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