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  1. Hi everyone My partner and I have been ruminating over the possibility of emigrating from South Africa for quite some time. We have decided that, even though the entire process to emigrate to Australia seems a lot more costly and possibly more time consuming than elsewhere (Canada and UK for example) that it is something that we are prepared to go through to ensure that we have a better quality of life for ourselves and family. I have been perusing SAAustralia for some time and have already come across quite a few helpful tips, so decided to join the community to ask more specific questions and to document our experience for future users as well. We have started to look into the process of emigrating to Australia and for us, it seems the most likely route that we will go is for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) which is a points based stream. I am an actuary (FASSA) in the [25, 33) age bracket group and my partner is a chartered accountant (CA (SA)) in the same group. We haven't written any of the English proficiency tests as yet or had our skills assessed by VETASSESS. We have a fairly broad set of questions that we have been thinking about and we would greatly appreciate any input as it will help us along our journey. Employer sponsored visas There are varying articles (for example, this one) that predict that Australia will require an increase in employer sponsorships to speed up the recovery of the economy after Covid-19 clears up. I'd like to get a sense of the likelihood of receiving an employer sponsored visa for either my profession or my partner's. I understand that such things are really a case-by-case basis and it would be difficult to offer any advice with certainty. However, I would like to get a sense if employers are still willing to sponsor actuaries and CAs - if this has been on the increase or decline over the last few years? Is anyone working in these professions on this forum that have a good sense of 'what is happening on the ground'? Partner skills assessment I see on the immigration website that 10 additional points are awarded for partners who meet 4 requirements (under 45, competent English, on same skills occupation list as visa applicant, suitable skills assessment). Would this mean that it is sufficient for my partner to request from her university that her degree was taught in English - or would it be advisable for both her and I to write one of the English proficiency tests (we are considering the PTE)? City to live in This is obviously a personal preference sort of question, but I would like to hear different thoughts from members on this forum from different cities. My partner and I plan to move up with our dog, and would require a house/townhouse/apartment with a garden/yard. I have been using a few websites (I have found domain in particular quite useful since it has some decent filters and geo-locates the postings in a map view) to look at rent prices and how they vary by distance to the CBD). However, since Covid has hit, it is actually quite clear that the rent prices have dropped to some extent, which makes it a bit difficult to get a sense of what the cost of living will look like. I have looked at job postings on sites like 'seek' and 'indeed', and can see that the overwhelming demand for actuarial and CA roles are in Sydney (with Melbourne trailing by a bit). However, the cost of living in Sydney (particularly rent) is really steep and it is difficult to get a sense of what actuaries and CAs with +-7 years of experience earn (the estimates I have seen on Seek, Indeed, Payscale are wide enough to drive a bus through them - not to mention, the estimates for the South African companions of some of those websites are completely out of line with what I understand the market distribution to look like). Brisbane looks to have quite a nice climate, and more palatable cost of living - however, I haven't seen many actuarial or CA posts for the city. Are there any professionals in the finance/banking/insurance sector who can advise on where they work - and what the pros and cons are. I would be particularly interested in hearing about prospects of career progression and if (or if not) Sydney really is the place to be for working professionals in the industry. Working from home I would like to get a sense from people 'on the ground' regarding working in a professional role (that can be done remotely) on how Covid-19 has impacted working. In South Africa, most of the people I know are still working from home and are likely to work from home until at least the end of the year. There is some talk among businesses of a 'new normal' and I am aware of companies downsizing their office space and moving to hot-desking - under the assumption that more staff will regularly work from home and come into the office less frequently. Are professionals in Australia working from home still? Is there any sense that there will be an increase in working from home after the coronavirus runs its course? I ask this question because it, to a large extent, impacts work/life balance as well as cost of living. Also, if companies are willing to push for more working from home (which save them a lot of money) - even if this is for x days a week - it makes living further from the CBD more palatable (particularly because rent prices tend to be lower further from the city centre). I apologise for starting off with a marathon post, I didn't quite anticipate it being quite as long as it has turned out. I'm really keen to get some of your thoughts on the items that I have outlined above and my partner and I are quite excited to get the ball rolling with planning our emigration. Any input will be appreciated.
  2. How much money do I need in Sydney (Also relevant to other cities) There have been quite a few comments about “What is the minimum I need to live in Sydney”. The average salary in NSW is $80,132 and this would have been dragged up by the super wealthy so it should be lower, add that at least 50% of the people earn less than this number if we ignore the distortion, that sets the average wage amount, so if you are earning this you are smack bang in the middle of the bunch. So what is the minimum number…. The problem is that it depends on what you consider to be a minimum, I am pretty sure there are peeps on this forum that would consider anything less than a mansion to be slumming it: While I was getting my business up and running here in Australia, my wife and I with a 1 year old managed just fine on $1k per month for about 4 months, living in national parks @ $12 per day or sometimes free if we headed far out into the sticks, we still bought good quality food with a serious plan, kept petrol usage to an absolute minimum...etc, even once the finances started recovering we lived on a serious budget for over a year. Now that the business is doing well (7 staff here in Australia) I still cannot bring myself to hand over packs of unnecessary cash. Here is our budget with me working in Sydney: We live in a 3-bedroom house with a sealed garage and a garden, 26 min drive to the beach, a 10 minute walk to a train station, in a nice area on the central coast (Narara – got a Durban / Margate feel to the place), it takes me 1 hour 15 min to the city by train, so I sit and work or read a book in the morning and evening. Rent = $1680 per month Food = $800 pm – we really spend more than we need to here, but like lots of fresh fruit, meat, fish etc. Power = $100 approx per month - fans not aircon, don't run the heater all winter just when needed, then keep it in one room, I swapped every light for LED so we don’t care if they get left on, no tumble dryer (Clothes line works just fine) Medium Hospital plan for the family = $200 pm (extras are a rip so skip those) Train Fare = $290 Per month Home Internet = $100 – lots with extras Mobile = $ 40 – I have a contract, but 40 bucks with Telstra gets you unlimited calling in Auz & 5gigs of data (Times 2 for your partner to get one as well) So $3 210 a month will keep a family of 2 adults and a toddler happy and healthy long term, that is $38 520 per year, even adding spending money you will be able to manage just fine on a salary of $60k for a family, and if you are earning more you can save really nicely by keeping your costs down, and if the going gets tough you could make do with $12k per year, we have done it, not fun but you roll with the punches. It is all about what you consider to be good enough, I am perfectly happy with what we have and living debt free with the ability to have my wife stay at home and look after the little one (and one on the way) plus still be able to save, sure i travel to work and back, but even living in the city you will still need to travel, so the difference is not as high, living the dream in my books, others feel that they have to buy a place, it must be close to the city, they have to keep up with the Jones’s and that makes them happy, but needs a heck of a lot more money to make it work. (Required Australian disclaimer) Note this is not financial advice, I just really like the subject, have done a lot of reading up and number crunching on spreadsheets, this is my personal opinion that I find interesting to discuss, don’t get me started abut if buying a house is a good investment….
  3. Hi All, This is my first post to the forum. My wife and I have been pondering for a good few years (Since 2011) on whether we should pack up and go or stay and pray that things will get better in SA. Our first child was born in June 2017 and that forced us to have a longer term perspective and to reflect (yet again) on our life strategy and options. I am not going to go into all the reasons as to why we have come to this decision (those have been discussed ad nauseam in many threads), what is more important is that we have made the decision we are moving to Brisbane in early 2019. My wife is a civil engineer and has been very fortunate to secure a job with a large multi-national consulting company that is assisting us with a visa (482) and relocation. At the moment we are in the process of preparing all the documentation that is required for the visa (Deloitte is assisting with the application). I am an Industrial Engineer and I have been working in the Supply Chain space for Large FMCG companies with experience in Continuous Improvement (as a Six Sigma Black Belt), Inventory optimisation, Supply Chain Network Modelling, Sales & Operational Planning, Factory Logistics, Analytics, Reporting and compiling business cases for strategic projects. I also completed my Mba this year with Wits Business School. I have been actively looking and applying for Jobs on Seek and LinkedIn but have had no response (not even an email) as yet. I am thus seeking advice from people that have made the move as to what the best approach should be to secure a job. My wife's income should be enough for us to get by but I also want to and need to work. Please let me know if you know any specific agents I can contact in Brisbane are if I should take a different approach. Are my chances better of finding something after we have landed? Secondly, I have put together the following budget and I am looking for any feedback on if I am over/underestimating costs: Expenses Item Per Week Description Rent $ 500 Looking to live in a 2 bedroom flat close to the CBD Household $ 150 Electricity, Gas, Water, Internet, Mobile Phones, Netflix Daycare $ 300 I estimate $100 per day but deducted the subsidy if both parents are working. Healthcare $ 105 Comprehensive cover with extras for 2 adults and a baby (1.5 years) Cars+Fuel/Travel $ 100 We will buy a car cash for leisure and use mainly public transport for work Groceries $ 300 Dining $ 100 Once a week in an average restaurant Recreation $ 100 Weekend spending for entertainment Misc $ 200 Anything not already specified Total $ 1,855 Thank you in advance for any information you are willing to share. Kind Regards Z Prinsloo
  4. Hi, we are privileged that I have been offered a position as financial manager in North Lakes. The 457 nomination has been approved, just awaiting the approval of the 457 visum. This was submitted at the end of April, subsequently they have requested medicals and on the 15th they requested the birth certificates of the children (19 and 15) and proof that the eldest is still a dependant. Any idea on how long this process will take. Getting nervous as I have to start on the 1st of August and the family following in December. Any recommendation on the PR application, I have gathered that the best will be a 189 application and then VETASSESS, but will that be the easiest or rather the quickest. My wife has a Phd in entomology, will it be easier for her to apply for PR. The cost for international students is astronomic, any idea on how I deal with this, until I have PR (what is the timelines on PR appications and any suggestion to use an agent or do it ourselves). We will be moving in December, what movers will you propose and when do we start the process? We have two dogs, which company will be the best to use? What is the cost of living in North Lakes? Do we rent or buy a house and if we buy, what will be the process to get finance and even a bank account? Anybody that can assist with either housing or the finance thereof. We are a sporty family, are there any cycling or badminton clubs? Do they do regular rides or is everything laid back? What will be the best travelling option from North Lakes to Brisbane University? We are really looking forward to this move, as the situation in South Africa is only worsening (although the Stormers are still better than the Reds.
  5. Hi everyone I recently found this link which has a nice summary of the spending habtits of Australians. It displays Aussie spending habits by different state; spending categories (beauty, groceries, travel, etc.); lifestyle stages (single, couple, married with children, etc.); etc. I found it really useful and it might help you understand better where your money would go to once you move over https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/managing-your-money/budgeting/spending/australian-spending-habits
  6. Hi again all So I've been trying to pull a budget together based on expected salaries and expenses. I've used all the resources I could find on the interweb to try and get this as accurate as possible...now I'd like to draw on the experience of the Canberran contingent of SAAus to give me your opinions on where I need to tweak my expectations. Next to each income/expense I've added the source however if you think I'm off the marke please let me know. As it stands, we'll have loads more disposable income in Canberra than we do at the moment in UK doing exactly the same jobs. And that includes a house with a garden and free sunshine! Seems too good to be true...can you let me know if it is please:-) BUDGET Description Ave Source Income Marketing Manager salary $5,104 $80,000pa - http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Marketing_Manager/Salary#by_State (nett - http://www.paycalculator.com.au/) Exec Sec salary $4,010 $60,000pa - http://www.payscale.com/research/AU/Job=Executive_Assistant/Salary#by_State (nett - http://www.paycalculator.com.au/) Expenditure - 2 people Home rent -$2,200 http://www.allhomes.com.au/ Council Rates -$133 http://www.justlanded.com/english/Australia/Australia-Guide/Money/Cost-of-Living (Took the total annual and split over 12 months) Water -$74 Water usage -$35 Contents insurance -$35 Electricity -$139 Gas -$61 Transport - Public -$225 https://www.transport.act.gov.au/myway/fares.html#Adult Groceries -$140 http://www.justlanded.com/english/Australia/Australia-Guide/Money/Cost-of-Living Mobile -$130 https://onlineshop.telstra.com.au/ Internet $50 http://www.telstra.com.au/internet/home-broadband-bigpond-elite-plans/ TV -$109 https://www.foxtel.com.au/shop/packages-and-deals/?execution=e1s1 Entertainment -$2,500 Finger in the air! Holiday savings -$1,000 Finger in the air! Life savings -$2,000 Finger in the air! Nett $383 A SURPLUS…SURELY NOT! Hope the pasted table came out ok! C
  7. Hi all, I have been very quiet for over 3 years as 175 PR visas have taken so long. Only now moving on categ 5 so starting to read and think about it again. Starter question, I know child care is expensive, I will have school going kids and one small child at home. Are most of you double income families? I will obviously work once the last child enters school. At moment I work half day, taxi kids in afternoons & I have a nanny at work to look after toddler. Applied: Aug 2009 GSM175 Husband occupation: IT Tech support engineer (may move to SALES) Thanks!
  8. www.expatistan.com Comparing Perth to Joburg: http://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/comparison/johannesburg/perth The trouble is that this calculator doesn't account for certain third world costs, for example - your healthcare in Joburg is upwards of R 3000 a month, but you could get away with about R360 a month in Australia as the state covers most stuff. It also doesn't account for other costs that siphon your wallet - security, private schools, etc. Good for a comparison though.
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