I would like to be back in Thailand.

@mipen2006 (5528)
Australia
August 12, 2009 5:27am CST
Australian pension laws state that I have to live in Australia for a period of two years before I can can be paid my Australian pension in Thailand. I have lived and worked there for the past eleven years, and have been married to a Thai lady since 2001. The disappointing, and heartbreaking, thing is I can only claim a single pension, even though I have to support my wife. To get a spouse visa, I have to pay AUD2100, which is not refundable if the visa is not granted, which is likely as my income isn't enough to support her. As things are now, she will have to return to Thailand while I serve my time. We are not young, and I feel this is very cruel of the Australian Government. Do you think their laws are fair. There are countries that Australia have social security agreements with where the two years aren't required. Incidently, I left Australia in 1997 because the company I worked for outsourced, everything, and made all staff redundant. I was considered too old to employ by other companies. The two year bill was passed in 1999.
1 person likes this
3 responses
@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
13 Aug 09
That is such a darn shame mipen! These laws make no allowances for people’s emotional stability. Contributing for a husband and wife to spend considerable time apart is morally wrong, not that it matters to the bureaucrats! So the time you lived here before going to Thailand means nothing? You’ve got to be kidding me, that’s ridiculous...Ridiculous or not this stupid law is now going to affect you in a very negative way. What is the longest amount of time your wife can spend here on a tourist visa? I suppose her travelling here on a regular basis while you ‘do your time’, gosh, it sounds like a prison sentence, is impractical and expensive and I suppose if you return to Thailand you will have no pension... What a bummer! That sucks...Wish I could think of a way around it.
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@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
13 Aug 09
Just had a thought...Are there any Australian family members that would be willing to sponsor your wife to stay here? Would that be in any way possible? Good luck to you, my friend.
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
13 Aug 09
Thanks for your moral support paula. My daughter and her husband in Perth would sponsor her, and we may take that option yet, but the application fee is over two thousand dollars, and is not refundable, so there is a risk of paying for nothing. I just wish some of the staff at Centrelink were as sensitive as those on myLot. At the moment my wife is on a one year visa with multiple three month entries. We can get an extension on the current three months until November 28, when her visa runs out, and she has to return to Thailand.
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@paula27661 (15898)
• Australia
13 Aug 09
Wow, it costs over two grand even if she is sponsored! Insane...Most unfair...Keep us posted with how you go, wish you luck!
@polachicago (19073)
• United States
12 Aug 09
This is not fair. Didn't you work long enough to collect your pension? I don't blame you for willing to go back to Thailand, probably life is easier over there...can you start any business in Thailand and make some money to support your wife in Australia?
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
12 Aug 09
If I had a big nest egg I could probably start a business, but we are not wealthy, in fact are reasonable poor, so the options are limited. The only thing for certain is that we will have to spend a considerable time apart. I will lodge an appeal, but don't hold much hope. Thank you for your response.
@maximax8 (30579)
• United Kingdom
12 Aug 09
Hi my friend Mipen. I know that Australian law can be somewhat challenging. I know visa applications can be pricey as well as much bother. I know that you miss Thailand. It is a shame that you have to claim a double pension and that it doesn't get given automatically because you are married. Your wife should apply for a permanent visa for a spouse. My married an Australian man when I was 22 years old. We are now divorced. He happily lived in England due to having an Irish passport. I wasn't able to live in Australia without getting a spouse visa. My cousin did that and it was an awful experience for her. Good luck.
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@mipen2006 (5528)
• Australia
12 Aug 09
Thank you max. I still have an issue to reise with social security, and that is the starting date of my two years. My wife abd I spent ten weeks here in December, and my pension was granted, and started om December 16th. If they start my two years from that date, I have already completed eight months, which isn't bad. However, I did return to Thailand for three monthe, and the penesion was suspended, so I think they will probably deduct that time, or even start my time from when we arrived this time, June 25th. It will be a battle, but eventually our lives will return to normal. Thank you for your kind words.