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Hi,

I'm a 30 year old male from the UK, a qualified accountant, my wife is 28 and qualified to NVQ level 3 in early years child care, and we have a 6 month old daughter.

We spent a year travelling Oz in 2004/5 and only came back to pay off the credit cards. We intend to go permanently on a skilled visa as soon as we have a sufficient amount of money saved up.

We reckon in about two and a half years we should be ready.

My questions are as follows.

1) We both think we qualify on the points basis, are we more likely to get in if I apply as an accountant, or if my wife applies as a pre school teacher, or does it not matter.

2) I've read that from 1st July 09 they may be reducing immigration quota's. If it takes 40 week or so for a visa application to be approved, does it matter if I apply now or in two years time, as the July 09 date will have passed either way by the time the application is fully processed.

3) I've read that from the approval date we have 5 years to emigrate to Australia, but have to enter the country at least once before a certain time after approval, how long after approval is this date?

4) Also if I have to do a skills test do I need references from my current employer? As I don't really want to tell them my plans until a few month before we go.

5) When it comes to home buying what are the lending terms compared to the UK? We would be first time buyers, and in the UK would require probably a 10% deposit in the current climate, and could probably borrow 3.5 times our combined salary. Is it similar in Australia?

6) Finally, do we really need a migration agent? How complicated is the process, is it really worth paying an extra £1000 or so if I could do it myself?


Thanks in advance for any help

Andy

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Comment by AndyH78 on January 25, 2009 at 15:06
Thanks James, great post, there's so much reading out there, its great to hear from someone who's been through it all.
Is the WA grant available to immigrants? and is it available all over WA or just the South West?

$3k doesn't sound to bad for an agent especially if its no visa no fee, I've read of some people paying £4k sterling which seems an awful lot for someone to fill a few forms in?
Do the police checks and skill test fees come as part of the fee or are they extra on top, and when do you pay for the visa, is it on successful completion or do you pay upfront?

Thanks again,

Andy
Comment by James Saxton on January 25, 2009 at 10:22
Yes - got fed up of typing so just gave a brief outline on that.

What do you think will happen with the current downturn that's starting over there....I suspect they'll extend the grant myself, maybe even raise the established home grant to keep the market moving?
Comment by BJ on January 25, 2009 at 6:47
James and Michelle, great comments.
Just a note the first homeowners grant has been raised temporarily to $21k for new home purchases, it is $14k for established homes but so far the government have only approved this increase until mid 2009. In the past it was $7000.
Comment by James Saxton on January 24, 2009 at 13:29
1) We both think we qualify on the points basis, are we more likely to get in if I apply as an accountant, or if my wife applies as a pre school teacher, or does it not matter.

check www.immi.gov.au and the MODL and CSL lists. All occupations are on there. Certainly teachers and accountants are on the list and claim the maximum 60 points from memory

2) I've read that from 1st July 09 they may be reducing immigration quota's. If it takes 40 week or so for a visa application to be approved, does it matter if I apply now or in two years time, as the July 09 date will have passed either way by the time the application is fully processed.

The Visa process time is not set in stone - some take 6 months - some take 2 years - all depends on what lists you're on, how many are applying, how fast DIAC are getting through the requests, how your medicals turn out, how your police checks turn out. there is no set time for turnaround on visas. Your first step is to get your skills assessed by the correct authorising body in Australia - once you have the points you can then process the visa application. The rules are applied at the time of assessing the visa. I wouldn't worry about Visa changes for yourself too much, as accountants and teachers will generally be needed anyway. As for the reduction in immigration numbers - the australia government has already released figure for the next year or two and there is no reduction in numbers whatsover. The sooner you start the process the better really. I started looking into it when I was 31, i have just turned 35 - and got my visa a week ago.

3) I've read that from the approval date we have 5 years to emigrate to Australia, but have to enter the country at least once before a certain time after approval, how long after approval is this date?

What you have is a visa that is valid for 5 years. When you have the visa approved you have a set time to validate the visa. This is one year from the date you had your medicals or police checks done for the visa application (whichever is the earliest). this has caught many people out as they do what is known as front loading (where they send medicals and police checks with visa app) and by the time the visa is approved they only have a few weeks to validate the visa, or in other cases, the police checks and Visas are only valid for a year, and visa's haven't been granted in time meaning they have to get them done again. And they aren't cheap (for a couple you are talking £500 for medicals and £75 for police checks). The 5 year rule for visa's means you have to be in the country for 4 out of the first 5 years to get permanent residence, otherwise you have to obtain what's called an RRV, a residents return visa, which you have to apply for everytime you leave australia as you aren't a permanent resident.

4) Also if I have to do a skills test do I need references from my current employer? As I don't really want to tell them my plans until a few month before we go.

It is always good to get as many references as possible for the previous 8 years of work as a minimum really. I told my company very early in the process (3 half years ago) and they have been very supportive the entire time. I even had my MD writing personal references for me and he has even offered to speak to his contacts in Oz to get me a job when i left. i've always been honest with them and i think they appreciated it. It all depends what you think your company is like and what situation you're in.

5) When it comes to home buying what are the lending terms compared to the UK? We would be first time buyers, and in the UK would require probably a 10% deposit in the current climate, and could probably borrow 3.5 times our combined salary. Is it similar in Australia?

In Australia it is the done thing to have as large a deposit as possible. Also the interest rate is higher in Oz - around 7 - 8%. but you do at the minute in Western Australia get a $21kAUD grant for first time buyers. 100% mortgages are incredibly difficult to obtain and generally speaking are not the done thing. The amount you can borrow is dependant on your disposable income not your wage like it is in UK. For instance - with a joint income of $150kAUD with very little outgoing (approx $4kAUD - $5kAUD) you'd prob get in the region of $500kAUD mortgage. There are plenty of mortgage calculators out there (try the main websites for places like Westpack, Ozbank etc). Just remember, your credit rating starts from scratch when you enter australia - so in the early days you won;t get a good rate and will struggle to get a mortgage with a job (at least 3 months and settled) and proof of regular income.

6) Finally, do we really need a migration agent? How complicated is the process, is it really worth paying an extra £1000 or so if I could do it myself?

It's entirely up to you. We did - it cost us $3000AUD for an agent and for us it was worth it. It's all dependant on how comfortable you are with paperwork etc. For us it was added piece of mind and someone checking it, plus if we didn't get the visa because of their mistake - we got all our money back. Only you can make that decision. With it now being online as well, i suspect it is easier - but remember - with Visa apps, there is no second chance - if you make a mistake and don't get a visa because of it. it's start from the beginning and pay again with no refund.

Thanks in advance for any help

Hope it has helped

Kind Regards

James and Michelle
Comment by karenflower on January 22, 2009 at 16:49
hi cant answer any of your question BUT would like to find out the same sort of questions so please let me know if u get any information thanks
karen

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