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Friendly advice required.

Friendly advice required.

Old Jul 1st 2005, 10:30 am
  #1  
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Smile Friendly advice required.

Hi all hope your well?

Me and my partner and my 3yr old daughter are currently going through the process of getting to Melbourne. I have been offered a job in Melbourne and we have applied for a 457 visa. I just have a few queries that I hope someone who has been through the process can help me with. SAome queries, I am sure, have been asked countless times!

The application was lodged about a month ago and we are going for our chest x-rays next week, my daughter has to have a medical as she will be entering a classroom situation over there. Can anyone tell me how long after the medicals does it take for the VISAs to come through. I have supplied DIMIA with the other documentation they require.

Is the cost of living in Melbourne alot less than living in the north of England?

As a 457 VISA holder, am I entitled to Medicare? The company I am going to work for has offered me $3000 private healthcare - is this reasonable?

I read somewhere that I may have to pay for state schooling for my daughter, as a 457 VISA holder. Is this correct?

We have been looking at various suburbs in Melbourne in which to live i.e. Narre Warren, Berwick, Cranbourne etc. but we also like the thought of living near the ocean. Would anyone be able to give me their opinions on various suburbs and which they feel would be good to bring up my daughter? I like the thought of having a pool and big garden, but the maximum rent that I am willing to pay is $300 a week. Do you think I am being unrealistic?

What attractions are there for us to enjoy around Melbourne and are they in sufficient driving distances? I read about skiing in the winter at MT. Buffallo, which would appeal, also the great Ocean Road.

Lastly, I am sorry to go on , but are there lots of British people in Melbourne and are there any particular suburbs that they seem to settle? Once we are over there it would be nice to get friendly with other British families aswell as Australiam families, u know to kind of settle us in?

Thanks greatly to whoever finds the time to reply. Hopefully, we may see some of you guys out there in Melbourne in a couple of months.

Take it easy.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 10:44 am
  #2  
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Wellcome mate

Let's start you off with a dedicated site for Victorians that will supplement this one I am sure.

http://s7.invisionfree.com/BritVics/...hp?showforum=1

Will let those people comment on districts etc.

There are charges for schooling on all states covering books, paper and things and yes some states do charge you an additional fee if you are on a temp visa. Not sure if Melbourne is one though. NSW definitely is.

My employer paid for Medibank Private visitors cover which was AUD 311.40 monthly so the figure they have offered seems in the right ballpark. There are several private med companies to choose from.

Our visa was like yours and was granted within 6 weeks start to finish. Think it was max 3 weeks after the meds were sent.

Search this forum for information about Living Away from Home Allowance(LAFHA) and also Salary Sacrifice. These maybe things your employer offer.

Also look toward the top of this page for a thread about 457 visas by JAJ.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 10:48 am
  #3  
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Forgot to say if you are British citizens you should be able to sign up for reciprocal medicare cover.

We ended up only using Medicare even though we had the Private cover as there are kick-in periods you have to serve before things are covered on the private policies.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 10:58 am
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Thanks mate

I will have a look at that Victorian forum, theres just so much to get your head round, it's untrue!

I have read the 457 VISA thread, it's a tad negative and kinda makes you think have I done the right thing but saying that, I dint know I would be living over in OZ 4 months ago and the company wanted me out there ASAP.

Hopefully, if we like it, the company will help me towards permanent residency as they have done with 457 holders in the past.

How have you found life over there with your 457? Have you come across any negatives? I read the thread about credit cards etc and it seems that it's not an impossibility to get one, although I am gonna try and be good with my money over there. I have heard that your money goes alot further?

As for LAFHA, I couldve got it, except we have decided to sell our house in the UK as we have made a reasonable profit. I heard I may be entitled for fringe benefits though. Any information on these?

Cheers.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

JAJ is very much against people going to Aus on a temp visa if there is any alternative. I do agree with that view but do accept that sometimes it is necessary. It was the case for me.

In many ways the only rights you have on a 457 are to pay full tax ! It does make you feel like a second class citizen which I suppose you are really.

The thing I hated above all was that if anything went wrong with the company I worked for or if they sacked me I would have had to leave AUS within 28 days.

Living day to day is actually fine but I converted to an RSMS PR visa as soon as I could so am now much happier.

I would suggest you get in writing from your company that they will sponsor you for ENS or RSMS even if you pay for it yourself. That was my arrangement before I came over.

The fringe benefits perhaps is the Salary Sacrifice thing ? I don't really know how it works but believe it's on the lines that you pay for "something" direct from your wages BEFORE tax is deducted from your wage. A ligitimate lowering of tax payable.

I still don't have an Aus credit card and still use my UK one. Now we have been here 8 months I guess we could get one.

Yes, I find money goes further but that will be very dependant on each individuals lifestyle. If you add up the total cost of income tax, national insurance and VAT it will be more than the sum of the Aus equivalents income tax, Medicare and GST. In general housing is cheaper (but Sydney and Melbourne can be expensive) and fuel is much cheaper - but further to travel.
From our experience everything else is the same or cheaper than the UK. Oh and all insurances we have taken out are all cheaper too.

On a 457 if you want to buy a property you need to seek FIRB approval as it is considered an overseas investment purchase.

My kids are college / uni age and would be treated like international students = big bucks for education.
For example the youngest did a 2.5 day 6 month course at TAFE college = AUD 5000. Now we have PR it has reduced to AUD 650. A very big difference.

One negative workwise is that companies are reluctant to employ temp visa holders (rest of the family) as they are not certain they will stay in Aus.

Above is a bit dour in places but not meant that way.
Perhaps I should say "Yes, I would do it again"........that says a lot eh ?
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 1:15 pm
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Thanks for that Bix.

The company did mention that they'd help us with PR if we decided that we liked it and the job was going ok. I have sent my prospective manager an email enquiring if they would help me once we have decided that we are going to stay. Hopefully the answer will be positive, I know they have helped employees in the past.

I kinda wish that we did apply for PR but it didnt even enter our minds about moving to AUS 6 months ago. Its just that I got offered a job and we thought what the hell - go for it.

I have had a browse at that VIC forum, some handy threads on there regarding the suburbs.

I didnt think of using my UK credit card, thats interesting. Did you tell the company that you lived in AUS though?

Are there many 457 holders in AUS? It kind of depresses you when you read that my partner may struggle for work and that you are classed as an overseas worker

Oh well, I guess we'll have to make the most of it and if we like it, go fro the PR.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Please, please don't let me depress you on this.
I just want to offer some advice so you are aware of what you may meet .....not put you off in any way.
By the nature of the beast some things are bound to be generalisations and you may not meet them anyway.

Do go for a PR visa as soon as you are able though. It really could make such a difference in the long term.

I know nothing of your company but sounds like they are making the right noises. There have been many 457ers on here who have not been offered the medical cover for instance. (even though they all should)

The credit card thing has proven quite interesting. I had 4 UK credit cards and phoned them all. Marbles was the only one who would not accept me living abroad so I cancelled that one. Tescoes are crap as you can't do an easy internet payment so that one has gone too. I still haver the other two.
You cannot rely on postal staements reaching you in good time....they take weeks. Make sure the card has full internet access to statements AND payments.

I have a UK bank account and use their visa/delta card. That surprised me in being the cheapest method. I can use that one like an EFTPOS card.

Yes, I think there are a good number of 457 holders at any one time. When you get your visa you may find that whereas you are tied to the one company and cannot do any other work, your family will have no restrictions.
At some stage though employers will ask what the residency status is and that's when the reluctancy of employing temps comes in. Look at it from their viewpoint. Do you employ a permanent resident or a temp ? Risk factor and all that. It will also depend a bit on what your partner does I guess and the area you are in. For example there is no problem getting casual partime work here in Cairns due to the large holiday industry. The workforce is very transient here.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 2:52 pm
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Originally Posted by Bix
Please, please don't let me depress you on this.
I just want to offer some advice so you are aware of what you may meet .....not put you off in any way.
By the nature of the beast some things are bound to be generalisations and you may not meet them anyway.

Do go for a PR visa as soon as you are able though. It really could make such a difference in the long term.

I know nothing of your company but sounds like they are making the right noises. There have been many 457ers on here who have not been offered the medical cover for instance. (even though they all should)
There are also lots of 457 visa holders who find that their employer refuses to sponsor for PR. It's very important that there's a clear commitment to sponsor from the outset (and not just a verbal indication).

As for Medicare, many British people are entitled to reciprocal coverage, but this is limited in scope. The better employers will pay for full medical insurance until PR is granted (they should do that anyway but some try to offload the cost onto the visa holder).

As for getting PR is concerned:

- if the job's in Melbourne itself then it's unlikely to qualify for RSMS
- Changes to the ENS rules in April *might* mean that, depending on circumstances, one has to be on a 457 for 2 years first. Get professional advice on this - if you can get a skill assessment then the 2 year rule may not apply.
- There may also be general skilled visa options available. Look at the DIMIA website and consult http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au

The bottom line is if you must go to Australia on a 457 visa, be very aware of the restrictions before you leave. Better that than to have a nasty surprise after arriving (happens to many people).

Jeremy

Last edited by JAJ; Jul 1st 2005 at 2:54 pm.
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Old Jul 1st 2005, 9:58 pm
  #9  
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Hello!
In Melbourne you would not pay for schooling on a 457 visa, but you would be expected to pay for all the materials required (pens, pencils, writing books etc) I think we paid approx $200, plus the uniform. However, your little one will not start school here until the Jan after she turns 5.

Regards rent, we pay $390 per week for a 3 bed house in Ivanhoe (about 10K north east of city centre). The closer to the coast, the more you will pay unless you are prepared to live a long way out. Depends how far you are prepared to travel. There a loads of nice areas and Melbourne is a really big city! There are loads of places to go and plenty to do with young kids. Beaches, parks, zoos etc. We have really enjoyed our time here so far and my house is a permanent mess cos we are always 'out' somewhere and I'm never here to tidy up!

Its a great opportunity for you to come out here, but as previous posters have said, try and apply for your permanent residency as soon as you can. We have sent our application in and are waiting......
Good luck,
Ruth
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Old Jul 2nd 2005, 9:50 am
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Wink Re: Friendly advice required.

Thanks Ruth.

Thats great news about not having to pay for schooling . I am guessing that we would have to pay for creche?

Melbourne looks like a lovely city in which to live. We cant wait to get over there and start exploring. We have been looking at Berwick as a place to rent as, like you say, we would be able to get a decent property for the money as it's a bit further from the coast. I have also read some good views on the Britvics forum on Berwick, which helped mea lot.

Also, thanks for replying to my driving query. I think I'll just keep my UK licence until I get PR. I'll have to get Lynnette, my girlfriend, to pass her test 1st time then - no pressure!

Hope to chat with you more, as I have loads of queries b4 we make the epic journey.

Cheers,

Rick
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Old Jul 2nd 2005, 3:09 pm
  #11  
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Default Re: Friendly advice required.

Rick,

Check out the links in this thread for information on the private health companies in Aus....

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=303002
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