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Moobear

Very beginning

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Hi everyone,

My family and I are in the very beginning of our process (covid has of course put a pause on it) we know we want to come over using a 189 visa. However we don’t know exactly where in Australia we want to go and would love some advice from those in the know. We have two kids (8 and 2) and them attending good schools is a MUST for us. My partner is an electrician and neither of us drive so would need to be somewhere there are local or commutable work opportunities. We would also love to be walking distance to the beach as we live in a coastal town now and our favourite thing to do is walk to the beach. 
Thanks for reading 🙂 

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Good luck with your 189 application, and noting neither of you drive, I would highly recommend if you can get driving lessons and pass your test,  it would  help immensely on the choice of locations for rental and work.

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Thanks for your reply. We have definitely considered trying to get our licenses before we move but due to covid no one is allowed to take lessons and even when things open up again the instructors and test facilities will be fully booked with people who were booked in before our lockdowns. I have read that there is a lack of public transport in more rural areas. Is it crazy to think that we could survive for a while without driving and take our lessons and tests out there? 

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2 minutes ago, Moobear said:

I have read that there is a lack of public transport in more rural areas. Is it crazy to think that we could survive for a while without driving and take our lessons and tests out there? 

I didn't have my licence when I arrived but my husband did, and we would have struggled otherwise. As you say, out in the country there can be very little public transport.  However there are school buses so the kids woud get to school at least, and if you rent a place close to town, get a bicycle (maybe an electric one?), and don't mind not being able to travel, you could probably get by.  Australians would think you were a bit strange, though!


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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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Haha thanks for this, we are a bit strange to be fair! We live in the country side at the moment and we do have public transport but it’s limited so we are used to it. It’s good to hear that we could potentially still get around. Most important is my daughter being able to get to school and of course that I can get groceries etc. Driving would be one of the first things on our list of course but with lockdown still so strict here it’s going to be almost impossible to sort this end. We are open to different areas around Australia though so could potentially be swayed by a better transport system. Ultimately we would like to move to somewhere with good schools choices and preferably close to the beach as we live being by the sea. 

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4 minutes ago, Moobear said:

 Driving would be one of the first things on our list of course but with lockdown still so strict here it’s going to be almost impossible to sort this end. 

The whole 189 process takes a year or more, so you should have plenty of time to get lessons and pass your test before you actually get the visa.

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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5 minutes ago, Moobear said:

Ultimately we would like to move to somewhere with good schools choices and preferably close to the beach as we live being by the sea. 

If you're going to a small town then you're not going to have much, if any, choice of schools.  Australia isn't like the UK, where you can live in a small town and there will be a reasonable-sized city in commutable distance.  They do exist, but most country towns are a long way from anywhere else..  When I lived in a small town in Victoria, I had to drive 100km every day to get to work in the next town, which was a bit bigger.  If I wanted to go clothes shopping, I had to drive to our nearest city, which was over 2 hours' drive away.  And actually, Victoria is more densely populated than the other states.

The question is, what is it that attracts you about Australia?  That will determine where you should go.  For instance, the distance from Melbourne in Victoria to Cairns in Queensland is the same as the distance from London to Cairo.   Just think how much the weather varies as you travel from London to Cairo - that's how much the weather changes when you travel from Melbourne to Cairns.  Melbourne's weather is not like England but it does get cold - it's not your stereotypical idea of sun and sand.  Cairns' weather is not like Cairo but it does get steamy hot.  

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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Living within walking distance to a beach will mean a small town or millions of dollars. Small town means less facilities not like UK some are more like hamlets or small villages. Have a good look on google earth and realestate.com.au.

I live in the Adelaide hills, we can get 40 plus days in the summer (dry heat) and frost in the winter. There are lots of small vibrant towns up here and it is very touristy but no Uber allowed up here.  Being able to drive will make a huge difference.

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

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I agree with what others have said regarding driving. Even more necessary for  electrician jobs I would think as that type of work is rarely in the same place and travelling about common. I’d seriously consider getting your partner to pass his test prior to making the move. That said, he hasn’t done so yet so maybe there’s an issue with him doing so. Either way, it will limit job opportunities I think.
 

You’d like to live near the beach. Based on needing public transport to get there (unless you’re going to live within walking distance) I’d start with that. Check out areas you think seem nice, check out the transport system and check out the prices. To be within walking distance of a beach is going to be expensive.  That may not be an issue for you but if you don’t have a huge budget then you’ll need to look a bit more inland and that’s when the important transport comes into play 

Marisa asks a good question, what is it you like about Australia.  I’d write down half a dozen things you like/hope to have/achieve and that in turn will be a good starting block. What clubs do you want for your children/yourself? Do you want to be able to walk to shops/restaurants/pubs? Perhaps also write down dislikes.  If you hate really hot temperatures or creepy crawlies then some places will be a no go. 

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I think getting your driving licence in the UK is a lot less of a palaver than it is here so get your licence if you can before migrating.  As the others have said, being able to drive will make your life much easier.  After obtaining a licence, drivers continue to be subject to restrictions during a probationary period (P plates), which is two years in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, three years in the ACT, New South Wales and South Australia, and up to four years in Victoria. e.g. in Victoria A P1 licence is issued for the first 12 months followed by a P2 licence for three years. If you are 21 or over when you obtain your probationary licence you will become a P2 licence holder. P1 licence holders must display a red P plate.

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6 minutes ago, Toots said:

I think getting your driving licence in the UK is a lot less of a palaver than it is here so get your licence if you can before migrating.  As the others have said, being able to drive will make your life much easier.  After obtaining a licence, drivers continue to be subject to restrictions during a probationary period (P plates), which is two years in the Northern Territory and Western Australia, three years in the ACT, New South Wales and South Australia, and up to four years in Victoria. e.g. in Victoria A P1 licence is issued for the first 12 months followed by a P2 licence for three years. If you are 21 or over when you obtain your probationary licence you will become a P2 licence holder. P1 licence holders must display a red P plate.

In WA, you would still go onto P plates for the two years after passing the test irrespective of where you passed, so you wouldn't "skip" the probationary period by passing in the UK. Not sure about the other states but probably the same

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In SA a full uk driving license is swapped for a SA licence with no additional test or p plate required. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read up on regulations though!

 


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

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What the others have said, a car is essential, basically.  That said, we have been back a year and haven't bought one yet but 1. We are retired. There would be no way that I could have worked without one and the same would be true for a sparky carrying all your tools (all the tradies I've encountered this year have mega sized trucks) 2. We live almost in the centre of the National Capital where public transport is almost ok.  3. I get free public transport (cos I'm old lol) and our local IGA took pity on us when we first arrived and were in at home isolation and they home deliver.  And 4. Our son lets us borrow one of his cars if we need to go out of public transport range.  Even so, I walk 2 Miles each way into town and back.  When you first arrive you are going to need one to check out all the possible places you might want to live in.   Learn to drive before you leave, definitely!!! 

I think you might have to adjust your expectations about what might be possible.  Seaside living is, as the others have said, either horrendously expensive or comparatively isolated with poor job opportunities. "Good Schools" with the best will in the world, tend not to be found in tiny towns - and most tiny towns don't have high schools so travelling time for HS kids could easily be over an hour each way if you're lucky. 

You will also need to research about sparkies getting their relevant licences before they can work unsupervised. I think that varies from stars to state but I know it has been a challenge for some.

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I’d start with the weather to narrow things down.  All the states are very family friendly, SA and WA are probably the most Englishy historically.

WA (Perth) - Hottest (33-35°C), driest and windiest

SA (Adelaide) - Hot (30-34°C), dry, cooler in winter

Queensland (Brisbane) - Hot (30-32°C), humid, no discernible winter

NSW (Sydney) - Hot (28°C) dry, warm winter

Victoria (Melbourne) - Cooler (24-26°C) wetter, cooler winter (still much nicer than UK!)

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2 hours ago, mt9754 said:

 SA and WA are probably the most Englishy historically.

No, Tasmania definitely the most "British" both in historical style and weather (and most of its populated centres  probably closest to the Channel Isles climate wise).

But I agree that you should think carefully about the type of climate in which you want to live and work (which can be very different from your ideal holidaying climate).  That will eliminate some areas of Australia.

Houses close to the coast cost more both in cities and country areas.  So your budget for housing will be important. These 2 sites will give you an idea of house prices for both renting and buying.

https://www.realestate.com.au/

https://www.domain.com.au/

I can't imagine an electrician without a licence being employed in Oz   - unless on a FIFO mine site...maybe?  (not sure).   All the electricians I know have a van or a ute with a canopy and mini workshop on the back

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4 hours ago, mt9754 said:

I’d start with the weather to narrow things down.  All the states are very family friendly, SA and WA are probably the most Englishy historically.

WA (Perth) - Hottest (33-35°C), driest and windiest

SA (Adelaide) - Hot (30-34°C), dry, cooler in winter

Queensland (Brisbane) - Hot (30-32°C), humid, no discernible winter

NSW (Sydney) - Hot (28°C) dry, warm winter

Victoria (Melbourne) - Cooler (24-26°C) wetter, cooler winter (still much nicer than UK!)

Dont forget Canberra (even though we dont have a beach, we have lakes and we are close enough to both beach and snow) - very seasonal weather with temps up to 40 in the summer but mainly in the high 20s low 30s. and lower than 10 in the winter up to high teens (max temps) in summer  If you want seasons then Canberra is your place but it is expensive.  

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5 hours ago, rammygirl said:

In SA a full uk driving license is swapped for a SA licence with no additional test or p plate required. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read up on regulations though!

 

My Canadian licence was swapped over for an Aussie licence without hassle. I believe if you are from any country where English is the national language, you don't have to get re-tested for a licence.

Edited by Canada2Australia

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Id just add that you can take an 'automatic only' driving licence test in the UK - which means you don't ever have to learn a manual transmission which some find a bit daunting at first. 

Doing automatic only licence might be a bit quicker and easier - and i think the vast majority of modern cars in Aus are auto so you'll never miss it.

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2 hours ago, AliG said:

Id just add that you can take an 'automatic only' driving licence test in the UK - which means you don't ever have to learn a manual transmission which some find a bit daunting at first. 

Doing automatic only licence might be a bit quicker and easier - and i think the vast majority of modern cars in Aus are auto so you'll never miss it.

Aren't all electric cars automatic?

Not sure about hybrids.


Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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4 hours ago, Canada2Australia said:

My Canadian licence was swapped over for an Aussie licence without hassle. I believe if you are from any country where English is the national language, you don't have to get re-tested for a licence.

My wife had to do the written test to get her Australian license from her UK license. But that was twenty years ago.

Edited by newjez

Nearly there! Don't drop the ball now guys! Vaccines are weeks away. Stay safe!

 

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Wow what a response, thank you so much everyone for all the help. I’m sensing a common theme so looks like driving tests before we leave will be on the cards. Weather wise thanks so much for the clear view of exactly what the different areas are like. We are considering either WA or NSW weather wise so the final decision will be made based on school and work opportunities. We don’t own a house here so will be renting wherever we end up. I am of course aware being close to the beach comes with a hefty price tag but we have no interest in being in a big city so are hoping we will be able to find somewhere on the outskirts that will be slightly more affordable 🙂. I’m also aware my partner will have to undergo some sort of training once over there as his uk electrical qualification won’t allow him to work unsupervised. Does anyone know what this is and how long it takes. 
Thanks so much again for all the help guys you are all so fab xx 

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Hi @Moobear some really good advise has been shared by the brains trust. Hopefully you can share what steps you are taking on your journey? (I did, but all lost in the cloud when the web servers were updated!)  I will take a stab on the electrical qualification question, this really depends on what field (LV/Domestic/HV/Commercial). In general terms if  your partner was sponsored by future employer until fully accredited in Australia, so unsupervised would have to wait, and may have to self-fund the training. So you would need to consider where you choose to live could also include travelling to a TAFE too.

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There certainly have been and thank you for being the first to respond. I will definitely keep updating. I noticed some wonderful pictures on your page which were of course super inspiring. Hmm I hadn’t realised my partner may have to completely retrain. That seems crazy considering we have to fork out around 3k for him to do a skills test to prove he is qualified in his chosen field. I will definitely have to look into that more. 

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8 hours ago, Moobear said:

 we have no interest in being in a big city so are hoping we will be able to find somewhere on the outskirts that will be slightly more affordable 🙂

If you're thinking of Sydney, then forget it.    Sydney is more than twice the size of Birmingham.  You can drive two hours from the centre of Sydney and still be in the suburbs.    A lot of British people choose the Central Coast because it's got the beaches, but it's an awfully long commute, there are a lot of bogans (chavs) and it's not even that cheap.  My boss used to drive down every day and I lost count of the number of accidents he had (because there are a lot of trucks on that route and it's very busy).

If you want to go for NSW, then I'd look at Newcastle, population 500,000.  Big enough to have a reasonable amount of work and a choice of good schools, rentals half the price of Sydney.   I had two colleagues who got transferred from Newcastle to our head office in Sydney, and they refused to move their families down to Sydney because they felt Newcastle was a much better place to raise their kids

Living on the outskirts would be more realistic in Perth.  I'm sure Paul1Perth will be along to tell you what a fantastic place it is.  Not denying that, but I have one concern about it. Let's say you choose Newcastle, arrive and realise you'd like something quieter where you could afford a place by the beach.  You'll have a huge choice of small towns and cities up and down the coast, many within driving distance, so it's practical to suss them out on weekends and holidays, and not too expensive to relocate if that's what you decide.   In other words, you've got flexiibility.   

Whereas if you go to Perth, there's much less choice of smaller towns, apart from the Margaret River area.   If you want to research other states, you'll have to take an expensive flight every time.  If you want to move to another state, shipping your stuff can cost almost as much as it did to move it from the UK.  

If you'd been to Perth and know you love it, I'd say pick Perth and go for it.  But if you don't know Australia, then I think it's wiser to pick a location where you can move around easily if you make the wrong choice first up.

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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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6 minutes ago, Moobear said:

There certainly have been and thank you for being the first to respond. I will definitely keep updating. I noticed some wonderful pictures on your page which were of course super inspiring. Hmm I hadn’t realised my partner may have to completely retrain. That seems crazy considering we have to fork out around 3k for him to do a skills test to prove he is qualified in his chosen field. I will definitely have to look into that more. 

The skills test is just to prove his skills to the Immigration Department, for the purposes of getting the visa.  Nothing to do with what happens once he's in the country.   

He won't have to completely retrain.  In most states, he'll have to spend a year working under supervision before he's allowed to work on his own.


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

My new novel, A Dance With Danger, due out August 2022

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