If you are new to this series and would like to start at the beginning, please go to Moving to Australia Part 1
The story of how we moved to Australia is nearly over. As you know from last week’s post, we received telephone confirmation that our Visa was granted on the 18th of July 2007. A few days later we got a letter in the post with all the details.
First, we needed to send our passports off to Australia House. I did mention in part seven that you should have at least five years left to run on your passport. That’s because your visa will be stuck into a page of your passport and will act as your proof of residency for some time.
I don’t know if you can read that line, but it says “GRANTED 18JUL07, MULTIPLE TRAVEL, MUST NOT ARRIVE AFTER 18JUL12, HOLDER (S) PERMITTED TO REMAIN IN AUSTRALIA INDEFINITELY.
So you have up to five years to take up the option of living in Australia. We were quite keen to take up the option way way sooner. Like immediately. And we really liked the idea of being allowed to REMAIN IN AUSTRALIA INDEFINITELY.
Update: this doesn’t happen anymore, no need to send your passport off and get this embossed visa. It’s all electronic now, as Kristin explains in the comments below.
But there was still a small matter of selling the house. But before I briefly cover that story, I should explain that the Visa in your passport does not get validated until you enter the country. To validate our Visa we needed to enter the country before the 26th of February 2008. That date is also mentioned on the visa (not in the picture) and if you miss it, you have blown it.
It is only after you have entered Australia and had your Visa stamped that it becomes real. So one way or another, whether we sold the house or not, we were going to be visiting Australia before February ’08. Once validated, we can leave and have the right still to return any time until July ’12. That’s another reason why you should have at least five years on your passport.
We had put our house on the market at the end of January 07. By the time we were granted our visas the house had been sold twice and fallen through twice. The first time because our buyers decided instead of buying a house, they were going to get a divorce. DANG! The second buyer fell through because her buyer pulled out when interest rates went up by 1%. Double DANG!
Now, here we were rapidly approaching the end of July with no buyer in sight, our visas secured and us itching to jump on an aeroplane. Australia seemed a long way away. Oh, it is!
But as luck would have it, in September we sold our house for the third time. Our hope was that this time it would all go through. Then, on 14th September 2007, a matter of days after accepting the offer, Northern Rock ran out of money or something, sparking the biggest financial crisis the UK had ever seen. Every night on the news it was financial doom and gloom, illustrated with queues at banks, as customers tried to withdraw all their money.
Our house sale falling through for a third time seemed a formality to us. We were just waiting for the phone call. But it never came. Our buyers stayed strong and by way of a small miracle, the sale was completed on October 27th.
At last! We were homeless. And we loved it!
For a full chronological list and brief description of all the posts in this series about how I moved to Australia, please visit my page How to Move to Australia.