Claire’s thirty-third at The Feral Brewery with friends.

I left Belgium in February 2008. Eight years ago. Since then I lived in Queensland, Victoria, New Caledonia and Western Australia. Since then, much has changed back home too. And I have a new life, we have a new life.

At last then, visit from the family ! The last one was in Melbourne, in 2009, when my sister flew in for three weeks, then in 2012 when she joined me in Asia. Now, it’s Mum’s turn. And she’s taking her first grandson along. He’s been dreaming of this trip ever since I left, saving money and talking about the things he’d do, etc.
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Well it’s also time, energy, patience, …

We got our 457 Visa back in 2013, through an immigration agent my employer recommended, so we thought it would be a great idea to use the same agent for this one, the 186 Visa which automatically grants the long awaited P.R. (for permanent residency.)  Without it, we are living in a limbo-state of residency where we pay our taxes in Australia but do not benefit from any social security for instance.  Also, permanent residency is one of the condition required to apply for a loan, in the hope of buying a house, among many other advantages.  An agent, in our minds anyways, was a promise of a speedy process.

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