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  1. Vetassess does not assesses job less than 6 months does DIAC accept this? If I don't show any information about 5 months job done earlier could it be shown later in final application in DIAC. Does this mis match in two different organization from a same person create any processing problem???? that jobs added to fetch 3 yrs requirement plz give this info ASAP and help to take decision what to do
  2. 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.
  3. 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:
  4. Hi all.... Been in Caloundra for 16 months and for the last few months had an itch to go home. Its not home sickness at all, Blackpool is a dump and Caloundra is fabulous i just cannot shake the feeling that life is carrying on in the Uk and i am in some kinda limbo out here missing everything, plus the night life is tragic....thought i would not care, turns out i do......A lot. Bored.com Colette x
  5. Hi I thought I would give an update of our 6 month anniversary. Very long sorry. Some of you may know, we originally sold everything in UK and made the move to Gold Coast in Jan 09. Well we only lasted 6 weeks as hubby hated it. The main reasons were, he never researched anything about Queensland. He did have a look on internet at Adelaide as his mum had visited there and he listened to some of her stories. He thought he was oing on holiday and also his boss from UK was phonin him every couple of days telling him to come back cos they all missed him. Well in the 6 weeks we also flew to Adelaide and stayed a few days. Sorry but i really didnt like it there. Far too quiet. Well 6 weeks later we returned back to UK and stayed with my mum & dad. Got our boys enrolled in new schools in the area. Had a real struggle getting a place for our eldest. I had to go an see an MP and have an appeal. Well he got in. A few months later, hubby decided he would like to give Oz another go. He went on his own and stayed 10 weeks. Loved it this time but really struggled for work and with christmas approaching he came back. Well we saved and saved and finally made the move on 27th november 2010. We flew with Singapore airlines and they were good. We arrived on Sunday evening and stayed at Ashmore Palms. We bought a car on Tuesday. We had medicare sorted, bank account, driving licence already so no need for us to stress about them. We planned to stay at Ashmore Palms until after christmas and booked for 8 weeks. Our boys met the friends they had made previously who live permantly at Ashmore. Hubby got a job and started on 21st December. Well we were set on Pacific Pines so looked at a few rentals. Everytime we went there, it didnt feel right. Also lads at hubby's work put him off saying how rough it is. Friends of ours who lived there told us that high school is rubbish and that primary school is full of bogan kids. Locals on Ashmore Palms also didnt have anything positive to say about the place and I think it really put us off. We visited Sunshine Coast a few times and everytime we loved it. Loved Mountain Creek. Hubby had applied for a job in Caloundra the last time he was over. Well, just before christmas he got an email off them asking if he wanted a job there. We felt it was fate and that we belonged on Sunshine Coast. We secured a lovely rental in Mooloolaba, it was a waterfront house with pool for $430 per week. The house was a little tatty but the location was amazing. We moved in on 21st January and our boys started Mountain Creek high and state schools in years 10 & 4. Our youngest loved school in UK and here he was really struggling. It was a big school with 1200 pupils. Most days he would have an headache or tummy ache and didnt want to go. Eldest never into school in UK or here. He was same. He would go in school and then they would telephone me to say he is ill and send him home. In the meantime hubby was commuting daily to his job on Gold Coast as the Caloundra job still hadnt happened. It was a 4-5 hour round trip every day setting off at 4:30am and not getting home until 6:00pm. He was exhausted. Eventually Caloundra job called for him to start. He took a week's holiday from Gold Coast job. Well he did 2 days at Caloundra. They offered him $25 per hour for 3 months then review. On his first day, they said they had made a mistake and it was $19 per hour. A total joke. Well he went back down the road again to Gold Coast. I managed to get a job but with our youngest struggling at school, I felt really guilty. Hubby colapsed at work and was taken to hospital who said he was suffering with exhaustion. We decided as there were no jobs on Sunshine coast and my wage was rubbish, we would have to move back to Gold Coast. We broke our lease and moved back to Gold Coast. We stayed a few days at our friends at Coomera Waters. Wow, its brilliant there. Its a secure estate with security patrolling, gym and 2 pools. We would have loved to live there but its too far out. I wouldnt be able to get boys to school as I dont drive and no shops nearby. Shame because it was very nice. Well, we went back to Ashmore Palms and are staying in a new cabin there. We are doing month to month. Its very modern and spacious and we have put some of our own furniture in. Got the boys enrolled at Ashmore State school and Benowa High school. Well our youngest is a different child. He is so withdrawn and sad. He cried every day going to school and hates it. Hubby took him last week and he was shaking so much, he brought him home. We have contacted school and well they not bothered. He is not going back there and we have withdrawn him. Oldest doesnt really have much to say about Benowa but thats just him. Hubby is still in same job and really busy. He is working 14 hour days and weekends so we dont see much of him. We have decided that we will be returning to UK before start of new school year in September. I have contacted UK schools and they can both have there places back. We like Australia but just dont feel its for us. Maybe moving about has done it but we really dont like the Gold Coast. We feel the grass isnt always greener. Jill xxx
  6. Well, I will try to keep it as short as possible...just a quick recap of previous posts. We came out to Melbourne on a 457 visa in Feb, we sold up everything in the UK apart from my toolbox and set about building a new life in Oz. We didnt have much a of a budget but we did as much research as possible and we were sure that we could do it. We arrived to an empty house and a small amount of money to get started, first up was furniture, we used gumtree (Classifieds – Gumtree Melbourne Free Classified Ads – Gumtree Melbourne Online Community) and tried to get as much as we could from there, the main problem we encountered was having no way of collecting the items. We then turned to Fantastic Furniture (http://www.fantasticfurniture.com.au/default.aspx) we ended up getting a furniture package from them, it was $2k but we had most of the furniture we needed, we used Ikea for the kids beds. We found a 1994 Ford Falcon for $2k with Rego and RWC. Since then its been one hell of a ride! We got a tax rebate and used the money to get the car converted to LPG, its saving us a small fortune. My wife has tried in vain to get a job, with 2 children (2 and 4) she could only do casual hours and was competing with students who are cheaper to employ. However, things at my work have gone really well, I had a review after three months which went well, then last week I was promoted. We have settled in really well, made some great friends and work with some brilliant people. We feel like we are at home here, the kids love the space and the weather, the lifestyle is perfect for us and we love the surrounding areas to us here in Berwick. Now we are just a couple of weeks away from Christmas and the kids are getting excited, we are struggling to get into the Christmas feel as we are not used to this weather at this time of year. I guess the moral of my little adventure is: Do your research into living costs and really try to work things out before you leave the UK, adapt to the Aussie way of life, join in - dont sit it out and complain about how things are done here. Work hard and again accept the difference from the UK. It CAN be done on a tight budget, get out here, live the dream and love life. Dont be put off by those saying you need $40+k, Im not saying they are wrong, to them for what they wanted thats the right budget, however, if you are willing to make sacrifices and start at the bottom and work your way up then you can do it. Australia has been a revelation to us, we have settled in so well and we are so glad we bit the bullet and made the move, I hope in some way my story will inspire others to go for what they believe in, make the choice and have no regrets. Terry
  7. Guest

    Back to the UK after 5 months.

    Hello. I am new to the forum but would like to share my experience with everyone warts and all. After 2 years of waiting to come to Brisbane we finally arrived in Nov.We left a great life in the UK, jobs, family, friends, etc hoping Oz would offer so much more. The wife did show concerns; massive hit on our house so sold for alot less, raising mortgage and house prices in Brisbane and were we too old for the move (both in our 40's). 2 teenage children that we wondered if they will settle but we (especially me) went with the flow saying it will be ok. 5 months on it isn't for me or my daughter. I have been struggling for weeks with the change and know in my heart I got more wrapped up in the adventure of coming over than the reality. Im not a hot weather lover or beach person (why come to Australia, you may ask. I really don't know!!). We came over with little money due to circumstances and now are in a position of not having enough money even to put down on a nice house, never mind affording the mortgage payment that would take 50% plus of our income a week. We have never had this issue and is affecting me greatly. My wife likes it here and son does but if we are struggling what life is that!! For the sake of my mental health and general wellbeing we have decided to return. If we go back soon the kids can get back in their school and not interfere too much with my sons GCSE's. Job wise we will have to start looking again but fingers crossed. The houses are still low in South Yorkshire so can get on the property ladder ok. We still have some money over in the UK because we dare not bring it over because of the poor exchange rates. I am not knocking Australia. It is a lovely country with lower crime and better weather (if you like sun). Would it be better for my children, I don't know. My son was doing really well in the UK and we did not have a bad life. The education here doesn't seem better and asking around the uni's are not as good as the UK. 3 things I would recommend for people who are thinking of emigrating; 1. Bring alot of money. Brisbane is soo expensive and house/rental is going through the roof. 2. Come when you are young and so are your kids. 3. If you are happy with life where you are, stick to it. Don't try and mend something that is not broken. I know 5 months is not long but we need to go back soon to get our lifes back on track and not mess the kids education up. This experience has taught me how much I do love my wife, my family and happiness for us was right there in front of us, not at the other side of the world.
  8. Hi Guys, Just a quick message, to ask if someone could tell me if the 12 month working holiday visas counts towards anything regarding Migration. As me and the missis have had a 12 months working holiday visa, and are granted another. So when the time comes for me and the missis to move would any of that information i.e 2 years living & working in australia count towards anything @ all??
  9. Hey all, first post so go easy on me :wink: Our story: We came to Oz in April 2004 on a scouting holiday after living and breathing moving to Oz for 18 months. Managed to grab some interviews while here and after being back in the UK for a couple of months we got a call asking when I could start. So.....we arrived in Melbourne in March 2005 and I have worked for the same employer for all of the six and a half years we have been here. The first 18 months were very hard, but we listened to others telling us - Yep its hard at first you'll get past it don't worry. Well we have come to the conclusion that although we have a good lifestyle, double storey house, flat screens etc etc - it means nothing when your eleven year old son can't even talk to his grandma over the phone becaue he falls apart.....bless him he hasn't spoken to any cousins in four years now. My wife is doing it hard also, school holidays, public holidays, but mostly Christmas - well it isn't Christmas really as far as we are concerned - it isn't cold for a start and there's no family around more importantly. So with all of this in mind, and after some soul searching we had made the decision that family and friends come first and so we are going to move back to the UK whether I have a job or not. I cannot stand the thought of my wife and two kids not being happy.....wow glad I've got that off my chest :biggrin: Ideally, we'd like to move back to our old village (Berkhamsted, Herts) but I guess we'll have to be within an hour or so drive (for me) of where I would hopefully find work. I've spoken to some friends who still live around the Watford area who tell me I'm mad thinking of coming back, but they don't understand the situation here with an unhappy family. Feedback appreciated, although it won't change our minds LMAO.
  10. Guest

    6 Months in Clarkson

    Hi all, "Warning Long Post" Hope everyone is well. Just thought I would give an update on how things have been for us in the first 6 months of our new life here in Oz. It all started on 15 May 2009 when we left our friends and families back in the UK. That was not easy especially as we were leaving two of our children behind. They had the opportunity to come with us but decided not to which is a shame but may be when they come to visit they will want to stay. We landed on Australian soil in the early hours of the 17 May 2009 with nothing but a suitcase and travel bag each and $9,000 in our pocket. There are 4 of us, 2 adults and 2 teenagers. Our holiday rental was fab, nice cool pool and fully equipped for just $500 per week. The guys who own the holiday home have been fantastic in helping us start our new lives. I managed to gain employment within the first two weeks of arriving at the Real Estate Agents where we were looking for a rental. Not only did we manage to secure a rental but also I managed to secure employment. We hired a car for the first 7 weeks while we were in the holiday accommodation which was really reasonable. Then for a few months we just walked andused public transport. I will not pretend that it was easy as we were living on one income for a while but we had a place to live, a great furniture package from Fantastic Furniture, had made some friends and of course have each other. There have been times when I thought we had made a very big mistake, especially when Steve could not find work but then I thought about the reason for being here in the first place and things did not seem so bad. Kayleigh started school almost immediately and that again was not easy. During the first couple of weeks I had to drag her to school kicking and screaming. Then Liam, he could not find work. At 17 and having left school and done a year at college in the UK he was not prepared to go back to school for a year. He would just sit around all day and do nothing but watch TV and I became quite concerned for him as he did not really want to come with us and I felt guilty that I had forced him to leave his friends and life in the UK. Steve also was in a bit of a rut because he felt guilty that I was supporting the family. We could not complete our Family Allowance claim because Steve had not received his TFN despite the fact that he is the Australian citizen. Eventually 12 weeks after applying his TFN number turned up but not before I had written a letter of complaint. We were then able to apply for the Family Allowance. We did this and received confirmation of our entitlement which was backdated. Then within 4 weeks both Steve and Liam had obtained employment. It was strange because just when I was fearing the worse the change happened. I applied for finance to buy the car and got it. Liam went for his interview and got the job and then Steve all within the space of 7 days. Kayleigh has now settled at school and is doing really well. Liam has now changed jobs and we never see him as he is always out. Steve is doing OK but wishes he could get a better job but hey it's a job and it brings in the money. I have settled in to my job after a bit of a bumpy start and everything seems to be working out just fine altough a little tight but we are used to that any way. We have just this weekend moved into another rental which is fab. As I sit here enjoying the sunshine and trying to get into the Christmas spirit I realise that everything happens for a reason and there is a reason for everything. It is difficult at the moment because it is so close to Christmas and it is not cold and wet and my boys are not here nagging me about what they want but it was our decision to make this move one which I do not regret. Where in the UK would you see the wonderful wildlife that we have seen here in Oz not to mention the beautiful beaches and parks. I am almost certain that there will be tough times ahead of us but we have come this far and I am sure we can continue to strive. I suppose really my message here is that if you really really want it you can have it even on a shoestring. It will not be easy but all you need to do is be strong and believe it can happen. Wishing luck to everyone battling to get here and I sincrely hope that things work out for you all as they have for us. Kind Regards Karen :wubclub:
  11. 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
  12. Fully furnished 3 bed + study house in North Ryde, Sydney, Australia available for SWAP from January 2012 - January 2013. Professional couple in 30s with 2yo daughter looking to live in London for 12 months (ideally close to Guys Hospital but flexible) in 2+ bedroom home. Please reply to this thread if interested.
  13. 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:
  14. Guest

    How long should we give it?

    Been living here for 6 months now and I think the homesickness has well and truly set in. I knew from day 1 of arriving it didnt feel right to be here, but it is such a big move I knew it would take time and I would have to go through the whole homesickness thing. The first couple of months are not too bad as you have so much to do it takes your mind off how you are feeling. It felt like a holiday at first, my husband was looking for a job, we could spend our time exploring and spending time with the kids, eventually though reality sets it. My husband started work and I have my children in childcare part time and struggled to find any work fitting in with their hours. Also to make matters worse my qualifications and experience were not recognised here as I worked in finance and I was told to work in my field here I would have to retrain and start from scratch. Knowing I had these obstacles I thought maybe I should try and take something positive from this, I cant find part time work, I would have to retrain in finance so why not do something different. I had always fancied teaching and the thought of doing something different perked me up and I applied and was accepted to do a teaching course here. I do desperately want to go home though and this seems to take over my day and I cant seem to focus on starting a course. I want to give it longer as we spent so much time and effort in applying to come here, also my husband seems to be enjoying it so far. I dont want to ruin his dream and go back too soon. Ideally I would like to see out my course but if I know now I am not happy, would it be unrealistic for me to think I could manage another 2 years?? I know I will return at some point so I would like to say I got something positive out of being here by completing my course, it is just if I can manage another 2 years! Has anyone returned after a few months only to end up regretting it? I dont want to be too hasty but I didnt imagine homesickness could be this bad!
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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:
  20. 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
  21. 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:
  22. 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
  23. 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?
  24. 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:
  25. 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