Moving to Australia – Part Nine


  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.
  8. In Part Eight you began waiting.

Moving to Australia – Part 9

If you recall, last time we spoke our application had already been sent and we were now waiting. Waiting for what?

We are waiting to be allocated a case officer.pending-pile

Until that happens, effectively our application is in the Australian governments in tray, or pending pile.

Waiting is a strange period. Never mind decisions like should I apply for this new job? I wonder if I should buy a new car? You’ll struggle with simple decisions like should I buy this nice new jumper? Hmmm. Not sure how much longer I’ll be needing jumpers. What do you want for Christmas? Not sure, possibly some sunglasses and a hat or, depending how things go, an umbrella and some gloves. You can see the issues can’t you?


In the excellent science-fiction comedy Red Dwarf, they often talked about going into “stasis” – and stasis is an excellent word to describe this waiting period. Our period of stasis came to an abrupt and joyful end on April 27th 2007, when we received a letter informing us that we had been allocated our case officer and he had requested our police records check and medicals.

As I mentioned last week, we had been following the weekly email updates and according to that information, we were a long way away from getting a case officer. Yet, all of a sudden we had one. Excellent!

Of course, throughout this time you cannot help your own thoughts. You know that you have enough points. You know that your skill has been assessed and is valid. You know your application is sound. What is the case officer going to be looking for? I think it is fair to assume you are already three quarters of the way there. Rejection rates at this stage must be quite rare.

What can possibly go wrong?

  • Your medical.
  • Your police records check.

So at the same time we were informed we had been allocated a case officer, we were also asked to provide the above. This, of course, was good news. We knew we were going to be asked to provide this information and felt ALL we had to do now was pass them. Then surely we would be home and dry or more specifically, away and dry.

The police records check was pretty straightforward. Go to your local police station with some ID, fill in a form and pay £10 and within a couple of weeks (allow 28 days) it will be sent to your home address.

Then there is the medical.

The medical is the one part of this whole process that scares the life out of me every time I think about it. For me, the medical was the one area where I honestly thought that I was going to blow it for me and, more importantly, my family’s future.

At one very low point, I was convinced that due to “events out of my control”, I was about to unjustifiably fail my medical, and all the work of the last 18 months was going to come to nothing. It was a very nervous time indeed.

It’s a long story and I’ll tell you it all next week.

To read that long story now, go to Moving to Australia Part 10

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
{ 18 comments… add one }
  • KC24 January 24, 2019, 3:35 am |

    Hi Bob,

    This website has been a godsend in helping us work out the process of moving to Australia! We’ve engaged with your MARA agent who, just as you said, has been very thorough and helpful, thank you so much!

    My husband is a NZ citizen and I’ll be applying for a temporary 461 visa (at least initially) and from what I gather, provided we satisfy the authorities we’re a real couple and I pass the health and character checks, this should hopefully be relatively straightforward. I appreciate there’s no guarantee of this, so I am hesitant to say anything to anyone (not involved in our application) until the visa has been granted, however the processing times for this visa are currently 19-22 months. Do you have any advice on how to approach telling people, particularly our employers, that this is something we’re doing? If the visa grant isn’t guaranteed, when do you tell your friends and family?

    I’ve just withdrawn from an application process for a new job within my company (as it would involve training for a new profession) citing a change in personal circumstances. How long should I wait before telling my (very supportive) boss what these circumstances are? I worry that she now thinks there’s something horribly wrong with me and I’ll have to keep quiet for 2 years until i have the visa!


    • BobinOz January 25, 2019, 5:46 pm |

      Glad to hear you are using my MARA agent to help you with this, I’m lucky to have him working with me, he does a great job.

      Like you say, there are no guarantees, but from what I know, there aren’t usually any surprises either. If you’ve been told you only need to pass the health, character and relationship tests, and you do, then all should be good. Sometimes the rules can change, but that won’t affect any applications already lodged.

      As you can see from the post on this page, I also struggled with this bit, which I called stasis. I only waited about half the time you will probably end up waiting, but I still found it difficult. It’s really hard for me to judge what you should do, but based on your comments, particularly that your boss is very supportive, then I’d be inclined to be completely honest with them.

      If you explain that you withdrew that application because you didn’t want to waste their time and money training you when you could well be moving on, then I’m sure they would realise you did it in their best interest. They would be pretty callous to treat you badly after that. Hopefully they will respect your honesty and you will feel better knowing you’re not hiding something from them. Also stops them from thinking you have some kind of dark secret 🙂

      As I say though, hard for me to judge, you are much better placed to try guess how they might react.

      As for friends and family, I think the sooner you tell them the better. If you wait until you are accepted for the visa, and any of them get wind of the fact that your application went in nearly 2 years before that and you said nothing, they’d probably be quite cheesed off.

      I’ve written an article about that as well, you can read it here…

      Hope it helps, and good luck, I’m sure it will all work out well.

  • UD November 26, 2016, 1:03 am |

    Waiting sure is not an easy task. I had already got visa invitation for me and my family and submitted all the required documents include the medical about a month ago but still no news in the skill select website. Keep praying and waiting but still very troublesome. My wife asked me whether there’s any issue with our application and it will be rejected, which I don’t know the answer. Can’t wait to move to Australia and start a new life. Wish there’s a way to check the progress so we can manage our perception.

    • BobinOz November 27, 2016, 8:56 pm |

      I agree with you, it really isn’t easy just waiting. So many thoughts fill your mind. Will we? Won’t we? It can be quite exhausting. Unfortunately, there is no accurate way of tracking it, there is only that waiting.

      I hope you get your answer soon, positive of course. Cheers, Bob

      • UD January 10, 2017, 7:21 pm |

        I just got replied from the immigration yesterday said that my wife need to sign health declaration form because she was detected having a tuberculosis while in fact not, and proven by the 2nd more thoroughly checks. One side I’m glad that it seems my documents is really being assess but on the other side I really wish they can work faster. Waiting for almost 2 months just to inform us that we must sign a form really takes a lot of energy. No more delay I hope cause I read some people even experience worse and I still need to secure a job or starting my own business there.
        I tried your mantra of picturing myself already in Australia and it made me feel even more nervous. Can’t wait till I can explore the road in Australia with my bicycle.

        • BobinOz January 12, 2017, 12:55 am |

          Well, it hasn’t taken them two months to decide they need a form signed, it’s taken that long for the department to get to your application in the pile which is their inbox. Like most government departments around the world (EU aside :-)), they just don’t have as much staff as they need.

          At least they are getting there and it’s not bad news. Happy cycling.

          • UD January 23, 2017, 5:05 pm |

            Yippppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!! I got my PR. Finally after the long processes and prayers I got an answer today. Took almost a year since I started the process, for some people maybe a short time but for us in waiting even a day seems very long, till finally got the answer. Now to find a job or started my business and relocation process. Can’t wait to explore Australia again. Thanks for reading and answer my writings, Bob. Thanks for all the people in Australia Immigration for processing my application and thanks Australia for accepting me and my family. I hope I can really contribute to a good cause.

            • BobinOz January 23, 2017, 7:20 pm |

              See, the system does work, it just takes a little time 🙂 Congratulations UD, I hope you and your family get to love Australia when you get here as much as I already do.

              I also hope you all settle in well and make lots of friends. I’m sure you will, your desire to really contribute suggests you have a great attitude. Good luck, I hope it all works out.

              • UD November 30, 2021, 7:19 am |

                Wow! Time does fly. Looking back at this post from 5 years ago where I was still waiting and here I now living in Sydney in this Corona time surely make me thanks God. Hope everyone is ok, especially you, Bob.

                • BobinOz December 3, 2021, 6:43 pm |

                  Time certainly does fly. Glad to hear you have appeared to settle well in Sydney and managed to navigate your way through the Covid crisis. As a country, I think we got off lightly, I’m glad I’m living here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else at the moment, sounds like you are the same.

                  Here in Queensland we got off really lightly, and yes, I am okay. Let’s hope things start to get better in 2022 and beyond.

  • Vanessa March 30, 2016, 12:50 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    My boyfriend has seizures and may be epileptic (no definitive diagnosis). Will this prevent him from passing medical?

    • BobinOz March 30, 2016, 6:22 pm |

      I believe immigration look at each of these cases individually before making a decision, so ultimately only they can answer this question with the help of their medical advisors.

      You might want to Google “Fact Sheet 22—The Health Requirement” though, it will give you the information they have about this. Good luck, Bob

  • Sue November 11, 2014, 9:45 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    your website is very useful , am in the process of getting the visa, I just received a +ve feedback form the assessment authority, and am preparing to get the IELTS exam , am dealing with a MARA agent in Egypt, they asked me to get a 7 score in each ite,, hope so.

    have some queries regarding 1)the medical examination that will be requested at the end of the process, shall we did it from now just to know the results whether its will be ok or will stop us from proceeding with the process
    2) re the cost of moving and landing there and staying may be up to few months before getting a job,, can u give me any figure with the min. required cost , for a 4 family members me, hubbt and 2 kidz.

    appreciate ur soonest reply

    • BobinOz November 13, 2014, 12:51 am |

      Hi Sue

      Your MARA agent will tell you when you need to do the medical examination, I think they do it later because they like it to be current. The thing is, when you do the medical, you don’t get to see it, it gets sent straight to immigration in Australia in a sealed envelope, so getting it done early isn’t going to help. You can check that with your ma agent if you wish.

      As to the costs of you all living here for a few months, there are so many variables, I couldn’t give you a number. But do check out my page called The Cost of Living in Australia of Everything and if you go through it thoroughly, you can work out your own budget.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Bob May 30, 2013, 4:11 pm |

    Thanks very much for replying bob, having read your link (which was very helpfull) I don’t think I fit into any of the exclusion categories so I will sit the assessment you recommended tonight and take it from there cheers.

    • BobinOz May 30, 2013, 9:39 pm |

      Okay Bob, hope it works out for you. Cheers!

  • Bob May 30, 2013, 5:11 am |

    Hey me and my wife are thinking about moving to the land down under but there’s a snag I have a criminal record unfortunately. Over 5 years ago will this have a major impact on our success? Cheers

    • BobinOz May 30, 2013, 1:50 pm |

      It really depends what you have done.

      There are two things here to consider, the first is what’s called “substantial criminal records” and to have one of those you would probably have needed to spent some time in prison, but the second part is what’s called “The character test” and that is a much more grey area. To find out more, see the Australian Governments fact sheet on The Character Requirement.

Cancel reply

Leave a Comment

If your comment doesn’t get answered, find out why…..
FAQs and Comment Policy.