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About AndrewMcD

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  1. AndrewMcD

    Refugee/Asylum help

    Follow up because I realised I misread this. Where did you get "75,000 asylum seekers a year arriving by plane and given Refugee status" https://asylumseekerscentre.org.au/australia-refugee-intake/ says that under 6,000 refugee visas were granted in 2021. https://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/asylum-community/3/ says that "The number of asylum claims reflects, in part, which citizens can enter Australia (by plane) on valid visas. For example, there are large numbers of Malaysians and Chinese international students, and many skilled migrants from India.". The chart on the same page shows roughly 23k applicants (not grants) in 2021 and that is by all means of arrival. There is so much mis-information and fearmongering about the dangers of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia and inflated numbers just feeds that fear
  2. AndrewMcD

    Refugee/Asylum help

    I suspect this is a non-starter. As far as I know you need to be within Australia to apply for asylum, they can't do it from Georgia (or Russia). And in order to get here they would need a visa, presumably a tourist visa. To get a tourist visa you need to be a 'genuine temporary entrant', with no plans to stay - which clearly they aren't. I'd be really surprised if any official would grant a visitor visa to Australia to a Russian refugee in Georgia as it's obvious that it's a step toward a protection visa. I'm not a Migration Agent though, so that's just a lay-person view... Good luck to them, it's a tough spot to be in
  3. AndrewMcD

    Driving licences in Australia

    Is it even possible to do the Direct Access course in the UK without being a current resident? I'm thinking practicalities of getting the new licence posted to you or whatever. I'm a biker, got my licence in Europe and converted bike & car when I moved here. I know this isn't what you asked but I personally would advise against going back and doing the test in the UK, for a couple of reasons. The first is that the specific laws around bikes aren't the same. I don't know about VIC (I'm in NSW) but, for example, you can filter through traffic but only up to 30kph. We can use bus or shared use lanes but can't park on the pavement. We can use dedicated bike bays free of charge in the city. Helmets are mandatory but high vis isn't. In Vic bikes can park on the pavement if they aren't causing an obstruction. Some or all of those rules are different in Ireland where I did my test. Given how quickly the Police hand out points - especially to bikers - it's better to learn the correct rules of the road when training (and not just copy what you see others doing). Second is that a gradated licence system for bikes is proven to be safer. The advantage of a direct access course is that you can ride any bike, so after a full week of training (!) you can jump on a BMW S1000RR and go 0-60 in 3 seconds. But most experienced bikers you talk to will advise you to start on something smaller and cheaper. You will drop your first bike. You will make errors of judgement with cornering, filtering and during low speed manoeuvres. You will have a few 'oh crap' moments. Doing that on a smaller bike that is lighter, less powerful and cheaper to repair is inherently safer. It builds confidence and skill so that you can step up to a bigger bike confidently rather than deciding the hobby isn't for you. LAMS bikes don't have to be dull; I ride a Kawasaki and their LAMS range (https://www.kawasaki.com.au/en-au/lams) has a bit of everything from retro, sports, adventure to cruiser and most brands will be the same. Up to you but from what I'm told the course over here is pretty good
  4. AndrewMcD

    Renting with large family

    We have been renting since 2016 (in a nice bit of Sydney, long story why we haven't bought yet) The market can be pretty feral in the bigger cities with large groups at showings. Bigger properties will tend to be chased by either young house-share or families and agents do prefer families, in my experience. I have never heard of a credit check or an "income ratio", you'll need proof of ID, probably either a rental reference or proof you've been paying a mortgage and a few bits like that but nothing as onerous as the UK sounds like. The battle will be getting the agent to recommend you and that is more personality based than documents, as far as I've found... As an aside you'll recalibrate your idea of 'big house' over here. 4 beds is the norm, 5 is common and 6 not at all unusual. Our current place is a 'normal' sized family home in the burbs and has a kitchen, open plan lounge and separate dining area, a room that we use for the pool table and my home office as well as a separate office all on the ground floor. Upstairs has a rumpus room, 4 beds with the master en-suite and a walk in robe. Double garage and an outside shed. And that was after we downsized from somewhere bigger!
  5. AndrewMcD

    What should be my Occupation?

    Probably impossible to answer based on that and your opportunity to get a visa is about more than just finding a 'match' on the skills list. You tend to need 3+ years of experience (evidenced by a CV and references) and usually have a relevant qualification. Many - though not all - might also need a skills assessment. As I'm sure you know it can be a very hard country to get into so the expectation is that you will prove you are a match in depth and in detail rather than just having the same (or similar) job title or having done the job for a few months. No-one knows your experience and skills better than you so you may be best taking a browse through the lists https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skill-occupation-list and seeing what matches, or booking a chat with a migration agent who can guide you.
  6. AndrewMcD

    Agent and visa fees clarification

    Thanks all, much appreciated
  7. AndrewMcD

    Agent and visa fees clarification

    Thanks, really helpful. I assume that's just Agent fee's though and that each person pays full visa fees to the Government?
  8. AndrewMcD

    Agent and visa fees clarification

    Hi, Asking a question on behalf of a friend that I embarrassingly couldn't answer, despite having gone through the process myself! If a family of 4 are planning on migrating under a hoped for 189 category visa it says the fee's are $4,240 to the department and (for example) $1,750 for an agent. I assume that is for the full application and not per person? It's a long time since I did my visa application and I know that Citizenship was a per-person fee, but that makes sense as each person gets thier own. but for a visa it's one application so a single fee, right? Thanks!
  9. Hi All, Bit of a time sensitive question as we need application forms signing by a CEO who leaves thier job at lunchtime today! My wifes company are happy to sponsor her on a 457 (she already works there as I have a 457). In each of the last two years they have spent more than 1% on training and on average over the last three years the spend has been above 1%. However three years ago it was below that. Will they still meet the training benchmark as a sponsoring organisation? Thanks!
  10. AndrewMcD

    Employee sponsored permanent visa?

    Glad it's not just me that thinks it's a little more complex than the standard! To be honest that's why I'm here - I have read the regulations as best I can and I am struggling to square the generic advice I am getting from my migration agent with the non-generic situation we are in, which is very frustrating.
  11. AndrewMcD

    Employee sponsored permanent visa?

    Thanks both. I've done some digging and it seems I have been sponsored by one of the very few companies that have a labour agreement allowing onwards hiring. There has been some changes of ownership / merger / takeover activity so when the dust has settled I will ask them again about the 457 Transition stream so thanks for those pointers. On my wife's case she works for a global Not for Profit organization as Chief Operating Officer / Deputy CEO, though her official job title is "General Manager Operations". She doesn't have a degree but has held CEO roles for smaller charities in the UK as well as Regional Manager level roles in Ireland. Her salary is six figures but not in the hundreds of thousands range (sadly!) Is she eligible for a 186? Her organisation are willing to sponsor her on a 457 if not so that at least we have the security of double visas and the clock ticking on at least one Transition stream but obviously the preference is for a perm visa if we can. She's mid 40s, native English speaker, UK passport, no convictions, etc. I know we also have teh hurdle of her organisation qualifying as a sponsoring body but one step at a time! Thanks again for teh advice, very helpful
  12. AndrewMcD

    Employee sponsored permanent visa?

    Hi, I'm hoping for a little clarity and advice because what I am being told by Migration lawyers doesn't seem to match with my reading of the visa requirements. The situation: - I have been sponsored on a 457 visa and my family and I have been in Oz since January. I work for a small firm that didn't directly meet the training requirements so I was sponsored by an agency who in turn "sub contract" me to my employer. - Question 1: In this arrangement am I eligible for the 186 Transition stream? I assume yes but only if the migration agency offer me a perm job? - Question 2: The company I work for (not the agency) are willing to sponsor me on a direct visa when I reach a years service. What are my best options? My role is on the CSOL (ICT PM) but not the SOL - My wife has a senior role with a not for profit organisation on a good, six figure salary. She is an Operations General Manager and they are willing to sponsor her for a perm visa directly. - She has spoken to a couple of law firms and has been told that "without a degree she would fail the points test" so cannot apply for a perm visa - Question 3: What is the best visa for someone in her situation? Is there a points requirement for this visa? Assuming I am eligible for the Transition stream (without breaking any laws or rules) then that is our easiest route. My concern is that there might need to be some fancy footwork on job offers to satisfy the paperwork and I'd like to minimise any risks. My wife getting a direct, perm, visa would be ideal but (Question 4) would it be prudent for her to apply for a 457 with her organisation? That way we have insurance if anything happens with either job and she can start the clock on the 2 year transition stream with no agency / employer complications. Answers and advice greatly appreciated and if there is a realistic route to a perm visa then I'm happy to hire an agent!
  13. AndrewMcD

    The true cost to migrate?????

    Really not sure what the issue is here? I never claimed that my cost was "normal". In fact I'm trying to point out that there isn't a "normal" as everyone has different circumstances and will need different things. What is unarguable is that the "true" cost to emigrate is probably going to be higher than your expectations. We did budget carefully in the sense that we did a pretty thorough audit of what we expected to spend. And now - 4 weeks or so into living in Oz - we have blown past that budget. Not because the money we spent up to a week or so after the move was higher (in fact we spent less) but because of the higher than expected spend in Australia. All I am saying is that when you budget leave contingency in your finances for unexpected spend because I guarantee that no matter how careful you are you will have unexpected spend. I am lucky enough that I was able to absorb that extra but if your financial margins are tight it can be much harder to deal with a few hundred dollars of unexpected but vital spend that sideswipes you so it's prudent to leave a "misc." category in your fund for just such an event. Not hard to understand, I would have thought?
  14. AndrewMcD

    The true cost to migrate?????

    Again I didn't enter a contract when I was thinking of moving - not everyone plans migration months or years in advance. The opportunity to move came up and we took it and it all moved quickly. Inevitably when you move quickly you spend more. And My maths can be hazy but you said ~30kGBP "as cheap as possible" and I paid 45-50GBK with lots of premium spend. Avoid the biz class flights and the phone contracts and our spend isn't that far apart. And what normal person wouldn't take a biz class flight if they have the choice?! Champagne anyone? Damn right, and as much of it as you can offer, we had a blissful 20 something hours in the air and I wouldn't change it. I'm very lucky, I work in a job that pays well and allows me to choose luxury / convenience and speed over cost. That's why I said above the only real answer to "how much to emigrate" is "how much do you have"? The way that I moved was expensive but absolutely right for us and I wouldn't change anything substantial about it. Other people who mat have more time or less disposable income make different choices and find a route that works for them. Would I take a three stop flight with a second tier carrier to save a few hundred dollars? No way, but nor will I judge or criticize those that do. Migration (like almost everything) is either cheap or fast/easy but they are extremes - the easier you make it the more expensive it is and vice versa. Personally I went for easy and fast and so paid a bit more. But if you can afford it so why not?
  15. AndrewMcD

    The true cost to migrate?????

    Not sure how to square these off? Exclude contract cancellations and biz class flights and our expenses aren't that different! And yep £2-3k to cancel phone contracts - most UK carriers put you on a 24 month contract when you get an iPhone handset and you have to buy it out when you cancel. Ours were all in the 8 - 18 months left range and at anything up to £40/month that's a lot of money. Flip side is that our contracts here are SIM only and cheap as chips