I came to a realization last week – I’m in the country on the wrong visa!! I only discovered this as I was trying to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) online. If I don’t have one I can’t own a bank account and I’ll be charged more tax. My online application for the TFN was cancelled and I was told I wasn’t eligible to apply on my visa. I thought it was weird since the 457 work sponsored visa (that I believed I was on) gives you the right to apply for a TFN. I called up immigration and was told I was on the 651 visa, a normal tourist visa. Something clearly went wrong there! I thought immigration had made a mistake but as it turns out it was I who did.
My works nomination is approved but no actual visa application from me was registered. Well, I never applied for one so that’s not so strange. 🙂 Pretty stupid you might think but I tell you why. I got an email back in June from the Managing Director saying I was now legal. There was so much going on at the time with the move so I didn’t really think clearly, I just assumed that meant I was good to go. I should of course read about the visa application online and realized that it was the nomination that was approved and that I then needed to hand in an application for the actual visa. Though on the other hand one would think that the company (who have, and are at the moment, sponsoring other people) would be aware of the process and would be kind enough to inform me of what I was meant to do.
I was really upset about this last week and a bit worried I would be deported. 🙂 But I handed in the application last week and that means I’m issued a bridging visa until I receive the decision. The only problem is that my bridging visa has the same restrictions as the visa I entered Australia on, meaning I’m not allowed to work. I therefore applied to try to change the conditions on my bridging visa giving me unlimited work rights. For this I had to fill in an additional form and also send in a letter from work where they explain why I need to start working now. Complicated? Yes a little bit. Annoying? Very!
Another thing that amazes me is that I was even let into the country. My visa I applied for last year to be able to come here over Christmas was obviously still valid, but only until 5th of August. Normally you need at least 3 months left on your visa to enter the country. I obviously also entered with no return ticket and on my card I stated I was staying for 2 years. When speaking to the customs officer I also said I was here on a work sponsored visa. They still let me in, so maybe they’re not as strict as they like people to think.
All I can do now is wait.Tax File Number, TFN, VISA, work