Moving to Australia – Part Fourteen

Validating Your Visa.

Last week, you will recall, our worldly goods were loaded onto a container to begin their seaward journey toward the Port of Brisbane. I had my last pint(s) in an English pub and on Monday 12th of November 2007 we boarded our plane.

At 6:30 in the morning on Wednesday the 14th, local time of course, we set foot on Australian soil. Entering the country is the final act of your emigration process. The date stamp that customs enter onto your passport effectively validate your Visa.

That validation meant we were allowed to live and stay in Australia indefinitely. After four years here, we can apply for Australian citizenship. Wonderful.

And if arriving in a different country to live isn’t exciting enough, we were also about to see our brand new house for the very first time.

That’s the view from the back garden. Beautiful isn’t it? In fact the land it is on, the frontage and the location were all fantastic. Time to go inside and take a look. Had our gamble to buy our house on the Internet paid off?

18 sets of pink curtains, 14 sets of fluorescent lights, brown smoked glass stuck to the walls in three locations. Our first impression wasn’t good. Neither was our second and third impressions. In fact I believe my wife had gone into some kind of shock. I wanted to join her but I had a ton of decorating to do.

18 months ago if you had asked if buying a house on the Internet was a wise thing to do, you would probably have got an answer filled with ifs and buts. But today, with every wall and ceiling painted, every curtain removed, every light fitting replaced, a new bathroom suite and ensuite fitted and the kitchen fully refurbished, we love our home.

For us, the gamble has paid off.

So we were now living in Australia and we were in our new home. That must surely mark the end of the “Moving to Australia” series. Well, not quite. There’s one more episode to go and I’ll wrap that up next week.

To read this entire series from the start, please go to part one

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
{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Dave Hyde August 18, 2020, 8:45 am |

    I really miss the updates to this blog. Hopefully you’ve got something much more lucrative to spend your time on these days Bob! I’m very thankful for all the info on here. So much of it is valid today and your writing style is brilliant. In a strange way if it is down to the very occasional post now, I feel like you managed to tutor us until just about the time we got here in spring last year. We are 10 months in Brisbane now and we followed a similar pattern. Right away I loved it, missus took some time to adjust and the boy at school is now settled in with new friends.

    Looking back through all this visa stuff was actually more of a gripping read now than it was before we applied, in a strange way. It’s such a long slog that it almost feels like you’ve earned yourself a medal at the end of it, and it’s interesting to remind yourself of all the hundreds of steps it took. We had our very own “oh sh*t this is going to get rejected” moment as well, when the DHA suddenly requested proof of a license that I a) didn’t have b) couldn’t get in time and c) thankfully did not need in the end.

    Touch-wood, Queensland has been one of the better places to be during this big virus mess. Hope you and the family are doing well.

    PS we had a couple of Queenslanders over for a BBQ this weekend (lovely people). They were trying to convince me that the snag in a piece of bread (diagonal) was the only way eat a sausage. Let’s say I’m left unconvinced! After all these years are you a convert from the hot dog bun?

    • BobinOz August 19, 2020, 6:42 pm |

      Hi Dave

      Thanks for your kind words, they are appreciated, sorry you are missing the updates though.

      I had slowed down the number of posts I was putting up during recent times, but then this year, of course, we had bushfires in January and February and by March we were dealing with Covid 19. As you say, we have coped remarkably well here in Australia with that, Victoria aside at the moment, and frankly there isn’t anywhere else in our world I’d rather be than in Queensland right now.

      We have been very lucky, let’s hope it continues.

      But for Australia, the borders are shut, nobody can come here even if they wanted to unless they had a special exemption. Under these circumstances, and especially with so many other countries suffering really badly in this pandemic, I think it would be quite cruel of me to continue to write about life in Australia and in particular Queensland, when people can no longer actually come here.

      So I decided to have a rest and hopefully I can come back to it when international borders reopen.

      Anyway, I’m so pleased to hear you are enjoying Brisbane, and most importantly that you have all settled in. I love it here too, it’s such a great city. Worth all the scary moments it seems we both had to go through before getting that all-important visa.

      As for those sausages in bread, I’m afraid you are just going to have to get used to it. When Kate and Wills visited Australia a few years back, they were treated to several sausage sizzles, I made a video about it.

      It’s on the following page somewhere, I think you need to watch it so you can catch up 🙂

      Good to hear from you David and stay safe, Bob

      • Dave Hyde August 22, 2020, 2:16 pm |

        Right, I’ll consider myself educated, thanks for the video 🙂 It looks like it wants to spill sauce about the place, like you’re going to end up with a mouthful of napkin and – …. that Australia isn’t going to change that custom because I’m not used to it! So you’re right, I’ll plan to get on with it.

        Yeah I can completely understand your views on posting when a good amount of info on here is migration advice, and migration is done for now. Luckily there’s loads of stuff to read up on if you’re already here.

        All the best,

  • Kristen November 13, 2016, 10:41 am |

    Hello there! As you said above, you were on a permanent living visa. I was wondering just which one because the ones that I was looking at, I had to be skilled or have a sponsor and I was wondering if you were on one like that! Thank you!

    • BobinOz November 14, 2016, 1:18 am |

      It was the skilled independent visa, so still required a skill which luckily my wife had, I didn’t 🙂

  • Martin July 30, 2016, 11:56 am |

    Hi Bob! I have been in Sydney almost 3 weeks now and my wife and 2 kids will be joining me in another 3 weeks. I went first and gave myself 6 weeks to set up home before they arrive. I am happy to report that I have sorted the house, car, childcare and landed my dream job which I start on Monday so all the big to do items are done and I’m enjoying exploring and finding things to do with the kids when they arrive. I’m writing this sitting beside our pool and looking at our new home and it almost doesn’t seem real! Our lives have certainly taken a big step in the right direction. I can’t tell you how happy and excited I am that my kids are going to grow up living this lifestyle. Worth every penny ?

    • BobinOz August 1, 2016, 12:00 am |

      Fantastic news Martin, sounds like you have settled in really quickly and got everything sorted out. I hope you and your family get to love this country is much as I do, you are certainly off to a good start.

      I’m sure your kids will love it when they get here, what’s not to love?

      Anyway, I won’t keep you, you’ve got work in the morning 🙂

  • josef May 25, 2016, 6:06 pm |

    Dear Bob, thank you for this valuable website that contains priceless information on moving to australia. i applied for the skilled immigration visa 189 with my family. i would be thankful if you could answer this question
    I heard that after i get the visa for Permanent residency it will be valid for 6 months only. my concern is that my children would not have finished school …
    so 1- could the australian immigration bureau give extension times in such cases ?
    or 2- could i go alone for a week or so to activate my PR on behalf of the whole family ?

    thank you again for your time

    • BobinOz May 26, 2016, 12:39 am |

      Thanks Josef, glad to hear my website has been useful to you.

      I’m legally not allowed to answer these kinds of questions, but I strongly suggest you speak to your case officer about this and ask the question “can I validate (same as activate) this visa on behalf of my whole family by visiting Australia on my own and if so how long after that do we have as a whole family to turn up to live here on a permanent basis?”

      If you used a MARA registered migration agent to assist you with this application, you can ask the same question of them instead of your case officer.

      Good luck, Bob

    • Martin May 26, 2016, 4:53 pm |

      Hi Josef
      We recently went through the same dilemma after being granted the same visa. I can’t say that this is the case for everyone but this is what happened to us. I had read we would have 1 year to activate the visa. After submitting everything the case officer requested additional information. After 3 months we submitted the requested information and when we got the grant notice we were given 9 months to arrive. Now that may have meant the 12 months started when the additional information was requested or it was actually 9 months. I asked at the time the same 2 questions you have here. So:
      1: They said we could request an extension but I got the impression that you would need a very good reason.
      2: Everyone on the application has an individual visa grant notice and number and everyone has to arrive before the date but they don’t have to arrive together.

      Again this is just what happened to us. I can’t say if this is the case for everyone. Hope this helps! And good luck!

      • BobinOz May 26, 2016, 6:57 pm |

        Just to try and help clear up the arrival date time, my understanding is that either the police check or the medical, or more likely both, only last for 12 months. So I believe you need to validate your visas before one of those expires. That would explain why your one-year became nine months Martin.

        Again, check this information with your case officer or MARA migration agent.

  • Mirza Raihan Ferdous May 23, 2016, 2:14 pm |

    Mr. BobinOz,

    I are from Bangladesh. Me and my wife wants to go to Australia but can’t find the perfect procedure and way of going, can you please help us?


    Raihan Mirza.

    • BobinOz May 23, 2016, 7:09 pm |

      Well, you can try and work it out for yourself, you’ll find help on my page about Visas, or you can get a MARA registered migration agent to find the perfect procedure for you. See Migration agents.

  • Martin April 24, 2016, 2:04 am |

    Hey Bob! Me again with a progress update and as it’s in this section of your site you’ve probably guessed already that we have booked the flights!! I will be landing in Sydney in July to get things set up and the rest of the family will arrive in August hopefully to a nice secure house and job situation :s

    • BobinOz April 25, 2016, 4:43 pm |

      Congratulations Martin! Exciting times. I hope it works out as well for you as it did for me and my family. Good luck, Bob

  • Kayla June 23, 2015, 9:49 pm |

    I am currently in college, I have about 25 weeks left and am wanting to move to Australia after that 25 weeks, would it be better to start the process now or wait till my schooling is over?

    • BobinOz June 24, 2015, 11:28 pm |

      I would start it now if you want to move immediately after college finishes, getting a visa for Australia does take some time. What you should really do is speak to a MARA registered migration agent, they will advise you how best to proceed. Good luck, Bob

  • Amanda March 25, 2015, 3:15 am |

    Hi Bob

    We received are visa yesterday and I am very excited that we should be on the Gold Coast in June. We will be bringing our two children aged 7 and 5. I think I remember reading one of your posts that you got extra luggage allowance on your one way flights, is this right and how did you get it?


    • BobinOz March 26, 2015, 12:21 am |

      Yes, we did, double allowance if I remember correctly. I think it is just automatically given to you when you book a one-way flight. You’re not really getting that extra baggage for free though, because a one-way flight isn’t half the price of a return, they always get you in the end 🙂

      • Stella Downey August 2, 2017, 5:20 am |

        I thought it might help to add some info that I’ve come across. Originally I was going to book my migration fligh rip through IOM, but they only seem to quote Qantas to get the extra baggage allowance. I found Singapore Airlines to be about £100 cheaper and if you can produce your unvalidated visa at check in they will allow an extra 10 kg baggage BUT Thai Airways were £250 cheaper than Qantas and on emailing a copy of my visa, offer an extra 15kg over there standard 30kg … hope my shopping around helps someone else.

        • BobinOz August 2, 2017, 7:02 pm |

          Yes, good advice, proves its worth shopping around. When we moved here, 10 years ago, our flights included double baggage allowance because they were one-way. Not every airline offers that, so it is worth making those phone calls.

          Thanks for the heads up, Bob

  • Hal December 19, 2014, 10:35 pm |

    Hello Bob.

    I am planning to move to Australia on a temporary work visa within the next few months. I have 2 external hard drives and a laptop which I’ll be bringing with me. I wanted to know if the immigration authorities will be verifying the contents of the hard drives during the immigration process. Could you please clarify this for me?

    Thank you.


    • BobinOz December 22, 2014, 5:50 pm |

      Nobody knows for sure what they will or won’t check through, although I’m pretty certain they didn’t go through any of my hard drives when I came here. Maybe like most customs operations though, they just pick someone out at random every now and again and then go through everything very closely.

      So the only answer I can really give you is ‘probably not, but who knows?’

  • Reham April 13, 2014, 8:02 am |

    Hi Bob,
    My name is Reham, my husband and I got the PR, so we are moving by the end of June, we will be arriving in Melbourne, so I was wondering where can we stay once we arrive with our luggage?

    • BobinOz April 14, 2014, 6:03 pm |

      Well, in a nutshell, you will need to arrange some accommodation for when you arrive.

      I did write an article called Relocating to Brisbane: Tips on your Arrival which you might like to read, the tips apply as much for Melbourne or any city as they do from Brisbane.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Slava November 23, 2013, 7:10 am |

    Hi,Bob! My name is Slava,you know is pretty similar as a Canadian immigration process but it was different a bit for me,I came to Canada with working visa without family,had only $600 hundred in my pocket,but I had The Work Permit and company to work for,now we applyed for a citizenship in Canada,and you know what I’m thinking now – to create the same advices to thous who wishing to come to Canada,first want to say about the climate in Canada in winter time.What do you think???
    Please,reply via e-mail,and keep it touch!
    Thank you,all the bast!

    • BobinOz November 25, 2013, 12:45 pm |

      SlavinCanada? Why not? As for Winters over there, I’m guessing, cold and snowy?

      Good luck with your website, you don’t know you’re letting yourself in for 🙂


      • Abubakar Abdul Salam June 24, 2015, 3:06 am |

        Dear sir / madam l wish to apply for employment in your respected company as a cleaning, l am hard working and a dedicated young man 35 years of age.

        • BobinOz June 24, 2015, 11:34 pm |

          Thanks for your offer, but we don’t need a cleaner in my company at the moment, it’s all sorted. I do it. Well, I wipe my computer screen once in a blue moon maybe blow on my keyboard 🙂

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