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Posts posted by Marisawright

  1. At the moment 4 years (min) seems a long time to gain citizenship.


    I have been in contact with our migration agent who we used to get here and she has advised that providing we stay here for more than 2 years (even 2 years and 1 day) and then go back to UK, once our current PR visa expires in march 2018 we can apply for a Resident Return Visa (conditions state that you must have been in the country for more than 2 years of the 5) and then the RRV should be granted no problems, giving us another 5 years PR....so in theory if we stay just over 2 years we will have until 2023 to return should we then wish.


    I was lucky, when I arrived it was only 2 years to get citizenship. However there was no such thing as a Resident Return Visa.

  2. Hi,


    Are there any areas within a reasonable commute (less than 80mins) to Sydney where you can still buy a reasonable house for less than £600k in a good area with good schools?


    Heres hoping :)


    Yes. As you can see from some of the houses Mary Rose has posted, I think a good bet is to go South rather than West or North. That way you can be closer to the beaches, too. Oatley/Mortdale are about 40 minutes commute by train to the city, you could go as far out as Cronulla and still be within your 80 minutes. On the other hand, if you want to drive to work, you'll have to be much closer in - it can take 2 hours by car from Oatley in peak hour!

  3. Hey all

    we want to buy a car but can't decide what or where from? We are current based in east melbs but moving to st Kilda next week. We had a golf back in uk and would like something that size. We've been told not to buy a foreign car as we may get ripped off if it needs parts. Any ideas? Any good dealers you've heard of or used would help us too?

    cheers kez


    What do they mean by "foreign", I wonder? Most cars in Oz are foreign these days! I agree, don't buy a European car as parts are expensive, but most Aussies drive Japanese or Korean cars and parts are OK for those. Are you buying new or second-hand?


    If you're not mechanically-minded then it's always a good idea to get an NRMA vehicle inspection if you buy second-hand. http://www.mynrma.com.au/services/motorserve-vehicle-inspection.htm

  4. Hi,


    I suppose what I am trying to ask/answer is, although I would go home now, Im still telling myself that we will/should give it 2 years....is this because we want to or because subconsciously I think we should to answer any doubters if/when we go home.....This post makes no sense!


    It makes perfect sense. Everybody cares what others think, even though we'd like to think otherwise.


    A wise move, if you can see yourself staying for a while, is to hang on until you get citizenship. That way you keep options open, not just for yourself but for your children.

  5. Hya Helz,


    As I have talked about a canny few times on here - it's the propaganda that really gets me. For example, if someone moved to LA or Chicago and - once there decided that they actually much prefered life in the NE of England. No one would have any issue at all - including the actual person. But, us poms have been conditioned from birth pretty much (esp the hard core Neighbours generation) to think Australia is a complete and utter paradise..


    So true, and it started long before Neighbours with the Ten Pound Poms. To us in Scotland, my auntie's detached house and big backyard seemed unbelievably extravagant - we assumed she must be rich when in fact she probably wasn't! And I know I wasn't the only one whose aunts and uncles were "making their fortune" in Oz when I was a lass.


    That propaganda has a lot to answer for. Not only does it cause people who have a perfectly good life in the UK to think it's worth moving, it also makes people reluctant to admit it was a mistake, which is very sad.


    Not that my move was a mistake - we moved in the Thatcher years at the height of the miner's strike and Australia was paradise by comparison.

  6. In a dilemma of where to go. Flights booked from Manchester to Brisbane 28th April 2014. Destination uncertain! Offered jobs Sunshine Coast or Mackay?


    Two young boys under the age of 3 years. Anyone with experience of both area or who can advise pro or cons of either of the areas?


    I like Mackay but with two kids, I'd go Sunshine Coast. Within driving distance of Brisbane, not so far from the rest of the world!

  7. Well the animals have had all there shots, I have quotes for shipping. I guess its just making that final step :( I'm sad, scared and so unhappy that it has come to this.


    i think you are right, I have to just do it. The sad fact it we still love each other, we just don't want to live in the same country :(


    Yes it is sad and yes it's scarey. The thing is, it's not necessarily the end. If you go, there's always a chance he will follow. Right now he's sure he can call your bluff - he's convinced you're not brave enough to go through with it. He's banking on that. Prove him wrong, and then see if he follows.

  8. We have been dreaming of making the move to oz for about 8 years since we came home form travelling, we by no means have the rose tinted glasses on that many seem to have about oz i.e your going to earn mega bucks, have a massive house with pool for peanuts and the one that annoys me the most more family time. Does Australia have more hours in the day than the UK? Does house work not exist, do kids not go to school, you dont need to work 36/37 hrs a week for full time roles, you dont need to commute to work. It cracks me up when I hear both parents on TV shows saying we will both work full time, I just think to myself how, how can you both work full time if you have kids in school...what about for one those 12 weeks school holidays a year, and the fact school hours for young children are about 0845-1445.

    We both have good jobs in the UK but not good enough for one of us to work solely as the main bread winner. ...Our workings have allowed my wife to work locally 2 days a week but only in school hrs so 10-12 hrs a week, and we have allowed to 2 days care on school hols so she can work these 2 days a week all the time. That alone should keep us a float plus some money we have from the uk on a monthly income but would mean no money for extras, hols and savings etc so she would need to work another 10 hrs a week during term time to cover this stuff. I have also calculated our entitlement from benefits etc. Most of all she has to find an employer willing to only employ for these hrs at about $25 p/h. We would be looking at Brisbane but our budget for rent really only covers being further out i.e north lakes distance.

    Another big factor is that we want a second child but we can not see how this would be possible on the income, I think we would turn into one of the many that return home if we had a second child.

    This decision for us is massive, we would need to sell our home and cars, use half our total money to make the move and visa about £32k thats inc buying 2 second hand cars and living for 3 months without work, visas, flights and shipping etc.

    We both stay in a nice part of the UK, have a nice house and can move to a nice house after this one we are in, the area is nice with good schools...the move is not for a better life for our child as he will get great education where we are and we will provide the path he needs do what he wants to do in life, and we can have a brother or sister for him, the move is just for a different life with more sun.

    However we have waited for this opportunity to come now for sometime and it has arrived, it was a dream for me and my wife we didnt expect it too take 8 years but it has for various reasons, now its not just me and my wife and we have to make the right choice on this one. I dont think in another few years down the line I'd be in a similar role to my occupation as if I stay in the UK I need to move on, so its really now or never, I know you cant say never but its very unlikely


    Having read all that, I'm struggling to see how moving makes sense. You had a dream, years ago, of moving to "a different life with more sun". The reality now is that by moving, you'll wipe out half your savings, and probably both have to work full-time. That's not much of a dream, is it? Can you really see yourself enjoying your "different life with more sun" when you're struggling to make ends meet? It sounds more like a nightmare to me!

  9. Well, our gut Says Adelaide or Perth is where we will end up at the end of it all.....but in all honesty it will be wherever Lee gets a solid job, I guess that's a main decider for anyone really.


    I've never lived in either, but I've visited both and I'd say, if you're thinking of Perth because it's more modern/up to date than Adelaide, don't bother. In terms of vibe/atmosphere, I'd say they're pretty similar. My niece loved Australia when she came for her gap year and recently got the chance of a job in Perth (she's now 28). She went over there for a visit, pronounced it "dead" and went back to the UK.


    Don't get me wrong, I really like Adelaide. Perth seemed a bit quiet to me, too, but it is a nice city. However Adelaide also has the advantage that it's not as isolated (it's within driving distance of Melbourne, for instance). Which also means that if you change your mind and want to move cities, it's not quite as painful from Adelaide as it would be from Perth. Once you're in Perth you're really stuck - it will cost you more to move your stuff to (say) Sydney than to move it back to the UK!


    As for where to visit on this recce - it would be a waste to go to Adelaide again, obviously. Maybe you should visit Perth to see for yourself, but I'd consider another city. Melbourne perhaps? Sydney and Melbourne are both more cosmopolitan than the other Australian cities but Sydney is horrendously expensive. I think Melbourne is still cheaper than Perth. And Victoria is a densely populated state (by Australian standards) with lots to see.

  10. What's the difference is it just direct debits/standing orders are allowed on transaction accounts?


    Not familiar with the terminology but I'm guessing a "non transaction account" is an online saver account. Most banks have them. You can pay money directly into them, but the only way to withdraw money is to transfer it into your current account - you can't make payments directly from it, or get cash out of it. They pay better interest than ordinary savings accounts.

  11. Hi everyone

    I have my 190 visa, and looking to emigrate in Aug.....am currently working for a large insurance broker, who happens to have a branch in Australia, but this is in Sydney rather than Perth.


    Does anyone know what I would need to do to be able to work in Australia in the insurance industry.





    If you've got experience and a good written reference from your broker, that's all you need.

  12. Well the time has come to open a bank account, are all the big banks pretty much of a muchness?


    Anyone had issue with any of the big banks?


    LOL, "Which bank" was the slogan of the Commonwealth Bank for many years!


    Most people have issues with the big banks. They all charge fees of one kind or another, and the service isn't that great. You don't need to stick with the big banks in Australia, because all banks are protected by the Government guarantee (your deposits up to $250,000 are protected). None of our banks failed in the GFC. Most of the smaller banks have lower fees, and it's still easy to access your money - they have deals whereby you can use other ATM's for free.


    I've recently switched from Commonwealth to Citibank - yes, it's a US bank but the Aussie arm is still under the Government guarantee. HSBC is another bank that's growing in Australia.

  13. You poor thing. My husband is also one of those people who just tries to ignore problems and hope they go away. so I know how frustrating it is. The trouble is that up till now, his strategy has always worked - you get worn down and give up (at least that's what tends to happen in our house!).


    I think the only thing that might work now is shock treatment. He doesn't believe you'll go through with it. What if, next time he comes home, you've got your stuff all packed in boxes, the crates ready for the pets to be shipped and their tickets booked? If that doesn't make him take you seriously, then nothing will and you'll have your answer.

  14. hello belinda., I was born in Scotland and growing up here ,I also felt I did not belong here . I was a 10 pound Pom in 1973/1975 married in melbourne but my husband wanted to return to Scotland so we did this was the biggest mistake of my life.i have never felt I belong here in Scotland but when I was in oz it made me feel this is where I should be ( I was home ) other people I tell this story to think I am speaking rubbish I know where I belong and it is in oz and not here in Scotland. 62years of age now and I am still trying to find a way to return and live in oz just want to live my dream .


    You sound like a kindred spirit! I was also born in Aberdeen and grew up feeling like a fish out of water, even though I never lived anywhere else until I was 19. I was much happier in England, but married a Scot and returned. When we came to Sydney I felt as though I'd come home, and I've been here 30 years now. However, if it's any comfort, I'm feeling much less at home now. Like all countries, Australia has changed in that time and so have I - I'm no longer such a fan of the hot weather, and the lively atmosphere has turned frenetic.

  15. Hi all,


    It's been a very long time since I posted on here. This is going to be a bit of a long winded post so I'm apologising in advance.


    I arrived in Australia on 13 September last year......Along with these 'major' things, a lot of minor things are happening in between. I'm fed up, absolutely had enough of all the crap I've had to put up with in the last 7 months and desperately want to go back to our home in the UK, where I have friends and family.


    I'm finding life expensive here, I cannot work thanks to my landlord and we are now struggling. We never struggled in the UK. Only thing I struggled with was the weather and even that seems appealing now as the weather seems exactly the same as the UK here anyway.


    Hope you can all understand this. Am I being a spoilt brat? I don't know what to do.




    No, you're not being a spoilt brat. You sound like you've had an "annus horribilis" and anyone would be fed up, in your shoes.


    When so many things go wrong, it's easy to start focussing on the bad, and deciding that Australia is crap. But let's face it, all the things you mention could've happened just as easily in the UK, if you'd moved to a strange city. You've had some bad luck, but the trip from the airport and the psychotic friend are behind you now. You can find a new place to live. Everything is surmountable.


    However, what's not surmountable is missing family and friends and your old lifestyle. You have to decide whether it's worth giving that up, or whether you should cut your losses and head home.


    In the olden days, people only migrated to Australia because they were struggling in their old life, so they were more prepared to battle through the early problems, and sacrifice family contact, in hope of a better life. It's harder to see why you would put up with all that if there was nothing wrong with life back home.


    Did you have unrealistic dreams of what Australia would be? In reality, it's no better and no worse than the UK overall, it's just different.

  16. tax is tax, although I'm surprised that you would get taxed in the UK, if you've paid it over here - but I'm no expert, sorry


    You'd think so, wouldn't you - but it's not. You're right, no one gets taxed twice. However you do get taxed MORE. I wouldn't complain about paying my fair share of taxes, but that's not what happens. What happens is, effectively, Australia will punish me for leaving Australia by taking away my tax-free threshold (currently $18,200). That means I'll be paying far more tax, on the same income, than if I'd stayed in Australia.


    You may say, OK sell your Australian shares and property before you go. But then, Australia will slap me for capital gains tax on the proceeds.

  17. retiring back to UK


    hi there

    after a stressful waiting for UK tax advice from an expert here in OZ, in our case, should or COULD we move back to the UK after 38 years here, with no tax connections left there, it seems the concept known here as "self funded retiree" is NOT KNOWN in any way, shape or form in UK!


    I cannot believe the complicated UK tax structure for S F R's and it would seem in our initial reading and trying to understand this advice that in no way would we be able to live as comfortably ( NOT WEALTHILY ) as we do here..

    I am wondering how some of you fellow forumites have managed to contemplate, let alone move back to the UK in ones early 60'S!!!




    I know how you feel, we're still trying to work our way through it.


    I'd love to know what you've found out so far. This is what we think we know:


    If you have any investment income in Australia, it will be taxed BY AUSTRALIA exactly as it is now, with one vitally important difference - as a non-resident, you won't have any tax-free threshold. You'll be taxed on every cent of income it earns. That means paying tax on an extra $18,200, which will be a fair whack.


    You won't be taxed by the UK though. Of course, if you pay the income into a UK bank account and the bank account earns interest, you'll pay tax on the interest. That would be exactly the same if you stayed in Oz and paid it into an Australian bank account, wouldn't it?


    Your only sensible option is to sell the shares - but do it while you're still resident in Oz, because once you become a non-resident you have to pay tax on 100% of capital gains, not 50%. Again, that's charged by the Australian tax office, not the UK.


    Now, state pensions. Why don't you have access to UK or Oz pensions? As I understand it, the UK pension isn't means-tested and if you ever worked in the UK, you're probably entitled to something. It may not be much, but you can buy extra years, which can make a big difference. Worth doing, because even though you think you don't need it now, it will give you a safety net for later years. Go to https://www.gov.uk/state-pension/what-youll-get


    As for Oz pensions - yes there's a catch. Even if your income/assets are low enough to claim, you can't claim the Australian pension from the UK. You can claim if you're resident in some European countries but not the UK (yes I know, unfair). The only way to get the Aussie pension is to come back to Australia when you're ready to claim - i.e. after you turn 65 - and stay for a full year. That's unlikely to be practical!


    One thing to consider is cost of living. We live in Sydney which means we had nearly all our money tied up in our home - and it wasn't that big, so no scope to downsize (we're currently renting while we finalise our plans). We will take a tax hit if we move - but if our housing costs are cheaper, then we'll still be better off. Based on our internet searches, it looks as though that would be the case - but we all know how misleading real estate ads can be, so we're not counting on it.


    Currently we're taking it one step at a time. We're going initially for an extended holiday. We'll leave most of our stuff here in storage, and live in rented accommodation (which is usually furnished in the UK). If we decide it adds up financially, we'll come back, pack up our things and make the move. If the sums don't add up, we'll come back after two years. Why two years? There's a handy calculator on the ATO website which lets you work out whether or not you're resident for tax purposes.




    There are lots of possible permutations but basically, we can be abroad for up to two years and still be treated as resident in Australia, provided we're not settled at a permanent address. That means we go on paying Australian tax exactly as we do today, and we're not liable for UK tax. It does mean we'll have to keep moving around - but if we decide we can't stay permanently, then we'll want to make the most of our limited time by doing lots of travelling, anyway.

  18. Hi all

    i have been living in Sydney for 20 years. I am still single with no kids and my work is freelance.

    I have been wanting to move back to London for a year or two My mum is there and getting on.

    I have been feeling this way for a very long time. When I speak with my friends in Sydney quite a few long term expat Brits themselves they are very negative about the UK and it has rubbed off on me.

    I am now 53 and a bit worried about getting work although I have spoken with recruiters in London in my line of work and they are quite positive about my prospects. i have an apartment in Sydney and the rent will cover the mortgage. I love Sydney but I feel I want to go home for a bit while I am still able and my mum is still around. Sydney is not going anywhere and I will always regret not going even if it's just a year or so.

    In my heart I know I should make the trip and not let the fear of the unknown stop me.


    Go! I'm 61 now and considering going back for a while, and it's been a bit of a shock to discover that the window is closing on me. I will have to come back when I turn 65, otherwise I'll get no Australian pension! Then I'll be stuck in Australia for a year to qualify for the pension, and I don't know that I could afford to relocate again after that. I now wish I'd gone back earlier so I could have stayed a bit longer.

  19. Sat here wondering (after another 'discussion') how many couples have split up due to differences in whether its UK or Oz?


    When we were living in Swaziland, there was a saying among the "old hand" expats - "Are you married or have you lived in Africa?"


    Everyone's different, and moving to a new country can highlight those differences.

  20. Me neither. The place fitted me like a glove from the moment I arrived. Everyone suffers?. I didn't..


    I loved Australia from the moment I arrived, too. However that just means my "culture shock" was so mild I didn't notice it - or my positive experiences were so positive, they overwhelmed any minor symptoms. For instance, if I had trouble sleeping, I probably thought it was excitement.


    The syndrome has been studied really extensively and psychiatrists do say everybody gets it. And it's important to acknowledge that, otherwise the people who get a bad case, are made to feel there's something wrong with them.


    And as someone else said, Australia seems so similar to the UK on the surface, most people wouldn't expect to have any difficulty at all - which means they're even more vulnerable, because they don't expect differences and can't cope with them.

  21. More sweeping generalisations...


    No, it's a known syndrome and the symptoms are stated in the article.


    The point is, every country has good points and bad points. If someone finds themselves thinking that a country is 90% bad or 90% good (whether it's the UK or Australia), then they're being irrational, and it's probably because of culture shock.


    I attended a training course in this before I went to Africa so I'm quoting experts in the field.

  22. Hello all


    So we are moving over to Sydney in around 6 months, I am trying to pin down an area to live - even if its only for the first 6 months.


    We want ideally to be not much more than 30 minutes in the car from Bullecourt Avenue, Milperra and no more than 45 minutes on public transport from Parramatta/CBD for work reasons.


    We dont know anything really about Sydney so maybe you could recommend a decent area to live, at least for the first few months while we get our bearings.


    I have been looking at Strathfield/Homebush - are these decent areas?


    To start with we are not that bothered about being near a beach etc but we would like a nice, safe area with shopping/restuarants etc. Budget around $500-$600 per week to begin with.


    Any help is much appreciated!




    Strathfield and Homebush are both fine, Homebush and North Strathfield have some cheaper options. Concord is a lovely area but more expensive.

  23. My husband gets very fed up with the dull grey days that we have so often in Britain and I have noticed that on bright days (not necessarily warm but at least not cloudy) I get a lot more done and feel much more positive. I was wondering if anyone found they 'felt good' much more often in Australia due to the sunny days ... or maybe whether the effect wears off quite quick?


    Hope I've posted this in the correct place.:unsure:




    There is a medical condition called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) where people get depressed due to a lack of sunlight. It's a real disorder - in the UK it's treated by sitting in front of a special light!


    If you suffer from it, then moving to a country with lots of sunlight is an obvious remedy - and no, the effect of sunlight doesn't wear off. What you have to consider, though, is that the light is VERY strong. Skin cancer is a much greater risk in Australia, and you're advised not to go out in the summer between 10 am and 3 pm without SPF30 sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. In the height of summer, unprotected, you can burn in ten minutes! So eventually, especially if you're not good in the heat, you may find you're not as fond of the sun as you think.

  24. Hi all.

    We are in the early stages of the visa process but our 16yr old daughter has put her foot down, and yes she says I'M NOT MOVING TO AUSTRALIA. Any help will be gratefully received.:arghh:


    As others have said, she might be right. Is she intending to stay on at school? If so, you might do better to wait till she's got her A levels before you make the move, because if she has trouble settling in, it might sabotage her results in the HSC (Aussie equivalent). Also, if you don't have permanent residence, going to university will cost thousands and thousands of dollars in upfront fees.


    If it wasn't for the education issue, I'd echo the idea of doing a deal. Ask her to come out and try it for 12 months and if that doesn't work, you'll help her go back (are there grandparents she can stay with?).


    The other thing to think about is - how will you feel if she does go back? She may not return immediately, but if she doesn't settle, there's a chance she'll go back when she's older. The biggest single reason for going back to the UK is missing family - are you going to be able to live with the fact that your daughter's on the other side of the world, if that happens?

  25. Tony Abbott is well on the way to emulating his hero Margaret Thatcher.


    I agree except that I'm not sure you're right about SPC. I don't trust Tony Abbott at all. We're used to politicians twisting the truth and avoiding straight answers, but Abbott is the first in a long time who is willing to make statements that are outright lies.