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hi, Thought I´d give a bit of feedback on starting new life in Oz. We got our visa´s back in April, state sponsored by ACT. After trying to find work from offshore for a couple of months with no success, I took the plunge and came down leaving family back in Europe saying goodbye to friends and family. Our first choice was ACT, then maybe Adelaide, but within 24hrs of arriving I had a good good offer in Sydney. Through gritted teeth I turned it down thinking I´d hold out for ACT, etc. Two weeks later not even an interview elsewhere and I´m starting to worry.....then Sydney came back with better offer and what could I do? By the way DIAC don´t care that ACT sponsored me, I´ll explain later...! So moved to Sydney, found a cracking short term flat right on Bondi beach front for six weeks while I looked for something permanent. House hunting was not as bad as some of the stories I had heard. I only saw one house on an open day and it wasn´t great so didn´t stay long. I looked at ten other properties, all empty, view at any time, no competition. Demand isn´t great at the moment if you pick the right areas. Should explain house hunting....for me I had a limit of 500 a week, but on arrival and seeing some in this range, it went to 750....500 gets you crap in commutable areas. My method was to do a search on Domain for any house anywhere for budget with right beds, etc. then overlay the train map and narrow down the choice to those houses within 10 mins of stations. That gave me 20 or so houses in about 6 areas and they were the one I focused on. As I said, demand is low....I had nothing ready, but gave all details, refs, etc., but I know they rang my work and left message but never followed it up, so in the end I got a lease without any refs or backup. Really odd. Then I started work......to set the scene, I am a Partner level project director in the property industry. Sydney is a long hours culture....be under no illusions what so ever that you will be breakfasting on the patio and strolling to work then hitting the beach on the way home......never going to happen. Couple of my collegues swim on bondi before work...at 5.30 til 6 am....in a couple of weeks it might be daylight. For me the day starts at 5.30 and I get home at 7.30-8.00. Base hours are 8 til 6..... and you work them all, and some.. Culture is different as well, it is quite a macho environment and that includes the women ( about 40% of office are female) so the quiet english reserve needs some work. On the good side, this company supplies breakfast and I get a fruit basket (!!) daily plus papers, coffee shop and other stuff..... and on Friday afternoon, they open the beer fridge.. and you get free drinks for a few hours. Very social, the whole office stays and it is a great way to unwind and build office spirit. Works better then different groups hitting the pubs on a friday. Other stuff....credit cards and car loans were straightforward. Only big hassle so far has been driving licence. NSW RTA will not give you a licence without a sticker in your passport. DIAC hate them for it but RTA will not use the electronic system and will not accept your grant letter...sticker or nothing. And you have to do it as the driving licence is almost the most important piece of ID you will own. So had to get sticker.... went to immigration office by central station, and it took 15 mins. Chatted with officer about moving to NSW, even changed address to Sydney and they were happy. Said that the 176 visa had no restrictions therefore they were not interested. Happy I had found a job. All in Oz so far is pretty good. It is expensive, and when you understand the long hours you understand why some things are as they are. Just waiting for the family now.
Hey Everyone. Im a 22 year old Male, leaving London for Sydney next week on a 4yr 457 visa. Im so excited. Also feel guilty for leaving loved ones and dreading all the goodbyes I am going to have to do. I am going over to Sydney alone and would like to meet new people so anyone else who is in a similar position should get in touch! Cheers Gavin