Moving to Australia – Part Eight

Previously in this series….

  1. In Part One you have the idea.
  2. In Part Two you looked at the various Visa options.
  3. In Part Three you looked at using a MARA Migration Agent.
  4. In Part Four you agreed the basis of your application.
  5. In Part Five you needed to Prove It!
  6. In Part Six you looked at taking the dog or cat.
  7. In Part Seven you put in your application.

Moving to Australia – Part 8

Part eight is the hardest part of all. Waiting!

The whole process is now pretty much out of your hands. It has now become a waiting game. It is a strange period to get through. If you have a migration agent they will probably be able to give you a good idea of how long you will need to wait. Ours told us about 10 months.

It will be a strange period, however long it takes. It’s almost as if the life goes on hold. How do you get through it?

You could try meditating…..



I did two things. Firstly, I signed up for an e-mail service provided by the Australian authorities which is supposed to give you a view of how the queue is moving. Basically, you send a blank e-mail to The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, or DIMA, and that they will send you a weekly update.

I am a little reluctant to give the details here for reasons I’ll explain in a minute. But then that just means you’ll have to go searching for it. So at the time of writing, you could read about it on Update: This page has now been removed by the Australian Government of the immi website and the email address to send a blank to was which also no longer works.

Update 2: How to find visa processing times

The government’s latest website has a page listing expected visa processing times. They have a habit of changing link locations, so the best way to find this page is to Google:

“Global visa and citizenship processing times”.

Their page, from their ‘homeaffairs’ website, should be top of the search results.

Back to the original article, some of which is now a little irrelevant, although it is interesting to see misleading the information could be back then, as it probably still is now.


Basically, the service works by telling you which applications they are opening and looking at. So in my example, our application was received by the Australian government on the third of August 2006. So our first e-mail from them, at that time, might have said something like “we are currently looking at applications received third November 2005”.

You can see how with this example, that if the government opens applications at the same rate they are received, then they will be likely opening mine in about 10 months time. Unfortunately, what happened next was that by January 2007 the message was “we are currently looking at applications received 18th December 2005”.

I think at one stage I calculated that our application would be opened in about five years time. It was very depressing. But at the end of the day, it was also totally inaccurate. I am sure the system has good intentions and maybe it has been improved since I last used it. But the reality was the first assessment by our migration agent of 10 months was almost accurate to the day.

So my advice would be not to sign up for this service. There is something depressing about getting this weekly update. A bit like if you were to weigh yourself every day or check your bank balance constantly. It’s just not good for you. I say just get on with your life and wait for some news.

But the second thing I did was far more useful. I believe you can create your own future. I believe it is possible to get the cogs of the universe to move in your favour simply with the power of positive thought. So I created a statement, a mantra, a belief or you can simply call it a wish, that I repeated every day. Here is what it said….

“I live in Brisbane, as a permanent resident with my wife and daughter, in a four bedroomed single storey house of modern construction complete with a swimming pool. The house is built in a shape which allows for a large shaded patio area overlooking the pool with pleasing scenic views beyond”.

Am I mad? Maybe. But I am also living in Australia.

Not only am I living in Australia, but I am living in a house that can be described exactly as above. And I bought it through the Internet without ever having seen it.

This is my house…

My back garden

I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I do not believe I would be here, now, today, if I hadn’t have created the reality in my mind first in a way I have just described. I started this post by saying “The whole process is now pretty much out of your hands”. That is not 100% true.

Belief helps too.

Go to Moving to Australia Part 9

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.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Jivaka October 6, 2018, 7:19 pm |

    Fantastic source of info Bob, many thanks!

    I know you recommend against it, but the email link no longer works (

    • BobinOz October 8, 2018, 5:13 pm |

      Thanks for the kind words.

      Yes, I believe that service stopped a long time ago, but I have now updated the above post with a new method (see Update 2) to help you find out visa processing times.

  • Steve Moses April 3, 2017, 2:01 am |

    I want to live in Australia because I enjoy the country ,and because of the job oppunlitily in Australia ,if i can have asttsnt because my family is very poor if you can spensor me ,I can pay my visa ,anly other information lat me known ,

  • djmcbell September 2, 2015, 7:22 pm |

    This is the stage we’re at currently, and I have to say the waiting part is, well, not difficult, but certainly makes you think.

    Fortunately it seems the Australian government are better at it at the moment – we’re led to believe it’s about 10 weeks from when they acknowledge your application to getting a case worker assigned, then about 3 months until your visa (if everything goes according to plan) – at least for our visas.

    We’re moving because we think we’ll have a better life in Australia, from the UK, but the wait gives us pause. My wife will be leaving behind her family, which I know will be hard on her, but on the other hand if everything goes well then she’ll be spending more time with our son. I, on the other hand, know that I’ll have to get to work straight away – which I’m happy with, but the fact that the family will be relying more or less entirely on me does add some pressure. I don’t have great self confidence anyway and worry that my skills may not be up to scratch (despite a great IELTS score and being passed by the ACS with no trouble).

    I’m hoping to be on $80k a year, and my wife does intend to do some work too in order to keep us topped up, so we should – hopefully – be comfortable. My sisters both have husbands who get around the same, with their overall household income (after tax) being about $60k a year, and both seem fairly happy and well off. Things in Australia seem expensive, but I guess once you’re out there and earning in dollars then it works out (and the exchange rate at the moment is great).

    I am looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to having a much larger house for an agreeable price (we’ve found them, don’t worry about that!), more outdoor living – I intend to start cycling places, which I wouldn’t dare to do here – and giving my son more opportunities. My wife said the other day that she’s glad the weather has been rubbish this summer (mid teens here, mostly) as otherwise she may have reconsidered.

    Australia does weigh on my mind a lot. It worries me. But then I guess any change would. I’ve always thought that we live in an ideal place in the UK – near a major city centre, the house is decent, convenient for loads of things – and that we really wouldn’t be able to afford anywhere else. This is a move, but rather than move and stay in the UK, we’re off to Australia. And you know what? For us, moving to Australia is probably cheaper than moving to somewhere better in the UK.

    We know it’ll be a tough first two years. We intend to stay with my parents until we’ve got an income (as soon as we get the visas, probably December or January time, I’ll apply for jobs, though it’ll probably be mid next year when we get out), then rent and look into building a house. We know we need to throw ourselves into Aussie life as much as possible, go native rather than become “whinging poms”, because they probably inevitably become “ping-pong poms” and embrace it. Obviously it helps that we’ve got family and friends there already, but it will be a change of lifestyle – in some cases for the better, in some cases possibly for the worse. There is also the chance that I’ll move out first for a few months and get us established.

    Interesting, and scary, times indeed.

    • BobinOz September 3, 2015, 5:48 pm |

      When I was at this same point, I have to say, I had none of these thoughts or, if I can frame them as they more likely are, doubts. I do remember seeing a jumper I liked and I wanted to buy it, but doubt crept in; would I need it in Brisbane?

      My situation was different to yours though, I was nearly 50, we had good savings, we could survive without ‘job’ for quite a while if needed, in fact me and my wife were not even looking for a job when we got hpere. We both wanted to set up our own businesses when we got here and that’s what we did.

      It worked out, which is nice.

      Neither of us were concerned about missing family for various reasons, so that wasn’t an issue either. Moving away from friends is a bit tough though, but that’s the price of moving to Australia.

      I understand your concerns though, but here’s what I think. You’re in a great position, you have relos here to help you settle. I reckon you only have two hurdles. One, you need to get a job, and one you like would be preferable, pretty fast. If it takes too long, doubts creep in.

      Two, your wife has to be able to be strong about leaving her family and friends behind, it’s one of the main reasons migrants go back home. The real problems start when you don’t find work AND your wife misses family and friends.

      That’s when you both give up.

      I don’t think this will happen to you, you’ve put too much into this, I know from the many comments you’ve made here that you’ve done your research.

      At this stage, I know you are both going to give this a go, you are not going to back out now because if you did, you’ll never know how it might have turned out, and I know you need to know.

      Outdoorsy life, good weather, better life for your kid, it’s all waiting for you:-)

      • djmcbell September 3, 2015, 6:17 pm |

        Oh yeah, my wife has said that she’s determined to give it a go – at least for two years, then take stock then. To be honest, she’s the one who started the “let’s move to Australia” idea. She’s obviously aware that she’ll miss her family but we’ll try to visit often, and have them visit us (even if we have to pay for them to come over ourselves, which I’m perfectly happy with).

        The visa process has been expensive, mainly due to using an agent, and we’ve had other expenses. We’ve got some savings, but not much. As I say, I need a job as soon as, but don’t think I’ll have much trouble finding one. I’ve got a fair few skills that are in demand.

        Of course, we have to keep perspective. Australia is not the land of milk and honey, and neither of us expect it to be. If we discover something there we don’t like, we’ll have to remember whether it was better or worse in the UK – otherwise we’d just be bouncing back and forth.

        I now keep my eye out for the email letting us know we’ve been assigned a case worker. The waiting definitely gives you time to pause, though I get the impression when I think about it that it’s not being in Australia I’m worried about, but rather moving to Australia – the process of uprooting our lives here and attempting to basically start anew. Once we’re earning and have a roof over our heads, things will be a lot rosier.

        • BobinOz September 4, 2015, 4:35 pm |

          We have a saying here, ‘she’ll be right’, meaning it’ll all work out in the end. And I’m sure it will:-)

          • djmcbell September 4, 2015, 6:36 pm |

            And… we’ve just been assigned a case worker! A bit quicker than I thought (it’s been 7 weeks), so now we’ve got to get medicals and police checks, as well as fill in some forms, which we’ll try to do this weekend.

            Of course, the medicals and police checks are valid for a year, so it is looking like September/October next year we’ll HAVE to have moved (or at least holidayed).

            We’re trying to cut down on things in the house in order to get ready for the move, though we’re not looking at taking a huge amount anyway. To be honest, selling the house is going to be the major thing, which we’ll only start the process when we’ve got the visas.

            I guess it’s kind of weird – we’ve had a period of activity where moving to Australia was “a thing”, then it wasn’t whilst we waited, and now it’s “a thing” again in that it demands our attention.

            • BobinOz September 5, 2015, 8:12 am |

              Congrats on getting a case officer, things will start to move pretty quickly.

              Selling the house is the last step, for us, back in 2007, it was a nightmare. Sold it once in July but the buyer pulled out at the last minute amidst lots of talk about a pending house price crash. Sold it again in November and before we exchanged Northern Rock got into trouble and a house price crash was now obvious.

              Our buying went through with it though, I reckon we were the last house sold in the UK until about 2011 🙂

              We were very lucky, hope things go smoothly for you.

  • Ronny April 29, 2015, 5:02 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Digging up this post, I was wondering if you (or any of this blog reader) are aware of the actual (April 2015) average time to wait between application is sent and case officer is allocated ?
    In 2006, you had to wait like 10 months… what about 2015 ?

    Thanks (for answering this question, and MANY thanks for your extraordinary blog)

    • BobinOz April 29, 2015, 5:50 pm |

      I don’t specifically, no, but I think it does depend hugely on the type of visa you are applying for as well as your personal circumstances.

      A MARA migration agent would probably be able to give you a more accurate answer if he knew the above information. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, but glad to hear you are enjoying my blog.

      Good luck, Bob

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