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Not quite an ex pat

Not quite an ex pat

Old Apr 16th 2019, 3:02 pm
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Default Not quite an ex pat

Hi there

Im new here and looking to join in with anyone making or who has made the journey from UK to Australia.

im an Australian citizen by birth but returned to the UK age 2 where I’ve lived ever since. I have a British husband and our 2 children are dual nationals. We’ve decided to move to Australia and have just lodged an application for a spouse visa. We opted not to use an agent due to cost and because we (hope that we) have a straightforward application with no criminal records, no health concerns, university educations and we have been married for 15 years. Not really sure if waiting times are the same for everyone or if ‘easy’ applications go through faster? (I can dream).

Books and advice on emigrating to Aus are readily available in the UK but all are aimed at those needing visas, which obviously I don’t. I think they assume that anyone who is actually Australian knows how Australia works but Its all new to me! I’m assuming I can just enrol for Medicare for myself and the children and enrol the kids at a local school without having to pay any fees? Benefits? Tax? I don’t expect others to do all my leg work for me but if anyone could point me in the direction of a good book or website where I can find relevant information that would be awesome.

I hold a professional qualification and I’m already in touch with a recruitment agency who are confident they can find me work. We have no specific destination in mind other than somewhere coastal (within driving distance) Between Brisbane and Adelaide. We’re not city lovers but don’t want to be too rural either so the kids have plenty of opportunities. I’d love to hear from anyone in that part of the world! I’ve bought a series of road maps to cover that geography but laid end-to-end they don’t fit on the lounge floor. Does that say more about the size of Australia or the size of our UK house?!😀

Thanks for reading and looking forward to “meeting” new travellers!





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Old Apr 16th 2019, 8:07 pm
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Post Re: Not quite an ex pat

Hello I am not Australian but i welcome you here, Good luck!
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Old Apr 16th 2019, 9:17 pm
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

Once your DH gets his visa you can all just enrol for Medicare and you have 12 months to decide if you also want to take out private health insurance without the age related premiums coming into effect (if you’re a professional and earn over the threshold you will probably want to do that).

Tax is taken out of your pay packet but you submit a tax return every year in July (to October) and can claim some things back. Schools will just charge you “voluntary” fees for the kids - varies between around $50-$100 per term depending on the school plus all the other incidentals for excursions, performances, visiting teachers, specific programs, stationery packs etc etc. Schools have priority enrolment areas where they are obliged to find a place for a child living in their area but you may negotiate an out of area placement if a school is prepared to take out of area kids. Benefits? I'm sure you're not going intending to use them and hopefully you’ll never need them but some have residence requirements (usually 2 years), some are immediate and some are means tested.

Go where you can get a job. Unfortunately you’re going to find that everyone wants coastal and work and sometimes you get one of the two but maybe not both together. However, most of Australia is settled on the coastal fringe so you’ll probably be within a couple of hours of coast at the worst. If you’re flexible you can apply for positions anywhere so see what floats. Most Australians live within the larger metropolitan areas.

It sounds like you don't actually have anyone in Australia so don't underestimate the need for self sufficiency and the loss of extended family.

Good luck.

Last edited by quoll; Apr 16th 2019 at 9:20 pm.
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Old Apr 17th 2019, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

Welcome.

First, unfortunately "easy" applications don't necessarily go faster and may in fact take longer. Nobody knows the special potion Home Affairs uses to decide these things.

Second, be wary of recruitment agencies and their confidence. I wouldn't rely on them as a primary source of finding work for yourself.

Three, I think you are better off taking a bit more control over where you live. Brisbane to Adelaide is a huge area. Take a recce and focus on two or three areas you like as a result of that.
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Old Apr 24th 2019, 12:29 pm
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

And Aus roads are nothing like UK roads when it comes to A and B class roads. I say this because although a village/town may not be that far from the coast as the crow flies it's totally different in actual travel time that will be far worse on the weekends due to the influx of city folks out for the day.
I used to live in Brisbane, which has no beach, so it was an hour to 1.5hrs to get to either the northern or southern coastal towns. Now that I live in Melbourne the roads are far better and it's 40mins to drive to the beach or 50mins if I want the train to take the strain.
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Old Apr 25th 2019, 8:00 am
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Which beach do you go to by train?
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Old Apr 25th 2019, 8:41 am
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

St Kilda, Port Melbourne or even Brighton. Brightons a bit longer time wise as all train but the other 2 are train n tram. I'm only 35mins from teh CBD by train.
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Old Apr 30th 2019, 7:40 pm
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
Once your DH gets his visa you can all just enrol for Medicare and you have 12 months to decide if you also want to take out private health insurance without the age related premiums coming into effect (if you’re a professional and earn over the threshold you will probably want to do that).

Tax is taken out of your pay packet but you submit a tax return every year in July (to October) and can claim some things back. Schools will just charge you “voluntary” fees for the kids - varies between around $50-$100 per term depending on the school plus all the other incidentals for excursions, performances, visiting teachers, specific programs, stationery packs etc etc. Schools have priority enrolment areas where they are obliged to find a place for a child living in their area but you may negotiate an out of area placement if a school is prepared to take out of area kids. Benefits? I'm sure you're not going intending to use them and hopefully you’ll never need them but some have residence requirements (usually 2 years), some are immediate and some are means tested.

Go where you can get a job. Unfortunately you’re going to find that everyone wants coastal and work and sometimes you get one of the two but maybe not both together. However, most of Australia is settled on the coastal fringe so you’ll probably be within a couple of hours of coast at the worst. If you’re flexible you can apply for positions anywhere so see what floats. Most Australians live within the larger metropolitan areas.

It sounds like you don't actually have anyone in Australia so don't underestimate the need for self sufficiency and the loss of extended family.

Good luck.
Thank you for your reply. Some really helpful stuff. No I’m not planning on claiming any benefits I was thinking more of tax stuff like personal allowances etc.

You make a good point about extended family but actually that’s one of our reasons for going. We don’t have any family locally here and get no help or support from those further afield, although they are in the UK. We figured we may as well live somewhere where there is nice weather, open space and at least a chance that our kids can afford to buy a home of their own when they get older. Sadly the reaction from *some* of our relatives has been negative because we will no longer be available to help them out when needed.

Its good to hear we won’t have to pay for schooling. I wasn’t sure about that. Not too concerned about the “extras” as it sounds a whole lot less than the £900 per year we currently pay for one bus pass...our younger child would be due to need the same as of next year.

Thanks again

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Old May 1st 2019, 1:00 am
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

Hi. I definitely agree with others on the need to focus on at least a state or two in order to narrow search. While the weather is definitely better than UK (for those that prefer hotter) most other things are far from as clear. Housing affordability is a major problem in Australia, with falling prices, but remaining over inflated by substantial amounts. Not easy for young to break in the market while rents can eat up a substantial part of income. Job insecurity is increasingly an issue , which may depend on the area you work, but worth considering as well.
Out of pocket medical costs are something that may need to be considered at some stage as well.
Although born here, I would suggest a number of things will be alien to you, while others will be on par at best with UK. Probably kind of balances out in the end in gains and losses
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Old May 1st 2019, 5:09 am
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

Originally Posted by Ozziegoinghome View Post


Thank you for your reply. Some really helpful stuff. No I’m not planning on claiming any benefits I was thinking more of tax stuff like personal allowances etc.

You make a good point about extended family but actually that’s one of our reasons for going. We don’t have any family locally here and get no help or support from those further afield, although they are in the UK. We figured we may as well live somewhere where there is nice weather, open space and at least a chance that our kids can afford to buy a home of their own when they get older. Sadly the reaction from *some* of our relatives has been negative because we will no longer be available to help them out when needed.

Its good to hear we won’t have to pay for schooling. I wasn’t sure about that. Not too concerned about the “extras” as it sounds a whole lot less than the £900 per year we currently pay for one bus pass...our younger child would be due to need the same as of next year.

Thanks again

You do know that real estate in Oz is very expensive and parts are some of the most expensive on the planet.
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Old May 1st 2019, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by verystormy View Post


You do know that real estate in Oz is very expensive and parts are some of the most expensive on the planet.
Yeah, I wouldn't be banking on kids being able to afford homes anywhere that people actually want to live. As for "better weather" - oh dear!
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Old May 1st 2019, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by quoll View Post
Yeah, I wouldn't be banking on kids being able to afford homes anywhere that people actually want to live. As for "better weather" - oh dear!
Hello there!

This all sounds rather gloomy. May I ask whereabouts you live? We looked at some real estate in Brisbane’s northern suburbs last year and thought that the prices were very reasonable compared to where we live in the UK (midlands). Further out in Toowomba and more rural areas were even cheaper and from looking online I can’t see any significant differences in price compared to then.

Where someone wants to live is very much dependant on what they value. I’d be happy somewhere remote as I value open space, wildlife and low population density. DH is the same. I need somewhere that is within driving distance of shops, schools and local amenities because of my family. Trendy inner city homes with pools that are close to the nightlife and in areas where executive jobs are more available and parents compete to get their kids into the so-called best schools are always going to be expensive whatever city of the world you are in but I wouldn’t consider one if even was gifted it (obviously I’d accept it then sell it!!)

Your comment about the weather intrigues me. I feel trapped indoors for a good 3/4 of the year in the UK because it is too cold / wet / dark to enjoy myself outside. I know many areas of Australia experience the opposite but is it really only pleasant for a quarter of the year?

I’ve got a tonne more research on various areas to do yet; and by the sounds of the visa process plenty of time to do it. We thought we’d keep our options open to enable a wider job choice when the time comes. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best way to approach this. Choose area then find job or find job and move to area?

Thanks.
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Old May 1st 2019, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

Originally Posted by Ozziegoinghome View Post

Your comment about the weather intrigues me. I feel trapped indoors for a good 3/4 of the year in the UK because it is too cold / wet / dark to enjoy myself outside. I know many areas of Australia experience the opposite but is it really only pleasant for a quarter of the year?
Many people feel trapped indoors by the excessive heat and humidity Summers are definitely hotter than when I came to Brisbane 15 years ago, and we now get several weeks of temps in the high 30s, often accompanied with high humidity. People do hide indoors with all the aircon and fans in action as its simply too hot to be outside. Likewise kids spend a lot of time indoors as the weather is too hot to play - thats where I think the UK wins as its easier to wrap up warm and go out than it is to try and stay cool.
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Old May 2nd 2019, 8:56 am
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

Originally Posted by Ozziegoinghome View Post


Hello there!

This all sounds rather gloomy. May I ask whereabouts you live? We looked at some real estate in Brisbane’s northern suburbs last year and thought that the prices were very reasonable compared to where we live in the UK (midlands). Further out in Toowomba and more rural areas were even cheaper and from looking online I can’t see any significant differences in price compared to then.

Where someone wants to live is very much dependant on what they value. I’d be happy somewhere remote as I value open space, wildlife and low population density. DH is the same. I need somewhere that is within driving distance of shops, schools and local amenities because of my family. Trendy inner city homes with pools that are close to the nightlife and in areas where executive jobs are more available and parents compete to get their kids into the so-called best schools are always going to be expensive whatever city of the world you are in but I wouldn’t consider one if even was gifted it (obviously I’d accept it then sell it!!)

Your comment about the weather intrigues me. I feel trapped indoors for a good 3/4 of the year in the UK because it is too cold / wet / dark to enjoy myself outside. I know many areas of Australia experience the opposite but is it really only pleasant for a quarter of the year?

I’ve got a tonne more research on various areas to do yet; and by the sounds of the visa process plenty of time to do it. We thought we’d keep our options open to enable a wider job choice when the time comes. Does anyone have any thoughts on the best way to approach this. Choose area then find job or find job and move to area?

Thanks.
I'm certainly one of those who find the weather less than ideal for much of the year - and I'm 50kg lighter to prove it now that I am living in UK. Just spent April in Australia and there were still days when it was rather too warm to go out and do stuff unless I had left the house by 6:30 am. In UK, for the past 7 years there have been very few days when I haven't been able to dress for the weather and get out and do what I want (and I now walk most places whereas I would have chortled at the idea of walking the half mile to the local shops in Canberra back in the day.) I know I could not manage in Qld, the constant heat and humidity would kill me, at least in Canberra there are seasons although the morning we left this week was somewhat on the brrrr I don't want to go out scale - probably because I didn't have the clothes I would normally have had for cold weather activity. I even wore a beanie which was unusual for me. I think if you're one who is deterred by the weather from doing stuff outside in UK, you'll probably be deterred by it in Australia but for different reasons. Oh, and I am still itching from the 3 bites I got a couple of weeks ago when I injudiciously went outside to get the washing in with bare legs and arms at dusk - I'm a mozzie magnet!

Thinking of buying property in Canberra - its right up there with the other cities although on this trip I admit to having peeked in real estate windows in NSW and Victoria and still been surprised at how high some of the prices are in places I wouldn't have thought that desirable. The usual problem is that the prices are lower in places that people can't afford to live in because the employment isn't there for them. Some folk buy in those more rural places but then have a stonking great commute. One of DH'S friends works in Canberra but lives in Cooma - not a commute that I would want to be doing every day that's for sure and I've had acquaintances who've lived in Goulburn and commuted to Canberra. Probably about the same timewise as living in Cambridge and working in London (which loads of people do) but without any public transport to do it with. God Bless the train service here even though people constantly whinge about it. Remember that rural in Australia bears little to no resemblance to rural in UK.

Finally, don't expect your kids to decide to settle where you do! One of my sons went to UK on a post uni gap year - in 2002 - and hasn't returned yet, he just landed on fabulous career opportunities and openly says - after living in London why would I want to live in Australia? (He's not even that keen on visiting for holidays any more as he says there is much more of the world to see and he enjoys that a lot) Your kids could fly the nest to anywhere, much as we would all love to think they will stick around us forever (compared with my UK friends that does seem to be more of an Australian tend).

I'm not saying don't do it, far from it, but do it because you're itching for adventure and you have better opportunities where you are heading. Personally I would get the job in the first instance and then hope that the area falls into place but if it doesn't, you're better trying to find another job when you've already got a job.
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Old May 3rd 2019, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Not quite an ex pat

As above, no reason not to 'give it a go', but try and leave some option that will enable a return. As for other things remember a hot climate can be rather limiting. Few walk in summer unless early morning or later in the afternoon. Australia is a very car centric society, where probably most exercise is taken in a fitness centre.
A lot of life revolves around the home and family, friendships can be hard to obtain, cheaper areas for housing are usually so for a reason, (most but far further out these days, which can create a set of logistic issues) Smaller towns may be cheaper to buy, but not necessary good for work nor indeed long term family bonding. We know many, where the kids have moved on for career or sheer boredom to the main two cities and indeed overseas. Not necessary a lot of fun being older and often left to own devises in Australia. Loneliness as in many places can be an issue to consider.
I for one really miss the English walks. So many partake and so many possible options across the country. Never owned a car in London and walked where ever possible something seldom do here, unless in neighbourhood and then too often find myself the only one on the street.
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