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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. Hi, I'm hoping to find a South African lawyer that has immigrated - because of my age (43), I need points for post qualification experience to get to the required 60 points for an independent skilled visa. I have been working as an attorney admitted in South Africa for the past 17 years. I have found a migration agent but I have a question that they don't know the answer to either apparently. Basically, does one get points for all work experience gained in your profession post qualifying in South Africa or is it only work experience obtained post getting a positive skills assessment from the Australian Legal Board. Would be very grateful if someone has the answer or can point me in the right direction. Thanks so much, Brigit
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