The ExPat Diary: Proving it

Should you find that you need to prove your love for somebody, there are a few ways you can go about it:

  • Stand under their window with a boombox raised over your head
  • Rid their downtown skyscraper of spirit activity linked to an ancient god, saving New York City in the process
  • Coach your court appointed hockey team to victory in the big game to show Charlie Conway’s mom that you’re a changed man

Okay, okay, so that last one was a stretch. Everybody knows the real love story here is between Coach Bombay and the Ducks

Anyway, proving your love for somebody can be romantic, funny or even full of action-packed pee wee hockey. Proving your love to a government, on the other hand, is none of those things, plus there is a lot of paperwork involved. We happen to be involved in that paperwork right now.

Alex and I in Switzerland, long before the exciting paperwork stage of our relationship

Alex’s company is sponsoring him for a 457 Visa, which gives him the right to live and work in Australia for up to 4 years. As his ‘domestic partner’, I’m eligible for one too. But first, we must prove the existence of our relationship to the Australian Government. Kinda weird.

Evidence: Australian style

Well, maybe it’s not that weird. After all, Australia doesn’t want all kinds of riff-raff waltzing into their country who really shouldn’t be there. But providing ‘evidence’ of a relationship does feel kind of strange to me. Though Alex and I are a real couple, there actually aren’t a ton of things that have both of our names on them. Neither one of us are in a rush to get married, but we are really happy together. Because of that, or maybe despite it, we’ve maintained some independence resulting in a lack of overwhelming ‘evidence’. Thankfully we do have plenty of pictures and other documents that establish us as a couple. Plus, its already official on Facebook. Shouldn’t that be all the evidence they need?!

Exhibit A

At this point, of the 457 paperwork is filled out, and as we wrap up the application process we feel secure in our couplehood and its supportive documentation. We’ll feel even more secure when the Australians put their stamp on approval on our visas. We’re also very grateful that Australia recognizes ‘de facto’ partnerships. Neither of us are into the idea of a ‘visa marriage’, and besides, I don’t think there is a setting for that on Facebook anyway.

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