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    Irish and English couple, aged 33 and 29. Living in Melbourne for 4 years, we both met out here 3 years ago. Recently applied and granted permanent residency. 
     
    Our plan was to stay for another 2 years to get citizenship and then move back home to get married and start a family. We would then have the flexibility to move back to Australia in our late 30's / early 40's (e.g. when the children are ready for school). 
     
    The complication for us is the recent change from 2 years to 4 years to apply for citizenship. It makes decisions about where and when to get married, buy a house and start a family a lot harder. 
     
    We are also struggling with getting good, unbiased advice (for example; family want us back home, friends in Australia want us to stay etc). A lot of peoples point of view doesn't go deeper than the immediate, emotional layer and we need to try and move beyond this. 
     
    We would like some thoughts on two options we are currently working through:
     
    1. Move back to UK or Ireland within the next few months, with the plan to return within the 5 yr return visa allowed with permanent residency. During our time at home we would likely buy a house and get married (maybe have a child or wait until we get back to Australia - tbc!). On return, we would be settling in Australia and get our citizenship this route. We like this option as our preference is to spend our 30's back with close friends and family. There is obviously a risk with this option that we would not return (and most of our friends believe we won't).
     
    2. We stay for the 4 years and get our citizenship (at this stage we would be 38 and 34). After we get our passport we would likely head back to UK / Ireland for a number of years. During the 4 years, we would want to get married, put our savings down (e.g. buy a house or shares) and maybe even have a child. We would likely organise the wedding from Australia but go back to get married in the UK. On the plus side, we are here now and we will get to citizenship quicker. On the downside, we won't be able to spend these important years with friends and family. 
     
    Overall, we only know life as a couple living in Australia (as we met here). So although we love it, we don't know what a life would be like living back in UK or Ireland. Add in buying a house, getting married and starting a family during this time - and the decision gets more complex!
     
    Thoughts?! What else should we be thinking about to help our decision? 

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    I'm not clear why you would want to return now and for the short term?  You've already left your family - are they sick and needing support now or is that a bit further down the track perhaps?  Where do you see yourselves living out the rest of your days (not that I am a great one for "forever" decisions) - are you planning on it being in Australia or UK? 

    Personally, I can't see much point in returning to UK for a short stay unless you have a burning reason to go there - you might (and who knows what the exchange rate will be!) be in a better position to stay for 5 years, have a munchkin or two, save up enough that you could buy a house if you wanted to return, get your citizenship in the process as belt and braces then decide where you plan for the longer term and where the best opportunities may be for you. You can go back for a wedding without going back for a long period so there's nothing stopping you getting married in UK, you don't actually have to be living there at the time.

    Having kids often does skew a family's perception though and many women find it hard to manage being mums without their mums around - you just have to be very independent and self sufficient really and probably more than a little selfish (not in a pejorative sense). 

    Bottom line, it's what you guys think is best for you - if you love Australia then who cares what anyone in Britain says?  If you love Britain then who cares what anyone in Australia says, both are first world countries, both have great opportunities and both have the same problems that beset all first world countries.

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    Hi guys,

    I have pingponged back and forward a few times between Dublin and Sydney.  Moving countries is a big deal, particularly when you are starting to get settled and as you get older.  Doing so twice in 5 years is difficult as you won't settle properly in the inbetween period.  Also it is bloody expensive, both financially and emotionally.  I returned to Sydney in 2011 at 37 and it takes longer to settle back in (c.18 months).

    To help with you decision-making do a pro's and cons list for each option.  Items to consider may include family, careers, quality of life, finances, costs, healthcare (particularly in planning a baby), Bexit impacts (both good - eg currency for AUD and bad - earning in GBP if UK, job losses, uncertainty)  

    I think if you move "home" now there is a high chance that you will get settled in Ireland/UK and will lose your PR.  I know a few people who did this and they have always regretted it.

    You say that you are enjoying life in Melbourne right now.  IMO, carry on in Melbourne and live for the moment.  The new citizenship rules are not yet law and there is resistence to them in the senate.  There may be a row back on them and it will be only 1 year as a PR to get your citizenship (the current rules).  Stay, enjoy life, get your citizenship and then re-assess.

    Kids will change everything though.  I will say that the Healthcare (& maternity care) in Australia is fantastic.

    So option 2 for me of the ones above.  I think at least wait until the citizenship laws are passed (in whatever form) so you are making a more informed decision.  Kids are the gamechanger and it would be good to be settled somewhere by the time they start school (which gives you plenty of time).

    Good luck

     

     

     

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    On 9/11/2017 at 21:21, Coupleinoz said:

     

    1. Move back to UK or Ireland within the next few months, with the plan to return within the 5 yr return visa allowed with permanent residency.

    I also wonder why you want to move back? What are the pressing reasons? If you move back to homeland, with a plan to then move back to Australia after five years, I agree with a poster above who thinks you may not settle as you'll always be on 'borrowed time' in the UK/Ireland. It will be 'in between' time. The financial and emotional cost will be big, although I can understand wanting to be near family. The financial cost could be used towards a house/settling in Australia, or towards living in motherland.  If you plan to move back, buy a house and perhaps have a child, that usually can make you feel very much rooted to the place you're in (unless desperately unhappy of course).

    Of course you could do all of this and be deliriously happy. Who knows!

    I think you do need to write a pros and cons list. Find out the real reason you want to return - would an extended holiday suffice? You say you love it in Australia, what are your real reasons for wanting to return. UK, Australia and Ireland (from what I've seen) are all similar (and different!) in many ways. All very livable lovely first world countries.

    I do feel for you. It's hard once you've lived somewhere else to know where you really want to live again. It's a blessing, and perhaps a curse, but an adventure nonetheless.

    All the best with your decision.


    I believe that one of the modern forms of bravery is to say, OK I will start again from scratch.

    Doing something new, learning new things requires great strength, great humility and great courage.

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    Thanks Quoll, Collie and Ozzie - we really appreciate your input. 

    Let us try and answer the recurring question as to why we want to move back to UK or Ireland....
    1. Neither of us moved to Australia with the intention of it becoming our long-term home. As we met in Australia, we would like to try living in UK or Ireland to see what life is like there together. 
    2. We haven't properly met / spent quality time with each other's family and friends that have informed a large part of our lives. We think now / in our 30's is a good time to be close to friends and family (moving into a new stage of life, holidays together, sharing the important moments etc). 
    3. When starting a family, it would be good to have the support of close family and friends in the initial years. Allowing our children to spend time with their family before bringing them back to Australia to properly settle / start school. 
    4. Don't necessarily want Australia to be our immediate long term home (although we do want it as an option for the future), we still want to travel / explore living in other places. There will be greater travel opportunities around Europe, with easier access to Africa / America etc. 
    Our ideal scenario would be to leave in the next few months, enjoy 6 - 8 years in Europe / marry / travel / start a family and then move back in late 30's / early 40's to settle in Australia. We have loved the last 4 years but do feel we are ready for the next adventure before the need to properly put down a home and family. It's not to say that staying in Australia wouldn't be another "adventure", it would just be a different one. 
     
    We will map out a decision framework as you have suggested and use all the inputs we have got to date to help. Thanks again, much appreciated. 
     
    P.s. any further input is welcome! 

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    Hi again @Coupleinoz that does make it clearer. Sounds like a lot of thought and consultation has gone into this and it's perhaps the right decision for you to spend some time getting to know each other's families and exploring Europe. Moving children back sounds reasonably straight forward and simple - however once the kids and their grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins have gotten used to each other it's no mean feat... and it can be very daunting with no help in a foreign country. Doable absolutely yes, daunting perhaps. It will be a totally different experience to being a couple abroad. Although obviously people do this every day all over the world.

    I guess you don't know what will happen in the future anyway, so why not put plans into place. It's just the logistics of 'could we return with visas/citizenship' that remains - other much much more knowledgeable people on here will be able to answer no doubt. If I was in this boat I would choose to stay and obtain citizenship - you've put in the time already - easier to stay on for a bit. With that plan I would use the next two years to save as much as possible. You could always plan a slightly extended holiday to get to know the families better - albeit it not as well if you lived there of course. I'm presuming here the families are in Ireland and the UK? If so, there will be annual leave and travel (etc) costs involved anyway getting to know families between the two countries - obviously not as expensive as travelling back from Australia. Have you decided where (Ireland or UK) you would move to?

    One thing - I'm sure you've thought of this, leaving in a few months will mean arriving into winter :-) (which I happen to love but many don't!).

    Edited by Ozzie

    I believe that one of the modern forms of bravery is to say, OK I will start again from scratch.

    Doing something new, learning new things requires great strength, great humility and great courage.

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    It sounds as if the mind and intent is already known. Without kids the world is your oyster though. If you feel so put to return to UK/Ireland just do it and see as much in between. The free caring days are short lived for many.

    If Australia retains a possible future attraction, then possibly best to secure citizenship first ,as few things can be relied on to remain longer term. If not an issue, just go and carve out new paths. A great time in life to find oneself. Enjoy and discover the path unknown.

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    Yep - I agree with Ozzie.

    Get you citizenship, then re-assess.

    1st thing - Australia is neutral where you met and are on common ground.  If you move to UK/Ireland, 1 party will be at home and 1 party will be starting anew, it may upset the equilbrium.  1 party will look to fall back in with their circle of family and friends and the other party will be trying to fit in with that.

    The other big thing is that you have been away for 4 years, life moves on for your family and friends while you have been away.  When you are home on a visit, people make an effort to come out and spend time with you to catch up etc.  they suspend normal life to see you. 

    I moved back to Dublin at 33 ("for good"), I had (and still have) a great circle of friends.  It still took a while to settle back in, people all move on with careers, relationships and kids etc.  My mates at home now all have young kids and they don't get out for a few drinks/meal every week (once a month if they are lucky).  They mostly catch up at a weekly Weds night footie game.  It was and is very different to when we were in our 20's when we would have a gang away every couple of weekends etc  Often, they have told me that the last time that had a big night out was the last time I was home.  Thanks to whatapp and included intl calls, quite often I would have spoken to mates in Ireland more frequently that they would with each other.  I kept my old friends but also had to develop new friends (friends of friends) to socialise with when living there.  I was lucky in that an old friend returned from Canada around the same time and we hung out a lot together (no kids at the time so we had time for golf, trips, socialising etc).  He experienced the same as me and was looking to return to Canada within a year (quite difficult with his job as it is very specialised).

    You are at the age when your social circles will be having weddings and babies.  That changes the group dynamics you used to have.  Weddings are great for catching up with people as often the whole gang will be there.

    I have an English friend who lives in Singapore and his siblings are all over the world (some in Europe, some in the US).  They try to organise a holiday once a year somewhere new for them all so they have a shared experience together and evrybody gets a holiday.  Always thought it was a great idea.

    If the long term goal is to get settle in Australia, then I recommend getting your citizenship first.  I got mine in 2007 and wasn't planning on returning to Australia as quickly as I did, but it was about having options for myself and (at that point) future children.  Thanks to the GFC, I took the option to return in 2011.  Without my citizenship that option may not have been open to me.

    i suspect one of you has a real itch to move back for the reasons you have outlined and the other person is open.  At least see what the law changes are going to be (should have some clarity in 6 months) and then reassess.

      

     

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    I'm all in favour of adventure so go with it! You do know what they say though, "life is what happens while you are busy making other plans".  Australia may, or may not, end up being in your future so, as long as you wouldn't be devastated if life turned you in a different direction and you never returned, then it will all be good!  

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    TBH if you have no kids at present and want to go experience each others country and get to know each others family and friends, I can't see any reason to not give it a go. 

    As has been said though, much can change and where you envision ending up may not be how it pans out 5 years or so down the road. Once kids come along so much changes and other factors could play into it also. I'd keep an open mind, make the move, go where you feel happiest after a bit of research into employment and other things and see how it goes. Unless you really have strong feelings about returning to Aus at X point, be prepared to be fluid about this move and perhaps don't have a time stamp on it. Could be you want to return sooner, or not at all. 

     

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    Or could be you discover not necessary strong desire after a lot of thought to have kids? Many do these days. Sure leaves the route for navigational changes on al levels wide open.

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    1 hour ago, snifter said:

    TBH if you have no kids at present and want to go experience each others country and get to know each others family and friends, I can't see any reason to not give it a go. 

    As has been said though, much can change and where you envision ending up may not be how it pans out 5 years or so down the road. Once kids come along so much changes and other factors could play into it also. I'd keep an open mind, make the move, go where you feel happiest after a bit of research into employment and other things and see how it goes. Unless you really have strong feelings about returning to Aus at X point, be prepared to be fluid about this move and perhaps don't have a time stamp on it. Could be you want to return sooner, or not at all. 

     

    Snifter is quite on the mark with this advice,   we're a similar couple,  anglo-Irish and Anglo-Aussie,  Oz for 14  odd years and now back in UK, east sussex to be precise. 

    4 years is a long time to commit and wait for citizenship, likewise does citizenship give you anything more than a PR in terms of rights of travel,  it is a choice that removes or diminishes all other options for you at this stage.

    We loved Oz, lived our time there, kids have Eu-Oz passports (don't talk about brexit!!)  , in other words options are there, and that is what you must try and maintain as life changes hugely when kids come along.  Our kids are loving europe, two years back in June and they've thrived.  I particularly like the university fees.

     

     

     

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    When I was a kid, it seemed like they made something new every day. Some, gadget or idea, like every day was Christmas. But six billion people, just imagine that. And every last one of them trying to have it all…........

     

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    My only comment would be not to make long term plans on returning to Aus based on the rules as they are at the moment.  You know from experience with the proposed changes to citizenship that that chances are that the rules will change.  If you spend 8 years out of Aus - you may or may not be granted a 5 year RRV, or they may say you have no ties and grant you a 1 year RRV  .. but in 8 years time, the RRV may not even exist.

     

     

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    I just want PIO to be a happy place where people are nice to each other and unicorns poop rainbows

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    We have been here 5 years, we came when we were in our early 40's with three kids. I couldn't have imagined coming out here what the emotional toil would be on our children who had to leave cousins and family and friends behind. They have settled well now though and we are here permanently (we have all just got Citizenship) We decided to come here and not look back, the emotional and financial cost was so high we couldn't go through it again. Just don't think about future plans too much as everything changes, think about what is important now, one step at a time. Good luck!


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