10 things to do before you arrive in Australia
Australia is by far the most popular expat destination and while you might have made up your mind that you certainly want to live and work Down Under we’d like to share so tips and advice about what you need to do before setting foot on Aussie soil.
1. Appoint an Immigration consultant
Immigration professionals have access to all the paperwork you will have to complete. The will ensure it is completed correctly and fully – avoiding the risk of your visa application being rejected or suffering delays in the processing thereof.
They are clued up about the latest laws and immigration requirements and they have access to visa departments that regular citizens do not have access to. This means they are able to keep you up to date about the status of your application and pre-empt or handle problems before you receive notice that your application has been rejected and you have to start all over again.
Immigration practitioners has a wealth of information and tips that will make the move a whole lot easier and chances are your applications process will run much more smoothly with a professional who has your back.
2. Get a Visa
Obviously the first thing you need to do is get an Australian visa. If you meet the country’s visa requirements you shouldn’t have problems, but you will need professional advice as it is a legal process requiring loads of paperwork and understanding quite a bit of jargon.
Which visa should you apply for?
Australia’s skilled occupations list shows which workers are most in demand. If your occupation is on the list you can make an expression of interest after which the Australian government (or a specific state or territory) may allow you to move permanently.
One of the most common ways to move to Australia is the temporary skilled visa (457 visa), which allows companies to sponsor employees from abroad for up to four years if their skills are in demand. A list of the jobs eligible for a 457 visa can be found on the consolidated skilled occupation lists.
If moving to Australia is a long-term goal start planning for it before finishing your education keeping in mind that your qualification should be sought after in the Australian job market and your degree must be of an internationally recognized quality.
Students also have the option to choose to spend two years at an Australian university and thereby become eligible for a temporary graduate visa that allows graduates to live and work in Australia for 18 months after graduating.
3. Have Your Resume Aussie-Ready
Having your resume (Australians don’t call them CVs) “Aussie Ready” before you apply for a job in Australia will help you find a job much faster, as there are certain things Australian will employers look for in a resume.
For example, Australian employers would rather you emphasise the experience you have for the type of work you want to do, rather than your most recent experience. Your immigration consultant will be able to give you some pointers here, it’s a good idea to take their advice and be prepared.
4. Start Saving
Australia is expensive and you will need money to keep you going until you find a job and a place to live. One of the Australian visa requirements is being able to prove that you have enough capital available to support yourself and your family should they be accompanying you. This is usually done by presenting a bank statement with a clear indication of your funds – your immigration consultant will be able to advice you on this. Generally, AUD5,000 is the least amount of money you should have when entering Australia.
5. Start Looking for Flights
Once your visa application has been approved, start looking flights straight away so you can get a good deal. Skyscanner and Kayak are probably the best flight comparison sites out there, so get on them straight away and find the best deal.
6. Get Travel Insurance
Getting travel insurance is always important when travelling to a new country but may also be required as part of your visa application. For example, Question 33 of the 417 visa asks if you have it.
Also, medical care in Australia can be expensive; if you are involved in any kind of an accident the medical bill could be well beyond your budget.
7. Open an Australian Bank Account
You will need to have an Australian bank account in order to get paid and to save on international banking fees. You can open a bank account in person once you get to Australia, but you may want to start transferring money before you leave, in this case you can open an Australian bank account through a travellers company.
8. Get an International Sim Card
You can buy a sim card once you get to Australia, but if you would like to start making calls straight away you can also buy an international sim card with lower roaming charges.
9. Book Your Accommodation
Have at least a few nights’ accommodation booked before you arrive in Australia. The last thing you want to do is to look for a place to stay while your jet-lagged and carrying all your luggage.
10. Get ready for your new life
A common language, better pay, more job prospects a safer more stable political and social environment make Australia an appealing destination for South Africans looking for a new place to live and work.
Earlier this year Melbourne was ranked as the most liveable city in the world for the fifth year in a row, while Adelaide, Sydney and Perth also made the worldwide top eight.
The country is reputed for its excellent social and health services and their educational facilities are some of the best in the world.
Added to this Australia is an industrialized national on par with first world standards with a growing economy set to the back drop of some of the most awe-inspiring natural scenery known to man.
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