Tag Archives: residence permit

One Week On

One week after celebrating that exciting night, I have received my decision in writing.  It’s really happening.  Have I started packing like I said I would?  I’ve done a bit of cleaning, but no, not really.  Instead, I have been going mad with notes and figures from travel agents and vets and computer repair companies.  Yep, that same day my PC decided to conk it, decided it didn’t want to wait three months until after I left, meaning this year I have so far broken my phone,  iPad, and computer.  And I need it now more than ever to organise our Etsy store, Gumtree listings, scan all my important documents into electronic form, and back up my files.  Oh, my harddrive and files are perfectly safe, but I’ve been told the rest of it is too old and dying and it’s not worth repairing that I’m better off getting a new one.  For three months.  Needless to say,  I’ve barely had a chance to be able to consider this.  It’s been a very stressful week with a lot of late nights.

Every night I have been looking up flight comparison websites trying to find cheapest days and best deals for a return flight for Johan to come out to Australia, and a matching one way flight for me.  All Sunday I spent the day at four different travel agents explaining our situation, Johan has looked at his end and I’m about to spend another two and about half hours looking at travel agents in the city this morning.  The hope is that I will have flights locked in this afternoon, and booked and paid for by the weekend.  And a vet appointment and cat’s flights booked next week.  I am totalling fearing the flights will increase over the Easter long weekend if we don’t, and there’s already some flights were looking at that are saying there’s few seats left.  Hence the rush to get it all booked as soon as possible.

Part of me wonders why I’m delaying so much in booking.  But now more than ever we need to get the best possible deal, especially if I’m up for another $500 for a new computer.  Problem is, I know the flights we want with Singapore Airlines.  But no travel agent (in Brisbane or Stockholm) seems to be able to book the return flight for Johan for the prices that are showing online ($1200- $1400).  They can book my one-way flight ($989!) but not his.  So if we want to fly together, the next cheapest we’ve been given is $2775 for both of us with Emirates (my one way flight being $200 more and his flight $200-400).  And the Emirates flights are not as nicely timed arriving in Stockholm as the Singapore Airlines flights (midnight and midday vs. 8.30am) to meet my cat’s arrival at 7am.  And all of this doesnt even include the travel insurance yet!  So a lot of worry, and lot of stress.  I’m feeling more stressed than I can ever remember being.  Not the least of which because I’ve never made so many phone calls in my life!  AND, my work contract is due to finish on April 28, and like my last job it seems they are leaving it to the last minute to tell us whether the contract will extend or not.

The tragedy in Stockholm last week hit us hard, but all of Johan’s friends and family are safe.  My eyes have watered more than once reading the articles on The Local about Swedes (natives and foreigners) coming together and holding signs about love, not fear.  Over 20,000 people, including Johan, turned up in the city to honour the victims and emergency service workers that stepped up to the event immediately.  I was impressed too, that they had a crisis management plan implemented within 8 minutes of the attack.  But it was the regular citizens too, offering hugs and opening their homes up to strangers who couldn’t make it home on public transport.  This is the country I want to live in, that I will – very soon – live in.



You know that application we have sent in?
The one most posts have been about lately
Because without it we haven’t been able to move forward with any plans regarding Kylie’s move to Sweden
Well today is a big day…


So, a quick recap:

18th of March 2016:
Sent in application.

25th July 2016:
Asked to provide additional information.

4th of August 2016:
Kylie had an interview at the Swedish consulate in Brisbane.

31st of March 2017:
I called them to check on progress. Was told we in queue and had not been assigned a case officer yet.

3rd Of April 2017:
Asked to provide additional information.

4th Of April 2017:
Recieved email that a decision had been made!

So yes, today have been an exciting day! I received a lot of messages while at my work experience place (it’s an obligatory part of my audio engineering course that I go out and do work at a proper studio, somewhat like being an intern, for four weeks) and doing my regular stuff. (Today I soldered a connector, troubleshot a headphone amp and tinkered with a bass guitar, among other things), and all the while, my phone kept vibrating in my pocket and I heard the familiar sounds of Skype notifying me of new messages. I didn’t have the volume very loud, just loud enough that I could hear it but it wouldn’t disturb anyone on the room. But of course, Kylie sending me loud of messages isn’t anything unusual and it’s usually nothing urgent. I can just get around to them when I have the time, and since she knew I was at work, I didn’t think she expected me to reply.

We had heard from people on Facebook (we’re members of a couple of groups for people who are also waiting for a decision) that when you are asked to send in information a second time, a decision might be getting close! That there might just be another few days to a week! We didn’t expect it in less than 24 hours!

So i finally got some time to check the messages, my supervisor was at lunch but i had opted to stay behind and finish up what i was doing so i would be done when he came back and i could take a quick lunch on my way home.

What i was met with was, to put it lightly, the messages of someone freaking out! Apparently she has been trying to get my attention for quite some time because she’s gotten an email that a decision had been made and i had to call up and find out if it was a positive one right away because she was going crazy!

Ofc, being the more mild mannered of the two of us, i said i was at work and i would get to it when i got off, which would be pretty soon. So i went back to work, intending to be done quickly so i could leave and make that call, and then get home so i could Skype call a girl that was waiting for me to calm her down.

Eventually, maybe half hour later, i was in the relatively quiet Stockholm metro. It wasn’t yet rush hour, so it was a perfect place to stop and make the call. So Kylie have me all these numbers to try, because apparently it’s better to call the units directly rather than calling migration agency support number (had to wait over an hour in queue last time) but most numbers were either closed or busy. But after trying maybe 5-10 different ones, i finally got through, and the woman on the other side could confirm, after taking our dossier number, my personnummer and confirming my address, that it was indeed granted! Valid two years! Then we’ll have to apply for extension, so yay. But apparently those have much shorter wait times.

And when i got home and told the news, my mum, (whom I’m living with these for work experiment weeks) greeted me with a big hug and congratulations. And also fresh baked bread. So that was nice.

Taking the Leap!

We interrupt our holiday posts to give you this special update.

There comes a point where every long distance couple who want to live together must seriously consider – who will be the one to move?  Not only who, but when?  We have been talking about it for months, years even, the idea of wanting to close the distance within 5 years, which happens to fit in perfectly with when Johan completes his course in June next year.  As anyone who reads this blog will know, I want to be the one to move to Sweden, which was not what I had wanted when we first started dating.  I am ridiculously shy and could never in my wildest dreams imagine moving overseas.  But things happen, we grow up, people change, and dreams change.

Whilst I have glimpsed and read pieces of information here and there in my research about moving to Sweden and applying for different visas, I figured I’d start properly doing in-depth research about a year before we wanted to close the distance.  Sort of like a reward, a one year countdown.  This changed when we had our first reader submit a question to Ask Us Anything – what were our thoughts on the whole visa application process?

We wanted to give a researched, in-depth reply, and this motivated us to look into it sooner, after all, it’s an exciting prospect, moving in with your partner.  And then we found out that the current processing time for a Residence Permit application is 8-14 months, and is only getting longer as refugees in Sweden get their families to apply in order to join them.  We were given advice to apply as soon as possible.

It is also our best interests to do so before May 31, as a proposal is being made to change the rules about applying, but the changes won’t come into affect until after this date.  I’m not sure if a decision has yet been made, but they are changes which would greatly affect our chances of being approved if they do go ahead.  In very basic terms, if we can prove the strength of our relationship, I can get into Sweden on a initial 1-year residence permit simply because Johan is a citizen of Sweden.  If the changes go ahead, not only would he need to show sufficient income, he would also need to show that he has a a home of sufficient size and standard for the both of us (that is with kitchenette, living room and at least one bedroom).  I’m not quite sure his 1-bedroom apartment with combined bedroom and living room would cut it.  And certainly if he is still living there when his course is complete, we would live there only temporarily until we could find a bigger place.  But that’s just the thing … I will have 2-3 years worth of savings by the time that comes around, and it would mean nothing if Johan couldn’t show sufficient income, and he may not get into a job straight away.  So, we must apply before May 31, so my savings can count for something.  So, they say to apply now, and that was already a month ago.

For my birthday in June, I had planned to reward myself by looking at the application forms we have to fill out, and well, filling them out.  But suddenly on this side of my birthday, three months earlier, it seems too soon.  But chances are, we’ll submit an application and then hear nothing for a couple of months.  It may still be a year or more until we receive an outcome.  It is a long wait for something you’re pinning all of your hopes and dreams on.  It’s a huge stress.

However, as of today, we have completed an application.  Well, I have completed an application, because it comes from the person applying.  No one else can do it for you.  The partner living in Sweden gets sent their own questionnaire to fill out, which is very similar.  Also, completed does not mean submitted.  Johan still needs to proofread it for me.  There are still some finishing touches I want to do, abrupt endings to questions I want to fix, and polishing up to make sure it’s all shiny and perfect.  And then it will be done.  In the next day, or two or three, maybe.  But what is so hard about pressing that submit button?  I can tell you this.  Filling out a visa application to apply to live with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with … that’s terrifying.  And crazy.  And exciting and nerve-wracking.  It makes it seem all the more real.  Putting it down on paper (okay, okay, in an online form), noting all of the specifics of your relationship down … from your first date to the names and dates of birth of both you and your partner’s immediate family for a complete stranger to read … it’s madness, but understandably, required.

The application is sitting at 6 and half pages long, and that’s not even filling up the maximum number of characters for each question – not even close, I don’t think we’ve had enough in-person meetings to warrant it.  It almost reads like a documentary because it basically is.  It’s a shortened timeline of your growing up, before you met your partner, and then zooms in on that relationship and all the nitty-gritty details of how the mechanics work to make that relationship function.

So, we are soon to join the queue of long distance couples on the visa application waiting wagon.  For real.  No more dreaming about the day the plans for our future start.  They start now, as soon as the submit button is pressed.  Forms, documents, photo evidence, in-person interviews with a case officer … it’s all happening.  It’s finally happening.  Yay!!!