Jump to content

You're currently viewing the forum as a Guest
and join in with discussions   
ask migration questions
message other members

..and much much more!


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by RonnieRocket0

  1. Dear Fellow PIO'ers My family and I are currently in Perth on a 'validation of visa' visit. To start off with we were 'seduced' by programmes such as 'Wanted Down Under', and decided to visit migration seminars as well as joining various web forums such as this one. We applied for our 176 visas in July of 2009 and prior to being awarding them in January 2010 we visited Perth in October 2009 for a two week holiday. At that time my employment/renumeration prospects were better in Australia than they were in the UK due to the economic climate, however on that visit we did notice that life in WA, is certainly not cheap. That said there is a cost to hoping to enjoy a higher standard of living and I think there is/was a mis-conception that it's easy money here in Australia. The reality is, unless you are financially well off then I believe you may have to work harder for your $ than you would for your £. Fast forward to Jan 2010, were awarded our 176 visas and as we have a large family (4 children) there would be a lot of organizing which would many of you have been through or are aware of. Without wishing to commit financial suicide of resigning from my employer at the time without a job in Australia and attempting to sell the house in the current economic climate, we thought it would be prudent to complete a validation visit, as a visit for 6 (£10000) was a far cheaper prospect than moving with no certainties (£150000+). That way we would then have until January 2014 to move and in the meantime, I could then potentially travel to Australia on my own to secure employment, in the knowledge that my wife and children had experienced some aspects of life in Australia even if it is for a short period of time. On our visit in 2009, we did not do so much of the tourist thing, but concerntrated on speaking to recruiters about career/salary prospects, looking at schools, and speaking to teachers about the education system (My eldest son is mildly autistic), and what provisions are in place for special educational needs. We also looked at housing and compared properties which were new builds to those which were 10+ years old. To be completely honest we were not overly impressed with the houses at that time as I wondered why on earth did so many homes have very tiny back gardens. Inside the houses there were many examples of high level of spec for appliances and house layout. After our 2009 visit, as our visa situation had not been decided by DIAC, we were still in limbo and could not plan our move, as it would have been a great deal of time and money wasted had we not been awarded our visas. That visit was invaluable as it gave us many thoughts about life in Australia, and the numerous people we spoke with about the many areas of life in Australia was great, they were honest and frank and as with anywhere in the world, some loved it, others were not so keen, (Aussie's included!!). March 2010 saw a change of job for myself which now has presented a number of various oppotunities, one of which is the possibility of moving to Australia to open an office up for my new employer. This is not an immediate option, and may take two years. The 7 months I have been working with my new employer have been great in all areas. This has made life in the UK somewhat more pleasant, which in turn has made the desire to leave less likely. October 2010, we are in Perth on our visa validation visit, and as with our 2009 visit we have met a number of great people, all with differing stories and views of life in Perth/suburbs. Some have no desire to stay in Australia and are looking to return to the UK within a couple of years, others have no wish to return to the UK permanently but are going back for a short visit to complete their emotional closures, before returning. To summarize, I guess the short answer to the $64,000 question is, will we move to WA? My response at this moment would be is to spin a coin. The only advice I can offer is that you can never do too much research into this subject. I thought that once we had our visas life would be simplier, that is very wrong. The visa process is a small part of a huge life changing action you are embarking on. I will continue to add to this post from time to time, but it would be great to read your comments about my thoughts. I would also like to thank the numerous people in Perth we have met as well as the numerous people on PIO who have contributed their thoughts and ideas on the numerous aspects of life in Australia. I'd better sign off now as we are off to King's Park for a picnic with a fellow PIO'er,Floater and his family. Kind regards Ronnie Rocket
  2. RonnieRocket0

    Can I change my current visa application?

    Hi Jo, We were in a similar situation to that which you now find yourself in. We originally applied for a 475 with SA and when my state sponsorship for a 176 with WA came through DIAC confirmed that we would have to apply for another visa. The two of them ran in parallel, so things like the police checks and medicals were submitted to the 176 and they ran concurrent with the 475. Up until recently I believe that you could change a 175 into a 176 as well as a 121 employer sponsored visa, with little charges applied, but that has since changed. My suggestion would be to apply for the 176 visa as there are more benefits/security you can apply for sooner. However it may be wise to see what others on here suggest or seek advice from a reputable agent. Once our 176 visa was granted we then had to formally withdraw our 475 application. The only thing was, wi hindsight we should have been a little more patient. One question I have is, have you got your minds set on which area you want to settle in? If you are comfortable with living in ACT then the 176 would be best. Morally you are obliged to live and work there, however my understanding is that legally you do not have to. Also from memory the 475 for SA does allow you to work in Adelaide whereas 475's for states such as WA do not allow you to work in Perth and you are required to be based in a regional area. I am also wondering that as you have submitted the 475, would you fall under the aspect where DIAC have refunded applicants their fees after a period of time, where their application has no hope of being processed in a timely fashion. With this is mind it may well be worth lodging the 176 with ACT. Hopefully you'll get more feedback with better informed PIo'ers. Good luck with your efforts Ron R
  3. RonnieRocket0

    Thinking of Migration, Ups & Downs of an Honest Diary

    Hi Carrie, I work with blood irradiators (cesium & x-Ray) as well as cobalt therapy units. I work for the manufacturer of these products, so there is a lot of interfacing with end users such as hospitals and research centres. I'm based in the UK, covering the UK and Africa, but am hoping to move to either Australia or N.America to live and work there. Problem with Perth is there are not too many therapy units or blood irradiators locally, so it would also include a lot of travel. From the research i have completed, it seems there are a great deal more roles on the east coast for this type of role. I guess you have also been on a reccie visit to Perth? How did you find it? Many thanks for your comments. Ron R
  4. RonnieRocket0

    Thinking of Migration, Ups & Downs of an Honest Diary

    Dear PIO'ers, apologizes for the update to my journal. We have now completed our validation visit top Perth and the family are all well after a pleasant visit and a nice six day stop over in Singapore. As I mentioned in my previous posts, the family and I are still at odds about whether to make the firm commitment for that move to Perth. The white board and markers are doping overtime in respect regarding the pro's and con's of the move. Whilst we were in Perth, we met some great people from all over giving us a valuable insight in to how life in WA is treating them, and providing us with a wealth of feedback both positive and negative about life in Perth. The points to consider are; Can you afford to move? WA is an expensive place to live. Our visit in Oct 2009 was mainly SOR, so this years visit was primarily NOR. Do your research about suburbs, what may appear as a bargain could well be because it is in a less desirable area. We originally looked at new build properties, but soon changed our minds as we were not so sure we wanted to live so far out of the city to buy a place within our budget. It was also a strange eerie feel that on a lot of the new build communities there seemed to be little sign of life which made me wonder if a lot of the properties were second home investments. To summarise about properties I am sure we will probably rent for the first 12 months until we find a home to buy. We have also narrowed our search down to Willeton and the surrounding suburbs as we have kids, there is the schooling to consider. At this point it is highly likely that I would need to seek a career within the mining sector or oil and gas. These industries provide an income live within your means. Realistically for my family I would need to seek a Job which pays $110k+. I think unless you are a lottery winner then the chances of being mortgage free are next to zero. One big plus I would like to highlight is how friendly everyone we met was. Certainly a welcome attitude from the way us Brits are back in the UK! This visit has cemented mine and my family's thoughts about moving from the UK. However six months ago I changed jobs in the UK and am now working for a Canadian nuclear medicine company. I have been presented with a number of options from them about the future which could include staying in the UK, moving to Australia or moving to Canada. It really feels like a gameshow about the various options. I am currently over in Canada on a training course and I must admit there are many parallels with Canada and Australia, the weather is a little different!!! I hope you enjoy reading my posts and as I mentioned in the previous ones, should anyone have any questions, then please feel free to drop me a line. Kind regards Ron R
  5. RonnieRocket0

    Should DIAC cut visa numbers for UK?

    I think a 2 year wait is reasonable enough expectation. And DIAC realise that people have houses to sell, jobs to find etc...When the government set their targets for visas etc, they factor in aspects such as regional development/growth prospects and current economic trends. These do not happen overnight, just as upping sticks and moving happens overnight. I guess it depends what you have in the way of responsibilites which determines how soon you can move.
  6. RonnieRocket0

    Should DIAC cut visa numbers for UK?

    Hi Down Under, I have read your posts with great interest. This one on in particular moved me to respond to your comments. I can fully appreciate that you have your opinion, but I think there are a number of demographics here that need to be examined before you make such a sweeping statement about the British not being suited to emigration. My impression is that most of the Australian who decide to leave Australia for foreign shores do so at a far younger age than their UK counterparts. I don't wish to make a sweeping statement but here goes, most Aussie's decide at an earlier age if they are likely to travel or not, those who can/do, you have to ask why?? Is this as a result that they wish to explore the countries of their heritage and visit the places that their parents have spoken about? Is it because there are more oppotunities/desirable lifestyle choices for the younger population overseas than there is in Australia? When I was 20 I did not have consider Australia as a destination to work or live and chose North/South America & Middle East instead, however you do have a great country and that is why I feel drawn to move my wife and young children to Australia for a better life. My impression is that Australia is great for years up to 20's and then from your 30's onwards. Getting back to your statement, I think it is far more difficult for 30 somethings with familys to move and settle to a foreign country than it is for someone in their 20's. This is why it is important that migrants do get sufficient time to decide and should they so wish, complete a validation visit prior to moving permanently. Just to give you an indication for my two visits and visa application I have spent roughly £25,000 and have validated my visa. I feel more comfortable now knowing that if we do come to Australia, that my family and I have had some experience of life in Australia and it also enables me time to try and find suitable work/accomodation etc before shipping the family out here. As I mentioned earlier I have taken onboard your views, but as one of the other contributors has stated, it is a greatly sweeping one. Kind regards
  7. RonnieRocket0

    Thinking of Migration, Ups & Downs of an Honest Diary

    Hi All, Further to my earlier post, we had a great day in King's Park with Floater and his family. They have been here for a few months now and it sounds as though they are thoroughly enjoying their Aussie experience. Whilst there we learnt how to do the Aussie wave as there were a great many flies in need of an air traffic controller and the only thing missing was Sir Bob Geldof with a film crew and an appeal number for donantions. But I was also reliably informed that the flies do not like it when it gets too hot and are gone by summer!! Tonight the kids and I went 'Trick or Treating' around the neighbourhood, so that was also a great way for me to speak to locals and expats about life in WA. The kids had a great time with a bucket load of chocolate and sweets and we had the novelty of locals knocking on our door as well. Tomorrow we are meeting up with a family who have been here for nearly 4 years and the husband works on the mines. As I explained to Floater earlier today, it feels like a game show similar to 'Deal or No Deal'. By the time we leave here we will either be completely confused with the number of variants in the equation or there maybe some clarity as to which way we will decide to go. I think this is going to require the use of a large whiteboard and and non-permanent markers. By the way the weather today was a cool 30degs C, with a indication that this will rise to around 35 by Wednesday. Many thanks for taking the time to read my account of life here. Tomorrow we are heading SOR to look at some of the suburbs etc.. Should anyone have any questions about Perth, then please feel free to drop me a line. many thanks for reading my account. Kind regards Ronnie Rocket
  8. RonnieRocket0

    176 Validation Visit

    Dear fellow PIO'ers, My family and I are off to Perth next week to validate our 176 visas. We were awarded them back in January and it seems like an age ago. I still keep an active eye on the website and it is frustrating to see that there are some good people out there who are experiencing the problems my family and I encountered during our visa application process. The even more scary thing is when you jump through the hoops to complete the aspects of the application that DIAC request, TRA, State Sponsorship, Police & Meds etc.. 7 months seems like an eternity, and I guess human nature would suggest that we all suffer from a little impatience, which is somewhat ironic that I have waited 9 months from visa award to visit for validation. If I can offer any words of comfort to those of you who are waiting anxiously, then for all of the frustrations of the application process, be it generated by ourselves, DIAC, Migration Agent panel doctor etc, then there are a great deal of good souls out there such a Gollywobbler, David Wilden and too many to mention. That is why this website is a great form of media for everyone to meet and exchange views and ideas, as well as keep spirits up. Anyway a big 'thank you' Ron R and his family for those of you I have communicated with over the past 18 months as well as to the supporters of this website. We are off to next week so I'd better sign off this message now as I have a load to organize such as meeting up with other poms in the Perth area, job hunting and packing the suntan lotion as WA gently glides into Summer. Kind regards to one and all Ronnie R
  9. RonnieRocket0

    Just Want To Share

    Being a parent of an autistic son, I would like to pass on mine and my family's heart felt congratulations to you and your family to the success of your son's school life. If it great to read such a great outcome and a wonderful start to the next chapter of his life. Kind regards, Ronnie Rocket
  10. RonnieRocket0

    Autism is it a visa stopper?

    Hi Sid's Dad, i read your post with interest. I would like to state now that autism is not a show stopper. My son (9 years old) suffers with autism and receives 18 hours a week one to one support here in the UK. We applied for 176 visas and were awarded them back in January. I won't beat around the bush, but it was a stressful time, as we had to obtain additional specialist reports towards his condition. That said if your brother really wants to go he will turn every stone to get there. Our panel doctor was not the best and we were left to our own devices to find our own specialist. The best places to find clinical psychologists are universities. We went to the university of Hertfordshire where for a 2 hour assessment as well as a visit to his school for observations and a report cost 300 pounds. Money well spent in my opinion. We are off to Perth in two weeks to validate our visa and then who knows what happens... Good luck to you and your brother and if you need any help, please feel free to drop me a line. kind regards Ronnie Rocket
  11. RonnieRocket0

    Flights booked.... Woohoo!!!!

    Hi Helen, congratulations with your move. Just thought I'd drop you a quick lina about the flights. Firstly if you have the oppotunity to, then I highly recommend a few days in Singapore. Plenty to see and do and will be a good place to break the journey up in. Secondly I guess you'll be on the A380. I know the last time I travelled to Singapore, SIA had 3 daily flights from Heathrow and one of those was a 747. If you are on the A380, try and contact the airline and reserve seats. Upper deck are great as there are fewer economy class seats and when the flight disembarks the upper level clears faster. You have chosen well going with SIA as their customer service etc is better than any other airline I've used. Can't help you regarding Adelaide as we are Perth bound. Good luck and Kind regards Ronnie Rocket
  12. RonnieRocket0

    Singapore Airlines

    Hi Dave & Ange, To re-iterate what the others have said, Singapore Airlines is tops everytime. You cannot go wrong with the A380. They provide 3 choices of meals, the seats are great as even when the guy in front tilts back, the head rest is not in your lap. Also when you transfer at Changi airport it is a far more passenger friendly airport than Dubai. I tend to think of Dubai airport as a large shopping centre. The facilities are limited as this makes the passengers go into the shops to spend money. Changi is a bit like being in a nice hotel lounge. I'd also be inclined if you get the chance to spend a couple of days in Singapore if you have time as it is a great place to break the journey up. Anyway have a great time and kind regards Ronnie Rocket
  13. RonnieRocket0

    176 Issued 19/01/2010

    Good Morning Fellow PIO'ers!, I thought I had posted my news earlier this morning, but it does not seem to have registered? Anyway, I thought 'what the hell' and checked my e-mail this morning (5:30am), no news, but there was some movement regarding my online status. Then at about 6:30ish I checked my e-mail again and 'Holy Smoke!!' 176 visa issued. Wow, a quick rub of the eyes and thought could this be true??? Are there any conditions attached, but no it was a 'pucker' letter from our friends at DIAC. In the short space of 10 minutes all manner of thoughts was going through my mind, but the biggest feeling of euphoria was the fact that this visa has been issued even though my son is diagnosed with Autism. I would like to pass on a number of thank you's etc... 1. This forum and its members. It is a great site, and a great place to meet and exchange thoughts, opinions, and general support. 2. To Gill and the senior members of this forum. There are those who I would deem to be classed as Oracles, due to their wealth of knowledge. 3. David Wilden and the team at DIAC (UK & Aus.). We all know that there are times we are frustrated with how the wheels turn so slowly, but to take the time to meet with PIO and engage in a meeting. This has been followed up with further requests/questions with our concerns. 4. My family. Its amazing the amount of times my son has asked, 'Have the Australians contacted you yet dad?' Thankfully he is unaware that our visa pretty much depended on the outcome of his assessment. Well most of my details are within my signature, however the parts missing are visa issued 176, 19/01/2010, Latest date of entry 21/11/2010 and the team dealing with it were team 4. In a nutshell the whole process took roughly 7.5 months from start to finish. I would like to further add, that I would like to offer my continued support to this forum as well as providing support to especially those going through the process of emmigrating with a dependant with autism. I hope that this news offers hope to those that DIAC do process those with disabilities and issue visas, without the need to get a new diagnosis. Please PM me if you wish for any help/advice. To sign off the bubbly is on chill and no matter how bad a day at work it will be, its going to take a lot to knock me off of this cloud 9 moment :biggrin: Keep the faith Ronnie Rocket
  14. RonnieRocket0

    176 Issued 19/01/2010

    Hi Julie, I would be more than happy to let you know. We lodged our 176 back in August 2009, but we had already submitted our 475 in July 2009, where the Case Officer had requested meds and police checks. When it got to the aspect of the medicals, as you may be aware, there are a number of forms to fill out. Part of the form was to tick some boxes about mental health and state assistance from the Government/NHS. At the time we submitted a truck load of paperwork/reports from my son's school, GP etc.. However as his diagnosis was about 3 years back when the HOC in Sydney looked at the paperwork, they referred his health decision and requested a more current professional assessment. We were given 28 days in which to get a Clinical Pshycologist's report. We had a horrendous time as our panel doctor had no prior experience of working on a case like this. He suggested that as we are more knowledgable to our son's condition, that he would be happy to refer to any professionals we found. We contacted the original doctor, but unfortunately she only conducted NHS work and the waiting time was very long. After searching many avenues we found an ideal solution in contacting our local university which run courses in Physcology. The doctor we managed to secure the services of had chartered status and is an expert in his field. His costs were very resaonable and a fraction of what we would have paid had we gone to a private clinic. Now I guess this is the part you are really wanting to know... The doctor spent about 2 hours with my son. Firstly in his office for an hour for an initial assessment and then the second hour was at his school in a more normal environment. The assessment was very thorough and the doctor made a point to highlight the positive attributes towards my son. He was also keen to highlight that although he imagined that my son could gain employment in adult life, he had no 'crystal ball' and cannot forcast what anyone can aspire to. The real crux that the Aussie's are interested in, is you child likely to be an excessive financial burden on the goverment? I hope this gives you a insight, but please feel free to PM me if you want any specific information regarding our case. Good luck with your application and please let me know if we can help further Kind regards Ronnie R
  15. RonnieRocket0

    Going on holiday while waiting for 176

    Hi scubabud, Your friend is talking a load of codswallop. I went on a ETA last year after I had applied for a 176. It might be worth dropping DIAC a line to see if you are likely to be issued your PR before you travel. Enjoy your holiday and should you require any more info drop me a line Kind regards Ronnie R
  16. RonnieRocket0

    Well well well

    Many congratulations pom64. Must admit I was worried when I read the headline 'well well well'. But great to open the thread and see your great news Kind regards Ron Rocket:biggrin:
  17. RonnieRocket0

    Disability and Migration - Public Debate

    Hi George, I guess in theory it is generally just as rigid here in the UK as it is for Australia, contary to the image that the mass media seem to portray here in the UK about migrants coming to the UK. If you had asked me 3 months ago, my impression of the attitude towards applicants with disabilities gaining a visa to Australia, I would have said, probably highly unlikely. This is part could be due to the fact that Dr's in the UK in some diagnosis tend to highlight the negative aspects of a condition, rather than the positives. When we had to jump through the hoops regarding my son's condition, we naturally declared it, and the Clinical Psychologist who examined him, provided an honest assessment. To my relief, the MOC must have taken the positives and was happy for provide a pass for my son's application. Generally I would also like to add in that with speaking with the HOC regarding my application, they were very helpful and courteous. I am not so sure that would be the case in the UK as in other experiences of life in the UK, there is a 'jobs worth' attitude in many areas, and certainly a lot less sympathy towards the enquirer. In the cold light of day, fortunately, I have not had to follow an appeal process, but providing the line of communication with HOC is active, then there is this feeling, that they are an approachable department and very helpful with providing advice. It would be interesting to see how others migrating to the UK have faired under similar circumstances Have a great weekend Kind regards Ron R
  18. RonnieRocket0

    Refund of Visa Charges

    Hi movingon, I am sorry to hear about your issue. The DIAC website and publications do state the instances where a refund is issued. These are few are far between. Just by changing your mind, it is not viewed by DIAC as a reasonable reason for obtaining a refund. One of the things that members are driving for is a policy from DIAC to offer refunds to those who have waited over a set time. As you rightly mentioned, if you have to wait for the 'how long is a piece of string' then this is an unreasonable expectation as by paying for an application in effect you have paid for an expected level of service. It might be worth contacting DIAC and requesting if you can re-activate your application. So at least at some point they will have to work for their money. Other than that, I don't hold out much hope for you I am sorry to say Good luck Ronnie R
  19. RonnieRocket0

    Thanks to Go Matilda and Gollywobbler!

    Many Congratulations. Now the real fun starts!! You thought it was a rollercoaster with the waiting, just see how fast the days go now with so much to do. All I can say is enjoy and have fun packing and embarking on your new adventure. Kind regards Ron Rocket :v_SPIN:
  20. RonnieRocket0

    176(PR) or 475(Temp)

    Hi Ploppy, There are quite a few differences between the two visas. The biggest one is that the 475 is a provisional visa, so you would need to apply for PR at the end of the 3 years. A 475 is not an issue for SA as you will already be aware, you are able to live and work in Adelaide. Other issues also include the level of health care provided by the state, aspects of education for your children, as well as the other areas such as Government assistance. I think also as a PR you would be entitled to the Government's $7,000 assistance for 1st time buyers. The DIAC website is very good at highlighting the differences. The choice is yours, but if it were me, I would go with the 176 as this provides a higher degree of security. Then after two years you can move anywhere in Australia. Also it might be worth getting in touch with SA to see if you can transfer your 475 offer into a 176. You never know. Good luck with your mission Kind regards Ronnie R:jiggy:
  21. Hi China, Please also ensure that they are colour scans. Various agencies will not accept black and white scans unless they have been certified independently by a solicitor or a notary public. Also the other area we had a slight delay on was that all birth certificates have to show the parents details as well as those who are applying. Do not worry about supplying too much information as it is better than not supplying enough. Good luck with your quest Kind regards Ron R
  22. RonnieRocket0

    Priority Processing Groups 1-4..Where are U now?

    Hi Chris, I went to Down Under Live at the weekend and the WA gov. official stated that it is currently running at 5 months. Agent is a little out of date with their info. Kind regards Ronnie R
  23. Hi Pio'ers, Just wondering if anyone else is going to Down Under Live this weekend? I am so I will try and post as much info as I can my hands on. If there is anyone with any specific questions which they would like info on, then please drop me a line this evening and I'll do my best to help. Have a great weekend Kind regards Ron Rocket:biggrin:
  24. RonnieRocket0

    Medical Questions

    Dear Ambassador, I am not sure if this will help, but my family and I faced the same type of issue when we applied for our PR. My son suffers with mild autism, so we had to tick a few other boxes which included 'Mental Health'. As with the other threads, the best piece of advice I can give is to be completely honest. When you go for PR, they may refer you to a specialist (Clinical Psychologist in our case), but if your circumstances are as you mention, then you should not have any real problems. I hope this is of help to you. Kind regards Ronnie R:jiggy:
  25. RonnieRocket0

    City & Guilds

    And not a lot about beer either!!!! Only kidding Kind regards Ronnie R Sorry to continue with my thread, I am C&G qualified and TRA assessed the paperwork with no worries along with my letters from my employer. Keep the faith!!