I am an American and my girlfriend lives there in NSW Australia with her two children. I want to be there with her and I have been in contact with a Visa Agency here in the states and they have pointed me in the right direction. My girlfriend and I are looking at every option. Everything from me trying to get a work visa so that I can move there, to a marriage/spouse visa (as we are planning to be married). My question is do I need to or should I contact a Visa Agency there in Australia to help me get there or do they work hand in hand?
Thank you for your advice.
The DIAC (Australian immigration) website should be your first port of call to check out visas, and what's required. Often if there are no complications, partner visas (if that is what you decide to appy for) can be handled by the applicant without having to pay extra to a migration agent.
HI been there done what you have done.
My now husband is from Canada, and yes he immigrated here through the fiancé scheme.
you need to probably through through the Consultate there to get the relevant paperwork started and from what I have heard/experienced, the fiancé visa is the best way to go. If you get a work visa then marry here you would have to (as I recall) re-apply for a fiancé visa - and be back in the USA to do so. Things could have changed in the last 8 years though.
Ours was a long haul but we got there. The worst part was filling in all the forms and gathering all the information for the fiancé visa then after we married we then had to repeat the whole thing yet again for the permanent resident/spouse visa but at least he was here then and didn't have to return to Canada.
We didn't have all the paperwork we needed and because at that stage the USA started the requirement that Canadians needed a passport to enter the USA, which delayed the application for the birth certificate for over six LONG months as there was a huge demand at that time.
Hopefully your process is a lot faster. Be patient and be nice and ask questions. You don't need to go through an agent for the paperwork. I did it all myself and if I came across a question I didn't understand then I would call them up and ask them to explain - nicely - be nice! You want them to be on your side.
So save yourself a bundle if you can and do it yourself.