How to get your second visa approved and more
30.08.2012 15 °C
Courtesy of my friend, David Cartier, an amazing wedding photographer in Melbourne
Finally! I've made it through limbo, alive and well on the other side.
It said the processing time would be about 21 days on their website. I waited for almost a month. 1 month in limbo, not sure which turn my life was going to take, which is fine, I'm used to that. But at the same time it kept me from going on a full on attack for anything special.
Here's how I got it approved in the first place for anyone interested.
Step by step:
1. Find a farm. Or go mining if you have the qualifications, that will definitely pay you better, and a cave-in would make you world famous like the Columbian miners. You might even have a documentary made after yourself. But if you're like most other mortal backpackers you don't have the qualifications, so farming would be your best bet. I went for WWOOFing rather than paid work as it is a much more sure fire way to amass the required number of days.
2. Endure 3 months, or 88 days to be exact, in partial isolation. Bring a friend if you're not travelling alone. My advice is to do anything you can to combat the cabin fever when it comes, because it will come. Several months out in the bush will take your mind to places it's never been before, and it doesn't matter how awesome your company is when the paranoia and extreme urge to walk out into the pitch-black night and disappear comes along. You need a car, or easy access to a train line.
3. Get over your fear of the dark. I spent almost 2 months in a caravan about 20 meters from the house, with no yard-light guiding my way from the house. I spent 2 months in there alone with the sounds of the night. In the bush every little noise is enhanced ten-fold. Soon enough you get used to the whisper of the trees in the wind, the pinging of the bats and occasional yelp of a fox. You even stop being scared of an alien abduction as you go outside to make water round a tree.
4. So you have your 88 days, with all your hosts signed the form 1263, great! Now you can apply for your second visa. Go online if all your hosts have an ABN (Australian Business Number), if not you have to do it by old school mail.
5. Congratulations! Now you've reached limbo. After 3 months of hoping your sweat will amount to something useful for you, you have finally sent off your application. You will be granted a bridging visa, which just happens to be one of the best visas you can ever get, allowing you to work and stay indefinitely in the country, until someone can be bothered to process your application. However you are now presented with the stress of uncertainty. You don't know when or if you will be granted another visa. Anaesthetize your fear with Tawny, beer, whiskey or whatever your poison is.
Soon enough you will find yourself with a visa, so fresh you can smell the digital ink, in your inbox, wishing they'd still put one in your passport simply so you'd have something for your cool scrapbook, a memento of your insane youth for when you're old, grey and crippled in a wheelchair.
Now all I need is a stabile job.
Btw, I love that the winter here has only been a little bit colder than the summer back home.
Beppe Karlsson, Melbourne