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Wannago: Hello from a newcomer


Wannago
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Greetings all. My name is Alan and my wife and I are in our fifties. Our daughter and her husband have been in Aus since the beginning of this year, firstly in Perth and recently moved to Brisbane where they have bought a home and are settling down. My son and his wife are planning to go - his wife's a hairdresser and they are hoping she'll be their ticket in. My wife and I have just come back from a visit to Brisbane and have decided to see if we can also get over there. Basically it seems our only option is a 163 or 160 Visa, ie a business visa with or without state sponsorship. Would appreciate any advice as to the pros and cons of either choice. Have been on the free seminar and had the one-to-one interview with a migration agency but, having seen comments on this great forum w.r.t. that agency, we have decided to try and tackle it ourselves so I have begun downloading the necessary forms. I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has gone over on one of these two visas, or is in the process of doing so. We live in Durban and have sold one of our two service stations so would have to dispose of the second one once we know if we're accepted. I've just turned 53 so don't have much time before the 55 age cut-off. Don't want to wait until my daughter has been a PR for 2 years or more as they haven't got PR yet. Very impressed with what I've seen on the forum so far.

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Hi Alan and welcome to the forum. There is so much of the right 'vibe' here that you are bound to get the benefit of it. :)

I've only been involved here for a week or so but already feel at home.

I also mulled over the agency issue and actually went for a initial consultation. I have just been to a guy who works with a friend of my wife who has had his visa application approved after he did all the work ho

imself (shame on him for not searching the internet long enough to find this forum (who placed the search tags in the web pages? :) )) and more or less because of high fees involved have decided to also give it a go myself. My application should be simple enough although I have been warned it would require some hard work (which the agencies can't really help with anyway).

Unfortunately I can't help with any of your questions but I just wanted to say hi. :holy:

jaco

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Guest Sunshine Sister

Hi there Alan,

Welcome to our forum. I don't have any experience in the visa you are looking at, but I am sure there are loads of forumites who will help you out. Good luck with the process ahead and please shout if there is something else I can help you with.

Love from Sydney

Sunshine Sister

:)

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G'day, Alan!

. . . looks like you'll soon be joining the ranks of the 'old farts' who are 55 and over, like myself!

I was under the impression that business visas would be extended to people of the age between 45 and 55 if they were "State nominated" . . . . and only the State of South Australia was doing any "nominating" at the current time??

I may be wrong.

You'll have to check on this.

I know, as a last resort, if all your kids have left Sth Africa and you are alone with your wife, a child may sponsor their family member to live permanently in Australia under the "Family Re-Union" program.

There are criteria there to meet also, such as the sponsoring child to have lived permanently in Australia for a short while.

Good luck, mate.

Edited by Bob
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Hi Alan

I think I have said this before-so many ex-Durbanites here on the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

and.... most of our friends are in your age group. Send me a private mail and I can put you in contact with a few 160 visa holders.

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Hi Wannago. As far as I am aware there are only 3 of us on the forum who have gone the 'Business Owner' route. I will try to help you out as our 163 was approved in September and we're flying out in December, but I am by no means a professional! I believe it's much easier to get the Business Visa before age 55 but not impossible if you are older. Rather get your app. in now to be safe.

I think your first question must be whether you will qualify on the 160 as you sound keen on Brisbane. This Visa requires you to start a business anywhere in Australia. You can look up all the requirements in Booklet 7 on the DIMIA website. Tick EACH and EVERY block. If you can't meet the requirements (at today's exchange rate), you will be declined, even if you are a few thousand dollars short. They just follow the rules, no more, no less.

If this happens (as it did to us thanks to the sliding Rand) and you are willing to consider regional Australia (we are going to Adelaide), you must look up the requirements for the 163. These requirements are less stringent. Your business here is required to have done much less turnover to qualify, and your nett personal assets can be signifcantly lower.

In both of the above, remember you must prove the assets by having all your property valued by a sworn appraiser, including furniture, if you wish to include that. You must get bank statements on all your acccounts for exactly the same day. You must give them 2 of your best 4 years financials (recent). These do not have to be audited as far as I know, but ours were. Remember you do not have to have all your assets in cash, a business valuation by our auditor was also included, and we are not selling our business here. You have to prove you have the assets but not necessarily transfer them immediately. There is an amount in cash you are required to take, but it's much less than the actual net asset requirement. We got our 163 requirements for S.Australia off of the www.immigrationsa.gov.au site. Play around in there, there is lots of info, but remember it's Region specific.

You will have to give them a history of how you have managed your business here. The emphasis is on managing people, and being hands-on. You can include your CV and any qualifications, just make yourself look good, and make sure you cover each and every point they want. You may include about 4 photo's of your business, which all adds to the good effect. Then you will do a business plan of what you intend to do in Australia. We actually didn't go into that much detail there, ours was a two pager at most, because truthfully we are still not 100% sure if we will buy or start a business from scratch. We 'winged' that one a bit, but you should do your homework rather than risk a decline. ;) There are a few requirements and you must be carefull to address each one seperately (adding value, exporting, etc.).

You will still have to get your military clearance, police clearance, Unabridged Birth Certificates, Company docs etc and have them certified. It's a lot of paperwork and it took us about 4 months to get it all together, and we put in a lot of effort, driving around doing something just about every day.

When you put your file together, there is a special way of numbering the pages, but that is about the most confusing thing of all (they get numbered back to front), the rest is straightforward. We also did a covering letter, apparently there is a format, but we didn't know it and ours was apparently fine. Just gave a brief summary of who we were and why we want to live in Australia.

So we tried for the 160 and got a letter saying they would decline it if we didn't come up with a new game plan. That was a horrible, sad, day! :huh: In small print at the bottom it advised that we could consider State nomination. Although S. Aus was always our first choice, we had wanted to 'keep our options open' with a 160. But, we panicked a bit and quickly applied for the State-Sponsorship. That was another app. on it's own, but much less work (and we already had all the attachments). It was ready in 2 days. After all that effort, it's a one-pager they stamp for you. It was stamped for us within a week of the app, and the lady in Adelaide kindly posted it straight to the 'Business Processing Centre' in Perth for us, to save time. After that is was just a matter of rubber-stamping it, and we got the go-ahead for the medicals. I got the distinct impression that as we were 'sponsored' by South Australia, it was approved, no more questions asked.

We couriered our original pack (R1,800 courier charges) in early June and got our YES via e-mail in early September, inclusive of the State-application delay. We couldn't believe how fast they were. We didn't have to pay twice, only the once when we applied for the 160.

We are now required to get there (before April), start a business and employ an Australian or 2, and do a certain turnover. In 2 years time you call for them to audit you, if all is in place, you can apply for PR, qualify for Medicare, etc. Before that there are no State benefits as you are a temporary resident. If you have been lazing around, or got a job instead, then at that point you are required to pass the prevailing points test or leave. :( If you want to move your business out of the sponsoring region you have to get written permission from them. They expect you to repay them by staying and contributing to their economy for a certain number of years, so I don't know how easy it is to get permission to leave. Probably do-able in 3 or 4 years (I'm guessing).

I hope I have not rambled on too much or confused you. I can tell you that Barnone is also busy with his 160 app and so maybe he has something to add. Feel free to PM me for specifics if it will help.

If you can tick ALL the boxes you will be approved. I cannot give you info on other State authorities, but I know South Australia is extremely welcoming of business migrants and will go out of their way to help you, if you consider that route. When you arrive they even fetch you from the airport, help you find accommodation and show you around. They will take you to the shops and bank, and even out to see prospective business premises, and help you apply for your ABN (Australian Business Number). If you think it's a viable option, type Adelaide in the keyword search on the Form and have a read about the place, it's lovely.

Regards & good luck, it's really easier than it sounds, although you will eat, sleep and breathe 'Visa' soon! :P:ilikeit: . :P

Bronwyn

Edited by B H
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Alan,

it seems that the 160 visa is for anywhere in Australia, the 163 being specific to one particular region.

I don't have to tell you that as you get older your prospects aren't quite so forthcoming, so if you get knocked back on a general 160 visa, seriously consider what Bronwyn has done in going for a South Australian business visa (163).

I understand that your daughter is in Queensland, but the benefits of re-locating to Adelaide are still a lot:

You will be in Australia.

You can transfer or sell your business interests once you gain Permanent residency so that you and your wife can be close to your family in Queensland and buy a business in Brisbane.

Your investment in your business interests will not devalue to the extent that a business in Sth Africa and in Rand may well do so over the next few years, relative to the Australian $.

Airfares are not expensive anymore in Australia. You could just about see your family in Brisbane on a regular basis, say one weekend a month, by flying up and back. That's got to be a helluva lot cheaper than flying across from Africa!

The kids / grandkids could stay with you in South Australia during their holidays.

You never know . . . . they might get to like it here. . . . and South Australia's economy is looking pretty bright in the long term.

Consider. . . . Adelaide or still back in Durban??

Anyhow, I do wish you success in whichever avenue you take.

Edited by Bob
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Hi Alan,

Can't help with your visa questions, but just wanted to say Hi. :) Welcome to the forum, and good luck on the journey.

Greetings,

Dreamy

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Hi Alan and wife, welcome from a sunny Brisbane! We love it over here and wouldn't it be nice to be close to family! Anyway you seem to have been well advised - I hope the road ahead with all the hard work pays off in the long run! Good luck with it !

Chatterbug

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Okay, I'm going through this major learning curve. Thanks so much for the welcome messages and helpful info. I've realised I have to rule out the 160 visa option due to my age, so that leaves the 163 as the only choice, unless I wait for my daughter to get PR and then apply on the family reunion visa - will take too long for my liking. So now, how true is this info that only South Aus is giving state sponsorships at the moment? If so, that's a bit of a blow, I hadn't heard of that before. I do agree it will be better to be in Adelaide than in SA, but it's still a long way from Queensland. Comments please. This forum already gets a 10 from me.

Next question: I've gone through booklet 7 and looked at the forms and it seems as if the application for state sponsorship is only one page of form 949. Can this part be that easy? They don't seem to ask for much info at this first stage, or have I misread the requirements?

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Alan,

It does seem a bit of a blow when things don't quite gel the way you'd expect them to. Welcome to the whole emigration process!

It needn't be the end of the world emigrating to Sth Australia. Once your business is established as a going concern, you can always take your capital anywhere else in Australia, and in the meantime the family can visit any time they like . . . . . just a drive away or a 3 hour flight.

More importantly, your lives will be starting off in Australia. This will include all the process of working and building up enough time and input into Australia's retirement system that will help you financially to exist in the long period of retirement and into old age in the years to come. . . . . not something that you and I can afford to overlook once we are in our 50s.

Having never applied for a visa to live in Australia, I don't profess to know much about emigrating from Sth Africa but I'd be in touch with the "Immigration Bureau" specifically for the State of Queensland (an office of the Queensland gov't), if your heart is set on that part of Australia and, failing any reasonable opportunity to go to the Gold Coast, I'd think about getting in touch with the South Australian Immigration Dep't (a dep't within the Sth Australian gov't) that handles skilled and business migration in that State.

www.immigration.sa.gov.au

click on "business migration"

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Guest Bronwyn

Hi there Wannago.

I just pulled out my paperwork and see what you mean. You can apply for the 160 if you are under 45 and the 163 if you are under 55. I see that too now.

Don't be discouraged. We took all our application forms for the State Sponsorship straight out of the www.immigration.sa.gov.au

You will see all the requirements in there. It was not very difficult to get the State Sponsorship.

I have no idea what the other States are doing, but I think it is definitely worth waking up early one morning & giving the Queensland Immigration people a call. Have a chat to someone in the know there first.

If you cannot get into Queensland join us in Adelaide, you won't be sorry. :ilikeit: By all accounts it's the next boomtown. And Bob's promised us a barbie... :unsure:

Bronwyn

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I did send an email to Alan Collet at Go Matilda and he says that several states besides S.Aus are offering state sponsorship, so I'll stick to the 163 visa game plan for QLD and see how that pans out. Having such good responses from so many of you is very encouraging.

Alan

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Hey Wannago - like your forum name, very aspirational and positive! Maybe you should change it to "allreadygoing" or " see you soon" hehe to give you guys that extra oomph!

Good luck and keep us posted on how it pans out!

Brissy BUG

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