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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/15/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    I wrote this a while ago....not a detailed checklist but some handy points scattered in there................
  2. 2 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 😎.
  3. 1 point
    Yeah, my area finally got rid of bloody Tony Abbott.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 1 point
  9. 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.
  10. 1 point
    Form 929 should do it.
  11. 1 point
    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..
  12. 1 point
    Hi Ike, thanks for replying to my questions. I decided to call the PV centre in Perth and they confirmed that the forms can be filled in electronically and that includes the signing of the forms. I think that this response will make a lot of people's lives a whole lot easier! I am submitting my mom's visa application tomorrow - finally!
  13. 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)
  14. 1 point
    Purchased directly from the Mazda dealership. They had good deals on demo models.
  15. 1 point
    So we have been here for a little over a month - what a roller-coaster, below are-extracts from a long email I sent to friends and colleagues back in SA. (I have taken out some personal stuff) Some of the info will be obvious if you have been here for a while , but hopefully it will help some if you still on the journey, We got our 189 PR visas Sep 17, we came to activate in Melbourne in Feb 18, luckily I got transfer with my employer in SA to their Parramatta (Sydney) offices and we arrived on 9 Aug 18. here goes... So our family left on Wednesday August the 8th – we just got the neighbours to drop us at the airport, no friends and no family to avoid the teary goodbyes, and I must say it worked well. (for me at least) We did not leave SA sad, but rather excited. We checked in 11 items of luggage and 2 car seats – 13 in total , and we maxed out our carry-on. It was epic. So we landed in Sydney on Friday 9 Aug at 3pm – and we caught a maxi taxi (driven by a Pakistani "doctor") to our Air BnB in Winston Hills (google it). Its in the North West “Hills” district, (about 40 minutes form the city with no traffic and 10 minutes from where I work in Parramatta) We unpacked a bit, then walked to the mall to get some food (the girls were very good). We got back and unpacked until 2am (about 8pm on SA team) then we bathed the girls and we all went to bed. We got up at 7am and voila jet lag beaten and on we carried on. The first few days were very busy (especially for my wife while I was at work) and frustrating since they don’t place any value on your passport or ID here so to get anything done you need a bank account, with your Aus address, Medicare card and drivers license etc. When we tried to get our licenses converted we were told there is a new rule and we must first get a letter from SA National Roads Agency via post (hahahahahaha) (easier said than done), but it’s done now so all good. In the meantime we bought a car and I managed to arrange insurance, medical insurance e-toll, e-tag, all while trying to create a good impression in my first week at the new job (that started 3 days after we landed). Looking back everything works very well here, but that’s the thing, it works so well that it takes time and it’s a process – you must just be patient and respect the steps in the process. Now we are a lot more settled. Our AirBnb host also offered us a long term lease – so we will stay put, great news as we have grown to like the neighborhood we are in. He is a great guy, lives next door and actually built both properties – we have had a few good whiskeys together and I suppose he is my first aussie mate ;-) In the middle of all this my amazing wife went to visit 3 day care centres – and the girls settled in a wonderful facility, and they are very happy there. I take the bus to and from work, takes about 25 mins and get a nice walk in every morning. We also joined a 24hour gym (only staffed in buss hours) Oh we also went to the biggest IKEA in Sydney, amazing, We are still learning about life here….but so far I have noticed we are spoiled in SA. We always complain but we are used to having paid help – here you clean after yourself at work and at home, you pump your own fuel, you get your own popcorn at the movies etc No one makes excuses here, they work hard and they do not feel anyone owes them anything – they just get it done. Property is VERY expensive here – but we have to get back in the market – so we plan to buy in a year if all goes according to plan Weather is very similar to home Sydney is huge – really big, it starts on the east coast and spreads west – we don’t feel at all that we live in a coastal city BUT we are very close to the beautiful blue mountains that border the north and north west of Sydney (google it) Cars are relatively cheap here Everyone drives automatics – manual cars are scarce and even cheaper our girls are doing so well – I am sure they have matured so much already – the daycare they go to is great and everyone loves them Aussies generously embrace immigrants – they want to help you settle and do well According to (our neighbour), Australia is really the best example of a multicultural nation working well together It’s very diverse (just like SA) , the big difference I find is that everyone respects each other just the way you are with all your customs, There is a big culture of doing the right thing and honesty - not for any other reason than its just the right thing to do All 4 wheels on shopping swivel, this is a disaster and they go all over the place Cockatoos are wild birds here ..and they are all over the place, I keep thinking a pet store doors have been left open Anyway its early days , but we are loving the experience so far , It’s not easy , in fact it’s hard, but so worth it for us
  16. 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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