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  1. Hi All, This is the first time I have written on here, we have been in Melbourne for 6 months now and it feels like a lifetime to me. My kids and wife have settled pretty well but I have struggled very day literally since the plane landed. I am trying to grasp at why we came, its been so hard that I can't even remember why we even came here now. We wanted to try somewhere different and didn't want to get older living our whole life in the UK and also to provide better opportunities for the kids. What I have realised since we arrived is that we had a good life in the UK. Good job, friends, house, area, the only thing that let the place down was the school that my eldest was attending. We should have moved across the city not across the world. My wife is my best friend and soulmate, I have felt so lucky to have met her, she is a strong women and she wants to give it a go for at least a year but I can't live here anymore and it us breaking us apart. We have two kids 14 and 10 which is worrying me even more, my 14 year old should have been starting year 10 this September in the UK. To make things worse the company I worked for in the UK has a job available so I could literally job back into my 'old' life. I am losing my family here but if I 'force' them to move back to the UK I will lose them there also. I'm not sure if its Melbourne or Australia or me. Personally I find Melbourne very bland, I love the city but that's not my life. I live in the North East and most of the work I am involved is down the eastern suburbs so hardly get to the city. Maybe if I was in my early 20's living and working in the city it would be very different. We have moved from the rat race to a huge rat race. I have thought about moving elsewhere in Australia but I think I will simply be uprooting my family again and taking my problems with me. What I do know is that it's not somewhere I want to live long term, the weather isn't everything (and we are talking Melbourne ), I don't want to put roots down here (especially with the price of housing) and with the age of the kids I don't feel we can give it a try as they need to be settled at this crucial stage in education. I feel we are wasting time 'giving it time' as after 6 months this feeling has got worse not better. I want to get my eldest back on to his GCSE's before he falls behind to far. I think we are losing much more than gaining but my wife does not seem to feel the same. Not sure anyone can give any advice and sorry for the ramble.... Cheers Ross P.S For all those on the way out thinking that would never happen to me, be warned I was saying the same thing all the way up to the day we left, agree on a strategy before you come out if one or both of you find yourselves unhappy.
  2. BritChickx

    3 Months

    Wow...where has the time gone! It's been 3 months since I got off the plane at Perth, and headed to the dodgy hostel where I got Paul to pick me up as I couldn't stay there lol! And since then it's been a bit of a rollercoaster! Ended up wwoofing in Denmark, driving through the Nullabor, exploring WA, SA and Vic, gaining and losing 3 jobs and here we are now on the Sunny Coast, being beach bums and job hunting once again! Hope to be here for at least another 3 months to get my 2nd year visa and still have a LOT to see still, so who knows maybe I'll end up here for good I'm missing everyone loads but not ready to settle down or go back just yet
  3. Dear all, I was hoping that someone might be able to answer a query i have regarding what is meant by the DIAC requirement of recent work experience in your nominated occupation being required for 12 out of the last 24 months. Does this have to be consecutive? The reason i ask is that my wife is applying for SS to WA and has been on maternity leave since March this year. Our agent has told us that we need to get our visa application in before March 2012 due to the 12 out of 24 month rule. I have asked if this has to be consecutive or not as if it is not a requirement there is no deadline as she will be returing to work after one year and would have worked 12 out of the last 24 months at any time we apply. Hope someone can confirm that this has to be consecutive 12 months employed. Thanks.
  4. Hello everyone, I am about to send off our passports but I only have just over 12 months left on my passport, should I renew my passport then get it stamped or should I just send it off anyway. we hope to fly oneway in April / May next year. Passport runs out jan 2013 can anyone see any problems. Thanks in Advance:notworthy:
  5. Hi all, Firstly thank you to everyone on PIO for answering all my questions in the lead up to our big move. So we flew with Singapore and as everyone had said, they lived up to their fabulous reputation and we had a hassle free flight. We flew with our two children 3 and 4 and they were brilliant, I was very nervous flying with 2 kids as was worried theyd get bored and start getting difficult but I could not have been more wrong, they slept a large portion of the flight between Heathrow and Singapore, then we had about 3 hours at sin airport, then another night flight to Melbourne, they loved the choice to movies etc on the in flight entertainment and the staff were brilliant and frequently came over to ask if we needed anything, could not fault them. Our first 5 weeks was the hardest, we were staying in serviced apartments provided by my husbands company which was great but I struggled to keep the little ones entertained all day every day and obviously didnt know anyone! But the more I put myself out there the easier it got. Since we finally found a long term rental in Berwick our feet havent touched the ground, my husband cycles to Hallam every day so I have the car, he is doing really well in his job and is progressing quickly which is great. I have met a wonderful group of friends who have made me feel so welcome! There is barely a day that goes by where I dont have something planned. I have found that since I arrived the people here are really laid back and friendly and cannot do enough for you, the food is not as pricey as people say, you just have to be savvy about where you shop, I go to butchers for my meat and buy in bulk, I go to the markets for my fruit and veg, Aldi for some bits, coles for others but generally we find it very affordable. The roads are very big and confusing here, more so than the quiet little essex village that I was used to anyway! So Sat Nav was the first and best purchase we made when we arrived! It is now my best friend! Although I have been out without it recently so I am getting there! There is so much to see and do where we live, in Berwick we are 20/35 mins (depending on where you go) from the Dandenong Ranges which are spectactular, Olinda, Sassafras are my favourites, very quiant aussie villages right up in the hills, lots of places to have a cream tea or a famous aussie pie, you can also feed the wild parrots and cockatoos! 25 mins and we have the most beautiful coastline, if you go towards Carrum the sea is lovely and clear and beaches all really clean, most with parks for the kids and the infamous free bbq's! The first time we had a nice hot day we headed to Carrum beach and watching the kids running and splashing about with their little bodyboards made me realise why I moved here. 1 hour away we have Phillip Island where you can visit famous surf beaches, the grand prix circuits, the penquin parade and so on. Also an hour away is the Mornington Penisula which is equally beautiful, lots of lovely beaches, wineries, the famous hot springs, and spectacular scenery. Apart from the fact that it rains more than I thought in Melbourne lol, the weather is gorgeous and most days are spent outdoors at local parklands, gardens, lakes, hills or beaches. I can honestly say that we have done more here in 3 months than our whole lives in the UK!!The kids hardly watch tv anymore (their choice) and would rather be outside rain or sun! There are so many things to do here that dont cost anything so as long as you have fuel (which is cheaper here) and a picnic hamper you can go anywhere and do anything. Our move here has been very stressful but now we have a routine going with us and the kids and have exciting plans most weekends, we could not be happier, you cant sit about waiting for your life to start here, you have to get out and meet people, go places, explore. Australia is awesome in every way and I could not imagine living anywhere else in the world. Anyway, hope this has lifted a few spirits and given those that are unsure the encouragement to go for it, you only get one shot at happiness, we have found ours :-) I will report again in a few months! :cute:
  6. SophieTheSoph

    Sydney: first 2 months

    We've finally got our broadband up and running, so it seems like a good time to do an arrival report for you good PIOers! Background: I got my PR visa about 5 years ago, validated, then met my boyfriend in the UK while waiting to move over to Aus. Decided to stay, and to cut a long story short early in 2011 we decided to give Aus a go together and applied for his defacto spouse visa. The condition of grant was that I had to be in AUstralia when his visa was approved, which meant that I arrived a few weeks before him, but that wasn't too bad in the grand scheme of things. Anyway - he got a subclass 100 (perm) straight off, so that was great. I arrived in late September, and stayed with friends in Bondi for a few weeks while I got over the jetlag and waited for the boyfriend to arrive. Was a bit surprised by the cost of some things (booze, some food), but soon got used to it. Accomodation: As we moved over here with no jobs lined up, finding an apartment was extra challenging for us as we didn't have any proof of earnings. To try to get around this we offered a copy of our bank statement with rental applications and did an intro letter offering 3 months rent up front. To be honest, the rental market where we were looking (the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney) is insanely competitive - one open house I went to had 30 applications before they even opened, and had queues going down the street to view - so regardless of having a job or not it seems like a slightly random system to me! Basically for anything half decent at a decent price you'll be competing with a lot of other people, and most places go for a lot more than advertised (friends mentioned this, and rental agents confirmed it). I kept my eye on Gumtree, and in the end something that sounded good came up, direct with the owners, so I emailed back with a bit of info about us, got the first viewing appointment I could and jumped at it once I'd looked round. Luckily the owners were really nice, an very understanding about our situation and were happy to rent to us at the advertised price with 2 months upfront rent. So, we're in a lovely 1 bed apartment in Clovelly (where I have lived before about 10 years ago), near the beach, good shops, good transport but pretty quiet and civilised for the Eastern Burbs. Rent is $460 which is a fair bit, but significantly less than many of the places I viewed with agents, and compared to trying to live in short term rentals or hostels is pretty competitive. Work: We both came out here without jobs, so have been starting from scratch really as no recruiters in our feilds wanted to discus jobs until we were in the country. Its been a bit of a slog getting out CV's right - they love the super long CV here with LOADS of detail - no restrictions on the amount of pages! I've had a few interviews and come second for a few, but have been fairly selective about what I apply for. My area of work is fairly niche, so there aren't masses of jobs (and its not a job on the SOL) so I am being patient and just trusting that something right will come along soon. Worst case scenario, I will get a temp or retail job over x-mas time to pay the bills while I keep going for 'proper' jobs. My boyfriend is in a similar position, so at the moment we're both spending our days looking online, applying, then finding fun stuff to do that's free, so lots of swimming and walking and exploring the city. It's a bit of a strange limbo time - not working, but not being on holiday - but I'm sure as soon as it comes to an end we'll really miss it! Best things about Australia so far: $1 avacados, friendly people, great asian food, Pure Blonde lager, waking up to the sound of exotic birds, seeing wild kangaroos (in Canberra), catching up with old friends and family, wearing flip flops all the time, different shops, amazing coffee (large weak skinny flat white for me please!), spectacular storms, the wonderful floral smells... I could go on! Tips: Setting up a bank account before we came was easy (we used NAB but loads of the banks do it).Meant we could look for the best exchange rate and move some money before we arrived. We've been using Moneycorp to move our cash about and they've been fine and fairly quick. Carry your passport around with you for the first few weeks - I seemed to need it for everything! Registering for Medicare was simple, but queueing for my turn at the office took a while - you have to take a number and wait. But then it was just one form. We are still waiting for our shipping which left the UK nearly 3 months ago. Try to time your boxes to arrive when you move into your rental as otherwise you end up having to buy stuff while you wait. If you're going to be looking for a job, its worth expanding your CV out to suit the Aussie market - I needed to include more detail on what I had acheived in my roles. Anyway - that's it for now. Good luck to everyone trying to get visas and hoping to come out soon. Looks like its going to be a lovely summer....And feel free to ask questions. Sophie
  7. Can anyone help me out with something...my OH has worked for more than 10 years as a plumber but last August he went self employed. This is fine as he has been lucky enough to get work throughout but our tax return is not due till January. Our CO has now requested the following: Must include (but is not limited to):- British Taxation Documents and Assessments, Profit and Loss statement if operating as a sub-contractor Does anyone know what I can give? I don't have the taxation docs obviously due to the above. Can I just do a profit and loss myself? Or would I get an accountant to do this? I can do it and I'm not planning on getting an accountant to do my end of year return so I'd only be going to one for this purpose. I have already sent references and bank statements so I guess that wasn't enough. I have about 7 months already from when he was working for a company before going self employed so it's just 5 months I need to prove. Getting a bit stressed out, can anyone help? Thanks in advance xx
  8. derham

    5 months for VETASSESS

    My agent has told me that my skills application through VETASSESS couyld currently take up to 5 months, has anyone else heard this?:wacko:
  9. Guest

    ENS Refused, 4 months pregnant!

    On arrival in Brisbane I had my preschool teaching qualifications recognised at the department of education. However my ens has been refused on the basis that I should have gone to AITSL (Australian Institute of Teaching School Leaders) instead! This was a simple error on my behalf and I'm not sure what to do next. Plus the fact that I am 4 months pregnant and getting really stressed at the mo!! Please help someone
  10. What I have discovered: 1. They have an outwardly positive view at work 2. They whinge when they know they trust you 3. In Melbourne and many parts of Australia there really seems so fewer people. This is often refreshing. But the bustle of Britain is sometimes interesting, people watching is more of an art form in the UK. 4. I.T. is not an established industry 5. Australians are more relaxed especially with the driving on wider roads. 6. Austalians are more serious 7. Melbourne is a cross between a Spanish city and an American city, heritage and greenery. 8. All t.v. is poor once you are used to having discovery, entertainment and sports cable. 9. Victoria has a very British feel. 10. Sydney has an international feel but more confined. 11. Telecoms is less competitive so broadband and home phone is not available at the same competitave rates 12. Australians do not mind the English at all. 13. There is a large variety of beer and pale ale but it takes some seeking to find a really special beer 14. Australians watch less T.V. 15. Australians are foodies. 16. Life can seem costly but if you are D.I.N.K.Y. and not running a car or if so a very small car you can save $1000's per year. 17. Housing is expensive for anything approaching a desirable house. 18. Australians aren't a happy bunch and have gripes of their own but recognise they are better off than U.S. and Europe at this point in history. 19. Multiculturalism is very much alive in Australia though different to the U.K. The Lebanese, Greeks, Somalians, English, Chinese, Vietnamese are amongst the largest peoples fully part of Australian life after historic waves of immigration. 20. Sports is all year-round and equally supported especially in Melbourne. AFL, followed by Philip island GP, horse racing and soccer followed by cricket and tennis, F1 and V8s.:radar:
  11. Hi guys,i am looking to get a 175 visa for australia,i am 31 and single,and a qualified plumber,but i have a question on the imma website it says about did i have occupation for at least 12 of the last 24 months.as i live in ireland the country is in very bad recession and it is impossible to try to get a plumbing job,as a result of that i didnt work 12 of the last 24 months only small jobs in my local area,my question is does this affect my trying to get a 175 visa? and or is there anyway around this?:unsure:any info would be great guys and thanks again
  12. Hi I am looking for some advice please. I am a permanent resident here in Australia and have been for 2 years. My parents are looking to come and visit us and help with my family for a long stay. My mother is going to give up her job to come and help us, so I want to be able to guarantee her that she will be able to come and go. They really want to stay around 3 -4 years !!! Obviously I know visa's are not granted for this long stay. They really want to stay for 12 months then go home for 2 months then return for another 12 months etc... My worry is that they won't keep getting granted a 12 month visa. I have heard that 12 month visas are not that easy to get granted. Should they come on a 3 month visa and keep extending it until the first 12 months is over? Is this a hard process to go through? Does anyone know how much problem it will be to get another visa granted after that? Any advice or knowledge would be gratefully received.
  13. The reason I ask is that a few people seem to make a decision to move back very quickly, sometimes within weeks. Previously I've lived in aus twice, first time 1 year, second time 2 years. Both times I suffered badly with homesickness. This time around, I only really felt settled after about 2 years. For us, stability seemed of paramount importance, our 2 year old son was really unsettled at first, and my wife was preggers so moving back was the least practical option....BUT from a purely personal pov I would have been delighted to get back on the plane anytime during the first 6 months. So, can you decide whether or not moving to aus is the right decision within the first 6 months. Or is it not so black and white? Can the place grow on you with time, regardless of your initial impressions?
  14. Friends, As most of you know about my case. I had applied for Designated - Area Sponsored( Skilled) 496 application on August 2007. I had submitted my medical and PCC tewice once in 2009 when it was asked to do so by the case officer. Secondly when my agent told me that I should be prepared with the medical in 2010... But till date, no assurance was given by the DIAC that whether my application will be processed in near future or not. According to some emails sent to various category 5 applicants it was told that cat 5 will be processed at the end of this financial year.. THis is the end of the financial year. Now what...? I am tired guys of listening to fake promises. I do not think we will be ever processed in near future...
  15. We'll be packing up to leave soon and I notice that for shipping personal effects you have to declare to AQIS all items less than 12 months old. How detailed or thourough do you have to be regarding this declaration? Is it best to declare a few token items or can we just say nothing is new? Do we really have to check every single thing that might be less than 12 months old? Will we be charged duty/GST on everything we declare? We have kids, so there are definitely toys and the odd bits and pieces that are less than 12 months old. It's not as if we've bought a load of new stuff intentionally to ship out to either avoid Australian tax or pay a cheaper price! I'm thinking of things like toys the kids received for birthdays in the past year - so I might not even know the price of the items. Any advice/tips appreciated. Thanks.
  16. Guest

    3 months here

    So, after nearly 3 years of trying to get here, we finally made it 3 mths ago and absolutely loving it. So to all u trying, don't give up your time will come Good luck to I all xx
  17. baz6679

    2 Months In Perth

    Ok so we are now here 8 weeks so wanted to wait before posting this as we know where we are at now and some of the good things and bad things. So here goes. Trying to give as much info as possible so sorry if it seems long winded. Rentals We got the first house we applied for. Had read on here that we should do a rental pack i.e a letter for the owner/rental agent giving a intro about us and why we came here etc, included all references we had and also stuck in a copoy of our police checks to show our good character etc, viewed the house applied and agent rang to ask do we want to offer any money up front( this is what happens) said well 2 months is all we can afford up front, got a call 10 mins later to say house is ours. In the end we didnt have to give the rent up front! Make sure to read your lease etc and you will get a property condition report which shows anything that is wrong with the house before you move in i.e marks on walls etc etc, go through it and fill in anything you notice because if there is any damage it will be taken from your bond at end of rental. Schools and Childcare Once you live in a the boundaries of a primary school you are entitled to enrol in that school. If your outside boundaries its up to the principal if you get accepted. Enrolling is so easy and the staff are so friendly. Loads of activities art music etc etc and sport. Our oldest is 10 and he loves it. After school he goes to YMCA which is like older kids daycare 2 days a week and this costs $25 per day. But centrelink pay some of this so not sure how much of this 25 dollars we have to pay yet. Daycare for younger kids is expensive $70 per day but with family tax benefit etc from centrelink this means we only pay $30 of that so this is good. It's hard getting daycare we found in our area as all the good places have few places however we took the only day available first and this has now gone up to 2 days and yesterday they called to say they could offer full time from next month. Do your research and talk to other families who will point you to the good places in your area. Centrelink Register the day after you arrive as any payments are backdated to that date you arrive in to them. Perserve and read it online, it can be confusing but ask questions. Basically we get like childrens allowance and you can also be entitled to rent assistance and as i mentioned erarlier the reduced childcare fees, it takes few weeks to get all sorted but keep a record of everything and you will find it ok. Transport Second hand cars are a minefield and you need your head screwed on. My advice is to buy a run around, we ought one at 3 grand and we have been driving that until we can now go and get finance etc for a better one. Finance applications you need employer letters etc and visa letters. If you know people here then they will know a good mechanic who will take a quick look at the car before you purchase, Killarney autos in Wangara(Irish Guy) had a look at ours and gave it a once over before we bought, he never charged us and said if we just give him some business of servicing it in the future so ask people here and they will point you in right direction. As Regards Drivers License you just go to the local Driver and Vehicle Licensing authority and fill in some forms. Only snag we had is that immigration did not print a label and stick it in our passports when we arrived so we had to travel in to the city and get this done and then we got our licenses changed over. Cost of Living Yes its expensive but the golden rule as i had read here many times, dont convert back to your old currency, once you start earning dollars you will see what i mean. Food is expensive but learn the places to go, we go to waneroo farmers market every 2 weeks on a sat and this place is great for fruit veg and meat. we have saved a fortune going here, sign p to all the rewards programmmes in the big supermarkets, shop around for food and once on your feet here you will learn what places are cheap for certain items. Households goods and electrical items are dirt cheap here i find, we didnt bring anything as regards furniture and we furnished our 4 bed rental with second hand stuff from gumtree afor about $1900 and its real quality stuff. Gumtree is a way of life here so get used to using it. Internet costs 88 a month with telstra. Beware of signing contracts for phones and internet plans, make sure its the right one for you and has good coverage. Telstra have the best coverage of anyone and the easiest thing to do is when you move in to your rental ask your neighbours who they are with and this will be a pretty good guide. Also have foxtel for TV which is same as sky and works the exact same as regard costs etc Havent really had any household bills yet so cant really advise only to say you have gas, electric and water usage bills. General Thoughts Take time and relax and do as much research as you can Bring copies of all your paper work and try to set up a google account and have google docs( Google this if you dont know what it is!) so you can scan your originals on there. That way no matter where you are you have access to them as long as you have internet. They love their paper work and you will need to fill in a form for everything so get used to that Work wise dont tell Aussies what way to do things, they dont like that and just fit in with the way they do it. Before long you will shine through. Go to as many things you are invited to as its a good way of meeting people. This is the hardest bit but so many people say it and I am repeating it. Everyone here you meet has done what you have done and know what you are going through so don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for help. We have already made some really good friends and there are loads of groups etc who meet up and all that stuff so keep your ear to the ground. Hope this has been a help and look forward to hopefully meeting you all. :cool:
  18. roflie

    Melbourne 4 months report!

    Long time no speak Hi all, Firstly can I apologise for not being active on here since my move to Australia around 4 months ago, as you can imagine Its been a busy old time and with a 1001 distractions I’ve not had time to sit down and type out something meaningful. To recap, I’m a 27 year old lad from the north east of England and having secured a job in a hospital way back in Feb I embarked on my visa mission to get myself on a plane to Australia….. Work arranged a company to process my visa and the agent was quite helpful but at times didn’t seem to know everything you would expect them to know (she advised I need a medical/health check up as I was going to work in a hospital but after a little bit of reading online and speaking to you guys on here it turned out not 100% of people needed this check up so when the agent looked in to it a little further turns out I didn’t need it and saved myself a few hundred pounds in the process)… Anyway after accepting the job and getting together all of the paper work I lodged my e457 on 11th April 2011 and after submitting some further information (It was a travel insurance document to prove I was covered for medical on my arrival in Aus – I didn’t bother with private medical, still haven’t, just got a cheap 20 pound travel insurance policy online) on 27th April I heard the great news that my visa application had been successful on 4th May 2011 (24days from it being lodged!) I booked my flights through Singapore airlines and flew out of Heathrow. I managed to negotiate up to 30kg by sending the customer services an e-mail – they could not have been more helpful! I had never been to Australia and I didn’t know anyone out here so it was a bit of a leap in to the unknown but I eventually boarded the plane (and sat delayed on the run way for 2 hours!!!) 15th June and away I went. I had managed to set up some accommodation before I left using easyroommate.com.au….. basically I was to be sharing with 2 kiwi’s and an aussie on my arrival and just paying for the room and bills all inclusive on a short term deal until I could get something for concrete. This was based in Cheltenham to the South East of the city. The journey over to Australia could not have been smoother…. The check in staff were great and I can’t praise Singapore airlines enough. I was flying on one of their air buses and could only get a seat on the lower level for the leg to Singapore but luckily I had a vacant seat next to me which made everything that bit more comfortable, especially considering the longest I had ever spent on a plane was 5 hours!! The food was great and the staff regularly popped round offering refreshments…. The little touches like the touch brush/tooth past/mouth wash/hot wet towels all just added to a splendid journey..... I took a small netbook on to the plane with me but hardly used it. The onboard entertainment was enough to keep my occupied, although the excitement probably helped, but with my standard travel plug the netbook kept its charge for use whenever needed. Due to our delay out of London we had a quick turnaround in Singapore…. We got through the internal checks relatively quickly and just wondered straight up to the departure gate… I had checked my bags all the way through and was grateful for this as it meant I could relax for 30mins and stretch my legs whilst waiting to board the second leg to Melbourne…. This was on time and I was lucky enough to get on the dog deck and had once again a vacant seat next to me (felt like I was in business class!!)… both flights were about 80 – 85% full but I guess I was just lucky having the seats vacant next to me….! I didn’t sleep much and landed in Melbourne bang on the expected time, early in the morning on the 17th June. The weather wasn’t great on my arrival, the typical Melbourne winter really… bit of cloud, the odd splash of rain and the sun trying hard to make an appearance but it was nice and cool and I was just happy to have negotiated my way there without any problems… Due to the fact we were one of the first to land in the morning the queue’s for customs weren’t too bad. I declared prior to going to Australia on my visa that I had been fined by the police in the UK about 5 years ago and I mentioned this on my customs form (which they ask you to fill in on the plane!)… I got asked what this was for after I had passed through the main customs desk (nothing scary like some people had reported about being hauled off to a darkened room and interrogated) by a nice guy who was happy just to take note of this and let me on my way. My bags were waiting for me after I had passed through customs and I wondered straight through without any problems…. The Beagle sniffer dogs are pretty cool… one woman just in front of my in the queue had food in her bag (fruit I think) and the dog sniffed it out no problem…  I was greeted by my new boss at the airport and hitched a lift with him to the rented accommodation I had lined up in Cheltenham after a spin round the City. It took around 30mins (from memory) to get in to the city and a further 40mins+ to make our way down to Cheltenham. As mentioned I hadn’t ever been to Melbourne and I was impressed by the city and all of the big buildings. Everything felt a little bit strange to start off with, like I was on holiday but when I arrived at my rental accommodation I soon settled in and began to enjoy suburban Melbourne. Cheltenham is quite well placed on the Frankston train line and has an express service running in to the city centre (about 30mins)… I was also luckily situated quite close to the Southland shopping centre (a large indoor purpose built centre with three floors of shops and everything you would ever need) which was great and really handy for my first bits and pieces I needed. I was going to be working in the city and in East Bentleigh and without a car I have found the public transport to be more than tolerable…. Its not the most posh/comfortable ride but I’ve found it to be a load better than the public transport on offer in the north east of England and its very affordable… you can get round Melbourne all day for $11 (that’s zone 1 and 2) which is cheap compared to the price of everything and the wages. On a Sunday they do the same ticket for $3.40ish which provides an even better excuse to get out and about. I haven’t got a car yet so not sure how much they cost (does anyone know how I go about sorting my driving license out or if I can drive on my uk one whilst over here?), they seem more expensive but again that’s expect and they are probably proportionate when you factor everything in. Dental is expensive so get everything check out and fixed if needed before you arrive… clothes and shoes can be pricey if you want a brand or a name… that said a few of the shops in the uk deliver over here now (I’ve personally used topman who only charge 9GBP and it took 8 days to arrive) if you ever needed a few cheaper bits and bobs and you know they are going to fit…!! I would recommend Cheltenham as a suburb to anyone…. Its quite peaceful and quite with not a great deal going on but it has great links to the city with the major Nepean highway running through and the train line too. There seems to be a big push around Melbourne’s inner suburbs to upgrade single storey houses to doubles or big flat complex’s but Cheltenham has survived this to an extent which is nice as you get a feel of being away from the city. I regularly ran to Sandringham beach which took around 25mins or so… Its beautiful and every time I have been (granted its been winter over here) its been deserted… even when the sun was out… Little things like this have made being here great. I’ve settled in really well and met some really nice and friendly people. It hits you straight away how genuinely nice the people here are, especially when compared to the UK… I love England but everyone seems very busy worrying about their own little world to just say hi to a neighbour or just G’day (I was the same to be honest) for no other reason but to be nice and polite…. I’ve found settling in really straight forward and any advice/help I’ve needed I’ve been able to find or get quite easily. The price of things was probably the most difficult to get my head around…. I know there is always a big debate on how expensive things are here when compared to the UK but I do find when everything is considered that Australia is fractionally more expensive. This might be because I have had to set myself up with a lot of ‘home’ type stuff which we tend to get quite cheaply in England. I like to shop around, get a good deal and have a handle on what things cost so I’ve sort of enjoyed the whole experience of a new country in that respect. Whilst I think day to day things cost more I am earning a lot more than I was in the UK and at the end of each fortnight (fortnightly pay is a dream and its pretty much he norm over here I’m lead to believe) I have more in the bank than I ever did back home and that’s with all of the start up costs and everything which comes with moving countries…..I’m even using moneycorp (free transfers for PIO members) every once in a while to send some money back home (although the Aus banks do like to charge you for it!!)  I signed up with commonwealth bank, they are one of the big four, and whilst they have been fine I am looking at moving to one who charges less for international money transfers…. They hit you with a $22 charge initially and they pass it on to a third party bank who charge you $25….. I have heard one bank does offer free transfers if you deposit a set amount each month but I’m nt too sure who (any advice appreciated on this one!?)… The bank account was really easy to set up. As was the Medicare card. Just turn up in the shops and away you go… just have your I.D. handy when you go out and about the first few weeks as I needed it quite a bit to sign up for various things. Another I got straight away was a sim card…. $2 a sim card and I top up $30 for 30days and it gets me $300 credit… its about $0.50 a text back to the UK and about $2 per minute ringing friends on their uk mobiles so it works out really cheap (this is just a convenience pay as you go deal with Optus one of the big mobile/comms companies out here so I am sure you can get a better deal). I haven’t bothered with a 12/24 month contract but when I enquired they wanted a bank statement with 10 transactions on before they would accept me as a customer. There is so much to see and do in Melbourne, whilst I’ve been busy at work and really trying to get my head down I’ve hardly touched the surface I’ve been to the Aussie rules (I’m a St Kilda fan now!) and soccer, the aquarium and recently the Caulfied Guineas…. They love their horses over here!! A must do if you are coming here is the Australian animal sanctuary in Healesville…. Its amazing… They pretty much have all the usual Australian animals and then some!! I signed up for a years zoo pass as they have the Melbourne zoo and a safari type zoo/park and you get unlimited access for a year ($100 I think). I’m probably missing out loads so feel free to ask…. I shipped over 3 big boxes (about 25kg each) with Transglobal express… they were fine and very competitively priced although I did get a 100GBP fine for having some shaving foam in my box… hey ho… They used DHL for the delivery and I had my boxes within 10days (quoted 5 days but delayed due to the shaving foam and the delivery at this end was sub contracted to someone who wouldn’t arrange a time for delivery which was a bit of a pain!) ….Downsides are few and far between… there is a lot of graffiti in the city and on the trains/buses but you almost forget its there after a short while…. Alcohol is expensive where ever you go (even supermarket), even when you factor in the inflated wages you are on over here (a standard crate of 24 costs around $40 - $50 depending on what you go for) …. Speaking of supermarket, Coles is really good and stocks a decent range…. Aldi is great for cheaper items and there are fresh fruit and veg shops in every suburb so I shop at a range of places to keep prices down…. Furniture is expensive too…. I’ve recently moved away from Cheltenham (a little too quiet and away from the city for me) and now live in a flat with a couple of friends I have met since being here. There’s a lot more going on and its only 15 mins in to the city. Loads of good restaurants (the Asian food over here is simply amazing, loads of variety and slightly different twists which is great as I love my food) and just a busier type vibe to it which suits me a little more…. I’ve not really come across any problems as far as crime/violence/hoodies/chavs are concerned, there’s not the massive binge drinking culture on show over here (I’m sure it exists in pockets but its not thrust in your face in the street or through the media over here) and I haven’t seen any nasty wildlife… which is great as I’m not a fan of spiders!! The birds over here are pretty noisy but I don’t mind it… they are way more pretty and colourful than back home and it makes me smile when I see a pair of the green/blue/orange parrot things sat squawking away as you really do feel a million miles away from home but in a good way…. I haven’t found anywhere to play soccer regularly yet but there are loads of parks to go for a kick around….. We have foxtel (same as sky) so I get to catch up on every premier league game from back home and its got a good selection of programmes, incl some of the British stuff! I know I will have missed loads out and probably the important bits which people want to know about but I’m happy to comment on anything I’ve written or may have missed or any questions/queries anyone has…. All of this is just my opinion and I just wanted to share it with the forum as it was a great help to me when I was moving over that I should have tried to get this written sooner… I guess it’s a testament to how good Australia is treating me that I haven’t had a great deal of time to sit down and get it done…. All of this and we are just getting in to the spring months and the warmer weather!! Cheers Roflie
  19. rehanonline83

    176 (2-3 Months or 12-24 Months)

    DIAC website clearly says that 176 processing time is 12 months (low risk) and 24 months (high risk). However, my findings on pomsinoz.com and britishexpats.com found that most of the people are managed to get 176 in 2-3 months or even less. I know mostly they are low risk applicants but still the processing time is reduced significantly. Also, i never heard even from low risk applicant waiting for 24 months for his/her 176. Is there anyone to explain what is going on? How much the low risk factor influence the state sponsorship and 176 processing time? Cheers..
  20. Sudden decison to move back to uk so we are selling everything and they are almost new. Bought most between April-July this year. Washing Machine-Whirlpool 7.5kg - $400 Electrolux 5kg Tumble dryer -$350 LG 422l Frost Free fridge Freezer-$ 500 (minor scratch on the side, happened while moving but original price was $744 ) 850w LG 25L micrwave $75 Black Glass TV Unit (heavy glass 54kg) $75 Solid wood (dark) dining table with 6 leather chairs $800 Solid wood large 4 door buffet $400 (Never been used delivered a few weeks ago with dinning table) 3 bar stool (black leather effect and silver) $120 Large modular real leather sofa (5 seater + chaise) we bought it for $2100 therefore we can negotiate the price. (ideal for entainment/cinema room or big living area) Girl's bedroom furnitures - Dark wood and stylish(single bed with small underbed drawer, bedside drawer, Tallboy, small book case, small storage shelf with seagrass baskets) whole lot for $500 One tall book shelf $50 I am in Perth, North of the rive.If you are interested just PM me. I am away this week but will respond as soon I can. We are quite happy to negotiate and also throw in freebies such desks, little swivel chairs for kids room, depending on what you buy from us
  21. Hello Everyone! May i introduce myself and family.... I am Lyndsey, my husband is Craig and we have three children aged 5, 3 and 9 months old. We are currently in the RAF and have decided that enough is enough and we are moving to Oz!! I shall be out the RAF in about 18 months so i will be on that plane the day after hopefully!! My husband is half australian, therefore our children are Australian citizens by descent (lucky sods) which just leaves me to apply for a spouse visa I have printed off the form 47SP today and "Oh my Goodness!" its confuuuusing! Do i have to be sponsered by my husband too? And do i really have to provide all this evidence about the history of our relationship if we have been married 7 years and have 3 children together? cor Blimey! I think i will have to get my thinking head on and read read and read this partner booklet thing about 7 times!! ha ha :err: anyhoo, if anyone is in the same boat as me (having an Ozzy family and feeling a little left out! ) then it would be great to get to know you better! Infact it will be great to get to know you all better! Laters! Lynds x
  22. I've read quite a few threads on commuting GC to Brisbane and was initially put off the idea, however when we arrived I really didn't fancy living in Brisbane or it suburbs (no offence meant and I'm no stranger to the area, lived here before) so our initial accommodation was a serviced apartment in Southport - Meriton, highly recommended. For the first few weeks we alternated between driving and taking the train from Helensvale, it was just a bit too longer commute for me, at least 90 mins each way in the car and longer on the train. However much of this was actually getting to the freeway or train station. We've now settled in Hope Island and been doing the drive for 2 months. I have to say its not bad, provided we leave by 7:00 we're in the CBD by 8:00 9 out of 10 days, occasionally 7:45. Travelling home is similar, we leave at 4PM and are home around 5:00. Nearby areas with similar commutes would be Helensvale, Pacific Pines, Coomera etc. None are on the beach but Paradise Point is 10-15 mins drive and Labrador another 10, 10 more to Surfers if that's for you. We've all but given up on the train, it is punctual but so slow and so crowded, its known as the Bombay Express due to overcrowding. One thing to mention is the driving on the Pacific Motorway has to be experienced to be believed! As you can pass on both sides basically you get 3 lanes of 110kmh traffic driving at most a couple of car lengths apart, and even then some folk swerving between lanes to make up the odd position. Traffic get heavy around Springwood and you have 10-15 km of stop start traffic, currently there are roadworks. Also as my wife and I travel together we get to use the T2 lane, but TBH I don't think it makes a huge difference. All in all, the commute is a pain, but I love living on (or at least very near) the Gold Coast and for us that's the compromise as neither of us are likely to find work there in the foreseeable future. I don't visit the forums much having been in Aus for a while but though the above may be useful to people looking to move to SEQLD.
  23. hiya myself and hubby are here on 176 visa but never brought over our savings due to the currency rate but now are biting the bullet and going to bring it all over. Thing is do we have to pay tax now on our savings or do we just declare the interest on our tax return next year We did state on our 176 application what our savings were and only brought over enough to get us started here but now we need to get it over but dont want to pay tax on it if we had to. Has this happened to anyone and what did you do???
  24. Hi We are emigrating over from scotland in a few months, my wife Julie is a a singer (very good) and im a guitarist looking to see if there are any expat musicians interested in starting a band. Got a few songs on my youtube page if you want to have a listen its geetarmanbaxter. Cheers steven
  25. Hi There, I'm An Aussie living in London, Married to a Brit, and have a brand new baby daughter. We're heading back to Sydney to spend time with the family for 3 months from Christmas 2011 and I'm looking for someone who might be interested in a house swap for that period or any part thereof. We have a lovely 2 bedroom flat in London (zone 2) and would ideally like to swap it with someone on Sydney's northern beaches or North shore. I'm happy to provide pictures etc for anybody fancy being at home in London over Christmas. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or might be interested. Cheers, Lee
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