Why so long? Well, the deal I made with my husband was this: If I planned the wedding, he had to take care of the visa stuff. And he had very specific ideas about what kind of evidence we should have to show that we are in a real committed relationship.
And no, being married isn't proof of that. We needed evidence that other people considered this a real relationship (so statements from friends and family here in Australia, cards sent to both of us, package slips with both our names on them, bank transfers in both our names, etc.), that we were committed to a long-term relationship (shared bank accounts, both our names on bills, loan applications, tenancy agreements, our wills), and that we actually live and work together (statements on how and when we met, how the relationship progressed, when we decided to get married, and how we divvy up household responsibilities). And then there were slews of personal information that was required that involved a lot of emailing back home to parents, siblings, government agencies to get certified copies of all sorts of things.
All up, when we sent the package, it weighed nearly two kilos. In PAPER. Plus some paper clips. And we haven't even gotten medical checks done yet (those can wait apparently).
|Just ignore all the stuff Phillip throws in the back of his car|
Though I'm not going for citizenship, just permanent residency. Too much of a hassle to give up my U.S. citizenship, and it takes, like, another six years to even think about applying.