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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/22/2019 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    Sorry but I didn’t number my answers as I’m typing in between as I have a moment here at work Australia is not cheap, especially when you initially pay with ZAR. Once you earn Aussie dollars, although still very expensive, you’ll make a decent living and have a decent life. Don’t think in ZAR or you’ll have a heart attack! Depending on the state of the housing market you’ll either afford to buy a 2 bedroom or a 4-bedroom unit/house, with or without water views, near or far from the city. If you buy at the bottom of the market and sell at the top, you’ll be able to eventually buy your dream home, or something very close to it, although it may take you a few years. We rented for 2 years, bought a 4-bedroom house in suburbia at the bottom of the market which we sold 9 years later at the top of the market and made a killing. We then moved to the city where we rented a 2-bedroom unit ($895 per week) for 3 years and we just bought our dream 5-bedroom beach house at the bottom of the market. Moving into our “forever” home next week. Took a while (15 years for us) but 100% worth it! We arrived in Australia in our late 30s and had to start over again like 18-year olds. We did not have the things or the savings that Aussies our same age had as they had a 40 year head start. The sooner you come over, the sooner you can start saving for your future as your ZAR’s are almost worthless here. (When we thought about moving, the exchange rate was 1-3, by the time we got our annuities out, it was 1-9). No use hanging onto any money or property you have over there as it is decreasing in value while you think about it. Sell up, pack up and come! It was hard initially to make friends, build a social circle and create a support system but we persisted, and we made it. The sooner you expand your scope and not only stick to South Africans doing South African things and sitting around the fire talking about “back in South Africa” the sooner you’ll create a new life that you can call your own and become part of Australia and the community. Australia is different. It does not have the same way of thinking, the same prejudices and the same outlook on life. It’s a live and let live society where you can be yourself as long as you don’t harm anyone else in the process. It’s very multicultural and everyone mix together – interracial/intercultural relationships are very common (actually almost the norm). It’s not as conservative and not as religious. Forget all your preconceived ideas about who is right and who is wrong – you get all sorts here and it makes Australia the colourful vibrant nation it is. Open your mind and your heart and embrace the diversity even if it goes against everything you were taught in Sunday school for 12 years. Australians are good, solid people and they’ll give you the shirt off their backs. Focus on that and you’ll make amazing friends from many backgrounds that will enrich your life. Trust me. I can’t comment on childcare as I never had to make use of it, but everyone complains about the cost. For some mothers it is important to work and they’re willing to spend most of their pay on childcare costs. Also keep in mind that if you qualify for any benefits, you may get more, or you may get less (or nothing) depending on your income so that is also something to consider. Don’t feel bad to apply for government assistance when you need it, especially initially when you’re getting back on your feet. There are things like rent-assist, family benefit and childcare rebates to help but they’re all income/means tested so I recommend you compare the benefits you may get if not working against what your salary and childcare costs will be and then decide what to do. Hope that makes sense? Here’s a link to Centrelink where you can get more info regarding all these benefits. I’ve never had a cleaner or a gardener in Australia as I can do a much better job (imho) and I refuse to pay for something I can do myself just because I’ve been spoiled having a full-time maid and gardener in South Africa. When you see what they charge per hour you’ll fall on your back! You’ve just got to toughen up and do your own housework and garden or cough up a lot of money for someone else to do a pretty mediocre job in most cases. Australia is home now – it’s been home from about 2 years in (so it takes a while, don’t give up and pack up after 6 months, give it a good go and stick it out, you won’t regret it). Our kids married Aussies and have Aussie babies. We had to make the sacrifice for them to have a future and now looking at their little faces and see how carefree they are, I cannot imagine them having to live behind burglar bars and security gates or being exposed to hijackings and burglaries or worse. Just like the Voortrekkers endured many challenges, obstacles, and heartbreak, to move North to a better life, when you move to Australia, you will be that person for your future generations – think of it that way when you long for “home”. 100% Aussie now and haven't looked back!
  2. 4 points
    Please consider cities other than the obvious ones. Sydney and Melbourne are both super expensive and the salaries (at least in the IT industry) are pretty much the same. Come with low expectations, you are essentially starting over and there will be a ramp up period. It all depends on how much you earn, if you earn more than the daycare costs then it might be worth it. The government will subsidise you up to $10,000 per child per year for daycare if both of you work. You can also work part time, my wife works 4 days a week. Sell, things in South Africa will not improve suddenly. We also did a financial emigration meaning our RA's were cashed out. Cut your losses whilst the Rand is still semi stable - in a worst case Zimbabwe scenario your Rands might literally be worth nothing. In Sydney your rent will likely be up to $1000 a week, unless you are willing to live 40km outside of the CBD. You will make new friends. In terms of cleaning your own house, there is a tool for every job. Work smarter not harder. In terms of marriage, the men have to realise that this is a 50/50 thing. You simply cannot leave all the house work to your wife. Everything here is 50/50. Yes, we did a trip to South Africa recently and the flight at the end of our trip was the flight home. It all comes down to what you make of this. Explore, discover your new country, enjoy the freedoms that you have here, make it your home. We just don't see ourselves living in a country where we are locked up inside our homes, cars and malls anymore.
  3. 3 points
    Hi Roxanne, I'm glad our list was helpful and it's a great idea to start compiling a list of things to do once you arrive in Australia! Why don't you start a new topic "101 things to do when you arrive in Australia" and post your list, inviting others to add to it... It could be the forum's next great achievement and you'll be one of the forumites to gets the bells on that one 😎.
  4. 3 points
    Hi, I'll try my best to help with the questions so here goes: 1) Be reserved with the buying when you get over there. Don't buy big cars or houses etc until you've become streetwise. I've seen many Saffas that for whatever reason (Maybe to justify how life is better or just help with the settling in process) get themselves into debt early on. Feel the ground first, get to know the suburbs etc. Take it easy, there is no rush. 2) Child care is expensive yes. Like most first world countries you're going to feel the hurt. There might be some groups of Saffas that in some suburbs help one another out regarding looking after kids, friends of ours have this arrangement in Sydney and it helped when a group of friends can get involved. My advice is, if you can, don't sacrifice the opportunity to work and gain experience in order to take care of the kids. Even if child care can take up an entire salary of one of the parents. This is still better as you gain work experience. 3)This one is tough, I am back in South Africa building a business but also looking again towards greener pastures as soon as the business goes in the direction we want it to. It somehow makes me feel like I have always got something holding me here but you have to decide for yourself. Word of advice...DONT burn bridges. There is no shame in returning if things don't work out for any reason. 4) Start simple, get the basics, When your husband gets you over, you will most likely have the necessities to start off with. Its like when you started out for the first time again except you have progressed in your $$ making ability 5) I went over before being married. It was hard when I was alone but luckily I met a great friend from Port Elizabeth and we became house-mates. That helped so at least you have your direct family there. I am not going to lie to you, the support structure is going to be missed like crazy. There is not 'mom help us out with the kids' etc and you are going to miss just having a cup of tea with them. That never got better for me until I started building a few friendships and expanded my circle of people. 6) I don't know how to answer that and the following is entirely just my humble opinion. I've met people there that have stayed for 12 years and said it felt like a mistake moving over and others that love it. My take on it is: Australia, as with many first world countries is a different rat-race. Over there you are dealing with a different class of person so the struggle was for me a lot more about finances and competing with a more educated populace. I actually liked that part but things were quite expensive and you will not have the luxuries that we still enjoy in SA such as maids etc. SA has a skill shortage in professional skilled jobs and will therefore have a different supply-demand salary marked. If you can do well for yourself there, I think that will help a lot in making it feel more like home. You will save on other things such as not having to pay for security etc etc but there are costs over there that will make your skin crawl..such as housing -Michael
  5. 3 points
    Hard to believe you look very confident in your profile photo
  6. 2 points
    I wrote this a while ago....not a detailed checklist but some handy points scattered in there................
  7. 2 points
    Decided to give back to the forum, although we're set to arrive only in June. Prices below are then accurate for May 2019 and not much is new but could be a distillation of various other posts. !!!Will update with a second post in a few months to see if the service providers below panned out - so don't take our word for it YET!!! BACKGROUND: We had skilled migrant visas which we allowed to lapse more than 8 years ago, having activated the visas by entry but eventually not immigrating at that time. One of us was offered a position in Melbourne in January with an urgent start date, and we were advised by the employer to run both 189 Visa and Resident Return Visa (155/157) applications in parallel. By end March we were invited to apply for 189 (by May), having completed the English tests (PTE Academic in Sandton), medicals and (expensive) skills assessments via Engineers Australia and CA ANZ, however we took the gamble not to cancel the Resident Return Visa (RRV) applications yet and the RRVs were granted two weeks later - at the last moment of the ~70 days processing time and after following up via email (which you are only allowed to do when processing time has expired). This re-instated permanent residency with first entry within 1 year of grant. It is then possible, with proof of significant ties of benefit (letters from prospective employer, proof of continued education in SA etc.) to have re-instated a visa that lapsed . It was also uncertain how much of the info for the 189 was taken into account in the resident return visa evaluation, as this may have assisted to a greater degree. We did not make use of a migration agent, but it took a lot of footwork to substantiate the "significant ties of benefit" claim. FLIGHTS / TICKETS: To get cheaper one way tickets, direct flight to Sydney and then on to Melbourne with Qantas providing an increased 40kg per person baggage allowance, at around R8k pp we called on: International Organization for Migration E. southafricaoperations@iom.int www.iom.int MOVE: We are making use of the larger move cube from www.sevenseasworldwide.com : costs of around R23k quoted for the cube and shipping plus around R4K expected on the other side. We checked prices on e.g. ebay.com.au and found we could replace much of our furniture that side through a combination of selling stuff this side and the saving on the container costs (which was quoted at ~R80k). Will also be trying to get a small wine collection through, around 30 bottles, as long as the wines are older than 1 year it is apparently not a major issue. PETS: We are taking two small young dogs: Costs are high (allow for R40 to R50k total per dog even without kennelling in SA). The 10 days quarantine in Melbourne and import permit alone is R22k per dog and flights are R8k per dog. We had to leave a dog which is now 12 years old and not allowed travel with family. The pet immigration process must start around 6 months prior. We are making use of www.menlynkennels.co.za also known as Mooikloof Companion Animal Center or Menlyn Pet Relocations. To keep kenneling costs down family will be taking care of the dogs until their flights a month after we have left. FINANCIAL EMIGRATION: We approached a financial emigration company (we have Retirement Annuities, a Pension fund and a couple of buy-to-let apartments) - the quotes came to R35-45k per person. We're now going the route of using the Immigration toolkit from Expatri8.com ; Claire has been very helpful and we will now be doing the bulk of the Fin. emigration from a new address in Aus rather than trying to push from within SA. The toolkit cost $235 (~R3.5K) and is clearly laid out with steps. Get you SARS efiling and online banking in order if going the financial emigration route from overseas. The toolkit advises to use FNB, which one of us had and it took 20 mins in the branch to open a cheque account for the other and a global currency account in AUD for both. With that proceeds from selling the house and cars can be taken out under the R1 million discretionary allowance per year per person to help initial set up once there. ACCOUNTS: Telkom nearly wanted R13K in penalties for a new fiber contract which they fortunately had not yet implemented, so could could cancel without having to pay extra. Vodacom also wanted to penalise, so do check how much you have left on contracts and see if someone is willing to take them over if the penalties will be excessive. SELLING PROPERTY: We had to sell two properties urgently and the low rates offered by Leadhome (flat rate of R40k) and threepercent.com allowed us to list at better prices, and sell surprisingly quickly, while still getting out a reasonable amount. SELLING CARS: We used weelee.co.za which gave us above trade value and closes after a single day's online auction. ACCOMMODATION: To settle in while waiting for the move cube we decided on a "long stay" 1 bed furnished and serviced apartment in Melbourne CBD (after extensively checking the online ratings). We have been using the Hotels.com app which gives significant discounts over listed prices (so called "secret prices" on the app for users with a few previous bookings), and also gives 1 night free booking at the average price of the previous 10 nights booked. We ended up getting a 28 night stay in Melbourne CBD "Paris End" right across the road from the new job at ~R30k which appears to be a 40% discount over advertised rates. This allows us to have a self catering 1 bed apartment with a bathtub, tv, wifi and small kitchen near work while we apartment hunt. Hope this is of benefit to similarly nervous individuals. Will update in around two months..
  8. 2 points
    It is, I think thats the point @ShireenAnn was trying to make. Both those documents are valid for 1 year which means that visa had to have been granted way above the suggested 6 month period.
  9. 2 points
    I agree with previous comments and wouldn’t take a gamble. A bird in hand is better than 10 in the bush. Better do everything you can to activate the visa even if it means flying in and out without even leaving the airport. A short holiday would be nice but just do what you can depending on your circumstances.
  10. 2 points
    Hi there. 1) everything costs and arm/leg - be prepared to pay for things you take for granted in SA. In fact the only thing thats almost free is the air we breathe. Service can be robotic, filled with red tape. The letter of the Law is followed to the T. Driving is taken very seriously - even marginally speeding or running a red "robo" - attracts fines of $200+ and demerit points. Insurance and car registration- be prepared to spend about $1500 ( 15,000ZAR) per annum to keep a car resisted/insured on the road prior service/petrol costs. Be prepared for a robotic way of life at times, smiles/courtesy/manners are some of the most expensive things here. Salaries are also relative. if you compare similar jobs lets say a top professional who earns $10,000 per month in Aus after tax, compared to the same professional who earns 100,00 ZAR per month, you would be able to do more with those rands compared to dollars in each respective country - simply due to cost of labour 2) childcare is a big expense here, even with rebates. one needs to be prepared 3) personal choice 4) household items can be purchased for a good price from local department stores 5) forget about nannies/maids. you will be the best maid you ever had once you live here. Servants are for billionaires here. sacrifices have to be made. 6) home is always home - at times there is a large line between being an immigrant calling a new country home
  11. 2 points
    HI, below a couple of thoughts, and by no means an exhaustive list: 1) Be open to a different way of life, if you want to recreate your SA life here, it wont work. We have a lot of friends still in SA, they really want to come and they complain about everything in SA, but I know they will not like it here. They want 3rd world perks (cheap labour, nanny, maids etc) but in a 1st world set - up. It does not work like that. 2) see 1 above - it is expensive , if you come on 189 there are rebates available. 3) that is a personal choice we sold everything and all our cash is here (except for small RAF that we are busy getting out now) 4) its affordable if he shops wisely , look at IKEA, fantastic furniture etc. 5) not going to lie, this is a big adjustment that most of us had to/is going through - always be clear why you are making this move and remember the SA you "romanticize" in your mind when you miss home it not always the real picture... 6) For me it quickly did, for my wife it has taken longer (for our daughters it is 100% home) - you will never know until you put yourself in this position. Good luck 😉
  12. 2 points
    A little bit more of the good news. So, I e-mailed the company with which I got the casual job and just advised them that at the moment I am available for more work and I got 9 more shifts to do. I also got my first "official" aussie payslip for a very small amount but it means the world to me that I am on an official payroll. Thank you all so very much for your support and encouragement. I could not have done any of it without you. Keep faith ànd do whatever you have to do and eventually we will all end up doing what we were meant to do regardless of what we had in mind. Have a blessed Easter everyone.!
  13. 2 points
    Hi folks. Just a little something to keep your spirits up. Someone I know, who applied in end May 2015 just had their visa approved. There were a couple of AOS hiccups relating to incorrect documents but all good now. Hope that helps a bit to keep you all upbeat.
  14. 2 points
    Agree with @ChrisH and would like to add 2 points in favour of number 4 (have the baby in Aus) If your child is born after the 189 is issued then you need to apply for a child 101 visa (which I did); it's an expensive process and another frustrating wait of several months. We all fully expect to have completely healthy children however that is not always the case. There is the risk that your beautiful newborn baby may fail the medical and then your visa plans are kaput.
  15. 1 point
    I can't remember if they could access it, but just print the visa grant notice PDF's confirming the details of your visa.
  16. 1 point
    We're recruiting for Performance, Automation and DevOps people who are interested in relocating from South Africa to Australia. If you're interested send your CV to jobs@accesshq.com
  17. 1 point
    Pre-invites are certainly not a guarantee, but there's a good chance you'll receive an invite if everything checks out. Generally, they'll check your ability to prove points and look at things like your commitment to the state. For instance, states are known to not issue invites after a pre-invite after finding out that people have applied to other states.
  18. 1 point
    Hello @Leeedin, I remember how I struggled too, but here's what I did (I am not a counselor, but an OT in Mental Health so hopefully this gives you some direction). When I started looking to immigrate, I had a look at the 189 skilled occupations list https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skill-occupation-list (and thankfully my profession was on that list) and did some research into what 'governing body' is the equivalent of HPCSA / OTASA there. Before I could even apply for my visa, I needed to submit a stack of documentation to OTC (OT Council, Aus) for 'assessment' - basically, a skills assessment https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skills-assessment. They vetted my degree, institution from which I graduated, English proficiency, etc etc and only once I got Stage 1 approval from the OTC could I start the process of applying for an Expression of Interest to immigrate. As a registered counselor, I am assuming you are also part of HPCSA and some psychology body, too? Thus, you will need to check, firstly, if registered counselors are on the 189 list, or for which visa you can apply. Whichever visa you qualify for, I assume you would need to have your qualification and experience vetted with their equivalent body (this body is stipulated on the list). It is a time consuming and expensive process, but well worth it ... I started the whole process in July last year, and my flights are officially booked for June. Good luck, and shout if you need any further assistance!
  19. 1 point
    Centrelink is the department of government that manages welfare, allowances, medicare... essentially any payment or assistance that you'd get from the government. Take your passport, visa and proof of address that the bank gave you. Did it 2 years ago so can't recall if that is enough. I can't recall if you have kids, but this is also where your child daycare benefit comes from. They pay up to 50% of your daycare fees (dependent on family income and the hours that both parents work) up to a maximum of $10,000 per child per year. Suddenly the $8000 for the 189 visa doesn't seem like that much does it!
  20. 1 point
    The list is different if you have PR as you're eligible for medicare. Our list was: Get a local SIM card. Activate bank account (opened from South Africa). This involves updating your address and phone numbers with the bank. Also get them to print a couple of statements with the new address on it. They mail your card to you. Apply for centrelink and medicare, again they mail the card to you. Once you have your medicare and bank cards, you can convert your license using the cards, passport and statement from the bank as proof of address. Once you have your license, you can pretty much apply for anything. The order of this list is important as it effectively collects the documents you need to apply for your license and rentals and stuff after that. We stayed with a mate so we didn't have to worry about rentals initially.
  21. 1 point
    You can literally fold and throw a blank form in the box - as long as you arrive to vote, you can do with that privilege what you want.
  22. 1 point
    I feel your pain but it's still better than choosing between a corrupt ANC, Juju (your favourite 😜) and the DA who, with all good intentions, have a snowball's hope in hell to win... Here you have a voice and a choice however frustrating. We gotta keep the bastards honest as Peter Mailler famously said.
  23. 1 point
    Hi, look at https://www.carsales.com.au/ you can elect dealer or private sellers or both Personally I would wait until you get here, and do it face to face (and dont be shy to ask for discount)
  24. 1 point
    Purchased directly from the Mazda dealership. They had good deals on demo models.
  25. 1 point
    @stefans all these links have been so helpful thank you so much for doing this...it gives me hope.
  26. 1 point
    @stefans oh noooo 🥺😲 can’t seem to win thank you for sharing - need to seriously rethink this
  27. 1 point
    I'm sure you can, just check with the Airbnb if they're ok to keep post for you. You'll just have to update your address when you find a rental.
  28. 1 point
    Hello to old roomies 😀 Thanks for your link @stefans I’m going through all of that “redirecting” aka age discrimination. Very difficult to hide one’s age particularly on recruitment sites, company careers sites etc when your date of birth and dates worked at previous jobs have become mandatory fields. As for the phone/video interview, that’s a whole different ball game. Getting better at formulating the cover letters despite those being my latest pet-hate. Lol. In the meantime I’m looking at baby/child sitting - have an Employee Working with Children Check Card and doing my first aid course on Monday. Joined a non-profit organization as a volunteer and as soon as my Aus driver licence is 6 months old, I’m thinking of becoming an UBER driver. Fingers crossed my plan comes together. Hopefully then I’ll be able to settle down and enjoy. Job hunting has proven exhausting and demoralizing for me. Take care everyone
  29. 1 point
    Hi @ShireenAnn The status only changed when my visa was granted (I got a direct grant). Before that, it continually said "received".
  30. 1 point
    Gregg Clough will be in South Africa in June 2019 interviewing candidates as follows: Johannesburg from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th June 2019 Cape Town from Monday 17th to Wednesday 19th June 201
  31. 1 point
    Thank you Mel-B, I really appreciate the information you've provided.
  32. 1 point
    It’s never a good idea to book flights prior to having your visa in hand, whether it’s a visitor’s visa or a 189. Anything can happen that is out of your control and then you incur the extra expense to change or cancel your flights. Nothing is ever guaranteed until it is in black and white - just my opinion! But, it is totally up to you.
  33. 1 point
    Hi, I don't think it's a good idea to do so. I just saw a post where a person got her grant on the 3rd of May and has to enter Australia before the 16th of May.
  34. 1 point
    Good for you! Don’t want other people to be caught out. It’s a money-making scheme. What about Canada? That’s where I’d try & go if I got another shot.
  35. 1 point
    Also take into account how difficult it has become in the last few years to get a visa. With how things have changed in the last year alone there is no guarantee that if you were to apply again that you would still be so lucky.
  36. 1 point
    Dear @Ty11 Congrats on the approval of your Visa! If you scroll up in the thread you will see we had a similar situation, although we had a month. We decided to go as the uncertainty of the visa possibly being canceled would have eaten us alive. We went and do not regret it at all, we can now relax and know that we have an active and valid visa and do our planning at relative leisure. If it is a budget and time constraint issue and you only want to activate the visa, I'd suggest going to Perth, it is cheaper flights and much shorter. We went to Brisbane via Dubai and the 25 hour flights with kids was not a lot of fun. Although we had enough eBucks to quality for a decent discount on the flights. I have to agree with @Tntaglia, to go through the application process again will be expensive and painful. I couldn't get a definite answer on the meaning of the letter and if it is a waiver of the Date of First entry clause, I emailed the CO right after receiving our letter, with no response till date. Best of luck!
  37. 1 point
    CONGRATS on the visa! Very happy for you. The timeline is super tight but honestly I'd strongly suggest you find a way to make it happen. Compare the cost of flights to Aus for a 3 day holiday, with the cost of having to apply for a visa again- it's a no brainer really. You will probably find anecdotes of people who had similar warnings and had no issues, but with no guarantee I just wouldn't take the chance. Return flights, 3 days in an airbnb and then go back to get your affairs in order (unless you're SUPER prepared as it is which I think is unlikely!)
  38. 1 point
    another thing one needs to consider or keep in mind that the public health system in conjunction with private health insurance - is that service can be rather frustrating. Take for instance, the public health system does not cover you for dental and specialty services unless seen by a specialist in a public hospital. Private health insurance has a number of exclusions such as surgeons fees etc. Waiting lists on the public health system can be frustrating. Private health insurance used for dental purposes - you only get covered for checkup/clean/scale and 2 xrays per year with most companies. In emergencies, if you arrive at a hospital here, one can wait many hours - even for life threatening conditions. there are many horror stories on this. If you require an ambulance , the out of pocket costs will be between $400 - $1200. Only Queensland and Tasmania do not pay for ambulance services. The average cost of top cover private health insurance, is about $500 per month for a couple. Lets say you've been a member for 10 years. thats about $60,000 AUD in premiums. Last year I had to see a periodontist for a gum recession that I had. The cost for a 10 minute consultation was $240. The gum graft procedure he recommended was quoted at $3500. All in all, I was only eligible to claim $80 for the consultation, and a maximum of $800 for the procedure. Last year my wife had to see a neurologist via referral from the GP at the outpatients clinic at a major public hopsital. The fee was $310 for a 15 minute consultation. The public health system (medicare) only refunded me $60. My private health insurance covered bugger all. Of course, if the neurologist provided the service during a stay at a public hospital - it would have been free. Keep these thoughts in mind, as alot of people try to sugar coat this topic. It been many years since I've left SA, but I talk from experience as I do go back quite often and have relatives working in both the private and public health sector in SA. Of course its chalk and cheese to compare the public systems of the 2 nations, but these need to be factored into your decision.
  39. 1 point
    Hia Lynnie you have not been offered the belated emigration option for persons having left +5 years ago?
  40. 1 point
    Inner city rent can be very expensive - $800+ for a 2 bedroom unit. The same amount can get you a 4 bedroom house in the suburbs but then you have to consider travel time and costs (tolls & petrol if you're driving, or public transport). We lived in the suburbs and the drive could be up to 90 minutes to the city in peak hour or about 1 hour 15 mins by public transport often with standing room only. We now live in the inner-west and it takes 10 mins by bus or car (but then parking is $20+ per day and only on the early bird rate which requires you to arrive before a certain time and leave after a certain time - usually before 9 and after 3. so you've got to weigh up the options of lifestyle vs affordability. We're now moving to the northern beaches and will probably spend more than an hour getting to and from work but it's at the beach so we're willing to make that sacrifice. If you have no debt (monthly loan/credit card/car repayments) you're looking at about $6500 to $7000 per month if you're renting - not considering any school fees/school uniforms. Initial set-up costs will include getting a car if you need one and I recommend buying a cheapy for cash as it's all you'll need in the city. (Cars basicially decrease in value as soon as you drive out the car lot). It's also better to have a small car to make finding a parking spot in the city easier. Many streets have no parking spaces marked out so you have to squeeze into whatever is available. You may have to buy furniture if you didn't bring any - that can cost you about $10 000 to $20 000 depending on where you buy. White goods and electronics on top of that could add another $10 000+ (The amount for monthly expenses above include rent, internet, phone, mobile phones, water, electricity, gas, foxtel, groceries, insurance, transport, minimal clothing and entertainment etc. but not private health which can be around $500 per month for a family of 4, depending on your level of cover). Hope this helps
  41. 1 point
    We applied for the 887 in Dec '18, and coming to know of the long 887 grant process is quite frustrating to say the least. It is quite a simple PR to apply for so one wonders why it takes so long to assess, or do they just want applicants to remain in regional areas for as long as possible. For us all is ok until December '19 but after that my son is going to University and the cost difference is quite significant if we do not have PR by then. We also want to purchase property in the Gold Coast but are limited until we get PR. I am hoping that the application times will decrease again, hopefully after the next election?
  42. 1 point
    Hello, 110,000 is definitely doable. You will just have to live frugally as @Mel-B has already mentioned and remember many of the excesses we use in Africa are not as important here. I remember when we first lived in Sydney, we spent a long time looking for a "safe" neighbourhood and then bought a car. We later found that everywhere is safe compared to S.Africa, we didn't have to sign an expensive lease on a house and public transport is very very good, we didn't even need the car. Just look at life with a fresh perspective.
  43. 1 point
    Just to reassure you that it works out in the end. At this time of year visa processing always slows down to a crawl because we are close to 30 June now when the new quotas tick over and we also mere weeks away from a federal election which causes a slow down of processing. So there are two reasons for a slow down and it's not personal. The waiting is hard but I believe that it primes us for the actual move which can sometimes be far more mentally challenging than the waiting ever was. This is the easy part in the grand scheme of things and your turn will come.
  44. 1 point
    Not looking forward to being forced to choose between all the animals in this zoo, or do we call it a circus? Not sure. The stuff comimg out of the polies pie holes at the this stage makes trumpnado look like a puppy dog. How stupid do they think we are? Promising millions of "free" blood tests that are already covered by Medicare. I think I'll just stick th ballot paper to dart board, close my eyes and throw. If it hits Palmer I'll call foul and try again.
  45. 1 point
    @Elza Thanks for your post buddy. You made me laugh a lot. Last year in Nov I thought that I landed a casual job and after a few unanswered emails and phone calls that did not get returned, I eventually gave up in January and wrote them off. Then 2 weeks ago I received a phone call from another lady at the same company and I started working for them. The hours are few and the work is a lot but they allocate a certain time per job and that is it. Anyway, I reckon it is a foot in the "formal" door and aussie experience. So I worked 3 days this week on a job that should have only taken at most a day and a half including travel time. But what the heck, it is a job and perhaps I may get more hours to work later on and I can do shifts when I want so even when I do find another job, I can still do this in my spare time. I really enjoy the work though, it involves a little bit of cleaning and merchandising products. So, that is my little bit of good news. Hoping to have some big good news as well soon but in the meantime, I will enjoy my jobsearching and my casual job. You ladies have yourselves a fantastic weekend!
  46. 1 point
    The 143 parent visa is a permanent residence visa. As long as you have 'validated' your visa you can travel in an out of Australia for the duration of the visa.
  47. 1 point
    As with all of these it is a bit like asking how long is a piece of elastic. It boils down to how many people are currently in the pool of people waiting for the 143 visa (unknown - and some drop out along the way for various reasons) the ceiling caps (which can change yearly) and how many applications are actually granted (do they actually grant all the available visas up to the ceiling). We have also seen the inclusions of another visa stream within the parent visas, to enable investor/retiree visa holders to obtain PR. Add to that potential policy changes... We for example know that in the 2017-18 year there was a ceiling of 8765 parent visa places, however the Dept of Home Affairs did not grant that many visas in that year, nor in 2016-17 (we won't have the figures for 2018-19 until further down the line). Given that less visas than places have been provided for a couple of years, if in the next year they grant the number up to the ceiling then it may be a similar amount to previous years. LOL - I could continue! The reality is that there are many factors involved many of which have not yet been determined. It really is best to recognise that processing times can vary considerably over time and try to accept that there is going to be frustration along the way. I can't see them reducing in time unless something significant occurs into the future? There are now the temporary sponsored parent options, as well as if eligible the potential to apply for a parent visa within Australia and wait within Australia for this to be processed (but that again comes with its own risks).
  48. 1 point
    G'day All, Seeing as though I have relied quite a lot on this Forum for information and moral support in the time leading up to our departure from SA, I though it might be good to take stock and give some account of our experience since arriving in Brisbane, Australia on 5 January 2019. But first, a short history of how we got here... My wife and I got married in 2010 and ever the years whenever big negative events happened in SA (Nkandla, Axing of Finance Ministers, Ratings Downgrades, Load Shedding, SOE Bailouts, Land re-appropriation policy changes, visits to home affairs etc.) would be inclined to think about emigration and we probably seriously explored the idea about 3 times between 2010 and 2016. Then life events happened (Father was diagnosed with Cancer and the premature birth of our first child) which would then stifle our plans and force us to focus more on the situation at hand. That and the estimated amount needed for a PR visa and related costs of R100 000 and R 100 000 to ship a container was a bit of an issue. That all changed drastically and quickly in September 2018 when my wife was approached by an HR person for a local Australian Engineering company and after we debated it, we decided we have nothing to lose by my wife going through the interview process. A few weeks later, my wife received decent job offer with the company offering to sponsor our Visas, relocation costs, flights etc. and we grabbed the opportunity. After jumping through a lot of hoops, selling our property and cars, cashing in all of our pensions and investments, we got on a plane and landed in our new home, Brisbane, on 5 January 2019 with 2 backpacks, 3 suitcases and cautious optimism... Our first hand account of Life in Brisbane... It seems that most immigrants aim to start their new lives in Sydney and Melbourne with Perth and Brisbane probably being viewed as the second or third choice for some. I must say that the fact that living costs and property prices in Brisbane are much lower than Sydney and Melbourne as well as the fact that there are a lot less people living here which means that roads are less congested is a BIG PLUS in my opinion. The City is also quite small with the CBD probably spanning around 2km so you could walk from one side to the other in about 15-20 minutes but it is by all account a world class city with a lot going for it. We arrived at the Brisbane airport at around 11:30 pm due to a 2 hour flight delay in Sydney due to heavy thunder and missed our booked transfer (Connexion) by around 2 hours. The airport was quiet at that time and we thought we would probably need to get an Uber to transfer us to our temporary accommodation. Luckily the Connexion counter was still open and I asked the person at the counter if there is any chance they could still transport us to our apartment. He said hang on, quickly ran to the minibus driver and came back saying we can hop aboard, the driver will drop us off (All of this without even checking the system if we actually had a booking). So off we went and 30 minutes later, we we are checked into our temporary apartment which would be our home for the first month. Around 01:00 we realised that we needed to urgently get milk for our toddler so we quickly took the lift down and walked to the nearest Seven Eleven which was probably 200 meters from the hotel. We felt absolutely safe and confident to walk alone in the CBD and it is as if we just left the fear at the airport in SA. On the way back we saw two police officers on horses patrolling the streets which also gave a nice warm feeling. We were able to open a bank account from South Africa (over the internet) with one of the big 4 banks and between November and December as we liquidated our assets in SA transferred our life savings and Net Asset value into the account. On the Sunday after our arrival the previous night, we decided to explore the City a bit and to find out where the closest shops were and we ended up at the Queen street mall (not a mall like in SA) where coincidentally there was a branch of the bank we had opened an account with and it was open at 3pm on a Sunday. We had to visit the branch in person to activate the account because before activation, you can only deposit but not transact. It was very painless and quick and we left about 20 minutes later with an active bank account and bank cards for both me and my wife. The next admin issue that was high on our list was to get driver's licenses (Technically this wasn't urgent as I think our SA ones are valid for about 3 months after arrival) but I have a bit of OCD and want my affairs in order so on Monday, we went to the closed department of Transport and Main Roads (there were 3 to choose from all within walking distance). We received a ticket at the entrance and were helped within 10 minutes as well as issued with temporary licenses with a note saying that our Licence cards would be delivered after 21 days to our apartment. I must say when one is used to the type of service from government departments in SA, this is a breath of fresh air and it was my best experience ever dealing with a government department. As promised on day 21, low and behold, our actual drivers cards was delivered to our residence (another breath of fresh air when you are used to SA standards). Our next new experience was going to buy groceries (our first experience was at a Coles but Woolworths is very similar). When you come from SA, you tend to convert everything back to Rands for a while and when you do that, most things are SUPER EXPENSIVE. Other things are similarly priced or even cheaper than SA. For example, we buy 1 kg of Cheese for around $6, Milk for $1 per litre and sliced bread (like Albany) for $1.25 which is close to SA and even cheaper for some items at R10 to the $. Tomatoes vary between $4-$9 per kg but it is dependent on supply and there is a severe drought in Australia at the moment. When we got to the pay points, there was no cashier and we quickly realised that it is self service. They have terminals and clever scales where you scan each item and place it in the packing area and once all the items are scanned, you click pay and tap your card and you are done. Don't remove items from the packing area prematurely though as the scale flags this and you need an attendant to come and unlock the terminal. This happened a lot during our first go and we probably spent 20 minutes the counter to finish our first grocery shopping. Labour here is expensive, I think the minimum hourly wage is $25 so most places require self service. As a guideline I would say one needs to double your Rand Spending to have the same meaning if you spent R 5000 per month in SA for groceries, you could easily end up spending $1 000 per month. Next we needed to experience and figure our how the public transport system works so with a bit of research we figured our you could buy a Translink card (Similar to a Gautrain Card) at any Seven Eleven so we did that and set off for our first experience using the city public transport. We ended up going to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and paid around $70 for me and my wife (Luckily the baby was free) to enter and spent about 2 hours there. It was a lovely experience but it felt expensive as I was still converting the price to Rand and going to the Zoo in SA doesn't cost a couple R700 for entry. The public transport in Brisbane is Amaze-balls and you have a choice of using Trains, Buses or Ferry's all with tapping your Translink card on and off. The people in the buses are also generally very well mannered and they get off their seats in the wheelchair areas to make space if they see you have a baby in a pram (Stroller). You also have other options to get around in the city with Bicycles that you check out an and in to designated areas and Lime electric scooters that you unlock and lock with a smartphone app. The city is lively and buzzing with activity and there are shops, convenience shops, coffee shops & restaurants all over. Technically one does not need a car as the public transport is efficient, safe, clean an reliable but we decided to buy a car for leisure and weekends because it is just a lot more convenient if you are travelling with a baby and have lots of peripherals to take along. Also the public transport is not the best choice after doing your weekly shopping as you will have to physically carry all the bags. If you plan on exploring a bit over weekends and want to go around 50km out of the City, having a car is much more convenient and that is why we decided to buy one. We bought a brand new Hyundai Tucson 2.0 TDCi Elite AT for $41 000 which is much cheaper than what you would pay for in SA, when I checked the equivalent in SA would cost about R 580 000. So cars here are a lot cheaper. Fast food and any restaurant food is quite expensive (when you convert it to Rand). As an example, a meal a McDonalds of Burger King that would cost R 60-70 would easily cost around $15. My wife and I do take-aways one night a week and pay about $ 30 for the two of us. Eating in restaurants are a lot more expensive though and you could end up paying $30-40 for a main, around $8 per beer and if you include starters and dessert you could easily have a bill of $120-$150 for two in a nice (not fancy) restaurant. Daycare is amazing here, the staff are very well trained and the facilities is just a big notch higher than what is available in SA. Our child went to Opti-Baby in Highveld and it was a good quality school with good facilities and good staff. But here it is just on a completely different level and we have definitely noticed a marked improvement on our son's development since he started going to daycare here. All of this unfortunately does come at a HUGE cost and Daycare is our single biggest expense, more than our weekly rent and much more than our weekly grocery and living costs. We spend a whopping $147 per day on Daycare which means in a year we would need to foot a bill of $38 000 or close to R 400 000. Now if you convert everything to Rand (like I still do) this is just an inordinate amount to be spending on daycare. In SA we would spend 10% of the per year. Things do get better though, when we get Permanent Residence we would be entitled for a government rebate of $ 10 000 per year for daycare so that helps. Private health insurance (Medical Aid) is a pre-requisite of our VISA and we got the equivalent of Discovery's Executive plan (and they even pay for In-Vitro) for around $600 per month for the entire family. Once again if we get Permanent Residence, we would qualify for the national healthcare (Medicare) and would only need to supplement it a little bit with private health insurance. Housing here is SUPER EXPENSIVE and a very average house which would not be anything near to a descent house in South Africa could easily cost $ 700 000 with houses of $ 1200 000 being nothing to write home about. We had a very entry level house in Midstream, South Africa that we sold for R 3 million. For $ 300 000 you will be getting a dump, fix me upper with a lot of work. Gardens here are also very basic and not as nice as in SA because one simply could not afford garden services or an Amos to work in your garden one day a week. The same goes for house cleaning, a cleaner would cost around $30 per hour so it is just affordable to have someone spend a day a week to clean your house and do the washing. That being said, we were spoilt in SA with a cleaning lady that came two days a week and garden services that came once a week all for around R 2 500 per month. Here you do almost everything yourself and although it is something to get used to, it is fine and very possible, everyone does it. We won't be buying a house anytime soon so in the meantime we are living in an apartment in the City that is easy to keep clean and in proximity to most attractions. If you are a professional, you can expect a very decent salary and even if you are not, you can make a good living in Australia doing low skill jobs. If you are married and both of you are working, you can have a very good quality life and would even be able to save and go on plenty of holidays. My wife was obviously sorted with a job when we landed as that is how we got here. I have however also been very fortunate to find a good jobs that pays well within two weeks of landing here so I really can't complain. Now that we are earning in Dollars, we tend to convert things less into Rand and everything doesn't seem that expensive anymore, it is the new standard. I also feel that everyone her has an equal opportunity to land a jobs and there is absolutely no prejudice or preference given to certain race groups when applying for positions. If you have the required skill set and experience that matches a job requirement, you do stand a good chance of landing the job. Also the red tape is cut down to a minimal when starting a new business and work gets awarded fairly not based on any BEE credentials or Nepotism. Everyone has a fair chance to succeed. Also unemployment is like 4 % which really help and I believe is the one thing that SA's government would need to fix before there is any chance of a turn-around in SA. The one caveat of being here is missing the family and at times one does feel very lonely but if you come over as a family, you can give each other comfort knowing that you are in a stable country with a stable economy where your children will have a bright bright future and criminals are actually caught and prosecuted. There is not that constant fear that your life is in danger whenever you leave your house/office and you don't wake up at night when you hear noises expecting the worst. We try and set up regular Skype/Whatsapp calls with our people at home and although it is not the same, this is becoming the new normal for us. I don't regret our decision one bit, we do miss our family and friends but I honestly believe this is the best decision we could have made for us. It is a very personal decision that everyone that is considering to uproot their life in SA should think about, it is not easy, you will go through stages of depression and loneliness but time heals everything. It is possibly the biggest decision you will make in your lifetime so take the time to really consider the pros and cons of staying in SA or leaving and starting a new life. Be very clear about your reasons for leaving if you do decide on that. But when you commit to a decision, commit fully and just do it without regrets and without looking back. Close the old chapter behind you and be open to embrace the new experience that lies ahead. I am grateful for this excellent platform (SAAustralia) as there is a wealth of information and people genuinely make an effort to assist and answer questions would be emigrants might have. If anyone is in the same position where we were 5 months ago and need some guidance or advice, please feel free to reach out to me, I will gladly assist. Thanks everyone, and take care. ZPrinsloo
  49. 1 point
    Granted!!! (on 25th Jan 2019) 357 days after we have lodged our application for the ENS 186 visa, I received the phone call from our Agent. It was a horrible Friday and the whole week up to that point everything I touched turned to POO. With the guys that work under me I was less popular than Donald Trump at a Democrat Convention, and at home it wasn't much better. We had plans to go away for the Australia Day weekend, and I arranged to leave work a little earlier because we still had a long drive from where we live to Apollo Bay. That morning 2 of my technicians called in sick, and I had just called my wife to say I won't be home before 7pm. Just 8 days prior, the agent called to say we needed to get AFP Clearance for our daughter because she turned 16 (in 2017), and they also needed more info from work relating my Super Fund and heaven knows what else.... So when the phone rang, and I saw it was the agent, I was not really in the mood for yet another request... I had just finished with a customer when I took the call, so I walked out of the office. All he said was, "Neels, it is done mate! We have done it!" I could not speak! I can't describe the feeling. Emotion is such a small word. I turn 50 in a couple of weeks, but I could not hold back the tears. I went upstairs and locked myself in my office till I could eventually open my mouth without getting tears in my eyes. We have done it! We made it! Our family unit still in tact. The relief that comes with it is massive! 4 years and 4 months seems like forever! But it's also just a blink of the eye. I read some of these posts and I just shake my head at some of the petty stuff people worry about. My advise is to not sweat the small stuff and let it get you under. Keep the Faith! And work harder at your relationship with your spouse and kids than you work at getting your visa. The bottom line is chances are very high you will get the visa, but it's not worth losing the people you love along the way!
  50. 1 point
    Hi Eto, My 50 cents. A new mall is not a sign of prosperity in my view, I would cast my decision net wider than that. Load shedding, getting owrse and owrse. About to sign SA's life away with a secret trillion Rand nuclear deal, which take >10 years to come on line and have a good history of going 2-3 times over budget. Water crisis, it's coming if not there yet. Crime, still well out of any semblance of control. Nepotism and corruption. People getting off scott free. Pamdozi mine. Billions scammed and fast ass Khulubuse Zuma sits on the poor and destitute. Jiba, NPA/Zuma, spy tapes. Mdluli and Co. Eskon, SAA, SARS, SABC, SANDF, and and and the list goes on. Most bloated and biggest Cabinet in the world. Say no more. Fat ass pollies in Parliament. SANRAL. Lying and conniving. Highest per capita spend in the world on education, dumbest students as a result. And let me be clear, it aint the students who are not smart, it's SASCO, SADTU etc et al that stuff it up! No textbooks for years. Marikana, killing our own to protect profits. Andries Tatanie, not a single cop sacked or jailed, despite being caught on film murdering him in cold blood. Fisheries, caught in monster scandal, nobody convicted. Slide of the Rand, since 1994 it has been on the way down. Strikes. Continous looting and "dimands" for stuff, all for free. Xenophobia. Say no more, its bloody racism, i wish people would call it waht it is! BBBEEE. Why can't I have a company and decide who the heck owns it? It's mine, i built it up with my blood, sweat, money and tears. Why am I forced to give it away? Land expropriation. If you bought it fair and square, why can it is taken away? Pet peeve - SABC TV licence. FFS, can anyone here honestly say they watch that propaganda crap? Why can't I have a TV and watch movies? The Zulu king/bigot/Malema/SACP/AZAPO can say Kill the Boer but if any witou says kill the black dude, there would be an uproar. Thuli bashing has become a national sport, and about the only exercise the fat ass pollies get in Parly. Jamming of journalists when the heat gets too much. Dont tell me that was not ordered from on high...What gets to me is the lack of accountability. There are good things and good people in SA, I know we have all lived there. But the strikes are getting worse and come next year, it will just keep getting more and more violent. Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now. :blush-anim-cl: :boxing: But South Africa does not have a good story to tell. They had a golden chance to exploit minerals and natrual wealth to build up a vibrant and successful society. Instead they play the race card as though all 52 cards were racism. It's never Governments fault, but always some "third force" or scary Western boogeyman to blame, or white farmers, or foreigners et al. Aus has issues, I promise you. here in WA, our own Barney has peed our iron ore fortunes into the wind and continues to put his head in the sand. We had to borrow $8 billion just to make it to fin. year end. So we too have Darwin nominees by the dozen. But as least if I call the cops they will come, very soon. If I call the council, I will get through AND attended to. In the same day. It works and everyone pays their fair share, mostly. (Maccas, Google, Apple, dont yet but will soon!) We have pollies who sniff seats in Parliament, crash their cars and get away with it for months. There is no perfect society, but poor SA is getting hammered left, right and centre. And by the very supposed saviours of "the people" An oxymoron if I ever saw one. .The cherry on the cake for me, the ANC toyi-toying against Eskons decision to fit pre-paid meters. Err, Eskon is controlled and run by THE ANC. So the ANC is demonstrating against itself? WTF? You can't make this stuff up. LOL, Im done venting. have a great weekend!
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