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Everything posted by AltyMatt

  1. Should be fine as Auspost do them all the time. I have renewed passport twice from Aus - first time was a cropped photo from the post office, second time was a mobile phone pic
  2. I don't think Australia should have to lock down the population for so few community cases, but that's a decision for the state governments. Business as usual in the UK is over 15,000 new cases based on 7 day rolling average versus just 30 in Australia, and that's with our vaccination program starting over 3 months after theirs. Explaining those numbers to friends in UK they just assumed I had dropped 'thousand' of the end. There was a deliberate policy to wait and see with vaccines and based on AZ issues this was probably a good thing. More deaths in 2021 due to AZ than Covid shows caution was probably appropriate
  3. Why do you think the rollout has been disastrous? We have had the luxury of waiting to see how effective vaccines have been in other countries. There has been no rush to get vaccinated when infection rates have been so low, pretty much non-existent for most of 2021. As the UK still have tens of thousands of new cases each week people are more incentivized to get vaccinated.
  4. AltyMatt

    Private Health Insurance

    If you have a job already lined up then check if your employer has a preferred insurer. Larger companies often have staff deals for insurance etc, although it might not apply for overseas visitor cover which is usually pretty eye-watering.
  5. I was lucky to be sponsored to relocate but it was over 10 years ago. I was working for a European bank that wanted to centralise some global services and Sydney was the location. The options were take redundancy or apply to move. Visa, flights, removal costs and the first few months accommodation were covered - I initially treated it as a working holiday with the intention of moving back after a couple of years, but I ended up staying. I think I was expected to return some of the relocation expenses if I returned within the first two years. It would be much harder for me to do it today as a lot of banks have rationalised their operations and moved back office and IT roles to low-cost labour locations, so the pool of potential jobs is much smaller. Having said that I know someone working for an Australian bank in London who had arranged a transfer to Aus, but covid has put those plans on hold for now.
  6. AltyMatt

    Is it a good move financially?

    If your husband's employer has an Australian office then maybe he could try and get a transfer or secondment. Employer sponsorship would make the process considerably easier and they may contribute towards relocation expenses.
  7. AltyMatt

    Citizenship by descent_ infant

    If a child obtains citizenship by descent, their citizenship stops with them and can't be passed on to their children. Can they upgrade the citizenship by descent to full citizenship by naturalisation, e.g by moving back to the UK and working/studying there for a few years. Or is their citizenship status fixed at 'by descent'.
  8. AltyMatt

    Citizenship by descent_ infant

    Does citizenship by descent preclude naturalised citizenship? I'm wondering whether the children of someone who subsequently returned to UK could subsequently obtain citizenship via naturalisation and pass it to their children.
  9. AltyMatt

    Born in the UK, living in CQ

    I set up a Spriggy account for my daughter as didn't want to deal with all the id requirements of the main banks. It's ideal for young families but probably not suitable for your son's employer.
  10. AltyMatt

    Think outside the (city) box

    Different pay rates for different states has been in place for some time and don't think it will change - they broadly track the property prices of the state capitals. But I can't see how an employer will offer someone less because they live in Wollongong rather than Surry Hills if the employee is only expected in the office a couple of times a month. Where there may be a pay distinction is between companies that permit remote working and those that won't. Those micro-managed positions will need to offer an incentive to get people to commute Monday to Friday.
  11. AltyMatt

    UK HMRC and Mobile Phones

    That's correct. I just attempted to register and check NI back payments. I got as far as registering my Aus mobile to receive the access code, but my expired passport was not accepted for ID so I have requested a new one. I also sent off the NI38 to register for payments and check what shortfall I can pay.
  12. AltyMatt


    I was fortunate to come here on a work sponsored visa . Before then I had checked the ACS requirements and their priorities seemed pretty out of line with what employees were looking for (which is what a skilled migration pathway should be saitsfying), e.g. degree over CISSP or other respected certs.
  13. AltyMatt

    Think outside the (city) box

    The current situation is certainly changing expectations on where to live, making a tree change more feasible. My employer (Sydney CBD) has confirmed we can continue working from home once the pandemic passes. Last year they even hired a couple of people in country towns with no expectations that they visit an office.
  14. AltyMatt

    Is the UK’s weather massively underrated?

    I left UK in January many years ago. I remember standing on the train platform at Blackheath for my morning commute - it was still dark and I could feel the cold through the soles of my feet. I arrived in Sydney to a balmy summer. I much prefer living in a warmer climate but enjoy trips to the Snowy Mountains in winter or Blackheath (NSW) to see the autumn leaves. Nice to visit, but don't want to put up with the damp and darkness for months.
  15. AltyMatt

    UK HMRC and Mobile Phones

    I use my Aus mobile to receive the access code for the Government Gateway. I don't know what the process is for updating the number as the system was introduced after I moved here, but I assume there is an option to update your number to a local one.
  16. AltyMatt

    Last minute nerves and stress

    Relocating with work will make the move a lot smoother. I did the same, and decided the worst that could happen is I get to spend my free time exploring Australia. That was 15 years ago. I know some people who moved here, decided it wasn't for them and returned home, but plenty of others have come out and settled. Either way I hope you enjoy the experience.
  17. AltyMatt


    Thanks Whey aye, the difference between Class 1 and 2 is pretty big. The gov.uk site must have assumed I pay class 1, but as I'm employed I hope I just pay class 2.Thanks!
  18. AltyMatt

    North shore schools and houses

    Maybe consider somewhere around Crows Nest. Lots of good dining options and a villagey feel along Willoughby Road. Good schools and a few hospitals nearby - North Shore public and private, Chatswood etc. Easy commute to the city too. Rentals are expensive but you should be able to find something for 1000 / week
  19. AltyMatt


    Thanks. I am eligible for approx 30% of max pension at moment, but looks like if I start making contributions now I will receive about 95% of max pension on retirement and my contributions will have paid for themselves within 3 years. But if I make the back payments I can get to 100% but will take approx 10 years to pay for themselves. The numbers seem a bit inconsistent so I'll look into it further. thanks.
  20. AltyMatt


    Thank you for this info. I only have 10 years of UK NI contributions. It looks likeI can pay contributions going forward to bring estimate up quite close to the max pension. But to reach the max pension I would have to make several years of back-dated contributions for little perceived benefit. I guess I should confirm with a financial advisor
  21. AltyMatt

    How do you all find where you want to move??

    Job or visa would probably be the main influences on where you move to...if you can persuade your other half to move. Some visas require you to live in a certain state or regional area, others are unrestricted. I came here on an employee sponsored visa & transferred from UK office to Sydney office so obviously had no choice, and only once I got Perm Residency was I free from my employer's visa and able to move around. I would suggest you research your current job/s and see whether they are in demand: https://www.immi.gov.au/Work/Pages/skilled-occupations-lists/skilled-occupations-lists.aspx Then perhaps come over for a look around (not just a holiday) in the areas you are interested in.
  22. AltyMatt

    The IT field Thread

    I'll be working in Sydney. I have heard that overtime is recorded as time in lieu automatically for perm staff. As a contractor I don't expect to be required to work too much more than the contracted hours. Politics & grudges were common in investment banking too, so I've learnt to be careful about what you say & to whom Hope it isn't too cruisey as don't want to become bored.
  23. AltyMatt

    The IT field Thread

    Does anyone have experience working in the public sector? I have been offered a contract paying similar rate to what I was offered at a big4 bank, so money seems competitive & inline with the Robert Walters survey. The opportunity to work flexible hours is a big plus (although wondering how flexible they will be in practice). Coming from an investment bank where you are expected to work all hours and management were frantic & headless I'm hoping for a more consistent workload & better work-life balance.
  24. AltyMatt

    Great Locations for Pennant Hills

    Once you get past Hornsby you aren't really in Sydney any more. You would be looking at around an hour commute Gosford to Pennant Hills in car in rush hour & a bit more by train. I guess it depends on what sort of lifestyle you want. Central Coast is more laid back, accommodation is cheaper, lots of beaches, beautiful national parks etc, but if your family are planning the move with a 'Sydney lifestyle' in mind then you might want to limit northern tip of your search to Hornsby.
  25. AltyMatt

    Great Locations for Pennant Hills

    Try Castle Hill, Thornleigh (v close), Cherrybrook, maybe Kellyville