Visa Grant Confirmed. Proceed with PLAN A(ustralia).
Checked my email today and finally found that I was granted my Australian Work and Holiday Visa. This visa application process, being performed electronically in this information age, is supposed to take no more than two weeks, so they say. NO SUCH LUCK during holidays, so keep this in mind if you wish to apply. After sending a document they had requested regarding my legal history, I received an automatic reply email which said, in effect, “Don’t expect us to contact you at all because we’re out on holiday. Got a problem with that?”
So it took a little longer for the papers to be processed, emails to be exchanged, and my nervous upwelling to subside. But hey, everything’s dandy now.
Again, there are a few things to consider once being granted the 462. The visa has no physical form: no stamp, no paper. It is a number, a so called Visa Grant Number, which is linked to your passport information. Upon arriving in Australia, this number serves to identify the holder as a visa holder who is permitted to work under the conditions of said visa, so keep it handy when you arrive in the country, or have to talk to employers or government types. Also, this visa is valid for 12 months, so in my case, I can show up in Australia anytime between now and Jan 10, 2013 to begin my 12 month stay. Other than that, I’ll just have to play by the rules when I get there.
Being that I’ve sort of committed to this traveling lifestyle, my being granted this visa was pivotal. I feel I can relax a bit.
Now I can proceed with some confidence on my future Australian adventures, although I don’t plan to overplan. I have been exchanging emails with a few obscure connections I have in Australia, including a family friend, a business friend of a neighbor, and a good friend who has been living and working there on the 462 since July. I figure that this way I can make my Australian debut with a decent basis of friends/work/information. Connections!
Anyway, how kind of the Australians to have deemed me fit to poke around their land for a whole 12 months. Time to get on down. Under.