If you are new to this series, so far….
- In Part One you have the idea.
- In Part Two you looked at the various Visa options.
- In Part Three you looked at using a MARA Migration Agent.
- In Part Four you agreed the basis of your application.
- In Part Five you needed to Prove It!
- In Part Six you looked at taking the dog or cat.
Moving to Australia – Part 7
So far we are at the stage where the basis of our application has been agreed, my wife’s skill set has been accepted and we know that the dog can come. It had taken us six months to get here.
But three of those months were wasted on a migration agent who just wasn’t interested. So by choosing your agent more wisely, you can get this far in three months. What happens next?
Now Is the Time to Apply
Yes, I know it seems like we have done a lot already, but we haven’t yet actually filled in the application form. There are over a hundred forms to choose from over at immi.gov.au – the Australian government’s immigration site. There’s a form to cover every kind of application. Ours was a 30 pager.
Filling in the form in is probably the easy part, although it will take you a fair amount of time. The difficult part is, again, in the “prove it”. You have already proved, if you are looking to come here as a skilled worker, that you do really have that skill. Now you just have to prove everything else!
Proofs you may need to get include your birth certificate, your marriage certificate, your divorce certificate if you are divorced and another marriage certificate if you remarried. Certificates for exams passed, your degree certificate, photographs of each applicant, and you also need to ensure that you each have a minimum of five years left on your British passports.
All of these proofs need to be photocopied and certified by a justice of the peace. This didn’t cause us any problems as our migration agent happened to also be a justice of the peace. Very handy!
No stone is left unturned during either of these prove it stages. I forgot to mention that during the “prove it” part of my wife’s skills assessment, she had to get a sealed, certified transcript of her degree course, so assessors could check to see if the course content was relevant.
You will also be asked to list everywhere you have lived in the last 10 years and, if it can’t be verified their end, you will be again asked to prove it.
If any of these documents come from a non English-speaking country – someone I know got married in Rome, for example – then you will need to pay for a qualified translator to translate the text and verify it.
Sound like fun?
Our application along with all those proofs went into the post and were received by the Australian authorities on August 3rd 2006. We paid around £50 to have ours delivered by courier, it’s not the sort of thing you want lost in the post.
At this point I want to quickly remind you that this is our story, and everyone’s story will be slightly different. For us, seven months almost to the day from the day we decided to move to Australia, our application had been received. I am describing how we did it but I do want to make two points.
- Some people will tell you you do not need a migration agent and you can save yourself £1200, or whatever the fees, by doing it yourself. I still believe it’s a good idea to get one and spoke about all my reasons in part three. Everybody is different. You do have a choice and the choice is yours.
- I have heard from a couple of sources that an electronic application is faster than a paper application. That may well be the case, so if you have the choice and you are in a hurry, apply electronically.
But you may like to consider this. Applying to emigrate to Australia is a big step and a massive move. From our initial idea to actually living in Australia took us 23 months. It’s a long time, yes. But it was also our final 23 months of living in England. It gave us time to say goodbye to the country we lived in all our lives. We even had a holiday in Cornwall!
It also gave us time to visit some of those places in Europe we hadn’t yet seen. Europe is a fascinating place. So for us, the 23 month wait was just right. For us, the important thing was getting the green light from Australia. Not the speed with which we did it.
Because once you’re here, you won’t be going back in a hurry.
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.