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About EvieV

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  1. EvieV

    Reflecting on our move from Sydney to Cornwall

    Thanks for posting this update. We're in Devon, having moved from Sydney's Central Coast 16 months ago. Like you, we opted to choose somewhere relatively similar in terms of outdoors lifestyle, with surf beaches and beautiful landscapes around us. We live in a 200-year-old thatch and cob house with sloping floors and low ceilings. In Sydney, we were in an open-plan brick house with a pool ... It's been a tricky move with teenage children and the current lockdown hasn't helped but on the whole, we're enjoying life here. Cornwall is beautiful - my parents live there. It was just too far off the beaten track for us to consider a move there though.
  2. EvieV

    Visa pick up sydney?

    Can I ask how long it took to receive this text, from the Sydney biometric appointment? Was it spouse visa? We're also waiting - 9 weeks now.
  3. EvieV


    Has anyone used Hanrob kennels before? Our dog is staying there for a few days courtesy of Jetpets, prior to his flight from Sydney to London, but I'm a bit concerned that it will be a really noisy and stressful environment for him. He's a very nervous dog at the best of times.
  4. Just wondering if anyone has applied for a spouse visa to the UK, then paid $95 at the VFS Global biometric testing centre to keep their passport while the visa application is processed? We have been advised that the turnaround time for a spouse visa is 10 weeks (if we pay for a priority application). Has anyone applied for the visa, paid the fee to keep hold of their Aussie passport, travelled to the UK on said passport as a tourist and then returned to collect the visa 10 weeks later?
  5. EvieV

    How long to allow?? Help

    We decided to move back 5 months ago. Sold the house in 9 days and that has been the hardest part so far - getting the house ready, tarting it up, decluttering, organising shippers, pet transport etc. Now we're just waiting for settlement & for the children to finish school. We leave on 30th Dec, 6 months from having made the decision.
  6. EvieV

    3 months back in the UK

    Read with interest as we're about to do the same: ship our belongings, dog, 2 children ... to the UK after 19 years in Oz. Have rented a holiday cottage for 3 months until our shipping container arrives but was hoping to buy a house in that time so that everyone could be settled quickly. Will look into a Halifax mortgage ... can anyone recommend any others? The coffee may be bad but I bet their cream teas are better than the cream-in-a-can "Devonshire" ones on offer here...
  7. EvieV

    Moving Back to the UK from Australia - Positive Stories

    This is us too right now. Replacing carpets tomorrow then the real estate photos are scheduled for Tuesday. Grateful for a long weekend in which to declutter, although I'm sure I'll be in for a few tense negotiations with the kids over what is actually "essential" and "non-essential" bedroom items ... Kazla, I too have a 15 year old whose birthdate is one month off the cut-off date for current Year 10 so she should technically be going into UK Year 11. (She's currently in Australian Year 9 and has been at the same school since kindy). I've spoken to a few schools in the UK about her joining the year below her chronological year group - the majority of them have the infuriating "computer says no" attitude. However, two have agreed that to join Year 11 from overseas in January, then sit GCSEs in May is madness and will allow her to join Year 10. You will need to contact the schools individually and then apply to the County Council (if going state) no more than 8 weeks before you want your child to start.
  8. EvieV

    Finding a house to rent

    We're using a holiday company (bluechipholidays.co.uk) to search for a long-term let, but then we have the benefit of moving to a holiday spot area in low season so there's more to choose from. Plus you don't have to worry about registering with utilities/council tax etc as it's all inclusive.
  9. Hoping someone can recommend some study books for UK Year 10? We're moving back to the UK early next year and my daughter will be sitting a grammar school entrance exam for entry to Year 10. Does anyone know of any maths & English books I can buy online to help her prepare for the test & the different syllabus?
  10. TazG has the UK school allowed your Year 12 to "repeat" a year? I'm moving back in February with a current Year 9 - but although her birthday falls just 5 weeks outside the cut-off date for Year 10, the school we're interested in has said she would have to go into Year 11 and sit GCSEs just a couple of months later. Another school says they will allow her to go back a year - but only if she passes the entrance exam.
  11. EvieV

    sending a dog back to the UK

    I got quotes from Jetpets and Dogtainers just recently to send a Labrador from Sydney to London & they came in at $4745 and $5290.
  12. EvieV

    Pension earned in Oz back to UK

    Just stating my own personal circumstances in answer to the question. I actually applied for citizenship before we even decided to head back to England (which was only a few weeks ago). The reason being I had no vote in either country as I've been away from the UK for more than 15 years (almost 19 years here in Australia). Having been accepted, it's frustrating to have to wait so long for the official ceremony but not the end of the world for me as I have permanent residency anyway.
  13. EvieV

    Pension earned in Oz back to UK

    Enduro, have you received a letter to say you've been accepted as a citizen & that you're just now waiting for your ceremony date? Or have you not even got the letter of approval yet? I phoned the Dept of Immigration and my local council last week to chase mine up.... My story is: Applied for citizenship late September 2017. Received the "receipt of application" email 8th November 2017. Sat the knowledge test late December 2017. Received the approval letter 5th May 2018. Still waiting for a ceremony date.... According the the Dept of Immigration, it takes on average 17 months from receipt of application to citizenship ceremony, which personally is incredibly frustrating as I'm moving back to the UK in January 2019 and am not on the next two months' ceremony lists so am really hoping it happens in Nov/Dec otherwise it'll be too late.
  14. EvieV

    Advice on returning to UK

    Hi Livvy, I'm afraid I can't offer any financial advice but just wanted to say it's very brave of you to reach out here for help. It sounds like you've been through a dreadful time and you now need to do what's best for you, mentally and emotionally - which is to return to the UK. I'm sorry to hear about your sons but hopefully you can create a new family bond with your husband's side. I really hope you can get some advice about pensions from somebody on here and best of luck with your (hopefully) new start.
  15. EvieV

    Getting a mortgage on return to UK

    Oh that's great to know. Thanks!