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Everything posted by Marisawright

  1. Marisawright

    Camping and Caravanning in Australia

    It depends how prepared you are for roughing it. If you want to ease in gently, start by staying at camping sites which have proper toilets, showers with hot water and barbecues to cook on, somewhere close to civilsation so you can get to a cafe for breakfast. That will cut down dramatically on the amount of paraphernalia you need to buy. Your first decision is what you're going to camp in - a tent or a camper or a caravan? If you're on a tight budget, the obvious choice is a tent. I would go for a 3-person or 4-person tent. A 2-person tent is literally big enough for two people to lie down in and not much else. However, if you're not an outdoorsy person, a note of caution, I'm not outdoorsy either, and I hate camping in tents because I hate bugs. Most modern tents do have zip-up doors but it's surprising how many creepy-crawlies manage to get in - especially in Australia! When we first arrived in Australia, we camped in our car. We had a station wagon (estate car) - remember those? The back of a SUV or hatchback isn't as long as an estate, but people do camp in them. I prefer being up off the ground! https://windowvisors.com.au/napier-sportz-cove-small-to-mid-size-vehicles/ https://outdoorsmagic.com/article/turning-hatchback-car-mini-camper/ https://www.kathmandu.com.au/summit-journal/expert-advice/camping-checklist
  2. Marisawright

    Parent visa application timelines (143 & 173)

    An expat is someone who is living or working away from home temporarily. They see themselves as living in a foreign country, not making a new life. I lived in Africa as an expat. When I came to Australia I was a migrant, and then I was an Australian. I thnk maybe Ramot and I have a different attitude because we grew up with different expectations.. When we moved overseas in our younger days, we didn't think, "Britain is ony 24 hours away" and our parents didn't expect we'd be popping back and forth to see each other every year or so. Flights were too expensive. You just accepted that if you migrated, you left your family behind forever. You'd be very lucky if you managed to see them every 5 years or so. My auntie, a ten pound Pom, managed her first visit home 20 years after she left. My oh and I never had kids, so we were able to afford a visit every two or three years, but we were unusual. I worked in an office of 600 people, a large proportion of them migrants, and my work brought meant I had regular dealings with most of them. They were always envious when I mentioned my next trip, because most of them didn't see their folks so frequently. So the idea that not seeing your family for two or three years is a tragedy is unfamiliar to me, because that used to be the norm for many migrants, and I'm sure is still the case for many migrants from developing countries.
  3. Marisawright

    Parent visa application timelines (143 & 173)

    I think your attitude is quite widely held. I'm noticing, both on Facebook and in interviews on TV, that many Australians are wanting to let fewer people into the country rather than more. They appreciate the feeling of safety offered by the closed borders and think the sacrifice of not seeing relatives is worth it.
  4. Marisawright

    Parent visa application timelines (143 & 173)

    True, but expats can't vote
  5. Marisawright

    Parent visa application timelines (143 & 173)

    Well, exactly. Although as we know, most other countries don't have such strictly closed borders, so there are lots of places Australians could go without needing to go through any formalities. As for checking - what I'm saying is there would have to be coordination between Customs and Medicare in Australia, so Customs could verify vaccination status before letting people leave. I suspect there would be privacy reasons why that couldn't be done, so I doubt it would happen. Like I said, I very much doubt it's been thought through at all. It's an idea thrown out there to please the media and stop them talking about bungled vaccine rollouts.
  6. Marisawright

    Parent visa application timelines (143 & 173)

    I don't think it will happen in a hurry. The difficulty would be ensuring that all those who claim to be vaccinated, are vaccinated. I'm sure that in some countries, forged certificates won't be hard to come by, so inevitably there will be unvaccinated people who get in, don't quarantine and then we're stuffed. He knows he would never be forgiven if that happened. He may be thinking that if he lets Australians travel, at least their vaccination status can be verified in Australia before they travel, so it's less risky. But I suspect he hasn't thought it through at all. It's just a public relations exercise.
  7. Marisawright

    Parent visa application timelines (143 & 173)

    ScoMo is desperately clutching at straws because Australians are so angry about the botched vaccine rollout. This idea is clearly aimed at making Australians feel better. He hasn't given a thought to anyone else.
  8. Marisawright

    Parent visa application timelines (143 & 173)

    @WAKid does that mean you don't have a PR visa of your own, yet? I would echo what everyone else has said. If your parents applied today, they'll have to wait about 10 years for a 143. If they must wait until you hold a PR visa AND meet the requirements to sponsor them, it's very likely the queue will have blown out even longer. The government wants to discourage parents because their research says they are too great a drain on taxpayers (and I am not going to get into a debate about that, I'm just telling you what the government research said). For that reason, there is always a risk that the door will be closed even further (just look at the UK as an example of how strict some countries can be about accepting parents of migrants). At the very least, the research recommended a substantial increase in the fees, which are already very expensive. If you are thinking of bringing them onshore and then staying on a bridging visa, then do research the downsides of that strategy. The agent will tell you what's possible but it's not their job to keep abreast of all the medical, tax and other complications of living on a bridging visa long-term.
  9. Marisawright

    UK mortgage while in Australia

    Not from Australia, but I rented out a property while I was living in Africa. I've also rented out properties in Australia while living in Australia. TBH I can't see one iota of difference between the two. You still need to find a good agent to manage the property. Whether you're in the same city or the same country makes no difference. In all those years, I only had to inspect a property myself two or three times - and these days, you could easily get the agent to take their mobile phone around the property to give you a virtual tour. The snag is that you'll need to get the mortgage all set up while you're still a UK resident in your UK job, and then you'll be stuck with that mortgage until you sell the property. Once you're in Australia, you'll have no chance of getting a normal UK mortgage. There are expat mortgages but the interest rates are nasty. As Johnny Kash says, you have to take into account that you'll have to do a tax return each year in both the UK and Australia. The double taxation agreement ensures you won't pay double tax, though. For the first year's returns, you'd be wise to hire a tax agent who has experience in both countries (like @Alan Collett's company) because it's complicated and you'll likely miss out on deductions you didn't even know you could claim, if you DIY. Once you see how it's done, you can decide whether to diy for future years. I wouldn't let the tax situation put you off. It's a bit of extra hassle, but if the rents are so good, then you should still be ahead. As for capital gains - if you're not buying another home in Australia, then you won't be liable for any capital gains in Australia if you sell within the first 6 years.
  10. Marisawright

    British supermarkets vs Australian supermarkets

    Coles do that too.
  11. Marisawright


    Tell him to go back to the bank and challenge them, and if he doesnt get any sense out of them, go to Fair Trading or the Bank Ombudsman. No bank ever charges a fee to set up an account. Did he do it by phone and is there any chance he's been scammed?
  12. Marisawright

    Thinking of moving back to Uk

    You're right, you won't be able to get the Australian govt pension. However, it's very likely you're both eligible for the British pension and since you're fairly close to retirement age, it would probably be worth paying some missing years if you can. Contact the Overseas Pension department to get started: https://www.gov.uk/international-pension-centre They'll reply with a letter telling you what pension you're entitled to and how to pay missing years. You could also try signing up to the online system and taking a look at your status. All you need is your British passport. Also decide what you're going to do with your superannuation. This is very important! Check with your super fund. If you can withdraw it tax-free now, that's probably the best thing to do. If you wait and withdraw your super after you've left Australia, the British taxman will take a massive chunk of it - about a third.
  13. Marisawright

    I know no one will care but...........

    There were old silver thrupenny bits that my Mum kept specially for Christmas puddings. I think they went out of circulation in the 50s?
  14. Marisawright

    Emigration to Oz

    The quickest way to get all the information is to book an initial consultation with a migration agent. Try Suncoast Migration, Go Matilda, Pinoy Australia or Andre Burger. In a nutshell, though: if you want to emigrate to Oz, then one of you MUST have qualifications and experience in an occupation that's on the Skilled Lists. If your occupation isn't on the skilled list, then you can't migrate, end of story, no matter how well-qualified or hard-working you are. The big difficulty is that the normal list is suspended right now due to Covid, and we don't know what the list will look like when things get back to normal (which will likely not be until early 2022). You can look at the old list to give you an idea, though. If you or your partner happen to have an occupation on the Priority list (a special, very short list for use during Covid), you're in luck as they are still being processed. If not, it probably won't be worth even applying till late this year, and then the whole application process takes about a year to complete. So you also need to consider your age - you need to get the visa before you turn 45.
  15. Marisawright

    190 Visa Grant

    Can you see what the partner's occupation is? I know at least one 491 grantee whose wife is in a critical occupation and I assume that's why they got their grant.
  16. Marisawright

    Partner visa - how difficult ?

    I think @Wanderer Returns'approach is your best bet. The hardest part is gathering all the evidence, and an agent can't do that for you. However, the other hard part is knowing what sort of evidence to collect, and how much is enough. Most couples underestimate how much is needed if they're doing it on their own, and that can be fatal for the application. Most agents will charge to check your application but it's a lot less expensive than hiring one to do the entire job.
  17. Marisawright

    Travel Exemption Experience

    Look at it this way. It costs nothing to apply for an exemption. If you are denied, it doesn't count against you, and you are encouraged to apply again with better evidence. So what do you have to lose?
  18. Marisawright

    Travel Exemption Experience

    @NicMan one question - are you sure you need a job offer before you apply? I don't see that requirement anywhere.
  19. Marisawright

    Girlfriend stuck in japan

    I'm sorry to say, I think she has little to no chance of getting a visa in the near future. There is no skilled visa that she could apply for herself, so your only hope is a partner visa. Under normal circumstances, you could add her as a subsequent entrant on the 457, but there's no point because temporary visa holders aren't allowed to enter Australia. Once you are a permanent resident, you can apply for a partner visa for her, but your problem will be proving your relationship. You must be in a relationship that is the equivalent of marriage. That requires a lot more than just sharing holidays and visiting each other, which you would also do if you were just dating. I suggest hiring a good migration agent. You need to start putting a plan together now, so you've got the necessary evidence by the time you are eligible to apply for the partner visa. You need an expert to help you do that, because your case is not straightforward. Try Suncoast Migration or Go Matilda.
  20. Marisawright

    Relationship break up and moving back home...

    Why are you so sure that the physical risks are so much lower than the effect on mental health? What are you basing that on? Experts are expecting a major wave of Parkinson's disease, encephalitis etc in future years, as happened with the Spanish flu.
  21. Marisawright

    Which agent to book flights to Australia?

    Having an agent will NOT stop you being bumped. From what I've seen, you know in advance.
  22. Marisawright

    Travel Exemption Experience

    These guys are on a 491 priority occupation.
  23. Marisawright

    Which agent to book flights to Australia?

    Flights are being cancelled at short notice, but they don't kick people off the plane at the airport. Booking with a travel agent doesnt make any difference. Using an agent may make it easier to get a refund if the plane is cancelled (you will always get a refund but the airline can be very slow).
  24. Marisawright

    Booking hotel quarantine

    You can't book it. You are allocated a place when you arrive.
  25. Marisawright

    190 Visa Grant

    I've seen 491's being granted but I thought they were only priority occupations? Priority occupations get a travel exemption if they have a job to come to.