Moving to Australia – Part Eleven

If you are new to this series and would like to start at the beginning, please go to Moving to Australia Part 1

From last weeks post about the medical you will know that ours got sent off to the Australian authorities some time around the 1st of June 2007.

Given the events surrounding my medical, I was left waiting nervously.


But I wasn’t left waiting for long. Kind of. You see, you don’t actually get the results of your medical and you don’t actually receive any kind of confirmation that you have passed the medical. But we did receive an e-mail from our MARA migration agent on the 19th of June 2007.

Firstly, let me just quickly remind you that our application to emigrate to Australia was based on a points system. Well, we were a little short on points. “We” needed 115. I had scored 0, (over 45 years of age) and my wife had got 110. So, “we” were 5 points short.

NB. The points system has changed since 2007 when we applied, you can read about the current points system on my Points Calculator page.

But we could secure an extra 5 points by making a Capital Investment of $100,000 in Australian government bonds for 12 months. This was actually a good deal at the time. They were paying just over 6% interest and the pound was very strong against the Aussie dollar. But never mind all that, it got us the points!

Now back to that e-mail. Our agent had received a request from our case officer asking for the payment of our Capital Investment. This was surely good news.

Or was it? We had to be inclined to believe that the Australian government would not ask for this money to be paid unless they were happy with our medicals, would they? No, of course they wouldn’t. Or would they?

It’s amazing how irrational your thought process can be at times like this. It really didn’t make sense to either of us that the money would be requested and they would then say no. But it was still a possibility. So that’s why I say we weren’t waiting for long, kind of.

So we electronically transferred over the money and it was received in Australia on June 22nd. They also needed some signed forms in order to open the account properly and we completed those and sent them recorded delivery by Royal Mail.

They never showed up!

So I went to our local Post Office clutching my “Track and Trace” receipt and asked them to find out where my documents had gone to. After surveying his systems he declared he had no idea where it was and added “the last time we saw it was heading for Africa”.

“But I paid for Track and Trace” I said, “so trace it”. He looked at me as though I was mad and said rather indignantly “Well we can’t trace it if we’ve lost it can we?” before he went on to explain that if it didn’t show up within 28 days I could come back and fill in a compensation form.

Thanks mate.

We re-did the forms and sent them by courier.

Despite the delay, at 6:30 a.m. on the morning of 18th of July 2007 we got a telephone call from our migration agent. Our visas had been granted!

I do not normally smile at 6:30 a.m. but on the morning of the 18th of July 2007, you couldn’t stop me.

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
{ 21 comments… add one }
  • Denisha April 12, 2018, 7:36 pm |

    Hi there,

    We have sent through our final 189 visa application and have completed our medicals, which have been sent through by our doctor. Just wanted to check if how long it took others on this forum to get their 189 visa’s after completing this step?

  • Tibrani & Saifutdinova January 21, 2015, 11:55 pm |

    Hi Bala,

    thank you for your response. Good luck on your new found Ibiza! 🙂

  • Bala January 21, 2015, 10:57 pm |

    Hi Tibrani and Saifutdinova,

    I applied for subclass 189 and yes, I had to take the IELTS. I gave my IELTS when I had submitted my skills to ACS and was awaiting the skill assessment outcome.

    Good luck to your Visa process!

  • Tibrani & Saifutdinova January 19, 2015, 11:25 pm |

    Hi Bala,

    I m in the midst of my Visa Application. Just curious 1) What Subclass Visa did you apply for granted? 2) Did you not require to take the IELTS??

  • Bala March 18, 2014, 1:17 am |

    Thanks a ton Bob on clarifying on TFN and the bank account.

    I think I will go your way of setting up a ‘deposit only’ account from here and then activating it the minute I reach there. I have already started researching online on which bank provides good service and which bank provides easy access to ATMs etc. If you have any good/not so good experience with any specific banks, do let me know.

    As for TFN, I realize that I might have to initiate it only after I land there.


    • BobinOz March 18, 2014, 2:04 pm |

      Funny you should ask about banks, I am soon going to write a page about banks, it’s on my list of things to do. It should be ready in a couple of weeks if you can wait.

      I am speaking to an agent who deals with several banks and hopefully I can learn a bit from that. Sounds like you are doing your research as well. My current opinion is that they are all very similar to each other in many ways, but it can also be a bit of a geographical decision as some banks are stronger in some states and they are in others.

      Cheers, Bob

      • Bala March 20, 2014, 12:29 am |

        Hi Bob,

        Good to know that you are going to write about banks! Surprisingly, there are not many Australian banks in Singapore where I can just walk in and open an account. Most of them only have corporate offices here and not retail customer-facing branches. I will therefore most probably choose from the few options I am left with here.
        I however can’t wait to read your page on banks. I am sure it’s going to be as informative and as tongue in cheek as any of the other pages you have come up with!


        • BobinOz March 20, 2014, 2:32 pm |

          Tongue in cheek? I’m not sure what gives you that impression 🙂

          Bear with me on this one Bala, I hope to have the article up soon but I am waiting for my contact to get back to me.

          Cheers, Bob

          • BobinOz June 20, 2014, 9:52 pm |

            Gosh, has it really taken me that long? Really sorry Bala, I had a contact, then I didn’t, then I did again and somehow it all dragged out for far too long.

            Anyway, I crashed on and did it myself in the end, so here’s my page about Banking.

            Sorry if it’s too late for you, but hopefully it will help someone.

            Cheers, Bob

            • Bala June 24, 2014, 10:05 pm |

              Nice peep into the banking world Bob! As I mentioned, earlier, I didn’t have much options in Singapore and I just went ahead with the first Aussie Bank that showed up in the google result with a facility to open an account from overseas, which was ANZ. Fortunately, I have their ATMs both near my house and my office, so for now, I think I will retain status quo on this.

              You are right about the mobile plans, several of them and difficult to compare. I recently took a plan with TPG where they give unlimited ADSL2 internet, unlimited landline calls(including select international countries, with my country being one of them!) and the option to bundle a mobile plan on a month on month basis. I am sure there a few other players offering similar packages, these are just my pickings!


              • BobinOz June 25, 2014, 3:50 pm |

                Glad you got your bank sorted Bala, as for Internet, I am also with TPG, they are one of the best choices in my view here in Australia.

                Cheers, Bob

  • Bala March 17, 2014, 12:58 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks you so much for your wishes! Been a busy calling up job agents, giving interviews etc. Since December when I got my PR, I was planning to give myself three months to see if I can find a job while being in Singapore, if not, I thought of flying down there for a couple of weeks to give interviews. Yeah, you are right, securing a job while being outside Australia is the hardest and the most unlikely among all job finding options. You’ve got to keep calling agents, build your network, be on the button on job sites and most importantly, be patient. Fortunately for me, a position opened up which I came to know through my professional network and from that point on, slowly but gradually, things started falling in place. So yes, this is not a sponsorship; I have my PR Visa but first decided to give job finding a shot and in my case, that worked.

    Also, I have one query – my PR is granted but not yet activated. This being the case, is it possible to apply and obtain a Tax File Number while being in Singapore or will I be able to do that only after landing there? I am sure opening an Australian bank account should be quite possible.



    • BobinOz March 17, 2014, 8:21 pm |

      Thanks for clearing up how you got a job Bala, sounds like it was very difficult but in your case, your perseverance has paid off. Well done.

      As for your TFN, not sure you will be able to get one until you actually arrive here, but you certainly will be able to open a bank account. You will have to prove your ID to your new bank, that may prove to be quite tricky to do from abroad. It’s much easier to do face-to-face when you can hand over your passport and other original documents quite easily.

      So when we opened our bank account from abroad, it was set up without us proving our ID which meant we could deposit money but not take any out. As soon as we got here, on day one we went over to the bank and showed them all of our required documents and the account was immediately set as active.

      It might be worth you doing it that way as well if it suits.

      I would also set up your TFN when you get here as I’m sure it will also be much easier to do face-to-face and there is no urgency in getting one.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Bala March 15, 2014, 12:54 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Quite some time since I posted in your blog. Guess what – I am on my way to becoming a Sydneyite(guess that how people living in Sydney are called?!) I have finally managed to land a job in Sydney. I will therefore land in Sydney sometime mid-May. I am publishing below a timeline of key events so that those in the beginning or middle of the process now will get an idea of the recent processing times –

    Idea to immigrate to Australia – 12 March, 2013
    Skill Assessment Lodged with ACS – 10 June, 2013
    Skill Assessment Outcome – 12 September, 2013
    EOI Lodged – 14 September, 2013
    Invited to apply for PR Visa – 16 September, 2013
    PR Visa Lodged – 30 September, 2013
    Medical Exam given – 14 October, 2013
    Case Officer assigned – 16 November, 2013
    PR Visa granted – 12 December, 2013
    Finalized a job offer – 13 March, 2014

    Planning, planning and lots of planning starting today for the next couple of months or so!


    • BobinOz March 16, 2014, 9:24 pm |

      Hey Bala, fantastic news!

      No, I haven’t heard from you for a while, but it looks like you have been busy. Thanks for giving us your timeline, I’m sure a lot of people will find it both helpful and encouraging.

      Just a couple of questions; looks like you secured a PR visa but it sounds as though you decided to get a job offer first before coming over. So not a sponsorship, but you do appear to have secured a job whilst living outside of Australia? I imagine that was possibly the hardest part, was it?

      Either way, well done Bala and I hope you get to love Sydney as much as I love it here in Brisbane.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Bala December 14, 2013, 1:16 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Guess what?!

    Got my VISA granted! On 12th Dec, 4.50 PM – at least that is when I received the email.

    My first reaction was a little involuntary smile and then I got on with my job since I was at my office at that time. Quite a disappointing reaction for such a big news isn’t it? But it is during midnight that day, when I was struggling to force myself into a sleep, when it all started sinking in. I would not say I got a particularly sound sleep that night. This can happen when you are either extremely worried or extremely elated. In my case, it was the latter!

    Now, to the all important question of finding a job. The general feedback I get is that there is nothing much that happens from mid-December till almost end of January. I am just going to try my luck in finding a job in Australia from Singapore. If that doesn’t work, I intend to fly down for a couple of weeks in February to give interviews.

    Will keep you and all our friends here posted on how things shape up.


    • BobinOz December 16, 2013, 2:34 pm |

      Congratulations Bala, fantastic news! Sounds like you had a bit of a delayed reaction to it, but I’m sure your excitement will build and build.

      Good luck with the job hunting, yes, I’m sure it will be quiet during the festive season, but hopefully things will pick up next year.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Bala October 15, 2013, 4:19 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Back again!

    I had posted under the ‘Points System’ topic on how difficult it was for me to get the employment references. This now seems to be the most relevant topic for me to comment on. I have just yesterday given the medical exams for me, my wife and kid from Singapore. Thankfully, it went on quite smoothly I would say. It was the radiology that took near to an hour and almost 40 mins were spent just waiting for our name to be called. The medical exam was quite uneventful and I hope the report would be consistent with our understanding. They said only HIV test result would be let known to us and the rest would be directly uploaded onto the e-medical portal.

    I am now practically in the ‘nervous waiting’ phase, with only police clearance certificates pending. I have to get one for India and one for Singapore. Singapore has recently brought in some changes to issuing police certificates for non-Singapore citizens, so let us wait and see how it goes!


    • BobinOz October 16, 2013, 2:00 pm |

      Getting close Bala, almost there. All the hard work is done, not much you can do now apart from, well, “nervous waiting”. Lots of things will go through your mind during this period, but none of it matters, you just need to wait for the decision.

      I really hope we see you here in Australia soon.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Valter Russo August 7, 2013, 12:07 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    you refer that you guys need 115 point,right?
    today the points are at a low 60 i guess, so, those 115 were back in the day or for some reason you were asked for an higher punctuation?


    • BobinOz August 7, 2013, 1:43 pm |

      Ah, yes, I’d forgotten about that. Back in 2007 the points system was completely different. The points system changed a few years ago, and although you now need fewer points, I think you’ll find it’s just as difficult to get the points you need now as it was back then.

      I’ll make a small update to the above post so other readers know about this.



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