Swedish import duties.
Epic news alert!
Pack your bags and grab the sunscreen.
Put Kylie Minogue’s ‘Celebration’ on high rotation.
We are moving to Sydney!
OH.MY.GOD.NO.WAY.SHUT.UP.YES.IT.IS.TRUE. After 14 years up north, it’s now time for this little trumpeter to head south. Yes dear readers, we will be swapping snow for sunshine, curling for cricket and wearing socks with sandals to just wearing sandals.
Departure date will be sometime in January 2014 a bit of way off, so don’t worry there will be plenty of time for complaining about bad Swedish weather in the meantime. But for now it’s time to plan.
What exciting news! It’s going to mean a big change for us. A big change. Especially for me. No longer will people be automatically impressed by the simple fact that I can speak English. No one will be charmed with my delightfully Australian ways or the fact I can whip up a Pavlova. No longer will I be an ‘Expat’ but simply someone who lives with a woman named Pat.
And quite frankly I was expecting a bit more of a standing ovation and fireworks at the news that I, a protegé of Keating’s Creative Nation policy whom cast herself out into the world stage, was now planning a return to the ‘old country’ complete with international experience, awards and the ability to assemble IKEA furniture. Instead, the Australian government told me that if I planned on bringing the Swedish Husband and my children with me, I’d better start applying for the visa now and by the way, yes it can be denied purely on the basis of ‘character’ so don’t start packing yet.
Turns out my little piglets were not the problem and are now officially Australian citizens complete with passports. Importing the Swedish Husband however, has proven to be more difficult. At some stages of the application process I did consider just leaving him in Sweden. In order for him to be able to work and for us not to have to apply for visa’s for the rest of our lives, we have opted to apply for a ‘Partner Visa’, the holy grail of Australian visa’s that ultimately leads to Australian citizenship. It’s a very expensive, complicated and time-consuming application which we have finally completed and are now waiting for the results.
The information required for the application was painfully extensive and included but was not limited to:
- all dates of entry and exit to Australia in the last 10 years
- all dates of entry and exit to any other country in the last 10 years
- everything you’ve done in the last 10 years, copied, certified, translated, in black pen not blue
- more evidence that we are married, apart from the Australian Marriage Certificate issued by the Australian government we have from the time when we were married, in Australia
- more evidence that we are married apart from certified copies of our children’s birth certificates, certified mortgage statements, bills, employment evidence and a 2005 Kath and Kim Christmas card written to the both of us from my friend Sam
- statutory declarations from Australian citizens to prove that we are in a ‘continuing relationship’ and really are married, apart from the above
- full police checks in both Sweden and Australia
- medical checks including x-rays supplied by an ‘Australian Government approved’ doctor in Sweden
- knowing that Crowded House are actually from New Zealand and not Australia
- photographic evidence that you can open a beer bottle with your teeth
- The ability to recite a capella your own, very unique rendition of Men at Work’s I don’t come from a land Down Under but I would very much like to live there
- Knowing the meaning of the word ‘girt’ in the first verse of Australia’s national anthem.* I suspect that they are just looking for the answer themselves as no one within Australia actually knows
Do you believe TSH should be fully vaccinated, quarantined and then let in to our great big brown country? I sure hope the Australian Government does.
(photos courtesy of http://www.sxc.hu)