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Hi everyone!

so while having received my state sponsored Visa in 2013 I will be heading to Canberra at the end of 2016. So we have decided that hubby will come along to get me and kids (ages then will be 7 and 4) settled, registered into schools and organise a place for us to stay.

he will return to SA where he will return to work for the year, in order to wind up things in SA and will send money from SA to support our life there.

I have mentioned the above before on this forum and I know it's going to be tough out there with 2 little one's, but at this point we don't see another way.

what I do need is your guidance on formulating an action plan to start on in order to be prepared when I get there. I need to know how to go about finding a place that is kind of furnished, as opposed to having to source things like fridge, washing machine etc.

So my question to you guys already there - Just how did you go about it all? what did you land with and where did you head after landing?

How did you get the kids into school as my eldest will need to head into grade one.

AND how will one go about it landing there in December?

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Usha, a year on your own, with two little kids, I honestly think you guys need to rethink this... but in the end it is your decision. Emigrating is tough enough, even when there are two of you, to attempt this on your own, you must be very brave.

The cost of renting furnished accommodation is going to be very expensive, if you have to do it for a year. You could for instance, rent an unfurnished flat, then rent the necessary furniture to put into it... even that may work out fairly expensive but should be cheaper than furnished accommodation. Your best and cheapest would be to rent an unfurnished flat, perhaps rent a fridge and washer and dryer, but buy the rest. As it is only for a year, you do not have to buy the most expensive stuff, you could make do. For instance, if you plan to have a guest room for visitors in your home once hubby arrives, then buy a bed for the guest room, and do not bring one. Kiddie beds can be bought on ebay, which should be relatively cheap. As for pots and pans and such items, if you go to KMart, you can get them at a good price. You can google Kmart and check their prices online. If you are going to need garden furniture for your future home, do not bring it, buy it here, you can use it in your flat until hubby arrives. You can get TV's quite cheaply here, and to buy a settee is also affordable. Of course, you could make the settee a sleeper couch and actually let the kids sleep on it. The thing is, doing all of this on your own could be a nightmare, as if you buy on ebay, you need to arrange to see the items and then arrange for it to be collected and delivered to you.

Here is a link to the google search I did for furniture in canberra;

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=furniture+canberra&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=fhoDVtDFAcLO0gTe_7yYCg

For initial furnished accommodation you may want to look at http://www.stayz.com.au/

Who knows, you may even find something there that is affordable to you for the whole year.

Cannot help with the schooling question. Just a reminder, if the schools are zoned, and you move to a different area once hubby arrives, it will mean that your daughter may have to change schools after just one year!

Good luck with your planning.

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Sorry this isn't helpful, but I agree with Mara. I already question your hubbys commitment to moving to Australia :(

You are in for a very tough year!

I would look at temporary furnished accommodation for the first few months. I guess I am saying, don't set to many ambitious targets. Sure temporary accommodation is expensive, but your sanity is more valuable!

And when you go rent an apartment, you won't have an Aussie salary. So the question of, "can you afford this place" will come up. So you might have to put up 3 or 6 months rent on advance. So, you need to be sure the apartment is right for you. So, if you have been in Canberra for a few months, that question is easier to answer ;)

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Please can you clarify whether you are the primary applicant and will be working in Australia as that will make a difference to some of the advice.

I would think that your first step would be to do a budget because before and after school care and possibly child care will be very expensive depending on what you are eligible for with Centrelink.

Depending what your husband earns in RSA it might not be feasible to send third world money to support a first world lifestyle. People usually do it the other way round.

Also like the others, I think that there are major issues with not moving together. You are talking about moving over in 12 months time. What could possibly take 12 months to wind up for him in RSA?

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Yes, I'm the primary applicant. I don't intend working or rather just doing something for a few hours while the kids are in school. I'm hearing everyone, and I will sincerely take into consideration what each of you are saying......in terms of advice and guidance.........YOU are all that I have.

Okay lets say we all come together, hubby included, what should the action plan be upon landing?

Where did you guys put up? for how long? what admins did you sort out first etc?

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Have a look at the "Settling In" section of the forum: http://www.saaustralia.org/index.php/forum/45-settling-in/

There are heaps of posts covering the steps people took to get settled. Read through them with a notebook by your side and jot down as you read. You'll soon have an action plan to suit your circumstances.

http://www.saaustralia.org/index.php/topic/45488-my-10-days-in-sydney-so-far/

http://www.saaustralia.org/index.php/topic/45654-advice-how-much-can-you-really-do-in-your-first-week/

Just as an aside: I wouldn't tell too many people that you are the main applicant but will not be working as it goes against the grain of the whole migration program. Australia think that they have "imported" one more [insert occupation here] and will tick off on their list that that spot is now filled whereas in reality they have not got themselves one more skilled worker.

As the primary applicant you are expected to contribute to the economy (that's the point of a migration system) and using the visa as a "place holder" isn't what the system was designed for. I'm not trying to be harsh with you - you just need to understand that people still waiting in the queue won't be too happy to hear that somebody has got themselves a "ticket" but won't be using it so they have taken one of the quota unnecessarily.

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rozellem

Have a look at the "Settling In" section of the forum: http://www.saaustralia.org/index.php/forum/45-settling-in/

There are heaps of posts covering the steps people took to get settled. Read through them with a notebook by your side and jot down as you read. You'll soon have an action plan to suit your circumstances.

http://www.saaustralia.org/index.php/topic/45488-my-10-days-in-sydney-so-far/

http://www.saaustralia.org/index.php/topic/45654-advice-how-much-can-you-really-do-in-your-first-week/

Just as an aside: I wouldn't tell too many people that you are the main applicant but will not be working as it goes against the grain of the whole migration program. Australia think that they have "imported" one more [insert occupation here] and will tick off on their list that that spot is now filled whereas in reality they have not got themselves one more skilled worker.

As the primary applicant you are expected to contribute to the economy (that's the point of a migration system) and using the visa as a "place holder" isn't what the system was designed for. I'm not trying to be harsh with you - you just need to understand that people still waiting in the queue won't be too happy to hear that somebody has got themselves a "ticket" but won't be using it so they have taken one of the quota unnecessarily.

^ Huh?! Bit harsh.

If you rightfully obtained a PR visa, your partner has full working rights here, and you can sit at home and paint your toe nails (or look after your young kids) with the blessings of the Australian government if you so wish. Unless I am mistaken, because thats what we did too. The average Aussie know very little about visas and who can work and not. The chances of "main applicant" talk coming up in casual conversation is rare. On our PR visa, we could land in Aus and both of us do ANY job we fancied, not only the ones we did before. Dont sweat that bit, just come over (hopefully together) and get settled.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi Usha,

 

It doesn't look like anyone from Canberra has replied.  We arrived in Canberra around this time last year, although under quite different circumstances to you.  If you have any idea where in Canberra you are going to base yourself, it would help with preparing yourself.  You'll be able to look on the internet for accommodation. I knew I was going to work near Tuggeranong, so I looked for accommodation in this area.  Our container was going to take about 6 weeks to arrive, so initially we stayed in a B&B for 2 weeks, and then "camped" in an unfurnished flat until our stuff arrived.  Those initial 2 weeks gave us time to buy a fridge, a micowave and a few other things, and also gave us time to make enough of a network of friends here to borrow a few mattresses and chairs.  You should consider sending over your furniture and household goods, if you can.  Just as a guideline, the B&B cost me about $100 per day, an unfurnished townhouse about $550 per week.  My guess is that furnished accommodation, while rather scarce here, will cost at least $100 per day or more.

 

Shoot with any questions you have, I'll be glad to answer where I can.

 

Regards...

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Hi Usha,

 

We have been in Canberra for just under a month now and would be happy to answer a few questions.

 

We rented a one bedroomed furnished apartment for $120 a night for just under three weeks on TripAdvisor which proved to be a little bit too short as it was a challenge to find accommodation as neither of us had jobs. If I could have done it differently I would have rented for a month.

 

We rented a car for the first week during which we bought one for ourselves. We got a 2013 Hyundai I20 which cost $11,000. If you are able to go up a bit to about $15,000 you will definitely have more options.

 

In terms of schools we have settled down in Farrer and could not be happier with our decision. The school is great, the structure is very traditional with a big focus on discipline. Instead of pods they have old fashioned classrooms. Our 7 year old son who is very active is starting to thrive - he is doing much better than he was at the private school he went to.

 

One issue is that the good schools won't even speak to you until you can prove that you live in an area. I'd say that you should start looking for a place to stay as soon as you land.

 

If closer to the time you do not have anyone to meet you at the airport drop me a PM. Maybe you can give me the address of your accommodation and we can drive in convoy with me leading the way with the GPS. After that brutal flight driving in a strange city, probably at night can be tough especially if you don't know where you are going. (Or you can rent a car with a GPS.)

 

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  • 1 month later...
IngiLiebenberg

Hi, I am going to "high jack" this post :-) as I see there are a few Canberra Gurus here :-D 

We did our validation trip in 2013 and time is running out... 

Never set foot in Canberra (spent a week in Perth and a week in Melbourne).

 

But now - looks like the jobs for my hubby is more "stable" in Canberra. 

Plan is that he goes over end September / early October and live in a furnished bachelor apartment and then me and the girls finish the year up and fly out end of November (hopefully sending container over beginning Nov to minimize the time without our stuff - although I realize everything slows down over the Christmas season.

 

May I shoot with a few questions?

1) Tax calculation: Is there is difference in paying tax on 463visa and a PR175? 

2) My hubby will look at contract work (IT programmer: the per hour rate)... is there a different rate for Hourly fixed term contractors vs "casual workers" (battling to get a straight answer from Uncle Google)

3) ANY areas that is recommendable (i KNOW this is VERY subjective opinion... but I don't know WHERE to start looking?... or else: Which areas DONT i want to stay in?

4) My girls are in Grade 7 (13 years old) and in Grade 6 (turning 12 soon) is SA: They are currently in a SMALL Christian school (650 pupils from Grade 0 - Gr12) but both VERY sporty playing club hockey and dancing and swimming for the school... I realize the schools are area bound... but ANY recommendations of schools? Then we can look for housing in that area?

5) Does anybody work for the Government? Apparently the clearance to work for Government can take long - but is in employer's hands.... any tips?

6) Can someone send me a zip-code for any area... I wanted to look at Coles' online website - but I have to register with a zip code...? Need to do some planning.

7) BUDGET: Another VERY SUBJECTIVE subject... but can someone give me an indication of monthly budgets? I see houses between $350 per week to $900 per week... but what are the hidden costs? I would think we need to look at Groceries for 2 Adults & 2 semi-adults; school fees, uniforms, water, gas, electricity, car, car insurance, lisences, medical aid (?top-up), Phones, Internet... what else? It is the hidden costs of haircuts, medication, car breaking, clothes, housy-stuff...

8) We plan to bring a 20 feet container with basics (no "white kitchen stuff" - no fridge & freezer or washers... but the convection microwave & TV & hubby's sound system and speakers. Then the beds x 3; couch & 2 chairs, Diningroom table, 4 x chest of drawers (inherited beautiful antiques and comes in handy as i see not every house has built in cupboards) and then some basic linen and kitchen-stuff and the bicycles and hubbies golf clubs & Webber and few paintings... suggestions please on what to bring and what to leave? 

** Also: Cars: HOW do you get finance? Or do you just rent a car initially and then by a run-around old car (cheaper) cash?

9) Got one quote from Elliots. Who to use or not to use? And what insurance options do you recommend?

10) House rental: WHAT kind of deposit do they look at? what else do you need? (I think I read somewhere that your current SA neighbors should write you a letter about being a good upright citizen :-) ... is this true?

11) There were still many more things I wanted to ask... but cant think right now...

 

Hope to hear from you guys soon! I will go and search those links (with notebook in my hand to make my notes) - and hopefully get some answers there...

Thanks in advance

 

 

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BrendanH

@IngiLiebenberg - I am not an expert but I am a programmer who has been in Canberra for two months.

 

A few things I can answer - you need to be a citizen to get clearance for government positions and he is completely shut out of any federal government jobs - and they are the biggest employer. His best bet is looking at the few IT companies and looking for full time jobs.

 

Most of Canberra is livable. The only suburb I saw which I disliked was Holt because it gave a bit of a redneck vibe with huge, modded bakkies and huge Australian flags adorning most houses coupled with the local primary school (Kingsford Smith.) having a bad reputation for bullying (A combination that as recent immigrants we wanted to avoid.).

 

We settled in Farrer which is a great suburb with an amazing primary school (Code 2607.) The suburbs in the mid South around Woden/Phillip are really nice.

 

Rental I would budget between $400-$500 a week. 

 

Bond (Deposit is 1 month (5 weeks.)). You may need to offer 3 months rent up front to secure a property as there is a bit of a rental shortage.

 

As for a car - budget $12,000 to $15,000 cash to buy a reliable runabout.

 

Don't forget car insurance.

 

Anyway, need to get to work now.

 

 

Edited by BrendanH
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Peterthe1
10 hours ago, IngiLiebenberg said:

My hubby will look at contract work (IT programmer: the per hour rate)... is there a different rate for Hourly fixed term contractors vs "casual workers" (battling to get a straight answer from Uncle Google)

Casual Labour are called Contractors here and vise versa. Sometimes also called Labour Hire. A lot of positions will advertise a casual position for, say, 3 months but you may then stay a lot longer. Hence the casual positions are called contractors ie you are working on contract. In some fields these short contracts end up being indefinite. The only problem with these positions is that there are no benefits like leave, sick leave, etc. You get paid for hours worked and superannuation. My current position started as a 3 week contract (hourly rate) and ended up being indefinite, I've been there for 18 months now with now end date in sight.

Edited by Peterthe1
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TimeToGo

Hi Ingi,

 

We came over to Canberra around this time last year, so I think I can answer most of your questions. 

 

As an overview, Canberra is a great place to live.  Awesome facilities for kids and families, and apparently the best education standards in the country.  The drawback is that its seriously cold in winter, down to around -7 with some days a max of around 5.  Summer can also be very hot with temps up to the early 40s, and the odd day with minimums still well into the 20s.  During spring and autumn, the weather is beautiful! 

 

To answer your questions:

 

1.  You will pay the same tax as a permanent resident.  Once you are registerred with ATO, you are classified by them as a resident regardless of whether you are here on a temp visa or permanent.

 

2.  Contrary to what has been mentioned by others earlier, you can get work with Government, but only with the Department of Human Services as far as I know.  They do employ non-residents on a contract basis, and as far as I know they are the only exception to this rule.  I am a contractor with them and I'm on a 457 visa.  They have many opportuinities for IT contractors, obviously depending on what area your hubby specialises in.  You're welcome to provide more info via a PM to me, if you like.

 

3.   As mentioned earlier, most areas here are great.  As you get closer to what they call "civic" (the town centre, where the Parliament building are), the more expensive it gets.  My suggestion is to stay close to where your hubby will be working, if that's possible.  Canberra is very decentralised and there are big distances between the various satellite centres, so whilst getting around is easy, with very little traffic, you would want to keep your daily commute as short as possible.  I'm personally not keen on the Belconnen area, but that is rather subjective.  I work in Tuggeranong and live in Fadden, post code 2904.  Most suburbs around here are fantastic, but I wouldn't go further south than Gordon / Theodore. 

 

4.  My sone goes to an awesome Christian school called Trinity Christian School in an area called Waniassa.  http://www.tcs.act.edu.au/  Have a look.  It goes from kindy (grade 1) right up to year 12 (grade 12).   It does not have much in terms of sport though.  That would mostly need to be done at the various clubs that are available outside of school.

 

5.  As metioned I am working for government - DHS.  Security clearances will need to be performed and can be lengthy, depending on the queue in front of you.  Mine took 3 days, but if you are employed during a peak period it can take 3 weeks or more.

 

6.  As mentioned my area code is 2904, which covers a large part of the southern suburbs of Canberra.

 

7.  Budget - very subjective.  We are a family of 3 - 2 adults, one 8 year old boy.  Here's ours roughly:

Rental $550 per week

Internet, phone, Telstra $155 per month (you can get a lot cheaper if you don't want Telstra for Super Rugby!)

Cellphone $80 per month (2 phones on pay as you go - data and calls/smses only, not the device)

Groceries $150 per week.  (This is rather tight!  It covers food and cleaning stuff but not any other extras e.g. brooms, etc)

Electricity, water, lights $370 per month (paid quarterly)

Rego $150 per month (paid annually)

Petrol $150 per month (also a bit tight)

School Fees $700 per month (private school as mentioned earlier)

Car servicing $100 per month (I save towards that)

Home Insurance $50 per month (rough guess)

BUPA medical $270 per month

Car Insurance $56 per month

I budget $100 per month and save it for the next years school uniforms and other clothes.

haircuts - work on $30 per haircut

We budgeted $20 000 for a car which got us a nice second hand 4x4 (2013 model), but that's also quite subjective.  Cars are quite reasonably priced here compared to SA.

Other things e.g. clothes, home/garden appliances - work on between 3 to 5 times more expensive than SA.

 

8. I found that my TV international settings didn't work here, so I got a new one here.  Video machine also didn't work for Aus videos.  Pointless to bring battery chargers.  You should be fine with other electrical equipment such as a sound system. I agree, don't bring white goods.  We brought a washing machine which worked for about 3 months after it arrived and then packed up.  I think the move damaged it.  If you're bringing a weber braai and bicycles, make sure they are seriously clean.  I threw away my old weber grate and grill and bought new ones before coming over which worked well.  Make sure there is no soil or mud on anything, and brush off rust as much as you can.  The houses here are a lot smaller that we are used to, so if your furniture is chunky, think twice about bringing it.  It might end up in storage!  Most modern houses have built in cupboards, dishwashers and hobs/ovens. Bicycles are a must here in Canberra where commuter cycling is huge, and very enjoyable with dedicated cycle paths almost everywhere.  Parking is expensive so you'll save on that!

 

9.  Car rental can be quite pricey.  I did it for 1 week while I bought a car.  You'll pay around $50 per day excluding insurance for the bottom of the range.  Double that if you need something big.  I haven't tried getting finance before, but if you buy from a dealership, I'm sure that shouldn't be a hassle as long as you are working and can provide proof of income and proof of your address.

 

10. We went with a company called Baileys.  They gave us a great price, also 20ft container, and (other than the washing machine) all went very well.  I would recommend them.  They are a small family business, based in Joburg.

 

11. House rental.  We pay $550 per week, and we pay fortnightly.  Deposits vary and could be negotiable depending on whether you rent directly from the owner or through an agent.  We had to provide a deposit of 4 weeks rent (what they call a bond), and we had to pay for the first 2 weeks up front.  So 6 weeks rent to get us started.  Agents ask for all sorts of documents, but you'll find they are quite flexible if you can't provide them.  If you can get a letter from your landlord if you are currently renting, to show you pay regularly and are a good tenant, that's what they want.   A reference from a neighbour may be helpful, if you're not renting.   I can't speak too much about staying in furnished accommodation.  I did inverstigate it and found it extremely expensive.  It may be worth considering a BnB, which is what we did for 2 weeks, and then we "camped" in our rented house where we borrowed some basics until our container arrived.  I can recommend a great BnB in Monash if you'd like to try it.

 

Okay, that should give you lots to chew on.  Post further or PM me if you need any further info...

Edited by TimeToGo
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Hi, I hope you dont mind me going off topic.  As there are a few Canberra residents replying to this post , I would like to know how the job market is at the moment for Accountants in C?

Edited by FairGo
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OubaasDik

TimeToGo

 

How in the world did you get a security clearance in 3 days?

 

It took me 7 MONTHS. 

 

Is that a security clearance or a police clearance?

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