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Everything posted by lawyergal

  1. Thank you! I've been qualified in England since 2010 and have been working as a Law Clerk since 2014 in Australia. I think I avoided the post grad subjects as I have covered the account manager role when she has been on leave in the last year so had sufficient experience thankfully. Unfortunately I had to do civil procedure at undergrad level even though my role has been primary litigation since 2010 as I only had 6.5 and not 7 years experience which was frustrating. I am afraid I haven't heard of a conditional assessment. I understand you cannot get through the expression of interest stage at all unless you are admitted in Australia but you would probably be better advised to speak to immigration on this part.
  2. I understand that you need to be admitted to practice in a State or Territory in Australia before you can submit your expression of interest and can be granted the skilled migrants visa. I have applied for a partner visa but a colleague had to do it in that order (she was employer sponsored in Australia whilst qualifying). I just completed the qualification process in Australia and was finally admitted on 13 December 2016! I live in the Northern Territory but they refer you to New South Wales for assessment. For New South Wales admissions you have to apply and pay the fee twice, firstly for your undergrad experience and then to assess your qualified practical experience. I was "lucky" in that I only had to study six undergrad subjects and did not need to complete any post grad study but the colleague I mentioned above had to also complete two post grad subjects before she could be admitted and she has been qualified for about twice the amount of time I have in England and Wales. After completing my undergrad subjects at Charles Darwin University I then had to get the NSW Admissions Board to confirm I met their criteria for admission by sending them the original documents from my university and then submit that approval plus the rest of my evidence which included evidence of completion of study in Australia, Police checks and references from two lawyers in Australia to the Northern Territory Law Society who approved my application. The process becomes quite expensive (it has cost me approximately $17,000 in total) especially when you factor in the course fees which are about twice the cost for foreign students than Australian Citizens unless you study at a University affiliated with the admissions board like in Sydney, flight costs for study weekends and to attend exams, exam fees, application fees for assessment, police checks, expenses for getting the documents where they need to be but it is nice to have completed everything and call myself a Solicitor here at last!
  3. I'm not sure about the process so much if you are a Barrister but I have 6.5 years PQE and I was still required to study six subjects (admin law, constitutional, corporations, evidence, civil procedure and professional conduct) I don't imagine that 1/3 of a pupilage is sufficient to be exempt from corporations law as I still have to complete civil procedure even though I was an employment lawyer in the uk issuing claims in the employment tribunals and county court and I have been issuing claims in the Supreme Court, federal court and local court in Darwin for the last two years. At charles Darwin university people do study from all over (theirs a girl in/from Brazil in my classes as well as some other Brits) I also only had to study constitutional law and administrative law.
  4. I'm sponsored by my partner to live in Australia and we live in Darwin so I had to be assessed by NSW. I am currently applying for the permanent residency part of the de facto partner visa but I Qualified as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2010 and had been working as a paralegal/litigator since 2005. I have been in Australia since August 2013 and studying since March 2015 to qualify in NSW/the NT. I Was assessed and had to study constitutional law, evidence, admin law, corporations law, civil procedure and professional responsibility. I don't have to do any PLT subjects (only confirmed this week!) and have completed all subjects but civil procedure so far. I am currently appealing that decision because I work in a law firm as a Law Clerk and my whole job is based on civil procedure! The assessment by the NSW LPAB cost $250 for the academic assessment and the same again for the practical legal training aspect. I had to send all of my University records, references, resume and an explanation of my job. The whole process was really time consuming and the admissions board only meet once a month or so. However being so thorough was probably the reason I don't have to study any PLT subjects as I gave them lots of information about my career so far. Once assessed NSW run their own courses through the LPAB at Sydney University. This is a lot cheaper fees wise but from what I can tell you have to take the exams in Sydney and attend the weekend schools twice each semester in Sydney per subject so it all works out about the same when you consider flights, accommodation etc. I am studying through Charles Darwin University and I feel they are expensive because I am treated as an international student still so the fees effectively double. They have been approx $2300 a subject plus books, Internet and other expenses because I work full time, study part time and attend online. However the expenses do help at tax time and I have received decent tax returns since I began studying. You may also find that if you don't study at the recommended university that you may have to have the academic qualifications assessed by the admissions board again either before you start studying or at the end so they can make sure the course is up to scratch! You have to pay each time you are assessed by NSW Admissions board! i hear if my appeal against studying civil procedure was successful after 09/08 but I have to start studying the subject anyway as the semester started this week I'm hopeful they will say I don't have to complete civil procedure so I can be admitted in October (they only have admissions 4 times a year in the Northern Territory). i have really struggled working full time and studying. It's felt like a big chore because I have a decent amount of legal experience and was required to re study subjects which seemed unnecessary. It will be worth it in the end as I will be able to practice in my own right but I will be honest and say I have hated having to go back to uni again.
  5. My partner is not divorced yet and the Case Officer asked me why and I just explained that he hasn't got round to it yet and we've been focused on the Visa application and my Visa was granted this week but your circumstances sound tricky in terms of satisfying other aspects of the criteria.
  6. lawyergal

    820 de facto partner visa !!

    Do you qualify for a working holiday visa? I came in on that to live with my partner and then just before it expired we submitted my visa application so I had a bridging visa and could work unrestricted (I understand technically on the working holiday visa you can only work for an employer for 6 months although you can apply for an extension). My visa application took one year and 27 days and because of being British I had access to Medicare etc which is valuable. We know a couple and the Wife came in on a tourist visa and she has had to leave the country every 3 months or so and cannot work even though they have applied for the partner visa so you should check whether you can work.
  7. lawyergal

    OZ - UK Christmas/NY Flights

    Currently flight scanner is quoting $1865 return (though that's probably multi stop and with Malaysia Air) for flights Darwin to Heathrow.
  8. lawyergal

    Flights and airlines

    I've always flown with Singapore Air because when I have wanted to fly they've been cheapest with only one stop between Darwin and London and have a good air miles redemption scheme. I find the customer service is not to great behind the scenes but the staff on the flights are really good.
  9. lawyergal

    Do you eat different food here?

    A roast in the build up and wet season in Darwin is a definite pass! I find I eat more Asian style food here but sometimes you can't beat home comfort food from the UK. I do miss proper fish and chips though, that's always top of the list when i get back to the UK.
  10. lawyergal

    Query re internet shopping

    I don't think I've ever been charged and I order quite a bit from the UK and have it shipped here. I usually have problems with things being sent to the wrong country (Canada confused with Darwin!), packages opened (a birthday card may conceal offensive weapons or drugs apparently) or just being generally held up in customs for weeks.
  11. We're in Darwin and where we live we couldn't get anything but NBN when we moved in as they are supposed to be switching it all over (last December and still not happened). We have a contract with iiNet and apart from having to wait about 3 weeks for it to be installed we've had good service and don't exceed our allowance with heaps of streaming, downloading and online uni seminars/lectures
  12. lawyergal

    Partner Visa 820 Onshore

    Is it really that long for the 820? I applied last July and was really hoping to hear in the next month or so as they are saying on the website 6 months for low risk! Does anyone know when we should hear from our CO? I'm just getting the processing, don't call us message on the immi website and wondering what to expect.
  13. lawyergal

    WHV or straight to Partner visa

    I came in on a WHV so I could live with my partner and just before it expired applied for the onshore de facto visa. I'm awaiting the outcome but am here on a bridging visa and can work and study without restrictions.
  14. I kept my UK one when I finally got round to swapping. I didn't realise your supposed to swap it within 3 months of arriving (go figure) but it was quick and easy to do.
  15. lawyergal

    Give me some good news please!

    I have been in Darwin just over 18 months and moved here to live with my Aussie partner and really like it here. There's really lots to do for the locals and I think we have a great quality of life here. It's expensive which is a pain and the weather can be a bit wearing during the wet season but you get to the dry season and forget all about that!
  16. lawyergal

    Moving To Darwin In A Few Months Time

    Good luck with your move to Darwin its a very unique but fantastic place to live!
  17. lawyergal

    What is a good time to come??

    The dry season April-ish to September is really busy and full of tourists meaning a lot more tourism related job opportunities. The weather is also so much nicer which makes it a popular time to visit. September/October till December is build up time which makes it very hot and humid and then in theory January to March/April should be the wet season but we have had hardly any rain and it's felt like a very long build up!
  18. lawyergal

    cost of living

    Our experience is: There are 2 of us and we pay $420 a week for a spacious two bedroom unit in Darwin CBD. We have friends renting a 3 bedroom house for anything up to $620 a week. Our food shopping is between $150-$200 per week. Our last power bill was $350 for the quarter, the one before that $215 but we only have air conditioning in the bedrooms (and as my partner hates the sound rarely use it!). People have complained of having power bills in excess of $1K a quarter, especially over the wet season. Parking in the City can be expensive from $2.40 an hour in the CBD to $5 a day in large car parks. Meals out can be $40-$100 easily depending on where you eat. Drinking can be pricey but there are lots of social club type set ups where the drinks are cheaper, especially if you become a member. We don't use our car a lot and can get away with $50 fuel a month but used to live in the rural area and spend $50 twice per week driving 70KM into Darwin CBD each day! If you want to buy then Palmerston may be a better option (they have heaps of new builds and deals for first time buyers) but they also say the property market is slowing in the next year or so, so could be a good time to buy.
  19. I informed HMRC because I wanted a tax refund after leaving the UK in August 2013! I got my rebate quickly but unfortunately this then alerted the student loan company to the fact I had left the Country and they are ever increasing the repayments I have to make each month!
  20. Sorry if this has been asked before but I was wondering how long it took for a CO to be allocated for people applying for the De Factor partner visa onshore? We applied in July before my working holiday visa ran out and uploaded most of our documents etc. However we only just this week finished uploading everything they need so assuming that we use this week as the start date how long will it take to hear from our CO? Its taken us a while to get sorted but hoping it won't be too much longer!?! :arghh: *edit should be 820/801
  21. lawyergal

    Anyone else really hate Halloween?

    We lived in the rural area last Halloween so no one could be bothered to visit us but now we live right in the CBD so I am expecting some visitors, glad we are going out tonight!
  22. lawyergal

    what are you doing right now?

    Sitting in my office at work eating soup so I don't have to go out in the Darwin heat to buy lunch
  23. lawyergal

    Partner visa sub class 820

    Could I ask when people applying for this visa had their medical? Did you do it before you applied or wait until immigration told you to have it? I was all set to have mine whilst preparing my application and then noticed the recommendation seems to be to wait if your visa is likely to take more than 6 months to process. Thank you
  24. lawyergal

    spouse visa (subclass 820- 801) evidence

    Could I ask when you had your medical? Did you do it before you applied or wait until immigration told you to have it? I was all set to have mine whilst preparing my application and then noticed the recommendation seems to be to wait if your visa is likely to take more than 6 months to process. Thank you
  25. lawyergal

    Applying for the Sub Class 189 Skilled Migrant Visa

    My understanding is that the skills assessment for the visa is essentially the same as applying to practice as a Solicitor in Australia as the governing body has to confirm you have the necessary skills which will include proving your UK qualifications etc and/or have equivalent experience and are suitable for the visa. I think that you would have to go through the same process to qualify as a Solicitor in Australia but also to qualify for the visa. I am in Australia at the moment on a working holiday visa and am going to apply for qualification here first and then submit my visa application as that should then put me straight through to the second part of the application.