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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. Marisawright

    UK Buy to Let Mortgage Solution

    If you've got no kids, then you could do a year. I would still sell one of the houses, but put your stuff in storage instead of shipping it. Then rent a modest place in Australia and furnish it from IKEA (or buy second-hand) until you decide whether you want to stay forever. However, if your wife is putting the brakes on, I'd think very hard before you go ahead. Migrating is highly stressful, even when you're both itching to move. If your wife is just going along with the idea to make you happy, it's a recipe for divorce - especially if she's very close to her family and friends.
  2. Marisawright

    Moving back to oz

    Hotel quarantine is likely to stay in place for many months yet. My guess would be the end of 2021. Hotel quarantine exists because Covid is rampant outside Australia and almost non-existent here, and Australians want to keep it that way. The government tried allowing people to self-quarantine at home and too many people cheated, so they're not going to risk that again. So it stands to reason they won't get rid of hotel quarantine until Covid is under control in the rest of the world, and I don't see that happening any time soon. As permanent residents, you have an automatic right to enter Australia and so will your son once he gets his visa.
  3. Marisawright

    UK Buy to Let Mortgage Solution

    I wasn’t suggesting they lie, just to get their finances in order while they can honestly claim to be still legally resident in the country
  4. Marisawright

    UK Buy to Let Mortgage Solution

    The solution is easy. Don't even try to organise a mortgage as an expat, because you'll get stung for higher fees and interest. Get your mortgage sorted while you're still resident in the UK. You don't have to tell the bank you might have plans to leave the country at some point in the future. The bigger question is, what kind of visa are you coming on, and are you 150% positive you'll be staying in Australia for the rest of your lives? If you're coming on a temporary, short-term or provisional visa (482, 491 etc), then it's much wiser not to sell your home, because there is no guarantee you'll be allowed to stay in Oz at the end of the visa. People talk about transitioning from these visas to PR as if it's just a formality but it certainly is not! There are hoops to jump through and sometimes it doesn't work out. Same goes if you're going for a PR visa (189, 190) but don't have any experience of living in Australia. It may surprise you to learn that some people arrive and discover they don't like it, or miss their folks or friends too much. If either of you is in any doubt, having a home to go back to will save you a lot of expense. My two cents - sell the rental property and make sure the sale completes well before you leave the UK (that will avoid complications with Aussie tax on the sale). Keep your home and rent it out, using a good letting agent. And as Aussiepom says, you need to hire a tax agent who knows both systems thoroughly, to do your Australian tax return. @Alan Collett is one such.
  5. Marisawright

    Getting a Mortgage in Australia

    Credit ratings don't matter nearly as much in Australia as they do in the UK. They'll look at your Australian salaries and the value of the property, and that will decide how much you get. No difference between citizens and residents.
  6. Marisawright

    Can I take ......

    The biggest issue is that if you put items that need inspection/fumigation inside your container/Movecube, they will unpack the whole thing to inspect them. If things gets damaged or lost during the unpacking/repacking, that's too bad - it's not their problem. You can also imagine that when they repack it, they don't always pack it securely, and then stuff gets broken as everything gets jostled on its way to your home. So on the whole, if you have things that need inspection or fumigation, either carry it in your luggage or send it separately (you can send individual boxes with Seven Seas). The cost of fumigation varies according to the size and nature of the item.
  7. Marisawright

    Excited and a bit confused on which visa to apply for

    See what the agent says. Currently, medical professionals are getting visas, but almost no one else is even getting looked at. When they do start processing again, there'll be a huge backlog of existing applications. Of course, it's a competition, not an orderly queue - so if your husband has a high point score, he can leapfrog over those earlier applications. But if his point score isn't up in the 90's, he may be waiting a very long time. Always assuming his occupation is even on the list by that time, which no one can predict. Some trades have already been removed, and with the predicted recession, who knows what they may do next. That's the thing to bear in mind when considering your time frame. If you are serious about migrating, don't delay. Remember that once you get your visa, all you have to do is make a flying visit to activate it - then you have a whole 5 years to plan your permanent move. Would NSW be an option for you? The north coast has several nice towns with a similar climate and lifestyle to Queensland.
  8. Marisawright

    Which Australian Visa to apply for?

    Having family in Australia makes little to no difference. For some visas, it may get you a few extra points but that's all. Your only hope of migration is a skilled visa. There is a list of eligible occupations. If your occupation isn't on the list, you can't migrate - it's that simple. The good news is that Quantity Surveyor is on the list. You will apply as the primary applicant, then the rest of the family will be tagged onto that application. You'll need to score enough points, too, and that can be the snag. Although you're allowed to apply with only 65 points, it's a competitive process. For the last few years, there has been so much competition, only people with 90 points or more are even being considered. The quickest way to sort it out is to book a consultation with a good migration agent. Try Suncoast Migration or Go Matilda. The whole process can take a year or more, so even though immigration is almost at a standstill right now, it's worth getting started on it asap.
  9. Marisawright

    Excited and a bit confused on which visa to apply for

    If you apply with you as the primary applicant, you've got a good chance. Very few visas are being approved currently - but doctors and nurses are the exception. Though we don't have a big Covid problem here, Australia is still beefing up its healthcare provisions in case it gets out of control here. I'd say, with kids, that you're better off going for the permanent visa. If you get a temp visa and something goes wrong (e.g. they change the rules again, which they do every year), you'd have to head home just when your children are at a critical stage in their education. Better to wait for the permanent visa and know that you can move over and get settled for good. In these difficult times, I'd recommend getting an agent to help you with the application. It is a bit of an extra expense but in the scheme of things, worth it for peace of mind. They're more up to date than anyone on what's happening, too. Try Suncoast Migration, Go Matilda or Pinoy Australia.
  10. Marisawright

    Is Bulk Billing dying a death?

    I think it varies a lot from state to state.
  11. Marisawright

    Aged Parent visa 804

    That's very true. For a lot of parents (especially mothers, from my observation), being close to their children and grandchildren trumps everything. However, I do think that sometimes, parents don't give enough thought to what they're giving up. I think they're thinking of the holidays they spend in Australia and imagine that's what life will be like - but people make an effort to be available when you're on holiday. When you're living there all the time, children have their own lives to lead and grandkids have lots of after-school activities in Australia as well as school. As you say, it's the same for people who retire to France, Spain etc, imagining an idyllic holiday lifestyle for the rest of their days - and then realising they miss their friends and their old life too much. I know a couple in Sydney who moved in their sixties. They're not going back, because they can't face another international move - but they do wish they hadn't done it. They had moved to Spain in their retirement and were loving it, with a wide circle of friends and a great lifestyle. They moved to Sydney to be near the kids, but delays in selling their home meant that by the time they were ready to buy in Sydney, they couldn't afford a nice home anywhere near their children. They're now settled a couple of hours outside Sydney and they've struggled to make friends there. The distance from their children mean they only see them at weekends and even then, it's not every weekend. In fact, they used to see far more of their grandkids when they visited for three months each year, than they do now. Life is OK, but it's just OK, and they have to watch their money. Whereas they were having a whale of a time in Spain, with no money worries.
  12. You can allow it to lapse but it's probably safest not to. If you want to wait till the last minute, then keep an eagle eye on the calendar and make sure you apply before you lose eligibility. If you get to the point where you no longer meet the residency criteria (2 years out of last 5 years), it's a whole different ball game and it would be awful if you lost your right to live in Australia because you weren't paying attention.
  13. Marisawright

    Aged Parent visa 804

    It is a tough situation. The bad news is that the processing time for a CPV, if you apply today, is at least 8 years. The processing time for a 804 visa is 30 years, so you would likely be on the bridging visa for the rest of your lives. It sounds like you've discovered that on a 804 visa, you wouldn't be eligible for any government assistance (no pensions, no pensioners' allowances, no healthcare or aged care etc). The good news is that, provided you're legally resident in the UK immediately before you arrive, you'll be covered by Medicare under the reciprocal agremeent with the UK (nothing to do with the visa). In theory, that should cover essential services only, but many Brits have found it covers everything that an Australian would get. Be aware, though, that Medicare is not the same as the NHS. It doesn't cover everything. Medications are expensive and specialist appointments can cost hundreds of dollars. Your British govt pensions would be frozen at whatever the rate is when you arrive. If you want to buy a property to live in, you'll need to apply for special permission from the FIRB and then pay a surcharge on the purchase price. On a $500,000 property, that can amount to an extra $40,000 or more. If you want to leave the country for any reason, you'll need to apply for special permission (a BVB) because your bridging visa does not allow you to leave. The bottom line is that the Australian government doesn't want parents to come to Australia because of the high cost of healthcare and aged care. That's why the fees are so high, but even then, government calculations show they are nowhere near enough to cover what parents cost taxpayers over their remaining years. They tried to delete the 804 visa altogether once, but couldn't get it through parliament.
  14. Marisawright

    Travel Insurance during Migration

    If you are currently a UK resident, then you are covered by the reciprocal agreement from the moment you arrive in Australia, just as you would be if you arrived on holiday.
  15. Marisawright

    Sales - did you bother ?

    I haven't bothered. So much was on sale already before Christmas!
  16. Marisawright

    Sales - did you bother ?

    What's an Engel?
  17. Marisawright

    Is the UK’s weather massively underrated?

    I always remember going down to live in London after I graduated (from Aberdeen) and being absolutely stunned by the weather. Compared to Scotland, the warmth and sunshine were great. I miss two things about the UK. One is the closeness to Europe for holidaying. The other is the weather (in the south). I'm not one for baking in hot sun.
  18. Marisawright

    Worst Nightmare....

    I was picking up on the fact that MR said people who wear masks in Surfers are treated to "the look" by everyone. The way I read MR's post, he seemed to think that was just fine and perhaps he even gave them "the look" too. I hope not, because that's nasty and completely unjustified.
  19. Marisawright

    Brisbane - just for young families and students?

    I lived in Sydney for over 30 years and loved it, but I know what you mean about the hectic/cut-throat lifestyle. Sydney always had a "buzz" but in later years, I felt it had begun morphing from the lively buzz of a bee to the angry zzzz of a wasp. Or maybe that's just me getting older and not able to keep up! Given Melbourne is as big as Sydney, I've been surprised to find it is noticeably more laidback. One thing that really strikes me is the total lack of interest in real estate. We've been renting for some years and probably will continue to do so. In Sydney, property prices come up frequently in conversation and I always felt a little embarrassed and felt I had to make excuses for not being a home owner. In the four years we've been here, the subject simply doesn't come up. No one cares.
  20. Marisawright

    Worst Nightmare....

    Can you please explain to me how ONE security guard getting infected by hotel quarantine in Melbourne was a "debacle" but cleaners and security guards getting infected in Sydney and Adelaide was perfectly fine and just a bit of bad luck? The problem in Melbourne wasn't that hotel quarantine was run badly. The problem was that the contact tracing system wasn't up to the job when a staff member caught covid. In Adelaide and Sydney, the contact tracing was up to the job. That's the only difference. The rest is media beat-up. Yes, the organisation of hotel quarantine in Melbourne was a dog's breakfast but I suspect, in the panic, that most other states weren't much better. There certainly wasn't time to go to tender for anything, and other states used security guards and cleaning contractors too - and still do. And I repeat, those guards/contractors got infected in other states, too.
  21. Marisawright

    Worst Nightmare....

    There's been a lot of nasty publicity about the mistakes made in setting up hotel quarantine, HOWEVER the fact remains that in spite of all those mistakes, it worked well. The WHOLE outbreak arose from only ONE family in hotel quarantine. One. So it's a media beat-up. Other states also used private security guards and NSW still allows staff to work on covid and non-covid hotels at the same time, and they've also had the occasional breaches. The difference was not in the efficiency of quarantine but in the contact tracing once a breach occurred, which was not nearly good enough in Victoria. NSW is being held up as the gold standard, so I guess we are going to see if it's enough to get the current outbreak under control. I don't know what Queensland's contact tracing capability is. There has been no community transmission at all in Melbourne for 60 days. There has been no coronavirus detected in sewage for more than two weeks. So Victoria is now every bit as safe (or not safe) as Queensland. Therefore if you're not worried about large events in Brisbane, you shouldn't be worried about large events in Melbourne. Like I said, I only wear a mask on public transport and when I go into a shop. I have my own cloth masks which are comfortable and easy to wear, and I wash it after every wear. Maybe it's being overly cautious as you say, but who is it hurting? Why does everyone get so exercised about the idea?
  22. Marisawright

    Brisbane - just for young families and students?

    Yes, but I didn't say, "single women won't go into bars". As a single woman, I went to bars a lot. But I would never walk into a pub ALONE and sit by myself.
  23. Marisawright

    Worst Nightmare....

    I remind you that there were no active cases in Melbourne before the big outbreak, except in hotel quarantine. There had been no active cases in Sydney for several weeks before the current outbreak, except in hotel quarantine. So Queensland, right now, is in exactly the same situation. If an outbreak happens, you'll have no idea until the infection has been out in the community for at least a week, probably more. How many people will be infected by then, if everyone has stopped taking basic precautions? It's good to know people are still socially distancing, signing into venues etc on the Sunshine Coast. I noticed in another post, you mentioned a limit of 2 people in the lifts. What alarmed me was MaryRose mentioning 8 people in a lift in his hotel, and seeming to imply there were no real restrictions there any more. As for mask wearing - in Melbourne, we only wear them now when social distancing isn't possible, or when we're in enclosed public spaces like public transport and shops (because Covid can concentrate in the air in those places). It horrifies me if people are being made to feel silly for wearing masks in Queensland (by "that look"). What if it's a nurse or a hotel quarantine worker, who's wearing a mask as a sensible precautionary measure (since they're working with Covid sufferers every day)? What if it's an immuno-compromised person, who knows they'll die if they catch covid, so they feel more comfortable wearing a mask? What a nasty thing to do, to make them feel bad about it.
  24. Marisawright

    Brisbane - just for young families and students?

    If it's two women who meet there and sit together, that's not "alone", is it?
  25. Marisawright

    Safety for dogs

    Our friends had dogs in Queensland for years and never any trouble with snakes. As others have said, ticks are the biggest risk. They lost one dog to a paralysis tick and nearly lost another.