Moving to Australia – Part Twelve

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

The story of how we moved to Australia is nearly over. As you know from last week’s post, we received telephone confirmation that our Visa was granted on the 18th of July 2007. A few days later we got a letter in the post with all the details.

First, we needed to send our passports off to Australia House. I did mention in part seven that you should have at least five years left to run on your passport. That’s because your visa will be stuck into a page of your passport and will act as your proof of residency for some time.


So you have up to five years to take up the option of living in Australia. We were quite keen to take up the option way way sooner. Like immediately. And we really liked the idea of being allowed to REMAIN IN AUSTRALIA INDEFINITELY.

Update: this doesn’t happen anymore, no need to send your passport off and get this embossed visa. It’s all electronic now, as Kristin explains in the comments below.

But there was still a small matter of selling the house. But before I briefly cover that story, I should explain that the Visa in your passport does not get validated until you enter the country. To validate our Visa we needed to enter the country before the 26th of February 2008. That date is also mentioned on the visa (not in the picture) and if you miss it, you have blown it.

It is only after you have entered Australia and had your Visa stamped that it becomes real. So one way or another, whether we sold the house or not, we were going to be visiting Australia before February ’08. Once validated, we can leave and have the right still to return any time until July ’12. That’s another reason why you should have at least five years on your passport.

We had put our house on the market at the end of January 07. By the time we were granted our visas the house had been sold twice and fallen through twice. The first time because our buyers decided instead of buying a house, they were going to get a divorce. DANG! The second buyer fell through because her buyer pulled out when interest rates went up by 1%. Double DANG!

Now, here we were rapidly approaching the end of July with no buyer in sight, our visas secured and us itching to jump on an aeroplane. Australia seemed a long way away. Oh, it is!

But as luck would have it, in September we sold our house for the third time. Our hope was that this time it would all go through. Then, on 14th September 2007, a matter of days after accepting the offer, Northern Rock ran out of money or something, sparking the biggest financial crisis the UK had ever seen. Every night on the news it was financial doom and gloom, illustrated with queues at banks, as customers tried to withdraw all their money.

Our house sale falling through for a third time seemed a formality to us. We were just waiting for the phone call. But it never came. Our buyers stayed strong and by way of a small miracle, the sale was completed on October 27th.

At last! We were homeless. And we loved it!

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
{ 43 comments… add one }
  • KC24 February 8, 2019, 8:18 am |

    Hi Bob!

    I can’t seem to find this information anywhere on the internet, but do you know if the period you have to enter the country and validate your visa is the same for all visa subclasses? I see you had about 7 months but does this vary depending on the visa type? Asking in particular in relation to temporary 461 visa just in case you know!


    • BobinOz February 8, 2019, 8:16 pm |

      I don’t know if it’s different for different visa types, but you should be told by what date you need to validate it when you are issued with the visa. It should state the date clearly somewhere.

      For my visa it was seven months, because five months before it was issued I had my character and health checks done. My understanding is that for my kind of visa, and it may apply to your type of visa as well, that the date by which you must validate it is within 12 months of the issuing of those checks. You might like to try and doublecheck that though.

  • Karen October 18, 2017, 3:38 am |

    Hiya Bob
    If I sell my London flat do I need an Australian bank accounts to put the money in?
    Do I have to pay tax on it ?
    Will I pay a flat transfer fe on the transaction regardless of the amount?

    • Mark October 18, 2017, 6:20 am |

      Im assuming your still moving to Aus and not In Aus in which case no a UK account would be far more sense when the solicitor moves the money from sale proceeds to your account…
      As regards transferring to Aus, open one pf the accounts here before you leave UK Bob has one featured and when here finalise the account with the bank. Then set up an account with a money broker again Tor FX down the side (on right ) are pretty good You move money to their UK account and they take care of the rest to your Aus account You telephone them instruction and can play with the exchange rate eg sell today tomorrow etc that;s effectively gambling though and I am not recommending it just saying you can So dont move 100 k the day after Theresa May resigns as it will affect the pound. usually momentarily. There are generally no fees on large transactions and a negotiable exchange rate (not by much) but every cent counts.
      One major tip though make sure your UK bank account lifts daily transaction limits they need ti be removed If say they are at 25K per day moving say 375K takes 15 days of tedious transfers

  • Kristin October 13, 2016, 3:51 am |

    We just were granted provisional permanent resident visas, but it’s not a physical visa that’s put in your passport, so that aspect may have changed since your post. Now the visa is associated with your passport number via their computer system. When you go through immigration, it comes up for them that I have this associated visa. If my passport number changes due to expiration or loss, there’s an online form that I must use to send them the new number so they can update the information and associate the visa with the new passport number, otherwise if I go through on a new passport, the visa won’t come up for them.

    Our provisional PR visas will be good for 4 years, at which time we apply for the permanent version. We’re hoping to move in the coming months and and we’re hoping for the best.

    • BobinOz October 14, 2016, 12:32 am |

      Hi Kristin

      Yes, somebody else mentioned this somewhere, as you say, it’s all electronic now, there is no physically embossed visa on your passport. Shame really, it’s quite nice to have it to look at, makes it seem more real.

      That’s progress for you, good old computers.

      Congratulations on getting PR, I hope the move works out very well for you.

  • Somabha February 29, 2016, 12:48 pm |


    I will be moving to Australia in April. I do not have an address in Australia. So will the Shipment agency absolutely need an address in Australia to ship my belongings? Or I can ask them to keep the stuff in their storage facility and after I rent a place then ask them to deliver. Is it possible? Otherwise how can i obtain an Australian address before moving to Australia ?


    • BobinOz February 29, 2016, 11:51 pm |

      No, I’m pretty sure your removal company will be able to store your stuff for you in their storage, although they will probably charge you a weekly fee. As soon as you have an address, they’ll be able to deliver your belongings. I suggest you check with your removal company that they can do this just to be sure.

  • djmcbell October 20, 2015, 5:19 pm |

    Well, if I were to write a book about the whole process (which I’m tempted to actually, and self-publish an e-book) the this would be the end of section 2 – in that we’ve just been granted our visas! We have to move before mid-September next year (with that being a year since our police/health checks were validated).

    So now, with section 1 (the idea) and section 2 (getting visas) out of the way, we can now concentrate on section 3 (selling up) and section 4 (life in Australia).

    And yes, it’s worrying. We’ve got to sell the house. When will it sell? Will it sell? We’ve got to get stuff moved. Fortunately accommodation is largely sorted in Australia – my parents will put us up initially, then we’ll rent as soon as we’re able (which I’m hoping will be just a few weeks in), which leads to also getting a job. I’m moving to within an hour’s commute of Melbourne, and there are plenty in my field in Melbourne (with nice hefty salaries) but I’d prefer something in the local city (10 minutes commute) if I can.

    Anxious times ahead!

    • BobinOz October 21, 2015, 5:18 pm |

      Congratulations! Glad you got there in the end.

      It’s been a long journey for you I think, and you just have one major (ish) hurdle left, and that’s selling your house. If I’m not mistaken, the market isn’t too bad in the UK at the moment, aren’t house prices back on the rise again?

      Hopefully you won’t have too much of a problem selling it and when you do, things will start to move very quickly indeed.

      You will have anxious times, but you will also have some very exciting times as well, I’m sure.

      • djmcbell October 21, 2015, 8:42 pm |

        You know, it hasn’t actually been that long. Quicker than I thought it would be. I think we contacted the visa company we were looking to use in April, they identified the best way for us, I got my IELTS done and necessary certificates in May, then I can’t quite remember what happened for a few months, then pretty sure we submitted the visa application to Australia in July or early August, got a case worker in late August who asked us to get the medical and police checks, got them confirmed mid-September and now here we are!

        (that’s an extremely long sentence)

        • BobinOz October 22, 2015, 5:39 pm |

          Sorry, yes, that has been quite fast then, hasn’t it? I may have confused myself, didn’t you spend a fair bit of time thinking about whether to make the move or not? As you have pointed out though, once you decided and took the steps, it all went quite quickly.

  • Jeffas September 25, 2015, 12:10 am |

    When I left London, heading for a job awaiting me in Perth, I hastily sold my basic but roomy Maisonette in West Wimbledon. I felt homeless but happy, for a while.
    Within the year, I grew tired of Perth and headed back to London, homeless and less happy. Prices had gone up. Perth was a brave venture, but some of us like the “hamburger with the lot” rather than a pleasant backwater.
    Later I moved with greater sense of direction, to Melbourne, and have remained here on its country perimeter ever since.
    My advice, don’t sell up in a hurry. Find a tenant while you explore your brave new world. I know several people who abandoned Perth within months.

    • BobinOz September 25, 2015, 11:57 pm |

      I’m not so sure that selling your pad too quickly was your problem, I think for you the problem was moving to Perth. Perth isn’t for everyone, Australia is pretty remote, but Perth is really remote.

      It’s a great city for families with kids, people who like the great outdoors, beaches, but for someone coming straight out of London, I can understand that it must’ve been a massive seachange for you.

      Glad to hear you are much happier now in Melbourne.

  • Beckie January 11, 2015, 6:21 am |

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks so much for your fountain of knowledge!!!! We have just booked our 1 way flights to Sydney for July 2015. Our pup has had his rabies injection and will unfortunately be heading out after us…….. We have 7 months to get everything sorted. We have friends to stay with for a short time when we get there but do you have any advice of what we need to do/ can be getting in with now?

    • Mark Massingham January 11, 2015, 6:27 am |

      Where you heading Beckie? After many months of faff, we finally leave on March 20th and will be aiming for St Ives….still a 101 things we don’t know!

      • Beckie Leach January 11, 2015, 7:07 am |

        Mark, we are heading to Wollongong as that is where my old boss lives. But not planned anything from there. All depends on where we get jobs. I am a teacher so it will be more difficult for me. My boyfriend has worked in construction and personal training so we will be relying on him to start with…… How about you?what are you taking?

        • BobinOz January 12, 2015, 5:48 pm |

          Hi Beckie

          I’m sure there is plenty you could be doing now in preparation, but I couldn’t give you a list. It’s different for everybody. Just make sure you say goodbye to all the friends and family you want to say goodbye to, cancel all services you will no longer need when you leave the UK and go visit any places you would like to see one more time before you depart.

          Before you get here, you could open a bank account, see my page Banking, and if you are going to be looking for jobs when you get here, check out my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship which will help you with finding any job, not necessarily a sponsor job.

          Finally, make sure you are ready to trade currencies, see Currency Exchange.

          Good luck, I hope your move goes well.

          Cheers, Bob

        • Mark Massingham September 25, 2015, 7:16 am |

          Hey Beckie!
          How did it all work out for you? We have just done our first 6 months….and we love it!! We ended up in a place called cherrybrook which is about 30k from Sydney and the beaches….a far cry from Northampton! Hope you’re doing ok….my one dislike…they can’t drive here!!

        • Mark Massingham June 15, 2018, 6:25 am |

          Hi Beckie!
          How did everything work out for you?

  • Mark Massingham August 28, 2014, 4:50 pm |

    Ok…i think thats the, Mortgage, visa, money issue sorted, thank you! (my god, doesn’t this process take over your mind…one minute its a thought, the next its all systems go!).
    Next thing i’m wondering is work….My partner is sorted, unless a meteorite lands on Bella Vista! I however currently run my own business (training & consultancy to the food industry) I have spoken to a visa agency who suggest setting up my business there is a doddle (i’ll need local qualifications of course) but i have also read that its a nightmare due to tax and accounting complications (that’s no walk in the park here, trust me!)….any thoughts, anyone?

    • BobinOz August 28, 2014, 10:09 pm |

      Tax is a nightmare anywhere, but I’ve not noticed it being any more of a nightmare here than it was in the UK. The problem I’ve had is finding a decent accountant, but if you can get hold of one of those, best way to go.

    • Jeffas September 25, 2015, 12:17 am |

      I have a very small business….law in the city … and have no tax or accounting difficulties.
      One thing Oz is good at is friendly tax interface and the accountants do not charge all that much. It is such an urbanised society, the cities are well run and modern.
      The outback seems very far away from normal suburbia.

      My tip is avoid suburbia with its traffic pressures. Get out of town.

  • Mark Massingham August 26, 2014, 11:27 pm |

    Its looking very likely that we may be moving to Sydney for a job in the next few months….i have started the process of selling the home, but have no idea what happens with mortgages out there?
    I’m assuming that we’ll have to be resident for a while before we can apply….or can we transfer our current UK mortgage to Australia?
    This is likely to be the first of many questions!!
    Great site by the way Bob, its been a great tool so far!


    • BobinOz August 27, 2014, 5:48 pm |

      I can’t help specifically as it’s not a subject I’ve looked into, but I’m pretty sure lending terms vary from mortgage company to mortgage company and it will also depend on the kind of visa you will be coming here on.

      Each case would be looked at individually so it would be best for you to contact a mortgage company here to find out what your options might be. I think it’s highly unlikely you would be able to transfer your UK mortgage to Australia, but again you would have to discuss that with your lender.

      Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful, good luck.


      • Mark Massingham August 27, 2014, 5:51 pm |

        Thanks Bob.
        I’ve sent an email with a similar question to one of the banks….awaiting a reply!
        We will initially be there on a 4 year work visa and will be hopefully looking to live within an hour of Sydney….i think rental is looking favourite for the short term! But where has yet to be decided!

        • BobinOz August 27, 2014, 6:48 pm |

          Ah, if you are on a temporary visa, I think you need to get permission from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before you can purchase a house in Australia. I’m sure the bank will put you straight, but you may have to turn to rental.

  • Mahbub February 11, 2013, 8:04 pm |


    Perfect. Thank you for your help.

    Best regards

  • Mahbub February 11, 2013, 8:31 am |

    Hi Bob

    I am looking to move to Australia and am waiting for the results of my Visa application.

    In the mean time I have been searching for a website that will give me a list of all the things I need to do in the UK before I immigrate, but I am struggling with this.

    Do you know of any sites that will help me ensure I don’t forget anything?

    I look forward to your help.

    Best regards

    • BobinOz February 11, 2013, 7:41 pm |

      Hi Mahbub

      I’m sure if you google it there will be one or two emigration checklists you can look at, but I do also know that if you were to buy a copy of Australia and New Zealand magazine, it’s readily available in all major newsagents, then towards the back of that magazine they have their own emigration checklist. It appears in every issue.

      Hope that helps



  • Toby July 6, 2012, 12:39 am |

    Thanks Bob,

    With only a month between being allowed the visa my starting work there’s not much of a window (we were hoping to move at least a month before, to settle in etc). I guess we’ll have to think very carefully about when to book flights etc.

    Thanks for getting back to us. Love the blog – very informative.

  • Toby July 5, 2012, 7:15 pm |

    Hi Bob, was recommend this website – most helpful I’ve found.

    We’ve (partner and I) been accepted for an e457 Long-stay visa [I have a job in Melbourne starting November].

    We’re not allowed into Oz more than a month before I start work however. We’re obviously very keen on getting flights books and shipping sorted and worried about this last stage as it seem a bit uncertain,

    Do you know if you can go to Australia House in person and have it done? For peace of mind and the cost of driving to London, we’d rather do that than entrust passports to the postal service.

    Just wondering.


    • BobinOz July 6, 2012, 12:12 am |

      Hi Toby

      If you are talking about getting your passport embossed with the visa, then I understand where you are coming from, we thought the same ourselves. We wanted to go to Australia House to do it, we really didn’t want to trust our passports in the post.

      We didn’t go to Australia House though, I can’t remember exactly what happened. Either we weren’t allowed or if we were, we had to go somewhere like Peterborough? Maybe somebody could throw some more light on that?

      So in the end we trusted our passports to the post, recorded delivery, special delivery, with tracking and everything else we could chuck at it, and we were astonished to get our embossed passports back within about three days. It really was fast.

      That’s how it was for us anyway, that was five years or so ago.

      Good luck, and welcome to Australia (soon).


  • roop June 29, 2012, 5:18 pm |

    hi i m looking for sponsorship in nursing .i got 3 years diploma in nursing from india and 1 years paid experience in the hospital in australia 2 yrs diploma in haidressing and salon management .and 1 yr diploma in bussiness management
    and certificate 3 in aged care .and still i m doing study plz can u guys help me .

    • BobinOz June 29, 2012, 8:14 pm |

      It’s not what I do really, recruitment, but do keep an eye on my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship or, better still, sign up for my mailing list (name and email in the signup form under the video top right) and you will get notifications about possible job sponsorships because I am currently looking at setting up relationships with recruitment companies who can help.

  • BobinOz January 23, 2011, 1:50 pm |

    I was one of the lucky ones. Others around me have been not so lucky. The full cleanup will take a long time, but I’m sure we will get there.


  • Rupert January 22, 2011, 10:03 pm |

    Thanks Bob.

    I hope the flood clean up is not to stressful for you. My sister-in-law lives in Albany Creek (which wasn’t hit too badly), but my wife’s best friend lives in Ipswich – her house is all but ruined, and I have more in-laws in Toowoomba. Watching the footage on the news in the UK was just so sad.

    We’re thinking of you all and hope that the city gets back up to speed soon.

    Best wishes


  • BobinOz January 22, 2011, 8:34 pm |

    A certified copy will be fine. We didn’t part with our actual passports until AFTER we were granted the visas, which is what I was talking about above.

  • Rupert January 20, 2011, 1:06 am |

    That’s good to know, but I meant the actual application. The IMMO website doesn’t make it clear whether a certified copy of the passport is acceptable or not – so just wondering what you sent in when you did yours. Cheers. R

  • BobinOz January 20, 2011, 12:53 am |

    Hi Rupert

    Glad you are enjoying the blog.

    I assume you are talking about after you have been told you have been granted a visa and they ask you to send in your passport to Australia house to have it embossed onto a page?

    I can’t tell you exactly how long it took, but I know it was very fast, may have even been by return of post. So if we sent it on a Monday, I reckon we had them all back by Wednesday. That fast!

    So I think you’ll be fine.



  • Rupert January 19, 2011, 9:33 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I joined your blog about a week ago (thanks to the article in Australia Magazine) and I’m reading every single entry from the beginning – it’s my nocturnal activity after my early rising wife has gone to bed! I’m addicted.

    Anyway… you may be covering it later, but when you applied for your visa, how long were you without your British passport? I travel within the EU sometimes for work and I would hate to think I am holed up in the UK while my passport sits in a file somewhere – ‘awaiting processing’. Your thoughts on the matter would be gratefully received.

    Kind regards

    Rupert Degas

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