*** As of April 2017, the 457 visa has been suspended and will be replaced in 2018 with two new temporary visas – find out more here.
457 visas are a popular way for people to migrate to Australia without having to worry about finding a job when you arrive or having to save up enough money to cover you relocation and set up costs. However, along with great rewards, there come great risks. Please note this is not to be considered migration advice – for all the ins and outs of a 457 visa, please speak to a registered migration agent or the company who is offering you a 457 visa.
Here are 10 things you need to know about 457 visas.
I get so many people emailing me and asking me how they can move to Australia. The very first thing that you need to do is establish whether you are eligible for a visa. There are so many different kinds of visas you can get to migrate to Australia that it is impossible for me to tell you which one will suit you. These visa types change quite frequently as well. For example, the visa sub class we came to Australia on was renumbered and the conditions and costs changed just a year after we arrived.
One person contacted me a few months ago and the conversation went pretty much like this:
Reader: I’ve looked extensively at all the countries in the world and I’ve decided that I want to live in Australia. What do I need to do?
Me: Great – what sort of visa do you qualify for?
Reader: I need a visa to live in Australia??? How do I get one?
Me: (oh boy) Well it depends, what kind of work do you do?
Reader: I work in admin.
Me: (realising they probably have very little chance of getting into Australia with a purely admin background) Speak to a registered migration agent who will be able to tell you what visa you may be able to apply for.
Reader: There are different kinds of visas????
I can only assume if you are reading this blog that you know a little bit more about the process than this person and that there are many different types of visa which you can apply for in order to migrate to Australia. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones.
When you first move to Australia, you may decide to stay in short term accommodation for a while before deciding on where you want to live. If you’re lucky enough, you may have friends or family to stay with but eventually you’ll need to find a place of your own.
Some people come over and buy a house straight away but I really recommend renting for at least 6-12 months before buying your own home. It gives you a chance to get to know the city, discover what areas you like and don’t like and settle into life without the pressure of trying to buy the right house.
Yes it’s annoying having to jump through a landlord’s hoops and not be able to do what you want to the house, but it’s better than rushing into making a purchase of hundreds of thousands of dollars and then later realising it’s not the right house for you.
So what do you need to know about renting a house in Australia?
During the stress of moving overseas, you’re bound to have times when you feel at complete lows and ridiculous highs. And if there’s one thing that has the power to lift your mood when you’re feeling at your lowest, it’s got to be music.
When we started our countdown to moving to Australia I created a playlist of songs about Australia or from Australian artists which I pretty much played to death before we migrated. I wouldn’t even know where it is now but that playlist got me through the last 6 or so months before we made our big move.
Since then, I’ve heard so many songs that reminded me of the migration process so I’ve decided to create the ultimate migration playlist to help get you through the tough days! Of course it’s going to be subjective based on your personal taste in music but most of these songs I’ve picked based on the emotions they evoke and their poignant lyrics. So here it is:
One of the most stressful things about migrating is finding work in your new home country. The current job climate in Australia is not what it used to be 5 years ago or even 10 years ago (obviously this is industry dependent and can vary wildly from industry to industry). W.A. is seeing a downturn in the economy and especially in the mining sector where many local residents work.
However it’s not entirely impossible to land a job, either before you arrive in Australia or shortly after.
Here are my top 9 ways to help you find a job in Perth.
You may already have planned what items will be shipped (if any) and what items you will be carrying with you when you fly to Australia to begin your new life, but have you worked out what you will pack in your checked baggage and what you need to keep with you in your hand luggage?
Aside from the obvious wallets, phones, hand sanitiser and in-flight entertainment items (like headphones, iPods, books or Kindles), there are a few key things you should ensure go in your hand luggage to make life a lot easier when you eventually arrive.
One of the hardest things, if not THE hardest thing, about migrating is being so far from friends and family.
Moving to Australia is often particularly difficult due to the time difference across the country and this makes communication with friends and family in South Africa quite tricky. The time difference between Perth and South Africa is 6 hours which is a lot more manageable than the eastern states.
Luckily, with modern technology, keeping in touch with everyone is far easier than just a decade ago. When I first moved to the UK I used to phone my family once a week on a Sunday evening from my landline for maybe 5 or 10 minutes due to the exorbitant cost! These days I can use minutes from my phone contract and never worry it’s going to cost me a cent over what I pay for my monthly contract or better yet, video call them for free!
Besides calling on a phone, there are 4 apps I find essential for communicating with all our far flung friends and family, so in no particular order here they are.
Without a doubt the best option for video chat if both you and the other party have an iPad or iPhone is FaceTime. I find the connection is often the best and clearest and this is my go to video calling app. It comes standard with all iPads and iPhones so you don’t even have to download it!
If you don’t have an iPad or iPhone the other great video calling app is Skype. Skype makes it easy for you to add all your Skype contacts and see who is online before you even call. You can also type messages or just have voice calls, which is handy when your connection is too poor for video calling.
A popular choice of messaging these days is Whatsapp. It uses your WiFi connection so if you are accessing the internet via WiFi and wanting to avoid paying for texts, especially while overseas, this is the app for you. You can also make voice calls using the WiFi and send instant voice messages which I love!
4. Facebook Messenger
The new kid on the block when it comes to communication apps, Facebook Messanger got a lot of stick when it first launched but it’s fast becoming a popular option for communicating with people all over the world. With Facebook allowing you to keep in touch with so many more people than we could before, it’s so easy to use Facebook Messanger. You can also make voice and video calls to your Facebook friends and I love the new gifs you can send too.
So there you have my essential list of communication apps for when you migrate. What apps do you use to keep in touch with your family and friends around the world?
If you are serious about migrating to Australia, you probably already know about the Facebook group, South Africans Migrating To Australia. And you have probably recognised the name of the fascinating woman I am interviewing today on the blog – Marlene Prentice.
Marlene is one of the seven MARA registered migration agents who act as admins on the popular Facebook group and answer countless queries from people looking to move from South Africa to Australia.
Born in South Africa, but now living on the Gold Coast, Marlene runs Migration Network Australia and helps hundreds of people every year make the life-changing move from South Africa to Australia. In 2015 her expertise meant she was interviewed on Radio 702 about why so many South Africans are leaving for foreign shores. You can find her Facebook page here.
I’ve asked her a few questions to get an insight into what it’s like to be a migration agent in 2016 and also get to know the person behind the name.
Stepping off the plane in Perth comes with a whole host of emotions: excitement, nervousness, sadness, joy and many more. It can also be quite daunting and if jet lag sets in, confusing too! It’s a good idea to write a list of essential things to do when you arrive so you don’t lose focus in those first few days. While there is probably a whole lot of things you want to achieve in the first few weeks, I think these are probably the most important things that should be on your to do list.
Access to information these days is unbelievably easy – with more people in the world owning a smartphone than a toothbrush, it’s almost impossible not to find information in this day and age. Whether its finding out about something local or something on the other side of the world, everything you need to know is just a few clicks away.
But when it comes to migrating, where are the best sources of information online?