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  1. June 06, 2011-Filed for visa June 09, 2011-General email from Embassy saying the got it. CO and # assigned. August 24, 2011- Email Asking for more docs related to finances, NOIM, and Emails/Phone logs from CO. August 29, 2011- Phone call from CO. Wanted to discuss finances. Asked me to send letter from current employer and our intent on finances for the first two years. A personal discussion. September 01, 2011- Documents expected to arrive to CO today. Any experience this type succession of events? The CO said that she just need a few final things to fulfill the financial requirement which I have provided and will meet what she wants. How long am I looking at for a decision on my Prospective Marriage Visa? Days, weeks, months? Just a general time frame would help.
  2. .. go to www.simplesavings.com.au This site is invaluable for helping you save money ... it also gives you an insight into the lives of ordinary Australian housewives .....
  3. Well after 9yrs in Aus and several mishaps with relationships, I finally decided to move back to the UK and to date, I have no regrets with that decision. Not long after I got divorced, I went into another relationship which ended after 3.5yrs, I suddenly found myself quite isolated in Aus and realised the big thing I missed was friends and family around me. I came to Aus with my (now) ex-wife and had no family or friends here to begin with and I think I wanted to have the same life I had in the UK, but in Australia - and it didn't really happen. I seriously enjoyed my time there, it is a great country and so much to offer if you know what you want in life, but I just couldn't settle. In the 9yrs, I have over 8jobs and 2 failed businesses, I had two serious break ups and really struggled to create a life for me there and then finally I decided to come back and I'm loving every minute so far.. I landed a great job within the first month being back, I am reconnecting with friends that I haven't seen for so many years and even with my slightly estranged family - so on a personal level - love it.. What i wanted to say to those thinking of coming back, is a few things I've learnt since being away to be aware of.. If you've been away for more than 2-3yrs - be prepared for a minor shock if you want to do anything that involved credit checks.. My credit rating is worse than someone with bad debt becuase of the time away and the time I've only been back for. This is a bit of a shock to someone who's never had this type of issue.. If you have cash saved, then obviously this won't be an issue, unless you want to rent a place, as they now do credit checks as well and if you haven't been in the country for more than 6 - 12 months (depends on agency), you'll need to have a guarantor. Car insurance - they all do credit checks now even for quotes, but make sure you get your Aus NCD certificate. Not all insurance companies accept it, but there are quite a few that do. Shopping - positive point - it's good to be buying standard food items so much cheaper than in Aus, but I do miss the freshness of the fruit and veg.. I've found that my usual weekly shops are so much cheaper here.. Oh and another point, it's great to be back with Tesco's, Sainsbury's, Waitrose and M&S.. But I do miss the Westfield shopping centres and David Jones/Myer concepts a bit.. Especially the qty and qlty of the shopping centres as well Petrol - in case you haven't checked recently, it's sitting around £1.33 per litre (roughly $1.98), so it is more expensive, but I do think the overall cost of running a car in the UK is cheaper due to lower car prices, tax etc.. And it's good to be back in MOT land where cars that shouldn't be on the road - aren't (well mostly) Pubs - what can I say - but it's nice to be back home and have a pint in the local, prices are still cheaper than Aus (naturally depending where you live) Beer - I do miss having a bit of variety and some of the aussie beers and I hate the fact so many beers in the UK are still in cans.. It just doesn't taste the same and annoyingly Fosters is still huge over here.. When will they wisen up... Wine - Great selection here of world wines and ALL at reasonable prices as well. Even the Aus wines (usual brands like Lindemans, Jacobs Creek etc), Kiwi Oyster Bay etc are very similarly priced as well.. Actually I think the Oyster Bay SB is cheaper here (BONUS !!) Immigration in the UK seems to be at an all time high and seems really overpopulated - far too many people in areas. Crime rates seem to have risen, which is only natural as the population increases. Interest rates are low, but inflation is at an all time high and the economy isn't as stable as it could be. Quite a few big names going out of business and job losses in the 1000s happening, whilst some industries seem to be picking up.. If you plan to move to an area you don't know, check out www.police.uk as a website that was launched a few years ago to show crime rates in different areas and the level of crime as well - always handy to know.. Well probably a bit of a longer post than I thought it was going to be, but to end. I don't regret going to Aus and I don't regret moving back to the UK, we all do things for different reasons and at the end of the home is where the heart is. So if you are thinking of coming back, good luck and make sure you're coming back for the right reasons..
  4. Looking at houses in that area now having rented in Lota and had a look around Wynnum and Manly etc. Seems we can get more for our money the further away from the city (obviously), know that longer to get to South Bank from Petrie (with 1 change) and a 10 min drive to station possibly. But only working 3 days come the new year and worth it to have a bigger house with a bigger pool and more land for the kids to play but are the schools good & is there a good sense of community there? All views welcomed. Thanks Claire :-) x
  5. Hi Guys, I promised a few friends back home that I would keep a daily blog and send it to them thought it may be of interest to some of you... maybe a bit long winded !!! :notworthy: Tuesday 8th June Well the day has arrived! I get up at 1.30 am after a mammoth 2 hours sleep and get a little wired off coffee. I have been staying with my parents for a week and a half before the move and mum had been up all night – she is probably very worried and apprehensive. We set off to Manchester airport at 2.30am and get to Manchester in reasonable time to check in for the flight to Heathrow, managed to check in 24kg’s even though the weight restriction was 20kg.. Result!! I am now sat in the departure lounge, and have just left mum and dad at the gate. They didn’t make a big song and dance, which was great as with me being overly tired I could have got quite emotional – it was a nice farewell and more of a “see you soon” It was hard enough leaving Grandma yesterday in floods of tears, it would have been tough to do it again. I have just seen the plane I am travelling to Heathrow on- and have necked 3 x calms ! I am not a great flyer and its not very big at all ! Just arrived at Heathrow the plane wasn’t the one I thought it would be… phew ! The flight was only 35 minutes, which is still making me laugh, you couldn’t drive from Ilkley to Leeds in that ! I met a lovely lady on the plane; she was an accountant for companies such as Pepsi and Persil – quite a big wig! Turns out she is on the same Quantas flight as me; she is going to Singapore on business and is getting off when we stop to refuel. She goes on to say that she has done a lot of travelling with work and Sydney is by far her favourite city, she gets all excited for me which is nice ! She said that she would love to have done what I am doing, however has kids now and said that she thought I was very brave to do it on my own and that she admires me as she doesn’t think she would be able to do it as a 28 year old single gal, this, coming from someone like her felt like a real compliment – we went for a coffee on arrival at Heathrow then she went off to lord it up in first class – only £5k for a ticket to Singapore !! might do that next time yar !! So I go off and pay £6 for a bacon and egg sandwich and smoke my head off, sat having a coffee on my own – I love being at airports on my own and in fact flying on my own it always makes me feel really independent. I am still not feeling a rush of emotion which I expected, I don’t feel scared, worried or not even that this is a big deal – it just feels like the norm-this is a little strange I am thinking, I have had people crying on me as I leave and I have not faltered once ! Just seen the plane for the long haul it’s a Airbus A380, I swear to all the gods I have never seen anything like this before – it’s a double decker and one of the engines is the size of my old house !! I have got on, and no one sitting next to me… got 3 seats to myself, so make a make shift bed and neck a couple of nytol ! Quantas are an amazing airline, so helpful they can’t do enough for you, its 12.5 hours to Singapore. Wed 9th June Just got to Singapore, that was the best flight ever – I slept for most of it (which I never do) due to my makeshift bed - great lunch but missed breakfast as I was asleep ! Its hot and humid in Singapore, we have an hour here off the plane then I think 9 hours on to Sydney. On the flight now, captain has said its only going to be 6.5 hours, that’s great !!! I look a right mess; don’t know how I am going to pull myself round to meet my new boss who is picking me up at the airport I meet john at the airport (new boss) we were the only ones looking lost ! Customs was easy, very friendly and straight through. He got my stuff in the car, and Liz (manager) had given him a bag of shopping for me, which is lovely and much appreciated – the basics like toothpaste, milk, eggs, bread, spreads stuff like that. It takes about 15 mins from Airport, and its freezing!!! It’s nice though, one thing I was worrying about missing was the crisp air we get in the UK, I didn’t know if the air was going to feel humid and clammy – it feels good, just like an Autumn morning. The city looks beautiful! The vivid light festival is on, so there are random buildings and bridges lit up with pictures, it looks amazing. Get to the apartment, its lovely and modern and nice and clean – VERY central, the opera house is just round the back. Manage to get unpacked and get a shower, into bed at 11pm and try to combat any Jet lag. Thurs 10th June Woke up at 4am, my body clock will be all over. I wake up feeling excited. Got a shower and put full make up and done hair, I feel you may have to in Sydney! Firstly I went to Vodafone and got a Sim for my phone, its $29 but you get $159 worth of credit and have to use it within a month – at first I was very confused, but this is actually really good – cheap calls internationally as well so can phone the family tonight, I know mum and grandma will be wondering how I am getting on. Next I go to Commonwealth bank, I set up an account from the UK so just needed to take in my passport and pick up bank card, they are lovely and so helpful the lady sets me up with internet banking and applies for a visa for me. Then I go down to the office, to pop in and say hello and to meet everyone, and also to give them my new number. Had a chat with Liz about areas to live, which helped. Next I go to wander round the city, it’s a really cold wind, will need a scarf tomorrow as I can feel it hitting my throat and its making it sore – so I go to a convenience store to use the internet, find some apartments in Prymont and Darling harbour which are nice, so might as well go there for a look around. I walk down to the Circular Quay where the ferries and trains are and there is a ferry in 15 mins there, buy a ticket for $5.80, its weird the ferries are just like buses and you can even call a water taxi. Going out in the harbour on the ferry gives you amazing views of the Opera house and Harbour Bridge, its really warm now – they said it was going to be about 16deg but feels hotter. I cant believe how chilled out Sydney is, I had visions of over crowding with tourists, its really not bad at all. Get off at Pyrmont and have a walk around the harbour and town is lovely, quite touristy but lots of bars and nice restaurants I think the fact the suns blazing helps – anywhere is nice when its warm ! I could defiantly live here though, it feels a little like San Francisco, all leafy hilly roads leading down to the harbour, I sit and have a coffee and take it all in, while calling some of the apartments that I have found – none answer and leave messages to try and view. I can walk to work from here, and also get the train, bus or ferry quite easily to anywhere so that’s cool, going to go and check out Newtown tomorrow another suburb close to the city, but its not near the water I don’t think. Get the ferry back to circular quay and walk back to apartment, only 5 mins walk. Just going to chill out tonight, there is loads to do but don’t want to spend any money until I get work started and get paid, so just going to take it steady there is plenty of time to see it all ! Think I will call the parents and grandparents on my new phone ! Great day, and I really feel safe and happy here… I can see myself being settled. Friday 11th June. Just woken up, its 5am… good ! I used to get up really early back home so don’t think this is any different really. Just text a few people, and had a coffee while looking over the train map.. I got a text last night from someone I met through the Poms in Oz website and there are a group meeting up on Sunday… how exciting, its going to be great to meet people that are in a similar situation. I am going to get the train to Newtown today, and have a look around then maybe head down to Elizabeth bay, and double bay – other areas I am thinking about living in… looking forward to seeing the beach ! Well just got back, went to Newtown – it was a little town in itself.. very grungy there were a lot of people with dreadlocks and different coloured shoes or socks… and an incredible amount of people talking to themselves. The shops were what I like to call “shops of crap” very quaint but just sold absolutely loads of nothing…there are some really cool coffee shops there though and probably more pub type pubs than you would find nearer the city.. Although with the amount of people shouting at themselves, I am not overly sure I would feel safe here coming home from a night out, I set down in an internet café thing and start the flat search AGAIN,. I have called over 40 apartments and not got a single reply so far, apart from one guy who said “ I am on a mission from God and expect my new flatmate to join me” thought it best to leave that one. I find a flat in Pyrmont, sharing with one girl called Jessica, double bedroom, own bathroom looks cool - $380 a week…With a gym and pool - well worth a look – I get excited about the area as I head back – I walked down through botanic gardens for the first time, and they are stunning, the Kookuburrows are just hanging out like pigeons would in the UK and they even landed on me, the bats in the trees are the size of cats, and I actually found them quite sweet, as they were trying to hide their eyes from the sun,,, I did have spiders in the back of my mind though… a lot of trees… mm best get out of here. I walked down through darling harbour to Prymont - I love darling harbour its cool and they are starting the soccer fest for the world cup tonight and there are loads of big screens in the harbour and floating footballs its very festival like and looks ace. Just been to see the apartment, that’s going to be a no go!!! It was sharing with a Chinese girl in a two bed, but she also had her sister living there too, they couldn’t really speak English and just followed me around while I looked, the apartment was a pig sty and very basic for the money they are asking for. The gym and pool were not in the same building and you had to walk 15 mins to them, I didn’t even bother looking I think basically they wanted the rent to cover her sister staying there for free. So now I am going to go an buy an internet dongle, I need to put more effort into the flat search obviously and my two snatched hours at internet cafes wont do ! I buy one for $80 with Optus at a newsagents and it has 1gb of whatever on it… (don’t get it) and I am going to go home, phone mum and grandma and get on with the search. Sat 12th June, Woke up at 7.30am.. a bit of a lie in for me ! I get straight on the internet and find flats that are perfect, until I see the last line which will say something very dodgy. Looking on Gumtree, domain and real estate and also signed up to roommate and flatmate.com Find 4 in Pyrmont, speak to them and it’s a no go, all gone. So, right, I am going to have to go further out – originally I wanted to be by the beach – so lets go back to that.. I find 20 in bondi and 2 in double bay.. I called and text all of them, no reply apart from the one in double bay.. he just said this is the address meet you there at 2.30 today – very arrogant. Ok well that’s fine, I will go look around double bay. Got the ferry over there, and walked around – it reminded me of France a little bit, its very designer orientated and has a strong café culture. There were teenagers dressed up to the nines in chanel, or whatever other designer, meeting for a coffee, mmm when I was that age I was necking a bottle of hooch at the train station ?!?! Beautiful town though, and I walk down to the beach, which is small but lovely, there is a sea pool thing called red leaf that you walk to through a garden and its stunning – yes I could live there. So I found the apartment, and it looks lovely outside, quite an old fashioned building – but clean and has character – I started thinking to myself – this is it… nice area, not a bad commute to work lovely pool and beach,., great. All the flat needed were a few basics, i/e clean, and reasonable size and I would take it there and then. The guy showed up (still arrogant) and took me in, well damn me if I wasn’t launched with a short sharp shock back to 1920 ! It smelt damp, there was no light, had carpets that were covered in mud, sofas that were filthy, I couldn’t wait to get out of there and get home to get a shower. Feeling VERY deflated, I head down into the town, I thought buggar it I am going to blow some cash that I cant afford on lunch, so I sit with the trendy people and have 2 glasses of wine and a chicken ceaser salad – which I have to say was amazing $40 please…. As I am sat there wondering where to look next and wondering what the hell to do I get a text, it’s the ONE apartment this morning in Bondi that I was really keen for… Sharing with a girl called Sarah and she seems normal, the room is only $240 a week and its right over the road from the beach, the only thing that has worried me about this area is the commute to the CBD but hey, beggars cant be choosers and at least if I can find somewhere decent for when my works apartment is up on the 24th for a few months, then I can relax and actually concentrate on starting this new job, in a different market, with different colleagues in a different country !! ha ha… So I am going to see that at 12 tomorrow and hopefully we can put that to bed and get sorted.watch this space… :biggrin:
  6. To house Australia's growing population urban planners are saying we must start raising families in apartment blocks and high-rises. But are we ready to change the Australian dream? We want to hear from young couples and young families about where you've chosen to live and why? The INSIGHT program hosted by Jenny Brockie on SBS TV is exploring the future of housing in Australia (www.sbs.com.au/insight). Do you prefer city living, or do you like suburban life? Are you moving? We want to talk to first home buyers and people who are looking to buy for the first time. We also want to talk to people who are still renting and who are finding housing affordability an issue. Email Associate Producer Kyle Taylor at: kylet@sbs.com.au
  7. Just wondering if some information can be provided bu successful applicants on the types of questions they were asked when interviewed or even if they were interviewed? cheers
  8. I am going to be moving to Australia to attend the University of Melbourne. I will be earning a masters degree in Education Administration and I am attempting to create some sort of living situation for when I arrive. I have already had some offers of some people that live in Roxburgh Park. I would be arriving around July 5th and I have a lot of things that I need to work on when I arrive before my semester starts on July 23, 2008. I am hoping to find a job, purchase a vehicle, and simply settle in to a long-term living situation. I am 25 years old and I'm a Language Arts teacher and a soccer coach for a competitive club team in Texas. Most of my time is spent working with youth groups and enjoying time with my friends. I really love all types of music and I come from a very large and multi-cultural family of 5 brothers and 1 sister. Money is going to be an issue and I'd like to find a living situation that would appeal to my situation. I don't know where else to go with this but the ideal job would be part-time with professional pay to allow for necessary studying, traveling, and cultural experiences. If there's anyone who lives in Melbourne, Australia that could help me out with some advice or direction I'd really appreciate it. Thanks for reading! Sincerely, -Drew
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