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3 October 2018
Horsfield Bay, NSW
My husband has recently applied for a job. He came to Australia in 1970 as a minor (16 years old) with his parents under the Assisted Passage Migration Scheme (ten pound poms). Since that time he has never left the country and has lived and worked here.

His new employer wishes to verify his right to work in Australia, which I am given to understand means that he is required to get an IMMI card so that he can have a record on VEVO.

As part of the application for the IMMI card, he has to show details of his arrival in the country (which is the easy part and for which we already have evidence). Unfortunately he also has to demonstrate that he has never left the country since the time of his arrival 48 years ago.

I have been trying to get proof of various addresses and drivers licences held in 3 states, also ASIC records for the companies he has previous owned and run. I have also applied for international movement records records from the immigration department.

Sadly, Government departments in Australia do not appear to have records going back to 1970. Many only go back as far as 1984 or 1989. The motor registry tells me that their records are culled (and not archived) after 7 years.

My husband has never required a VISA, has never held an Australian passport and although he recently got a UK passport for the purposes of photo ID, he has never used it and it has recently expired.

He has never previously had to prove his right to work in Australia, since clearly he was brought here in 1970 specifically for that reason. I am finding it hard to furnish sufficient evidence to prove that he has lived here continuously for the entire 48 year period.

In the past when one of his siblings left Australia and then returned, he as an owner of several businesses was able to sponsor said sibling to reenter the country to live. Furthermore in 2001 I myself came to Australia and we were married in the same year, and in 2003 I was granted a Spouse VISA for which I would not have been eligible had immigration not been satisfied that he was a Permanent Resident.

I find the whole process rather ridiculous because: a. If not immigration, then who else should know whether or not he has ever left the country? b. If they were satisfied in 2003 that he was a permanent resident, why then do we have to prove his continued residence since 1970 rather than 2003? c. None of the evidence I am able to garner will really prove that he didn't leave the country. (I know people with jobs, electoral records, driving licences, mortgages, etc. and they come and go all the time).

Any help or advice would be gratefully received.