Migration Advice

I have called this page Migration Advice and that’s what you will find here. But it is also a resources page, with a mix of FAQs, along with some tips to help you plan your move. It is also a place where I can point you towards some useful articles on the blog that have got buried in the archives.

Ask Bob…

If you have a question about life in Australia or moving to Australia, I’m sure you will find the answer here. But if you don’t, just ask your question as a comment on the most relevant page.

Please do be aware though that I CANNOT answer any questions about getting a visa or visa applications, only MARA registered migration agents have the skills and knowledge to assist with such matters.

Questions about visas and applications.

Firstly, for those seriously looking to move to Australia and who want to know exactly how to proceed, I offer a professional assessment service conducted by a fully qualified MARA migration agent.

I highly recommend him, please check out my Visa Assessment Service.

The price of stuff in Australia:

Living in Australia:

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{ 1511 comments… add one }
  • Lucy Andris July 21, 2017, 12:00 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    My husband and I have been in Australia for over 3 weeks and will leave in a few days. Within a few days my decision was made: this is the country I want to live in! He’s already an Australian citizen (by birth), but I’ll have to get a permanent/partner visa. One of our AirBnB hosts urged us to use a migration lawyer rather than a migration agent. Your thoughts on the difference(s)?
    Thanks.
    Lucy

    • BobinOz July 21, 2017, 7:38 pm | Link

      The difference, as far as I’m aware, is that every qualified Australian lawyer is automatically qualified to give migration advice. On the other hand, it is possible to train as a migration agent without qualifying to be a lawyer.

      That said, I believe both of them do have to attend migration agent courses to keep up with all the latest news and changes. Both, if I’m not mistaken, do also have to register with MARA.

      So technically a migration lawyer, it could be argued, is in possession of more qualifications, but I’m not convinced that every migration lawyer would be better than everybody who is only qualified as a migration agent.

      If you’re looking for a good migration agent, one that I know you can trust, the guy I work with is technically ‘just’ a migration agent these days, but if you read about his service and him on my page detailing my Visa Assessment Service he has in the past qualified and practised as a lawyer, although he has chosen to no longer do that.

      I also know he has processed many partner visas in his time.

      Anyway, glad to hear you loved Australia, quite good here, isn’t it?

  • Nicola July 16, 2017, 3:07 pm | Link

    Hi Bob

    The time and effort you have put into this blog is much appreciated. I have found it so helpful.

    Moving to Australia on a years working visa is something I have been wanting to do for years but only recently plucked up the courage to do and to be honest I am terrified.

    Where would you say is the best place to find farm work and what is the best way to go about getting it. Is it something I should look into before I come out or is it easy enough to find.

    Thanks

    • BobinOz July 17, 2017, 6:46 pm | Link

      Thanks Nicola, I appreciate your kind comments. Glad to hear you have plucked up the courage to come, I hope you have a great time here. I’ve got a couple of posts that will comfortably answer your questions and more, see Working Holiday Visas and Backpacking in Australia.

      There are a couple of scary warnings as well, but knowledge is power, and knowing what to watch out for will help you have a good experience here. Good luck, Bob

  • Jeanene Barclay June 26, 2017, 6:41 am | Link

    Hi there Bob,
    Firstly I am so excited to have found your website and thankyou for all your advice. We are in New Zealand and are planning on moving to Australia (Sunshine Coast) although due to my husbands work and other commitments we will be unable to move until 2021. My main concern is my son will be 11 years old and my daughter 9. I would move earlier if we could but may not be possible. I am worried my son who will then be 11 is quite a late age to start a brand new school and just wondering how others may have found moving, when their kids have been abit older with them finding new friends etc. Thankyou

    • Mark June 26, 2017, 9:34 am | Link

      My Children moved from the UK when they were 8 and 11…He wuld likley be startinga new school anyway with High school so timing might be important so he can start school as year 7 high school…A whole heap can change before then though.

      • BobinOz June 26, 2017, 9:02 pm | Link

        I am excited you have found my website as well Jeanene 🙂

        Yes, as Mark has said, at 11 years old your son will be at about the age when he will be starting senior school, so it’s actually quite a good time to move in terms of his education. Personally I think it far more tricky when children are 12+, in other words they have already started senior school, settled in and made friends.

        That’s when they really don’t want to move at all, they just want to stay where they are. So I think as long as you do not leave it any later you will be just fine with both of your children. It is true to say the younger they are the better it is though.

  • Marcos Saltini June 6, 2017, 11:57 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    We are a couple and we are moving to Australia / Melbourne next October. We have engaged to English course at Embassy School for one year but our plan is to stablish definitively in Australia. I am an executive in IT sector and my wife is interested to start career in commercial aviation area.
    Our way of life follows the typical behavior of young couple. We like go out to restaurants, walk in parks, ride bike. We rarely frequent night bars and love to live in calm suburbs with good transportation facilities.
    We would like to rent a house with 2 beds but not so expensive because we are not sure if will get any job during this first period.
    Please, which suburbs could fit better with our needs / desires and the average cost per week.
    Thanks in advance for any information and recommendations.
    Regards

    • BobinOz June 6, 2017, 7:59 pm | Link

      Well, there are suburbs in almost every city that will suit your needs, just be aware that Sydney and Melbourne are our most expensive in terms of accommodation, but at the same time they offer the most job opportunities.

      Now all you need to do is read A Quick Guide to Choosing a City in Australia to try and narrow it down to a city that best suits your needs, then visit my page about that city and have a good read of the comments where there will undoubtedly be much chat about the various suburbs.

      To check the cost of rentals, see Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Ben June 6, 2017, 5:43 am | Link

    Hi bob just to say your information is really helpful . Me and my lovely family want to come to oz . I have a job and skills they want over there but one sticking point is i am type 1 diabetic (insulin controlled from birth ) i just wondered if you had any information on would i pay for health care ect and would it cost a fortune ? Thanks again

    • BobinOz June 6, 2017, 7:08 pm | Link

      Thanks Ben, glad you like.

      As you probably know, everybody needs to pass a medical and they are all done on an individual basis, each case is judged on its own merits. But to fail it, there are set criteria, and if you Google “Fact Sheet 22 – The Health Requirement” you can read the Australian Government’s information on this. Good luck your plans, Bob

  • Victoria June 2, 2017, 12:11 am | Link

    Hi Bob
    Great site and thank you for all the effort you have so evidently put into it. Apologies if this has been asked somewhere previously but I was wondering what the position is on shipping cars to Australia? I have heard on the grapevine that certain makes and models are worth shipping out with the furniture as they would be worth more in Australia (e.g. BMWs or Mercedes etc?). I was hoping to find an online calculator to see if it was worth it post tax etc as it probably depends on make, model, age etc. but have been unable to find one. All threads on google on car export to Australia seem to be at least 10 years old…
    Thanks!

    • Mark June 2, 2017, 7:17 am | Link

      I have some experience in this as have shipped several, It does depend on the make and model and year and value, without that to hand its difficult to accurately assess but in general ship it. You also have to find a shipper that will put two three or even four in a shared container to make it worthwhile. They do fit trust me. Finally you need to keep costs down when it arrives and there are some very variable rates by valuers and so on. …I will declare I have helped a business within this field after they brought my two out and I now own a 25% interest in said business, but.that said When I shipped mine I went through an absolute minefield They/we have since successfully shipped about 22 this year, all to Melbourne as it easier Minefield mmmm we know the path …Drive it when it gets here to WA NSW etc …There is a lot of information out there all conflicting and much only sort of correct I found If you want to ask Bob for my email I will even happily ring and speak to you as its a lot to take in but with the registration number or make model year miles etc they can work a lot out for you including all the trivial costs and what a likely replacement here would cost… No cost to you until you ship it .

      • BobinOz June 2, 2017, 8:15 pm | Link

        Just so that you know Victoria, I have spoken to Mark about this, I know he has brought cars out here from the UK and he does have a good contact in Melbourne, so if you do want his email address, just email me to let me know and I’ll introduce you both to each other.

        My email address is on my contact page.

  • Rachel May 20, 2017, 7:45 pm | Link

    Hiya ,just after some advice,we a family from the uk,we live in New Zealand and our two children are citizens and we have permanent residency,if we wanted to live in Australia,would it be best to get our citizenship for New Zealand ? We are not thinking of moving to Aussie permanently but for at least a year or 2.

  • kelly Blackburn May 18, 2017, 7:29 am | Link

    Hi we are just going through the visa process and I’m very scared nervous etc about leaving my life. We are looking at Melbourne as we have friends there. Would you say it’s a good place for families?And weather good for more outdoor life compared to uk? I’m in panic mode !¡!!

    • BobinOz May 18, 2017, 9:26 pm | Link

      Good news Kelly, you will not be leaving your life, you can bring it with you 🙂

      Sorry about that, couldn’t resist. Getting panicky at this stage is quite normal, many people go through it. It’s true that people like myself who live in Brisbane with its subtropical climate laugh at Melbourne’s weather and the fact they need jackets and jumpers sometimes.

      But most of the people who live in Melbourne and especially those who have moved from the UK almost all say that the weather is far superior in the Victorian capital compared to England. If you have a look at the comments on my page about Melbourne, and maybe try to skim read them as there are so many, you will see that some are about the weather and how it compares to the UK.

      You already have friends there, that’s a start, so I see no reason why you can’t have even better life in Melbourne. Good luck, Bob

  • NAVEEN RAWAL May 14, 2017, 7:03 pm | Link

    I need to write 1000 words NT Australia essay, why i am migrating NT Australia.
    Kindly help for the same.

    • BobinOz May 15, 2017, 6:00 pm | Link

      Ha ha, nice try, but I don’t do homework.

  • The OZ May 10, 2017, 7:36 pm | Link

    Dear BoB,

    Can I still apply for immigration? As I have heard that HR (human resource) category has been removed from the eligible list of occupations? I had plans to apply this year but not sure if HR people can apply or not, can you please share the list of eligible occupations related to HR or Recruitment for TR and PR, secondly my only sibling is in Aus on a PR status, will that benefit my case in any form?

    Regards,
    The OZ

  • Adi May 8, 2017, 8:27 pm | Link

    Hi,my husband is in australia on student visa.the problem is that his agent didnt declared me and my daughter on his visa.we have recently applied for dependant visa,but it has been rejected.we didnt know that his agent didnt declare us.we dnt know what to do now.please help us.

    • BobinOz May 9, 2017, 8:18 pm | Link

      Is the agent MARA registered? If he is, then as he got you into this mess, he should get you out of it, or you should put in an official complaint with the governing body. Of course, that very much depends on the information that was given to him initially by your husband.

      If he is not MARA registered, then you need to talk to an agent who is to find out what you can do to try to sort this out.

      • Adi May 9, 2017, 11:12 pm | Link

        She refused to talk to my husband.what the option what can we do.can my husband declare us now.

        • BobinOz May 11, 2017, 12:20 am | Link

          Well, if she is MARA registered, report her to the governing body and if she is not MARA registered, then you need to speak to a MARA migration agent who is registered with mara.gov.au.

  • Raneem Jo May 3, 2017, 9:39 am | Link

    Hello Bob.
    So I’ll just get to the deal.
    I’m 20 years old Syrian and Muslim. I live in the United Arab emirates. I’m sure you’ve heard of Dubai .
    I want to build myself and become independent. I have no ties down to a place -like University or relationship- but I’m afraid that my family’s economical situation is forcing us to go back to Syria soon. And i don’t want that. And i don’t want to stay in the UAE either. So I’m seeing that starting at a new place for a change isn’t a bad option, But as a solo.
    I don’t know if Australia is the best place for me to do that but I’ve been recommended upon it. So the thing is i need to know where in Australia there are arabs and where can i begin my journey and life there. I need advice. I plan to go there find a job .work for some time and then maybe apply for a university. I’ve always lived with my parents and I’ve never had to make a decision as big as this one and now I’m making it on my own.
    the thought of moving away came to me when i saw my parents planning my life for me and setting me to go back to syria in the next few months. Yes it is my homeland and yes it has safe places it’s not all war. But just because it’s my birthplace doesn’t make it my deathbed. We’ve been in the UAE for 9 years and i barely relate to Syria anymore. Don’t get me wrong i am loyal to it at heart. But i don’t want to go back there cause ill be starting new. so why not start new at a new country as well ? But i want a place where i can be welcomed not be restricted or judged based on my nationality or religion.
    I was in my second year of university in Dubai and until we couldn’t afford it anymore. So now i’m working and making some money for my next step. And i want to do it legitimately. I don’t see immigration as a solution. Please help me with some advice and i wouldn’t mind seeing your opinion on the matter. Thank you so much .

    • BobinOz May 3, 2017, 9:37 pm | Link

      You will find the following page most helpful, it has maps of our various cities in Australia and indicates the country of origin of the migrants that had there. See…

      http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/17428/who-lives-where-migrants-settling-in-australian-cities/

      Before deciding where you want to head though, I would think it might be a good idea to see if you would qualify for a visa to live here, they are not easy to get and can be quite expensive. You can’t just turn up in Australia. Good luck, Bob

  • ted April 30, 2017, 7:50 pm | Link

    hi, I want to apply for masters in Australia, have got Australia citizen who is willing to be my sponsor but she is retire and lives on her pension. please I hope this won’t mar my chance of getting visa.

  • Nicolas Seneka April 28, 2017, 12:34 pm | Link

    Hi Bob. Having go through this I am pleased to say your doing a great job.My wife and I with our 5 year old son are really wanting to move to Australia immediately to live a better life there.I need sponsorship to work there as I have customer service,logistics and certificate in IT backgrounds.How can you help me with my query?

  • Andrew April 28, 2017, 4:56 am | Link

    Hi mate , were moving to Sydney in a few months with our 2 children . i’m an Australian citizen and my wife on spouse visa. I’ve never lived in Australia. The question is I don’t have a job when going to Australia . do u think I can find a job quickly ?. I like driving jobs like courier or delivery .. Do u think I’m making the right decision moving to Australia in my 40’s

    • BobinOz April 28, 2017, 6:28 pm | Link

      I couldn’t tell you Andrew, the job market isn’t great in Australia at the moment, although Sydney does have more jobs than most.

      Do some research on my page Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, there are some links there to help, just have a look around to see what’s available.

  • Simon April 18, 2017, 5:57 am | Link

    Hi Bob. Just a quick question. Is it possible to find a sponsorship from a certain employer if my occupation is NOT on the Skilled Occupation List?

  • KhaderNZ April 13, 2017, 9:47 am | Link

    Dear Bob,
    I am NZ citizen and my whole Family is also NZ citizen and one of my child is mild Autistic child 11 years old, I am planning to apply for Permanent Resident visa in Australia. I have two options to apply (189,190) or ENS (Direct Stream). If I apply PR will they approve application based on my child autism or they reject. If they reject on what basis they do.

    could you please respond as early as possible also if any immigration agent who can deal this cases successfully.

    • BobinOz April 13, 2017, 9:30 pm | Link

      I can’t answer these questions for the reasons given in my important notices above, but yes, an immigration agent can look at this for you and then tell you whether or not he feels your case will be successful.

      If you want my agent to do that for you, you can do that through my Visa Assessment Service and he will tell you for sure whether he thinks your case will be successful or not as well as letting you know the best way to proceed.

  • Shannon April 13, 2017, 7:35 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for your blog. I have a question about immigration timing. My husband is an Australian citizen, as are our 4 children (they have paperwork and passports). I am American. We have been married 9 years; living in the US the entire time. We are looking to enter Australia in September 2018. Is it best to apply for my partner visa from the US or to enter on a tourist visa and apply for the partner visa once in the country? We are trying to plan the sale of our home, leaving jobs, pulling kids from school, and (hopefully) a farewell tour of the US on our way out. Would you recommend using a migration service in our case? Thanks.

    • BobinOz April 13, 2017, 9:27 pm | Link

      Hi Shannon

      Well, I cannot answer your question, I’m not a MARA migration agent. The process is always more complicated than you think, there are many rules, and it’s important that you do things in the right way.

      As you are unsure how to proceed, then yes, I would recommend using a migration agent. Make sure the agent you use is MARA registered, you can check that via the link on my page about Migration agents.

      If you want to use my MARA agent, that all starts with my Visa Assessment Service.

      Good luck, Bob

  • jiya ul mustufa April 4, 2017, 5:28 am | Link

    Hi Bob I’m mustufa I’m from India I’m welder I have 8year exp.in his field and I have dream go to Australia so what I do I need yr advice

  • Hiren April 2, 2017, 4:49 am | Link

    Hello my name is hiren and i would be applying for visa 489 Nsw riverina. Just wanted to ask about the place. Am a mechanical engineer. Is that place safe and are there any job oppurtunities?

    • BobinOz April 4, 2017, 6:48 pm | Link

      Yes and yes.

      I have a page about New South Wales and also one about Sydney, both are accessible from the main menu drop downs above. See also my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, for sure though Sydney has more job opportunities than any other city in this country at the moment.

      That’s not a guarantee you will get a job though, so I would suggest you do some research on the page I’ve just given you a link to.

  • Shri March 31, 2017, 11:02 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks a lot for your blog post on Westpack bank. I would be moving to Armidale, New England as a skilled migrant in about 2 months time and I am happy to learn that Westpac does have a branch in Armidale. Now that I know from your blog how easy it is to open an online bank account before I even arrive in Australia really gives me a lot of relief. Could you also please tell me how much cash can a migrant bring in to Australia?

    Another thing I have been struggling to find is if there is a way I could send my ocean shipment of household belongings to a temporary address in Australia where I could have it stored (paid or free) until I arrive and find a place to live (a permanent address). Would you be able to give me any info on that?

    Best,
    Shri

    • BobinOz April 4, 2017, 5:15 pm | Link

      Hi Shri, glad to hear this has been helpful. When you arrive at customs in Australia, you will need to fill in a form which, if I remember correctly, asks you to declare whether you have more than $10,000 AUD in cash.

      So I believe that is the amount you can bring in without questioning, but if you want to bring in more, then you will probably have some explaining to do. What the ultimate cash limit is though, I don’t know.

      As for storage of your stuff, most major removal companies will have storage facilities for that. Just go with a removal company that does offer this service. I have a removal company that sponsors this website which I believe does offer storage. See the small banner towards the top right hand side of every page.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Shri April 4, 2017, 9:28 pm | Link

        Thanks, Bob. I will contact them and see.

  • Sachin March 28, 2017, 4:19 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,

    Greetings for the day!

    I am Sachin. I am from India. Me, my spouse and my two daughters got 489 visa with 8539 condition. I am writing you to seek your valuable suggestion to choose the location for living. We are expecting to migrate in July 2017.

    As per grant letter, we can live Queensland anywhere except the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast Pfb postal codes
    4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272,
    4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499,
    4515, 4517 to 4519, 4522 to 4899.

    I am mentioning here my complete detail that would assist you for appropriate guidance.

    Personal detail- My age-32, My spouse age-34, First daughter age-5 yr and second daughter age- 1yr.

    Professional detail- My total experience is of 13 years. I am working as a training manager from last 9 years in Life insurance company. Prior to this, I had been working for 4 years in sales, with banking industry.

    My spouse- Total experience 9 years. She worked as a senior councillor in call center, Sr. Councillor in Imigration company, center head in financial institute. Now in India, she has joined hair and beauty salon Institute. She want to explore her career in hair and beauty industry.

    My agent suggested me to migrate to cairns and one of my friend living in gold coast, suggested me to migrate to Waterford because this place is near to them.

    I want to live in area where:-
    1)Me and my wife will get a job as per our experience and interest. Place should be full of opportunities.

    2)we should feel safe.we do not want to live in isolated area. we feel comfortable in croud.

    3)Place should be near to school, market, doctor and all necessary things available.

    I am expecting that you should guide us, where to live as per above detail mentioned.

    Believe me, your valuable response would give us a right direction for future.

    Kindly accept my gratitude in anticipation.

    Warm regards

    • BobinOz March 28, 2017, 10:47 pm | Link

      So, let’s get your 1) out of the way first and foremost and you may want to sit down for this, but no place in Australia at the moment could be described as ‘full of opportunities’. The biggest and hardest task for both of you will almost certainly be landing a job.

      It’s not easy at the moment and it is even more tricky for new migrants. For more chat on that, see my post…

      http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/17033/whats-it-really-like-trying-to-find-a-job-in-australia-2015/

      And be sure to read the comments.

      I haven’t looked at each and every one of those postcodes to see where they are, if I did I’d be here all night, but it does appear to cover all of Sunshine Coast. If you want me to pick somewhere for you, I would say Maroochydore or any suburb or place within 10 or 15 kilometres or so. Jobs are hard to find in Sunshine Coast, but a recent comment by Rob March 25, 2017, 12:12 pm on my page about Queensland suggests things are picking up.

      He says some of the larger companies are setting up offices there and creating jobs.

      Sunshine Coast would give you everything you want, is extremely safe, and has all the facilities you need. Plus miles and miles of golden sandy beaches. That’s where I’d be heading, but there would still be no guarantees of finding work.

      Good luck, Bob

      • Sachin March 28, 2017, 11:46 pm | Link

        Firstly, thanks for your valuable revert.

        Further, kindly let me know if you want to choose between cairns and sunshine coast, then which one would you suggest (as per my expectation mentioned in earlier post like job and safety)

        • BobinOz March 29, 2017, 11:49 pm | Link

          Cairns is a fine city, probably the best in Far North Queensland. But it does get very hot up there, and humid. If you like hot and humid, and you think you can find work there, then give it a go. If I were choosing though, I’d probably go for Sunshine Coast, simply because it does have easy access to a major city, Brisbane, and although it is still quite hot and humid, it’s nowhere near as hot and humid as Cairns.

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