer money or buy stuff online) as there will be no record of your location.
- Bank statements. Again, make sure they contain your SA home address. For some reason my electronic statement doesn’t have my SA address. (GRR) So I need to rectify that as well. Sigh.
- Keep those leases. If you’re renting a room, insist on an agreement or lease etc. Fortunately, I was told this from the beginning so I made sure I got them. They do take these leases seriously. Keep the receipts just in case.
- Of course, taxes are king. Filed for taxes? Keep all relevant documents.
- Apparently, but I can’t confirm this, I was told that getting the accountant that did your taxes to write a statement is helpful too.
- If you’ve applied for an ABN number, that’s useful too as it shows the location of your business.
- Even if you can’t lease an entire unit or house yourself, get yourself a utility bill. A mobile phone utility bill could be useful. I kicked myself for not doing this because it is probably the easiest way to prove your stay!
- Studied in SA? Make sure you keep offer letters from educational institutes (and make sure they have your SA address).
- Rego payments? Keep ’em.
- Employment contracts – keeping them not only proves your period of employment but also that you lived and worked in SA.
- Apply for a SA Proof of Age card as soon as possible. For one, it’s really useful to apply for library memberships and acts as an ID in SA! Kinda save you the effort of producing all kinds of documents to prove that you reside in SA.
- You can also get your landlord/housemate to write a statement declaration that you’d lived there.
- The 475 visa is such that we have to live in SA for two years. So don’t do anything to jeapordise that. So, for example, if I came to Australia with only 2 years left on my visa and decide to return to Malaysia for a one-month holiday, I will be short of one month to fulfill my 2-year-stay obligation. Believe me, Big Brother Australia will know when you leave Oz and how much time you’ve lived in Oz. Now, I had conflicting information about this. Some folks say that it doesn’t matter, some say it does. It’s simple: it really depends on your case officer. Some case officers will ‘close one eye’ if you’re short of two days or a few weeks. Some are super strict and insist you don’t have enough time to fullfil your 2-year obligation in Australia. So why chance it – make sure you have fulfilled your two-year obligation to the hour.
So there you have it. Yes, be a hoarder of documents. Scan them in colour as soon as possible so that in case you ever lose them you still have back up.