Well. the last few weeks have been fun.
With all the paperwork in place, the only thing that was needed was for Femke to get a job with a 12 month contract. After the few remaining possibilities closed off to us one by one (some to our surprise too) we were out of options. I have to go back to Australia.
So why did this fail? Basically it’s very hard to sack an employee in Holland. There is a lengthy process to follow so employees are keen to get the right person for the job at the start. By offering a 6 month contract it gives them a get out of jail free card by being able to remove that person if they are unsuitable for the company. Other than that, it’s not like Australia where you can say “Sorry, but we have let you go” with relative ease. So giving someone new a 12 month contract from the start is rare unless you know the new employee well.
Another reason we think, is the current economic crisis. Companies are not hiring as much as usual. Most companies seem to be shedding staff worldwide and a lot are also going under. Not really the best time to be looking for work!
The thing that really annoys me is that I can understand the requirement for a 12 month contract job in the “typical” case for a couple who are living by themselves and would probably be having trouble making ends meet. But in my particular situation:
- Femke had a 6 month contract
- We were living with her parents which are more than happy to co-sponsor me as well to guarantee I would never need the welfare system here.
- I had a job waiting for me.
I really feel that the combination of those three factors should have made the IND more lenient on the 6/12 month job contract length issue, since I would not have been a burden to the government in any way. But they would not budge an inch, even after multiple calls pleading our case.
I had to inform the company who offered me work that I would not be able to make it. The job was still there, and they were sad for me, and did say to keep in touch if I ever come back to Holland. This was nice to hear.
Back to Australia
So instead of now relaxing and enjoying Europe for 1 or 2 years, we now have to look at the visa situation for getting Femke into Australia. Thankfully the immigration website is rather well put together and they have booklets and checklists you can use for your paperwork. The bad news is they require a hell of a lot more paperwork that what was needed from the Dutch point of view. So what’s going to happen?
- This weekend I will fly back to Australia. Femke will stay in Holland and continue work at her current job.
- I will need to get a job in Brisbane.
- Once I have a job we will finalise all the paperwork required. I will most likely have to send some “certified copies” of papers to Holland.
- Fem needs to call the German Australian Embassy in Berlin to arrange an appointment (Netherlands has an Australian Embassy but they don’t have Visa capabilities – sigh)
- Fem goes to the appointment with all the papers. If everything is in order, then (hopefully within a few weeks) she will be granted a temporary spouse visa. This is valid for 2 years.
- Fem organises and executes her move to Australia
- After 2 years, we supply additional paperwork to immigration for that period to show us still being together etc and the temporary visa is upgraded to a permanent spouse visa.
It sounds so simple when you look at it at a high level!
Steps 2 and 3 will be the tricky/painful ones. But other than that, it looks pretty good. Here we go again. Round 2.