James Joyce 28, from Ireland

What visa are you on? I’m on a 457 sponsorship visa which gives me up to four years here.

How did you get it? I was pretty lucky. I came over on a Working Holiday visa about 10 months ago. I had no chance of sponsorship at my job because I simply wasn’t getting paid anywhere near the $46,000 required. However, my girlfriend’s bosses were really keen to sign her up, so I got it as her de-facto partner.

Was there lots of hassle? Hardly any. I had to get a chest X-ray, but that was about it. We got a joint bank account, lease etc. to prove we were a serious couple. We’ve been together a few years and came over here together so none of that was really an issue. The Mrs had to get all her references, qualifications and a police clearance sent over from home. They also had to be stamped by a JP back home. That could have been really annoying but luckily her mum knew one.

Any problems? Not really, although my six months with the firm ran out a fortnight before the visa came through. Luckily my employers held my job open for me so I just chilled out for a couple of weeks.

Any tips? Get on to the folks back home to send stuff over as quickly as possible as that’s probably the biggest hold up. Once you’ve got all the right documents it should all come through fairly quick.