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Occupational Therapist looking to move to Perth


OTherapist
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Hi Guys,

I am SO pleased that I found this fantastic site...this is my first post. I am from Cape Town originally (UCT grad) and am presently living in California, USA. My husband and I are very keen to move to Perth, Australia. My aunt and uncle live in Melbourne and I have a fair amount of family that live in Sydney. Are there any other Occupational Therapists out there that can answer my questions? My husband is a Professor of Engineering and hasn't had any luck finding a job in Perth. If there are any fellow Profs out there that can assist, we would be so grateful.

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Hi OTherapist and welcome to the forum.

Am not an OT myself, but I've seen one or two physios on here and someone else also an OT.

As an OT, you are on the SOL (Skilled Occupations List) AS WELL AS on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL), which basically means that Oz needs your skills!

What visa do you guys intend on going to Oz with? Skilled – Independent (Migrant) visa (subclass 175), which gives you PR from the start, or the work visa, the Temporary Business (Long Stay) - Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457), which may eventually lead to PR? The 457 visa requires that you secure employment with an Australian employer first before applying for the visa.

Seeing that you have family living and working in Oz, you also have the option of the Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) visa (subclass 176), where a family member can sponsore (i.e. nominate) you on PR if he/she is an Australian permanent resident, citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen.

May be a good idea to explore all your options and to find out if as an OT, you need to do any conversion exams prior to being allowed to work in Oz. (Most of the medical professionals require some sort of conversion exam initially or eventually, but the fact that you're on the MODL may mean that this requirement may be waived at the initial stage).

All in all, OTs are in huge demand in Oz, so I'm sure you won't struggle to find work at all.

As for you hubby, engineers are just as hugely in demand in Oz. Seeing that he's a professor, therefore an academic, he might struggle to find employment from abroad (although nothing is ever impossible), but would have the right to work in Oz once you guys come over on your skills (irrespective of the visa choice you make between any of the visa possibilities mentioned above). Many employers prefer workers to already have a valid visa that entitles them to work legally in Oz, and are simply not keen on job sponsorship (concerning the 457 work visa). Chances for employment sponsorship become greater if your occupation is on the MODL (as yours, as OT, is).

Good luck with the process!

Edited by kangaroo
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You'll be right.

My youngest daughter is doing O.T. at the University of Newcastle. Also my son's girlfriend is doing O.T. here in Adelaide.

There is a good demand for O.T.s throughout Australia.

With some visas however, you may find a 45 year old cut-off limit, but you cna get around that I reckon by going on a business visa (setting up your own practice) or family sponsorship.

Do your homework and check it all out.

How come you're quitting California?

Want to be in the southern hemisphere?

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Hi Guys,

Thank you for the warm welcome! I will be applying to have my degree recognized early next year and the process seems simple enough! My OT Program is thankfully recognized by the WFOT (World Federation of OT's) so this helps me! Since we are keen to live in Perth, I will have to undertake a 6 month practice audit, which seems fair enough. I haven't applied for any positions yet, but I am keen to continue working in the area of Paediatrics, so hopefully I will get lucky!

Since I am 30 yrs old and my husband is 40, we figure that I should be the primary applicant and we are considering the 175 visa. I did a quick search on this forum today and I found a few OT's listed who applied under the "136 MODL". I can't find any reference to this visa on the Aussie Immig website so perhaps someone could enlighten me? Is this a specific visa or a subclass?

We have 3 furry children (cats!) and they are fairly senior. 2 of our cats are 16 yrs and the 3rd is over 20. They are very attached to us and my hubby isn't keen on leaving just yet. I love them dearly but I know that since we are "older" we really don't have time on our hands. I read the comments in the Pet posts and can totally relate!

Back to the topic:

Should we get approved for the 175 visa, do we have to take it up immediately? I may have misunderstood but I read somewhere that we have 5 years to take it up? The other question I have relates to work experience. I have been working for 7 years now. We do want to start a family within the next 2 years :-) If we should be granted the 175 visa, next year, but decide to wait 5 years before taking it up (if permitted), what would happen if I got pregnant twice and popped out 2 kids during the 5 year period! My RECENT work record would surely become non-existent!! I understand that I need to prove my RECENT work history but I am not clear if that is only up until the point where I have been granted the visa or if I still have to prove my recent work record once we actually immigrate? This rule seems to prejudice women who want to start a family and be a stay at home mom. I was also wondering if I need to actually hold down a job on the 175 visa, or if it's acceptable for my husband to work instead. Of course I will go back to work eventually!!

Thanks Guys!

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Forgot to add:

California weather is perfect....I can't complain about that! The main reason that we are wanting to leave is that we are very close to my parents who still live in Cape Town. It's such a long trek every time I want to go and see them. I usually have to make a stopover in Europe to make the trip bearable. I don't have any family here in the USA and it's rough! My husband is American, which is why we are living here..but we aren't close to his family.

A secondary reason is that the USA lacks a National Health System, which as a medical professional, I strongly believe in. Every resident deserves to have their basic medical needs covered. The cost of health insurance in this country is outrageous and unless one is employed with a very large corporation, your choice of Health Insurance is severely limited, as is your access to quality doctors etc.

Don't get me wrong, there are many strong points about living in the USA. It's just not for us!!!

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Hi there,

I am a physio working and living in Perth. I got my qualifcation recognised quite a few years ago before you had to sit an exam. I'm no sure what the procedure is for OT's. Getting registered is quite tricky now (involves theory and practical tests for physios which can only be done at certain times of the year) and I think you have to be registered prior to applying for your visa. Although your husband is older he may still have enough points to apply for the visa.

Y!

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I did a quick search on this forum today and I found a few OT's listed who applied under the "136 MODL". I can't find any reference to this visa on the Aussie Immig website so perhaps someone could enlighten me? Is this a specific visa or a subclass?

Since 1 Sept 2007, the 136 visa is known as the 175 visa, due to the GSM (general skilled migration) visa changes introduced by DIAC on this date. The 175 thus replaced the 136 on 1 Sept 2007.

Should we get approved for the 175 visa, do we have to take it up immediately? I may have misunderstood but I read somewhere that we have 5 years to take it up? The other question I have relates to work experience. I have been working for 7 years now. We do want to start a family within the next 2 years :-) If we should be granted the 175 visa, next year, but decide to wait 5 years before taking it up (if permitted), what would happen if I got pregnant twice and popped out 2 kids during the 5 year period! My RECENT work record would surely become non-existent!! I understand that I need to prove my RECENT work history but I am not clear if that is only up until the point where I have been granted the visa or if I still have to prove my recent work record once we actually immigrate? This rule seems to prejudice women who want to start a family and be a stay at home mom. I was also wondering if I need to actually hold down a job on the 175 visa, or if it's acceptable for my husband to work instead. Of course I will go back to work eventually!!

As far as I know (please anyone else correct me if I'm wrong), you have to live 3 out of the initial 5 years of being on the 175 visa, in Australia. Thus, in essence, you have 2 years' leeway at most, after being granted the 175 visa, to move to Oz permanently.

Recent work history needs to be in place/proved at the time of visa application, not once the visa is granted (or when you actually emigrate).

You'll find that Oz actually really favours mothers who stay home...the Oz government has many incentives trying to encourage moms to stay home, as most people in Oz believe this to be best for the kids. In brief, some of these incentives include a government payment of Aus$4000 per child (when the child is born), as well as tax relief applicable to any income earned by the breadwinner above a certain threshold IF THE MOM STAYS HOME and there is only one breadwinner in the family.

On the 175 visa, you can really do as you like, i.e. your hubby can work and you can choose not to work.

On the 457 visa (if you are the sponsored worker), it is another story, as you will be expected to work for the sponsoring employer for a certain period of time. Your hubby will have the right to work too (on 457 visa), but you would be required to work in your sponsored work position for at least the specified period of time (usually at least 2 years).

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Thank you for clarifying! The 175 sounds like it is the way to go for us!!! What will the government require in terms of proof that I have been working for 7 years? What if one owns a private practice? Is this paperwork submitted in the initial application or after the fact?

I am pleased to hear that Oz favors stay at home mums! I moved to the USA immediately following my grad in 1999. It was a nightmare to become registered here in this country! In fact, I will head over the SA in USA boards to help any other OT's that want to come here :-) Since that experience, I am prepared for anything and nothing seems as daunting. The process for PT's to be registered in the USA is a similiar process to what OT's in Oz need to go through! Thankfully my Uni is registered as being part of the WFOT (World Fed of OT) so I will not need to take any additional courses. I called the COTBR (Boards in Aussie) and they have been wonderful in explaining the registration process. I have all the paperwork ready to go, but will wait until early next year to file. The trickier part will be finding an employer who is willing to allow me to undertake a 6 month audit! The audit itself has tons of paperwork and I see that process as being more complicated!

Thanks again! This helps So much.

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Hi OT,

I will get my wife to send you a pm, because you are in the exact situation as we are in, even to the extent that my wife is an OT specialising in Paeds and SI.

We applied with my wife as the primary applicant on the old 136 MODL visa which is now the 175 I think.

Will pm you tomorrow.

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So . . . there you go, Tarryn!

Need any more encouragement from all the helpful folks back in South Africa of in Oz?

The main thing you'll find will be the waiting, cos heaps of people apply to migrate to Australia but only a certain number ever get in.

With a permanent visa you'll be screened well because once it's granted you're in for life. The screening obviously takes time, but in all honesty, would you want it any other way for such a great place in the sun like living in Australia?

Perth is a great spot. I worked there back in 1972. It's changed a bit since then , but still is laid back and friendly.

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