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About Bobths

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  1. Hi, I'm sorry if this is the wrong thread to post on but I did a search for '804' and nothing came up. My parents would like to emigrate to Australia and having looked at various visa options, we think the 804 Aged Parent visa is the best option. However, we came across two potential issues. 1) When my mum did some internet digging, we found the AoS information to be a bit confusing. The specific issue is that I am not in paid employment at the moment although I intend to re-enter the workforce sometime next year. Hubby earns more than enough to cover the AoS sponsor income requirement for both my parents (we did the calculation based on 4 adults and 3 kids (me, hubby, my mum, my dad and our 3 kids) but we aren't sure whether I need to be earning a minimum amount and if so, how much it has to be (obviously this will influence what job I go for). So, does anyone know if I have to be in paid employment when they put in their application and if so, how much do I need to be earning, please? 2) Bridging visa: I see that when they apply onshore for the 804, their tourist visa is replaced with a bridging visa. I understand that in order to travel they then can apply for a briding visa b. Does anyone know what restrictions attach to bridging visa b? My parents are just concerned about being able to travel back to France to sell their house (they live in France atm but are UK citizens). Thank you (804 appears best option as both my parents are retired, they're over 65, they can apply onshore during their next holiday (they visit annually), I'm an Aussie citizen, my only bro is now a NZ citizen and they're both *touch wood* in reasonably good health)
  2. Bobths

    How often did you see family once immigrated?

    We did use to go back every 12/18 months but we have baby #3 on the way so cost will become a factor in the future and our eldest daughter has started school so we’re more tied to school holidays. Plus my parents have now sold up in the UK and live permanently in France so we have nowhere to stay in the UK. For me, I don’t miss the UK and my parents visit us in Australia every year for 6 weeks - they’re retired - (plus my mum has come out to help when our children have been born each time - so this year my mum is out for six weeks in June/July and then both my parents are coming out for Christmas ) and we’re quite social media-happy so Skype/Facebook all the time. We’re planning on going back to Europe in July 2020 when bub #3 is still an infant but not sure how it will work visiting hubby’s family and our friends as we will have a full on tribe to accommodate. I find having to use up annual leave to visit the UK the most annoying thing as it means no holidays in Australia, or taking unpaid leave to have other holidays. And trips back to the UK are not holidays - it’s hard work dashing around trying to fit everyone in, especially when the people you are visiting are working so you’re tied to weekends or evenings. I think it depends on the type of person you are and your family/friends’ capacity/willingness regarding visits as to whether emigrating will work for you - I love my parents dearly but I’m v independent (as are they) and they are more than happy to visit regularly and to have us stay with them when we visit them (my dad especially gets cross if I don’t send pics/updates on our life at least every 48 hours!). And I have zero affinity for the UK, I love Australia (although I miss France heaps).
  3. Rules do differ in different states for most things - I can only tell you about Victoria. My main bug bear is that dogs aren't allowed in National Parks (but can go in State Forests) and lots of caravan parks/campsites don't allow dogs in high season. Having said that, we did a 3,000km road trip up the East Coast from Melbourne to Kiama over Christmas without pre-booking any campsites and we were perfectly fine even with our dog. I have two young kids so I'm not particularly bothered about taking the dog or kids in pubs, so outside at cafes is fine by me (most serve alcohol anyway!). I can't think of any parks near me where dogs are banned. I'm sure your dog will be fine
  4. My brother & his wife have a Staffy, which they flew over to NZ with them - she's a rescue dog, not good with other dogs, very nervous, very strong separation anxiety and they estimate she was 7/8 years old when they flew her out. 6 years later she's still going strong and they don't regret it for a second - she was fine on the flight and got back into a routine in no time after quarantine. We just flew our two French Bulldogs (7yo & 1yo) from UK to Melbourne. Even if I could've stood to leave them behind, I wouldn't because we have two daughters (5yo and 3yo) who would've been devastated. Our 3yo talked more about missing the dogs than any of her friends and when my 5yo said she was feeling sad she said it was because she missed the dogs (we flew 6 weeks before the dogs because of the rabies timeline). We got them back on Sunday (yesterday) and they've not left the dogs alone, cuddling them and stroking them and they keep telling me how happy they are to have them back. Because our two are Frenchies, we just walk them in the early morning and late evening on hot days - the beach is so much more peaceful then anyway. I don't know what the rules are like in Brissy but in Melbourne dogs are welcome lots of places - in parks (unless a specified off leash park) they just need to be on a lead and kept out of playgrounds (which is sensible). My girls love taking our dog to the local off leash dog beach (really good on hot days!) so sure there will be somewhere like that near you. I take my dogs to cafes, on the train, parks, farmers markets and even the outdoor cinema - lol you're even allowed them in Bunnings (equivalent of B&Q). I believe it's pretty easy to fly them within Australia too, so no worries about leaving them behind for holidays if you want to take them with you - or you can get a housesitter/dogsitter. **We lived in Melbourne from 2011-2016 then tried the UK again for 18 months, had enough and came back to Melbourne this October so our older dog has done Melbourne-UK and UK-Melbourne.
  5. Bobths

    DIY flying dogs to Oz

    We just got our beloved French Bulldogs back from Mickleham quarantine yesterday - beyond happy! Just wanted to share that it is entirely possible to organise and sort out flying your dogs over yourself. We were quoted $13k to use a pet carrier company and were obviously a bit blown away by the cost. We'd previously flown our older dog from Melbourne to the UK so we dug out the paperwork and found the name of the company that actually deals with the dogs whilst in transit (moving them between planes etc) JCS Pet Exports and gave them a call. They were super helpful and they gave us various quotes for shipping them over, from bare basics to everything included. They even let us re-use the crate that our older dog had originally flown over in. We chose the package that included pre-flight vet checks and collection and transport from the in-laws near Manchester down to Heathrow. Everything else we did ourselves, we used the import timeline calculator from the www.agriculture.gov.au website, printed off the checklist and liaised with our vet (luckily an official UK Government vet ie able to issue pet passports) regarding all the vaccinations and treatments. We applied for the import permit ourselves online and booked and organised their quarantine stay. We left the UK in early October and had family looking after the two dogs until they could fly at the end of November - my FIL took them to the later vet appointments and we settled the bills over the phone. JCS Pet Exports were really good, sending us an update on the dogs once they'd arrived at Heathrow and confirming that they'd set off okay. The two dogs spent exactly 10 days in quarantine and we picked them up on Sunday Obvs the cost of having the dogs flown over varies by breed/weight (only Qantas will fly French Bulldogs) and vet fees vary but in the end it was considerably less than $13k, I reckon more like $9/10k.
  6. Bobths

    Bouncing back to Australia???

    How far out west are you talking? Inner west is fine but house-wise is expensive (not compared to the east though!) but I think outer east is nicer than outer west. We live inner west (2 pre-school kids) and we love it. Hubby works but I’m at home looking after the aforementioned pre-school kids and we get by ok.
  7. Bobths

    What to do in Melbourne on Australia Day?

    The fireworks in the city are always good, best place to watch them (unless they move them) is the banks of the Yarra, near Riverland bar or on the opposite bank near the boatsheds. We’ll be staying in our suburb, Altona, as they have fireworks on the beach, heaps of kids activities (we have a 3 & 5 year old) and food trucks etc. Maybe have a day at the Royal Botanic Gardens and then watch the fireworks?
  8. Just thought I'd share our experience of flying Manchester-Heathrow-Perth. For those who don't want the detail, in summary: best flight experience we've had of travelling to Australia (we've previously done Mcr-Heathrow-Doha-Melbourne, Melbourne-Doha-Manchester, Melbourne-Singapore-Heathrow, Manchester-Dubai-Singapore (cabin crew change over only)-Melbourne) So, for once our experience at Manchester was fine getting through security - usually we've found staff to be shouty and stroppy but this time we even had help filling our trays from one of the security staff. However, our flight from Manchester was supposed to depart at 9:45am and land in Heathrow at 10:55am, giving us 2 hours and 20mins to negotiate getting from T5 at Heathrow to T3 (minimum transfer time 90 mins) to catch our Perth flight at 1:15pm but due to the bad weather caused by the impending arrival of Storm Callum, we were delayed taking off and arrived late, at 11:15am. This meant we had to run to beat the queue at security and it was only because the lady in charge of the bus queue let us queue jump (as we have two young children (aged 3 & 5)) that we made our Perth flight - gate was open and boarding had commenced by the time we got to the gate. The bus queue was insane, I think the family behind us who were trying to get a connecting flight to San Francisco would definitely have missed their flight. If we hadn't had the two kids to try and persuade to run I also think we would have been ok, although maybe not because then we would have had to wait another 15/20 minutes for a bus.....anyway, we made it! The flight to Perth was excellent. The Dreamliner felt a lot roomier than any other plane we've been on, the aisles seemed wider and both hubby and I found the seats to be comfortable (Hubby is 6ft and I'm 5"8). The bendy headrests are height adjustable so even shorter people can appreciate them (something my 5"3 mother would be happy about). Seats also have a sort of little net that you can rest your feet in; I found this useful but hubby's feet were too big. The seat angle when fully reclined was really good but unfortunately the people in front of us manners' weren't - they kept their seats fully reclined during breakfast (even though they were awake) and made eating quite difficult. And they adjusted their seats with no warning which nearly led to me getting covered in orange juice. So wish airlines would do an etiquette video as well as a safety video asking people to warn the people behind when they are going to recline/adjust their seat (I always let the people behind know, it's not difficult to do!). On the other aisle there was a staff member asking people to put their seats upright for breakfast but unfortunately he didn't come down our side of the plane. The windows have adjustable tinting so you are no longer stuck between blinding sunshine or complete darkness. I didn't watch any of the films but hubby and kids found plenty of things to watch (I just read my Kindle). The separate tray for charging your phone and resting it on came in handy at meal times. Meals were so good - beef stew was delicious and the potatoes that came with the kids meals were extra scrummy. Kids loved the help-yourself snack fridge, stocked with apples, nibbles, cereal bars, coke, juice, kit-kats etc. I thought the plane was pretty quiet but hubby still broke out his noise cancelling headphones. Total flight time was 16 hours and 8 minutes but at the end I felt better than I ever have after getting off a long haul flight, usually I want to peel my own skin off and feel really gross. Still needed to use some eyedrops for dry eyes but honestly felt okay apart from that. Hubby and I also agreed it was far less smelly than other flights that we've been on, too. Best thing was on arrival at Perth it took less than 20 minutes to collect our bags, clear passport control, get through customs and hop in a taxi (I declared prescription medicine but we were waved straight through). So much easier than arriving frazzled at Dubai/Doha/Singapore and having to negotiate a massive airport and wait in huge security queues with two small kids only to get on another looonnnng flight. We now have two days in Perth and then we'll be flying onto Melbourne
  9. Bobths

    Moving to Melbourne Alone (from Brisbane)

    Have a look at Kensington. I used to walk to work in the CBD from there (40 mins, approx 4km) and we had a great 2 bed apartment overlooking JJ Holland Park. We used to walk home at 3am from Festival Hall along Moonee Ponds Creek or just home from the CBD cos we felt like it and never had an issue. There are some fab little cafes there and the best Thai restaurant (Thai By Night). Kensington has two train stations which will get you into the city in 6 minutes - close enough for you? I happily walked the dog at 10 o'clock at night and the only things that ever freaked me out were the fruit bats crash landing in the trees. There's a swimming pool and gym run by the YMCA, fab bike trail running right up the river and close to Flemington Showgrounds for festivals/conventions/expos. Pre-babies, hubby and I loved it there.
  10. Bobths

    Best Green Suburbs to live with Family

    Bit harsh to say 'the west' is a giant dust bowl - Werribee is fields and fields of crops! I am biased because I live in 'the west' but the inner-west, not the outer. Inner west has heaps of green - look at Yarraville, Newport, Williamstown, Altona......Newport has the highest density of parks and playgrounds in a Melbourne suburb, I believe. Plus it has Newport Lakes park and some excellent primary schools and is 20/25 mins commute from the city. Yarraville has Cruickshank Park, a fab little village feel and is only 15 mins from the CBD. Williamstown has The Strand, Commonwealth Gardens, Botanic Gardens & a great family beach. You can cycle along the coast from Williamstown Beach to Altona Beach (approx 4km) and Altona has JP Logan Reserve, 1.2km of Beach, Cherry Lake & is still only 35 mins from the CBD. Hubby loves Altona cos it has a village feel and doesn't feel like you're only 13km from the CBD at all. You can find drone footage of Altona Beach, Cherry Lake, Newport Lakes & Williamstown on YouTube.
  11. Bobths

    Suburbs recommendations please.

    Greensborough is lovely, has everything you need, some lovely walks along the creek, cycle tracks through to the City and is on the doorstep to the Yarra Valley but when we lived there the commute absolutely sucked - approx an hour on the train (+walking time) and absolutely packed from CBD most of the way back. We broke our lease after 6 months and moved closer to the CBD (Kensington) after I fainted from the heat and sardine-like conditions - I didn't even fall because everyone was shoulder-to-shoulder. Kensington has an awesome dog park and is possibly my favourite suburb that I've lived in (6 minute commute into the city) but it doesn't have the big blocks you're looking for. Maybe somewhere on the Greensborough line but closer into the city? Heidelberg, Rosanna, Ivanhoe? We are moving back to Altona, which has a great dog beach (can't wait to introduce our puppy to the beach!) and a couple of dog parks, but obvs coastal so less leaf and more beach. Commute is 30/35 mins to the city by train. Neighbouring suburb of Newport also has dog parks and a good dog owning community, that's 20/25 mins to the CBD on the train.
  12. Bobths

    Moving back to Melbourne!!!

    So it's official, we'll be moving back to Melbourne in mid-Oct - soooo excited! We originally moved to Melbourne in Jan 2011 and then came back to the UK last April because hubby needed to scratch that itch. Anyway, for many and varied reasons we've concluded Australia is much better for our family so we're heading back in a few months - eep! Dont think our youngest (nearly 3yo) really remembers Australia but eldest (4yo, starting school in Feb 2019) is looking forward to being back with her bestie & other friends. Just had to share the happy ?
  13. Bobths

    Dilemma whether to stay or go

    Congratulations on selling the house ? We sold our car no problem, hopefully you will find the same thing. We’re officially going back to Melbourne in October YAY!!!!! Doing all the paperwork for our two dogs is giving me a headache but it will be worth it!
  14. Bobths

    Have we made a mistake of returning to the uk?!

    I’m normally a very positive person and optimistic but after feeling miserable for so long I gave up in November and went to see a doctor and she diagnosed me with depression so I’m on antidepressants. They help a lot but I do still get fixated on the negative stuff as I will admit. I experience a lot of mud as part and parcel of having a 2yo and 4yo whose favourite outdoor activity is splashing in puddles and squelching through mud. Sand just suddenly seems a lot easier to deal with in hindsight.
  15. Bobths

    Have we made a mistake of returning to the uk?!

    That was one of my supposed UK pros - no more daily sunscreen application on the kids and no more sand everywhere. However after 6 months of muddy, smelly clothes & dogs, muddy floors and puddlesuits and having to throw clothes away cos the mud is so ingrained..... hand me the Nivea and thongs! ?