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Upon arrival in Adelaide - General Plumber


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I wonder if you can help me.

We will be coming over to Adelaide on a 489 state sponsored visa. My husband will be going over first, then myself and our 2 kids will follow once he has found a job and place to stay.

My husband will be going over as a general plumber.

I have quite a few questions. Please can you assist:

  • I have read somewhere on the internet that there is a meet and assist service from the government, for all newcomers. Is this facility still in place for new migrants? We would feel more comfortable if someone could meet my husband at the airport, and take him to the place where he will be staying
  • I have also read that there is an orientation day for newcomers? If so, who would I need to contact for that?
  • Are there any trades people, such a plumbers in Adelaide, that have migrated from South Africa, that knows of any companies that would assist in getting Australian experience in the plumbing field? I have successfully completed my offshore skills assessment through Vetasses.
  • What is the current cost of a provisional plumbers licence, and do you need to be employed at the time, in order to apply for this? Once you have applied for this, can you start working, without having the official licence on hand?
  • Can a South African drivers licence be converted and what is the cost, if allowed?

Thanks for your assistance....

Edited by Mara
I deleted the request for accommodation advice as you have asked it already in another thread!
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You are welcome!

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Hi there,

I don't see the need for you to split ip the family. It's a really stressful time but there aren't any real benefits from coming over separately. it just means that you have to duplicate everything.

All your admin can be sorted out within a couple of hours...trip to the bank...they stamp the proof of residence form...go the drivers licence centre and buy / convert the licence. medicare is close by and you can register veryone..it doesn't take long. Your tax file numbers can be applied for online.

Rent a short term furnished house for a few weeks and keep everyone together. What time of year are you moving? The peak period is December to March and you are competing with overseas holidaymakers and interstate visitors.

The drivers licence centres are called Service SA. They are found throughout Adelaide.

The link is https://www.sa.gov.au/directories/customer-service-centres

They recently (last couple of years) allowed South African licences to be swapped for an Australian one if you are over 25.

You have the option to buy a licence for a period of 1 year to 10 years...the longer you buy the more you pay. Service SA is a one stop shop and they do the photo's there too.

The meet and greet service that was run by the South Austrlain gov has been terminated a few years ago. There are a range of hire car companies at the airport but be careful that they are actually at the airport as someare within the airport zone...which could mean a few km's to get the car.

Licencing for the plumbing is a difficult one. You will likely have to do local qualifications for water and gas. Many companies do take people on in the meantime whilst you are doing the test. There is also the licence aspect to think about if planning to work for yourself. This requires the business and law components of the cert 4 in small business mangement to be be completed. TAFE often run weekend courses for different tradies or it can be completed through organisations like Master Builders. I have had many tradespeople stay with me that have gone this route.

Australia is expensive. Even more so when you are converting things by 9.4 or watever the exchange rate is at the time. Be prepared to literally bleed money for the first few months...that's just the way it is..sorry! Be prepared for it to take some time to find employment in your trade. It's best to be both here...if one of you get work then there's some Dollars coming in.

Hope that this is of some help. Don't stress, the people are friendly and helpful and the systems work!

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