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sarah harmer

Not even left yet but thinking about process to return back to the UK

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Hi

Can anyone tell me what costs are like to return to the UK compared to moving out in the first place?

Has anyone returned and fallen short on money due to a massive difference in the housing costs, shipping and every other cost involved?

Just heard that coming back can be very hard for people and want to be able to know that I can do it.

My hubby is 100% certain he would not come back, but I am definitely not so sure and worry that I will be stuck.

I know I shouldn't be thinking of this because we haven't left yet, (house here in the UK is about to complete).  But with 2 kids under 8 and years of household goods coming with us, I need to understand the problems that may arise.

Thanks

 

Sarah

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Jeez if your setting yourself up to fail before you even get here why bother? Just stay put!

If you must plan for it then less the visa process costs, the flights and container shipping are probably going to around a similar amount.

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Yes, we've had several members who have tried migration, didn't like it and ended up back in the UK having spent all their savings and some of the equity from their house, so they were far worse off than they were before they left the UK.

How much it costs depends on how long you stay.

If you stay long enough to buy a house, then you'll lose at least $30,000 when you sell it, because of all the stamp duty and fees you've shelled out. 

Whatever it's costing you to ship all your household goods, you'll have the same cost to come back. 

If you've bought a new car, you''ll make a big loss when you sell it.  If you've got a car on a lease, you can't sell it and you'll have to  negotiate some kind of deal with the finance company, and it's likely to be expensive.

Plus air fares, holiday accommodation when you get back (unless you can stay with family), and money to survive until you can find jobs again.  

Edited by Marisawright
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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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Of course it's always possible you won't be able to return at all.   Once the children are in Australia, you can't take them home without written permission from your husband.  So if he wants to stay in Australia, then all he has to do is refuse to let you take the kids, and you'll be trapped - you'll have to stay forever too, even if you divorce.

We've had several members stuck in exactly that situation. 

Edited by Marisawright
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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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1 hour ago, Sandgroper said:

Jeez if your setting yourself up to fail before you even get here why bother? Just stay put!

If you must plan for it then less the visa process costs, the flights and container shipping are probably going to around a similar amount.

Agree with this.  Talk to your husband about your doubts.  Life in Australia isn't that much different to life in the UK and if you are a bit dubious about the big move you need to sort out your feelings with your husband.  If I had a good life in the UK, I would certainly be thinking long and hard before moving.

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55 minutes ago, Toots said:

  If I had a good life in the UK, I would certainly be thinking long and hard before moving.

Me too.  

When I migrated 30 years ago, it was a no-brainer - better job opportunities, cheap housing, good salaries, the beach lifestyle.

Nowadays - unemployment is about the same as the UK, and migrants are advised to allow 6 months out of work when they first arrive (probably with no benefits payable).  Housing is expensive, so the average person in the big cities can't afford to live anywhere near the beach.  Wages have stagnated:  some occupations are still well-paid, but many aren't, and childcare is so expensive it can almost wipe out your paycheck.  The whole "better life for the kids" thing is debatable too - their leisure time can be fantastic, but the range of higher education is more limited than the UK and ditto job opportunities.  

Living in another country can be a wonderful opportunity to experience a different culture and widen your horizons, but is that worth investing a huge chunk of your savings for?  

I know I'm sounding negative but I'm playing devil's advocate here.  If you can read the negatives and still feel that Australia is the right thing to do, then you're just having last minute nerves and you'll be fine. If they make you feel angry and upset, then it's likely you've got your own doubts and you're pushing them aside to please your oh - that's a recipe for disaster.

Personally, I prefer living in Australia, but it is down to personal preferences, things like the kind of life you enjoy, and the attitudes and sense of humour you identify with.  It's something that's really hard to judge until you've lived in both countries for a while - and even then, it's impossible to say one country is better than the other.  All you can say is that you feel more comfortable in one than the other.  They both have their good points and bad points and they balance out. 

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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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9 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Me too.  

When I migrated 30 years ago, it was a no-brainer - better job opportunities, cheap housing, good salaries, the beach lifestyle.

Nowadays - unemployment is about the same as the UK, and migrants are advised to allow 6 months out of work when they first arrive (probably with no benefits payable).  Housing is expensive, so the average person in the big cities can't afford to live anywhere near the beach.  Wages have stagnated:  some occupations are still well-paid, but many aren't, and childcare is so expensive it can almost wipe out your paycheck.  The whole "better life for the kids" thing is debatable too - their leisure time can be fantastic, but the range of higher education is more limited than the UK and ditto job opportunities.  

Living in another country can be a wonderful opportunity to experience a different culture and widen your horizons, but is that worth investing a huge chunk of your savings for?  

I know I'm sounding negative but I'm playing devil's advocate here.  If you can read the negatives and still feel that Australia is the right thing to do, then you're just having last minute nerves and you'll be fine. If they make you feel angry and upset, then it's likely you've got your own doubts and you're pushing them aside to please your oh - that's a recipe for disaster.

Personally, I prefer living in Australia, but it is down to personal preferences, things like the kind of life you enjoy, and the attitudes and sense of humour you identify with.  It's something that's really hard to judge until you've lived in both countries for a while - and even then, it's impossible to say one country is better than the other.  All you can say is that you feel more comfortable in one than the other.  They both have their good points and bad points and they balance out. 

I suppose we are just being realistic Marisa.  We found a really nice flat to rent the day after we arrived.  Both found good jobs within  the first week.  Everything seemed cheaper than the UK.  Of course this was over three decades ago.  We didn't have children then either so everything was an exciting adventure.  Now Australia is expensive  -  jobs not so easy to find.  When things are difficult and not working out, it's easy to end up hating the place especially if you are homesick and lonely.  Plenty of migrants do settle easily and enjoy life but for others it's just not the place they thought it would be.  I really don't like to be negative either but I've read a few stories on this forum about families who can't wait to return to the UK.  Just being realistic that's all.  

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I agree with all the above replies. Stop and have a really good think before you move, and write it down as it’s often clearer that way.

Living in Australia is NOT just about living in the sun and frolicking on a beach and eating from a barbecue, which many folk in the UK think we do !

Life goes on as it does in the UK. Bills to pay, mortgage to pay, car to pay for, you still need to go to the dentist, doctor, opticians etc. you can still get sick, need an operation etc etc, life goes on wherever you are ...............

Having said that, we spent 28 years there and loved it. And we just arrived back in the UK yesterday, to settle back here.

It IS a very expensive exercise, so you do need to be fully committed to moving as per the above posts.

I wish you well with whatever you decide to do.

 

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Left UK 1990 / WA for 28 years / UK / returning Australia April 2020.

 

 

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If you've got doubts then don't do it. As had been said, if you have kids then in the event of you wanting to move back and your OH not wanting to move back, you wouldn't be allowed to move with your kids if he said not. The Australian Family Court almost never lets kids leave.  

How much would a return cost you? Hard to say, that's in the piece of string category but tens of thousands of pounds and, in this day and age, likely the chance to ever own your own home again - in years past, people may have made a killing on real estate in Australia and returned to be mortgage free but that's less likely these days I think.

Its just another first world country on the other side of the world, nothing magical or inherently "better" so be sure you're 100% committed or don't go.

Edited by Quoll
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Wow, thank you all so much for your honest replies.

 

I have told my OH that I have doubts and he is not happy at all.  I have wanted to move to Oz for 25 years and now we have the visa, I am looking at our relationship and wondering if I can stay with him at all.

We are trying to look at our own relationship before we can honestly yes to Australia.  We have both become very distant partners and need to pull our relationship back.  It is so much harder then I even thought possible.

 

I thank all of you for replying, it has confirmed things for me (like kids not being allowed to come back unless OH gives written permission), so I am so thankful for that.

 

At the moment I am in a okay situation with finances and job will have to change soon anyway since I handed my notice in a few months back.  But I do feel like England is home.  I have 2 kids an I'm 41 this year, maybe 10 years ago it would have been a different story 😔.

Thank you again x

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I'd say don't do it if your relationship is difficult because the stresses and strains of settling in a new country may just make things worse. Hard to say because on the other hand it might bring you together! Depends on your personalities to an extent- are you risk takers, do you like change etc.  Probably at 41 your last chance really. What do the kids think? A lot of kids absolutely love it , depends where you go I guess.

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Oh yeah to reinforce what others have said if you are having serious doubts rather than just nerves dont move. At the moment you are in control of where your kids live the day you arrive it all changes if you have pr when u enter.

Its a really great place to live Australia, still better than the overcrowded uk in my opinion where everything is just hard. We have swapped our tiny 3 bed terrace for a great family home which we can see the beach out the window and walk there every day if we want (probably do the walk 3 times a week in reality!). It is idyllic but we are in tassie if you are thinking northern beaches or mornington forget it you are 30 years too late

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2 hours ago, sarah harmer said:

We are trying to look at our own relationship before we can honestly yes to Australia.  We have both become very distant partners and need to pull our relationship back.

Moving to another country is very stressful, even when both (or all) of you are totally committed to it.   If your relationship is already wobbly then moving is going to place it under even more stress.  

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Best to make a fully informed decision. 

We moved later in life, applied before the 50 cut off (as was) for Hubbie and I am older,  and moved in our early 50s.  But our kids were in their twenties and we were financially secure and very much on the same page. Not that it has been plain sailing even then, we had also lived in Australia before!

Hubbie was homesick and we brought one son but the other remained in the UK, now here (although in another state).  we are now citizens and feeling part of a community, this is now home. 

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So many wineries ......so little time :yes:

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Oh no, don't do it if your relationship isn't 100% rock solid. It's bloody difficult at the best of times but with a fragile relationship you'd  be pushing it uphill. Honestly, there's nothing that makes it "better", there are swings and roundabouts and whilst a big house might seem appealing if that's not what you've had, some folk find that a house, empty of extended family and dear friends isn't worth the effort.  

Good luck with your negotiations 

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There are some brilliant replies to your post, shared experiences from a diverse group all with very different motives and rationales for coming to Australia and all having different perceptions and experiences, it’s invaluable information in reply to questions you just can’t ‘google’ and get definitive answers for, I hope it helps. For me, when we came here we were both equally excited, both equally motivated, no doubts on both parts whatsoever, I think if one of us would have ‘wobbled’ we simply would not have done it.  However, the reality was I gave up a great job because hubby had a ‘once in a lifetime offer’ here.  And it was, and still is, his career has gone from strength to strength. We have loved our life in Australia and still do, for me, I found having built a successful career in the uk without a degree it was difficult to replicate that in Australia where a degree is everything, my experience and knowledge just didn’t count for much at all.  But overall I would say that whilst I love life here and actually cannot imagine living back in the uk I have had a few wobbles lately, it’s only because me and hubby are getting older and not quite as invincible as we were and I keep having lots of thoughts about out daughter and what if something happened to us? Possibly irrational I know but my only wobble about being in Australia is the lack of extended family/support etc for our daughter in the future should anything happen to us (my GP thinks I’m menopausal 🙄!!!).  In a nutshell, we both hopped on that plane as excited as kids and very much niaive and optimistic, we shared the dream!!, I think if one of us had had the slightest doubt we just wouldn’t\shouldnt have done it, I don’t think our marriage would have survived the complete stress, upheaval and emotional roller coaster that is moving to the other side of the world and all that you leave behind. My complete best wishes to you xxxx

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We moved and returned to the UK after eight years. 

The first thing I will say is, moving either way is VERY expensive. People think that it is all done and dusted once visas are granted and things. Actually, the expensive side doesn't even begin until you get off the plane. You need to allow enough funds to live for months while you find work. I remind budgeting for six months. Long gone are the days where poms stepped off the boat and were in work straight away.

returning is also very expensive. For some, even more so. 

As others have said, the move to Oz is one of the single most high stress things you can do. I would not even consider it unless your relationship is 100%. You know how marriages can have issues when people are out of work, then there are issues because you are renting and then others, that generally can cause lots of relationship issues. Now, imagine doing it on the other side of the world!!! Then throw into the mix the issues that you may not be able to return due to the kids being trapped. I would not recommend. 

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3 hours ago, Phoenix16 said:

There are some brilliant replies to your post, shared experiences from a diverse group all with very different motives and rationales for coming to Australia and all having different perceptions and experiences, it’s invaluable information in reply to questions you just can’t ‘google’ and get definitive answers for, I hope it helps. For me, when we came here we were both equally excited, both equally motivated, no doubts on both parts whatsoever, I think if one of us would have ‘wobbled’ we simply would not have done it.  However, the reality was I gave up a great job because hubby had a ‘once in a lifetime offer’ here.  And it was, and still is, his career has gone from strength to strength. We have loved our life in Australia and still do, for me, I found having built a successful career in the uk without a degree it was difficult to replicate that in Australia where a degree is everything, my experience and knowledge just didn’t count for much at all.  But overall I would say that whilst I love life here and actually cannot imagine living back in the uk I have had a few wobbles lately, it’s only because me and hubby are getting older and not quite as invincible as we were and I keep having lots of thoughts about out daughter and what if something happened to us? Possibly irrational I know but my only wobble about being in Australia is the lack of extended family/support etc for our daughter in the future should anything happen to us (my GP thinks I’m menopausal 🙄!!!).  In a nutshell, we both hopped on that plane as excited as kids and very much niaive and optimistic, we shared the dream!!, I think if one of us had had the slightest doubt we just wouldn’t\shouldnt have done it, I don’t think our marriage would have survived the complete stress, upheaval and emotional roller coaster that is moving to the other side of the world and all that you leave behind. My complete best wishes to you xxxx

Stupid GP, what do they know! How could you possibly be menopausal when you are quite clearly still a young, vibrant slip of a thing!!!🤪

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So appreciate your comments.  It is really giving me an insight into what I think I already know.

My hubby is full of faith and says that I should put my trust in God.  But I don't think like that.  I can't use faith for this type of decision, I have to decide myself and use common sense.

The scenario I am in now though, is that within the next 4 weeks.......We would have exchanged on our house together..........if we are separating I need to find somewhere to rent with the kids......and find a new home.....and find a new job because they have replaced me with a new staff member.  So lots on my plate at the moment and I am finding it hard to work my brain out.

I'm getting there and talking on here definitely helps.

Hope more people find this topic and it's helpful to them too.  Any more comments will be read with much interest and appreciation.

xx

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Oh my, Sarah -what a lot of big big decisions for you at this time. If you have reached the stage of thinking of a divorce I would say at least postpone your future life here in Australia until you are right with each other one way or another. Marriage counselling or talk it over with someone at your church? Someone unbiased preferably, I know how church people can be re separation etc. Talk talk talk with your husband who may not realise the depth of your feelings !

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On 05/06/2019 at 09:07, sarah harmer said:

Hi

Can anyone tell me what costs are like to return to the UK compared to moving out in the first place?

Has anyone returned and fallen short on money due to a massive difference in the housing costs, shipping and every other cost involved?

Just heard that coming back can be very hard for people and want to be able to know that I can do it.

My hubby is 100% certain he would not come back, but I am definitely not so sure and worry that I will be stuck.

I know I shouldn't be thinking of this because we haven't left yet, (house here in the UK is about to complete).  But with 2 kids under 8 and years of household goods coming with us, I need to understand the problems that may arise.

Thanks

 

Sarah

Apart from asking the obvious and wondering if you're really making the right decision by emigrating to begin with, the other thing I have to point out is that if you move as a family to Australia, and then a few years down the line you want to come home, but your partner doesn't, and you end up arguing and breaking up (you may say now that your marriage is rock solid and that's good, but migration puts a lot of stress on it), if you break up and you want to return to UK but husband staying in Oz then you won't be able to remove the children without a lengthy court process. Australia will be seen as the children's habitual residence and if you bring them back to the UK without permission from their father and/or the courts, you can be charged with child abduction under the Hague Convention. I don't mean to sound negative but I know a few mums who are now "stuck" in Oz because of precisely this and their marriages were rock solid. Just be mindful. Its not something that people think about.

 

That aside, I would be asking you why you're already having these thoughts? You need to get on that plane ready to embrace Australia 110% if you have any hope of creating a life here. Emigrating is hard work and having to build your life from the ground up. You have to WANT it! Good luck!

Edited by Beffers
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309/100 lodged 03.02.2017 - Meds/UK Police requested 10.02.17 - AFP requested 04.03.2017 - Health Clearance 05.04.17 - AFP uploaded 26.04.17 - 100 Granted 02.05.2017 - arrived Melbourne 16.06.2017 and now living our dream!!

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Oh my, Sarah -what a lot of big big decisions for you at this time. If you have reached the stage of thinking of a divorce I would say at least postpone your future life here in Australia until you are right with each other one way or another. Marriage counselling or talk it over with someone at your church? Someone unbiased preferably, I know how church people can be re separation etc. Talk talk talk with your husband who may not realise the depth of your feelings !
I so agree with this. Sarah I'm very sorry about the situation you find yourself in but i do agree with the others here. This is not a good time to take a big jump. Maybe hubby needs to "have faith in God" and consolidate and work with you on the relationship before making any other life changing decisions. Best of luck.

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Hi Sarah,

I echo the advice of other members - if in doubt, don't.

Re the issue of getting permission to leave Australia with your children should you come here - I am in a similar situation and consulted a family lawyer in Melbourne last year to understand what legal issues I would face. Getting a Family Relocation Order isn't impossible, but it is an expensive and lengthy process. Average time in Victoria is 18 months from application to grant, and cost is between $50,000 and $60,000. There is no right of appeal over an FRO either - so if the judge didn't find in your favour, you would be stuck here if you didn't want to leave your children.

Best of luck,

Clare

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Not sure how I missed this thread, but I absolutely agree with the others. If your relationship isn't 100% solid, please give it some serious thought before moving to Aus.

We moved out in 2009, loved it at first, but after a few years the shine wore off and we moved back in 2017. Husband and I are now separated, and the kids only see him two nights per week. I shudder to think about what would have happened had we split when we still lived in Aus and he'd refused to let me and the kids return to the UK. In fact it would probably have killed me. I'm not saying this to put you off or anything, just to illustrate that two international moves is a massively stressful thing to do, and it broke what I thought was a very strong relationship.

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On 06/06/2019 at 02:38, sarah harmer said:

So appreciate your comments.  It is really giving me an insight into what I think I already know.

My hubby is full of faith and says that I should put my trust in God.  But I don't think like that.  I can't use faith for this type of decision, I have to decide myself and use common sense.

The scenario I am in now though, is that within the next 4 weeks.......We would have exchanged on our house together..........if we are separating I need to find somewhere to rent with the kids......and find a new home.....and find a new job because they have replaced me with a new staff member.  So lots on my plate at the moment and I am finding it hard to work my brain out.

I'm getting there and talking on here definitely helps.

Hope more people find this topic and it's helpful to them too.  Any more comments will be read with much interest and appreciation.

xx

I’m sorry I have only just seen this.  First of all you can say STOP, hubby might not be happy but the sale doesn’t go through and you get some breathing space...

Im not a person of faith but I can tell you my ‘god’ is my gut instinct, when it tells me something isn’t right I listen and 99.99% of the time it is absolutely correct, it is now the barometer of many of my decisions!!! 

You are so far into the process that your job has moved on, I can imagine that is  pretty stressful now you are rethinking, but if it helps at all I would say re-establishing yourself quickly back in the UK and close to home, will be much easier than starting all over again in Australia.  Applying for jobs in Australia is a whole different animal, selection criteria is a big thing here and completely alien to many migrants, Australia can also be very networky and more about who you know not what you know.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing it’s just not a system that UK migrants are used to so it takes quite some time to get established! 

All I can advise is that you follow your gut instincts, many have warned you on here about the Geneva convention and it’s really not something to take lightly if you have any doubts about your move and in particular your marriage. I have had that conversation with my hubby many times (and we are actually really happy!) and he assures me that if we got to that point he would never stop me returning to the UK with our daughter but that has no legal standing and whilst I know him to be the most caring, amazing and wonderful person, if he says NO then that’s it really. As an addendum it’s not a patriarchal law and I could do the same to him and yes if he wanted to return to the UK with our daughter because he didn’t like it here I would 100% invoke the Law to stop him.  Our marriage is very solid and I don’t envisage us facing these decisions, also our daughter is growing and will eventually be able to make her own decisions regardless, I’m simply trying to highlight the issues you could face once you land in Australia as a permanent resident xxxxxx

 

 

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