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The Pom Queen

Moving Back to the UK from Australia - Positive Stories

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I have been back in the UK 3 years very soon, after about 9 in Australia. During my time there, I went from elation to loving the place and ranting about how great everything was to returning to UK when I had my baby, to returning to Australia and still liking it and raising a kid with little to no support, to then enter the years of being crushed by the isolation, homesickness and general 'this is not home' feelings. Like a lot of people, underestimated how as life changes, so do you- the backpacking me was no longer the mother me, the missing family, my own culture and seeing my parents age. Australia grated more and more, and i felt like a nothing person, i had lost all sense of self, normal for mums of young kids but coupled with cultural isolation, even worse. I was not into baking, netball, BBQs or beaches by this point-  I longed for nothing more than to show my child what i had grown up with- basically UK culture. It has been hard starting over and it's a struggle for some of us returning. As a single parent, the UK is a tough place. Rent is high, help with childcare much less than in Australia and yet I am way happier. Returning to old friendships- i had to put a lot of work into re-establishing bonds etc, and have made lots of new ones also. I found it very tough making proper friends in Australia- most of those when tested, fell apart. Here, we have a life full of people and activities. And family. I walk around disgruntled by many things in the UK but I actually laugh here, connect to people and fit in. You cannot put a price on that. They say mental health is better treated in Australia but i disagree. When i was going through a terrible time, that old attitude of 'toughen up and get on with it' was not helpful. I find my British friends are a lot more sympathetic and help out more, and I do so in return. Overall, yes a success. I still think of Australia kindly and would like to visit for a holiday and dream of a long stint during my older years travelling around NW WA. However, for now, it has been lovely finding the old me. My child also loves UK life and has no desires to return to Australia. Whether that changes who knows, but there really is no place like home....


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I have been back in the UK 3 years very soon, after about 9 in Australia. During my time there, I went from elation to loving the place and ranting about how great everything was to returning to UK when I had my baby, to returning to Australia and still liking it and raising a kid with little to no support, to then enter the years of being crushed by the isolation, homesickness and general 'this is not home' feelings. Like a lot of people, underestimated how as life changes, so do you- the backpacking me was no longer the mother me, the missing family, my own culture and seeing my parents age. Australia grated more and more, and i felt like a nothing person, i had lost all sense of self, normal for mums of young kids but coupled with cultural isolation, even worse. I was not into baking, netball, BBQs or beaches by this point-  I longed for nothing more than to show my child what i had grown up with- basically UK culture. It has been hard starting over and it's a struggle for some of us returning. As a single parent, the UK is a tough place. Rent is high, help with childcare much less than in Australia and yet I am way happier. Returning to old friendships- i had to put a lot of work into re-establishing bonds etc, and have made lots of new ones also. I found it very tough making proper friends in Australia- most of those when tested, fell apart. Here, we have a life full of people and activities. And family. I walk around disgruntled by many things in the UK but I actually laugh here, connect to people and fit in. You cannot put a price on that. They say mental health is better treated in Australia but i disagree. When i was going through a terrible time, that old attitude of 'toughen up and get on with it' was not helpful. I find my British friends are a lot more sympathetic and help out more, and I do so in return. Overall, yes a success. I still think of Australia kindly and would like to visit for a holiday and dream of a long stint during my older years travelling around NW WA. However, for now, it has been lovely finding the old me. My child also loves UK life and has no desires to return to Australia. Whether that changes who knows, but there really is no place like home....

Sorry I Quoted you in error..just wanted to say I can't believe how similar your story is to mine! I also backpacked all around Australia, had my baby there, was back and forth, and and was completely isolated, in terms of area, and with OH family. Finally, after some yo yo'ing, we are back in the U.K., just me and my toddler, and we are both thriving!
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How does everyone manage with kids?  I have 4 the eldest is 14 and youngest is 18months. I work full time and partner is casual.  I'm from the UK but he is Australian.  I want to move back.  My 14 year old would go back tomorrow but I'm worried about school and if it will mess up her education.  She's an average student.  My 10 year old I think would adapt.

I feel isolated here and lonely.  I've been here 7 years, divorced from my now ex and happy with my partner and the children but I feel like something is missing, I'm not sure exactly what but think it may be the UK. I only moved here as I was offered a job so thought why not.  I don't hate it but I don't love it. I didn't live near family in the UK and wouldn't be able to because of job prospects but I do feel I would be happier there but not wanting to drag family there and find out it was a huge mistake.

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55 minutes ago, unsure said:

How does everyone manage with kids?  I have 4 the eldest is 14 and youngest is 18months. I work full time and partner is casual.  I'm from the UK but he is Australian.  I want to move back.  My 14 year old would go back tomorrow but I'm worried about school and if it will mess up her education.  She's an average student.  My 10 year old I think would adapt.

I feel isolated here and lonely.  I've been here 7 years, divorced from my now ex and happy with my partner and the children but I feel like something is missing, I'm not sure exactly what but think it may be the UK. I only moved here as I was offered a job so thought why not.  I don't hate it but I don't love it. I didn't live near family in the UK and wouldn't be able to because of job prospects but I do feel I would be happier there but not wanting to drag family there and find out it was a huge mistake.

You will screw up your eldest's education if you don't move back ASAP. She needs to get on that GCSE merry go round. If otoh you go  and it doesn't work out you've got 2 years before she needs to start her year 11 course in Aus, or she could suck it up until after A levels by which time your next child would still be in time to start yr 11 should you go back.

However you may have a couple of stumbling blocks - will the kids ' dad let them leave Australia because even if he is the worst dad on the planet if he says no, you're screwed, the court won't let them leave the country.  Other hurdle could be how are you going to get your partner into the UK? If he has any UK ancestry you'll be OK but if you're going to have to rely on the spouse visa that will require you to have a good job to ensure the income requirement.

All reports from  returnees seem to suggest that the UK schools have been very good for their kids, helping them catch up And getting back on track to where they need to be.

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39 minutes ago, Quoll said:

You will screw up your eldest's education if you don't move back ASAP. She needs to get on that GCSE merry go round. If otoh you go  and it doesn't work out you've got 2 years before she needs to start her year 11 course in Aus, or she could suck it up until after A levels by which time your next child would still be in time to start yr 11 should you go back.

However you may have a couple of stumbling blocks - will the kids ' dad let them leave Australia because even if he is the worst dad on the planet if he says no, you're screwed, the court won't let them leave the country.  Other hurdle could be how are you going to get your partner into the UK? If he has any UK ancestry you'll be OK but if you're going to have to rely on the spouse visa that will require you to have a good job to ensure the income requirement.

All reports from  returnees seem to suggest that the UK schools have been very good for their kids, helping them catch up And getting back on track to where they need to be.

Thanks, I'm mostly worried about screwing up her education. She's not great at school and hates it.  She wants to be a nurse and I am wondering if it would be easier for her in the UK. Her dad is a very good dad and we are on very good terms, however that's a hurdle I would have to overcome, and may not be possible.  He has indicated that he may be open to moving back himself.

I actually didn't even consider my partners visa.  I would be the main earner, he would work part time if possible and take care of the children.  Would that be an issue for a visa?  His family moved over from the UK on the second fleet or something like that so I think ancestry would be an issue.

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5 hours ago, unsure said:

Thanks, I'm mostly worried about screwing up her education. She's not great at school and hates it.  She wants to be a nurse and I am wondering if it would be easier for her in the UK. Her dad is a very good dad and we are on very good terms, however that's a hurdle I would have to overcome, and may not be possible.  He has indicated that he may be open to moving back himself.

I actually didn't even consider my partners visa.  I would be the main earner, he would work part time if possible and take care of the children.  Would that be an issue for a visa?  His family moved over from the UK on the second fleet or something like that so I think ancestry would be an issue.

Yes, his visa could be an issue for you. You will need to prove you have a job paying £18.5k or have £62.5k in savings - he doesn't get a visa just because he's with you. It doesn't matter what he then does as it is you who will be sponsoring him. 

Your probably better see if your ex will give permission otherwise everything else is moot.

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16 hours ago, unsure said:

Thanks, I'm mostly worried about screwing up her education. She's not great at school and hates it.  She wants to be a nurse and I am wondering if it would be easier for her in the UK. Her dad is a very good dad and we are on very good terms, however that's a hurdle I would have to overcome, and may not be possible.  He has indicated that he may be open to moving back himself.

I actually didn't even consider my partners visa.  I would be the main earner, he would work part time if possible and take care of the children.  Would that be an issue for a visa?  His family moved over from the UK on the second fleet or something like that so I think ancestry would be an issue.

As Quoll says, if you're worried about her education then you need to make the move now, before she gets into the throes of exams.  She has time to catch up now, whereas later it will be more difficult.   If you're thinking of waiting till she's finished secondary school, then do check out the situation with nursing courses in the UK.    I do know that for university, she has to be resident in the UK for three years, otherwise she'll be treated as a foreign student and charged eye-watering international fees. 

The process for getting a spouse into the UK is easier and much quicker than the Australian one, however there is a financial requirement.  If you don't meet the financial requirement, you can't get the visa for him -  no exceptions. This article goes into it in some detail.  The only comment I'd make is not to worry about the "adequate accommodation"  requirement (unless things have changed since we applied).   I just used my sister's address (she has a spare room).  I warned her I had done so but they never checked. 

https://www.freemovement.org.uk/appendix-fm-financial-requirements/


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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6 hours ago, Marisawright said:

The process for getting a spouse into the UK is easier and much quicker than the Australian one, however there is a financial requirement.  If you don't meet the financial requirement, you can't get the visa for him -  no exceptions. This article goes into it in some detail.  The only comment I'd make is not to worry about the "adequate accommodation"  requirement (unless things have changed since we applied).   I just used my sister's address (she has a spare room).  I warned her I had done so but they never checked. 

https://www.freemovement.org.uk/appendix-fm-financial-requirements/

You're right about the "no exceptions" thing - just yesterday the relative of a friend of mine discovered that he couldn't bamboozle the authorities and get his Balinese wife a visa just because he he needed her to help care for his elderly mother and he had no income or any savings. He was much shocked apparently as he's the sort  of bloke who expects rules to be broken for him - the *itch in me had to smile and give the thumbs up to the bureaucrats on the job. 

On the plus side, a UK spouse visa doesn't cost $7k! 

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On 07/12/2018 at 05:04, unsure said:

How does everyone manage with kids?  I have 4 the eldest is 14 and youngest is 18months. I work full time and partner is casual.  I'm from the UK but he is Australian.  I want to move back.  My 14 year old would go back tomorrow but I'm worried about school and if it will mess up her education.  She's an average student.  My 10 year old I think would adapt.

I feel isolated here and lonely.  I've been here 7 years, divorced from my now ex and happy with my partner and the children but I feel like something is missing, I'm not sure exactly what but think it may be the UK. I only moved here as I was offered a job so thought why not.  I don't hate it but I don't love it. I didn't live near family in the UK and wouldn't be able to because of job prospects but I do feel I would be happier there but not wanting to drag family there and find out it was a huge mistake.

We moved back in March 2017, our kids were 14 and 12 that June so they had just literally started years 9 and 7 in Australia. We have kept our son (14 year old) back a year in school as he would have missed too much of year 9 when we arrived with the school year finishing in July here. He has now started year 10 this September after having caught up in year 9. There are still things that he hasn’t learnt in the curriculum but our school is great in helping with that. Our daughter didn’t need to be kept back as year 7 is considered to be a transitional year so there were no problems. Consequently they are now only one school year apart! If you are enrolling in an Academy they have the final say on keeping kids back a year. If it is a normal school then you have to go through the council and request this when you enrol at a school. They will ask for all sorts of information so having any school reports or information from current teachers will be helpful. Good luck, it can be done but don’t delay too much!

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On ‎10‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 23:16, Martinbjulieb said:

We moved back in March 2017, our kids were 14 and 12 that June so they had just literally started years 9 and 7 in Australia. We have kept our son (14 year old) back a year in school as he would have missed too much of year 9 when we arrived with the school year finishing in July here. He has now started year 10 this September after having caught up in year 9. There are still things that he hasn’t learnt in the curriculum but our school is great in helping with that. Our daughter didn’t need to be kept back as year 7 is considered to be a transitional year so there were no problems. Consequently they are now only one school year apart! If you are enrolling in an Academy they have the final say on keeping kids back a year. If it is a normal school then you have to go through the council and request this when you enrol at a school. They will ask for all sorts of information so having any school reports or information from current teachers will be helpful. Good luck, it can be done but don’t delay too much!

How do you find the UK now?  My family keep telling me its bad but I don't understand how!

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On ‎08‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 07:27, Marisawright said:

As Quoll says, if you're worried about her education then you need to make the move now, before she gets into the throes of exams.  She has time to catch up now, whereas later it will be more difficult.   If you're thinking of waiting till she's finished secondary school, then do check out the situation with nursing courses in the UK.    I do know that for university, she has to be resident in the UK for three years, otherwise she'll be treated as a foreign student and charged eye-watering international fees. 

The process for getting a spouse into the UK is easier and much quicker than the Australian one, however there is a financial requirement.  If you don't meet the financial requirement, you can't get the visa for him -  no exceptions. This article goes into it in some detail.  The only comment I'd make is not to worry about the "adequate accommodation"  requirement (unless things have changed since we applied).   I just used my sister's address (she has a spare room).  I warned her I had done so but they never checked. 

https://www.freemovement.org.uk/appendix-fm-financial-requirements/

Thanks for that.  I'll read through the article.

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On ‎08‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 14:10, Quoll said:

You're right about the "no exceptions" thing - just yesterday the relative of a friend of mine discovered that he couldn't bamboozle the authorities and get his Balinese wife a visa just because he he needed her to help care for his elderly mother and he had no income or any savings. He was much shocked apparently as he's the sort  of bloke who expects rules to be broken for him - the *itch in me had to smile and give the thumbs up to the bureaucrats on the job. 

On the plus side, a UK spouse visa doesn't cost $7k! 

Thanks, need a chat with my ex!  She really want to go to uni in the UK for nursing so that's a concern.

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On ‎07‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 20:37, Quoll said:

Yes, his visa could be an issue for you. You will need to prove you have a job paying £18.5k or have £62.5k in savings - he doesn't get a visa just because he's with you. It doesn't matter what he then does as it is you who will be sponsoring him. 

Your probably better see if your ex will give permission otherwise everything else is moot.

Savings...haha not likely!  My salary would be around 4o-50k though so I'm hoping that covers us! 

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On 09/06/2018 at 02:09, Rallyman said:

Having never been over to that side of Australia , genuine question what made you choose Perth ? 

Dunno...suppose cos there were plenty of jobs to be had there.  And then we had no internet just promotional material from the migration agents...on paper it all looked good.  House prices were unbelievably low also...   Wasn’t so cheap by time we bailed out.  By then new migrants were coming in by the plane load and buying up all property at silly price levels.  Changed days now. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 06:00, unsure said:

How do you find the UK now?  My family keep telling me its bad but I don't understand how!

We are enjoying being home and especially enjoying the weather!! My husband has said that the construction industry has changed massively in the 10 years we have been away though and is not settled properly at work yet. We are loving the countryside walks and stately homes etc and the scenery in general. Kids are going skiing with school in February and one of the is going to LA in October!! 

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