Moving to Australia: A New Year’s Resolution

Crikey, it’s 2016! Here we go again, another year.

What I have noticed over the years is that every January I get a quite substantial spike in traffic. By substantial, consistently January’s visitors have been 50% up on the average number of visitors during the previous months. Every single year has been the same. That’s quite a significant traffic increase and I put it down to one thing.

New Year’s resolutions

New Year's resolutionYes, come January of each year I think there are quite a few people around the world that think “That’s it, I’ve had enough of it here, I want to move to Australia.

But is ‘moving to Australia’ New Year’s resolution material?

If you want to give up smoking, lose weight, get fitter, these are the kind of things that you have complete control over. Do you have complete control over moving to Australia? The answer to that question is very simple, it’s no, you do not. Only the Australian Government hand out the visas and you WILL need one, so your dream is in their hands.

That said, the Australian Government do also clearly lay out all the rules under which they do issue visas, it’s just that there are a lot of visas and a lot of rules. So for any of you who this year have decided your New Year’s resolution is “I want to move to Australia“, this article is for you.

New Year’s resolution tips

There are many ‘gurus’ out there happy to give you advice about how to make your New Year’s resolutions successful, and I’m not one of them. What I am going to do though is offer you three tips that you may find helpful if this year you have decided you want to move to Australia.

1) Is it achievable for you?

Any expert will tell you that a New Year’s resolution has to be achievable, otherwise you are just setting yourself up to fail. Given that this particular goal is pretty much out of your control, the biggest question and hurdle for most people is ‘Would I qualify for a visa?

visa stampThis is what you should research first.

There can only be three outcomes as far as I’m aware and two of them are very straightforward; you do qualify or you do not qualify.

If you do qualify, that’s great. Australia isn’t an easy place to get into though, and for some people qualifying for a visa may simply be impossible. Maybe, for some reason, you cannot pass either the medical or the police check, or perhaps your circumstances are such that you simply don’t fit the criteria for any of the available visas.

The third possibility though is that you do not qualify, but there may be something you can do to improve your chances or ensure that you do qualify.

A friend of mine who is now living as a permanent resident here in Australia did qualify, many years ago, but before he put in his application the skill that he had was removed from the skills list. All of a sudden, overnight, he’d gone from qualifying for a visa to not qualifying for a visa.

He could have given up, but he didn’t. It took an extra five years, but he studied to get another qualification, which gave him another skill, one that was still on the list. All the time that he was studying it and getting working experience of it, he was hoping and praying it would remain on the list. It did, he applied, and as I say, he and his family now live here very happily.

This is by no means the only example of something you can do to improve your chances, there are probably hundreds of examples.

The message is simple though, you need to know if moving to Australia is achievable for you, you need to know how likely it would be for you to successfully apply for a visa.

Here are some pages to help you:

These pages will help you to work it out for yourself, but because it is so complicated, I do recommend that you use a MARA registered migration agent. You can choose your own agent from the MARA registered agents lists, details of that are on my page Choosing a MARA Registered Migration Agent, or you can use my agent via my Visa Assessment Service.

2) Will you get a job here in Australia?

Job InterviewTwo years ago I would not have asked this question in the shortlist, Australia was better off than most countries when it came to job vacancies. These days though, the job market is not so good here. Our unemployment figures are as high as they’ve been since I arrived eight years ago, so securing a job is not a given.

There is nothing worse than spending all the money on the visas, the flights, the removal and the not insubstantial fees involved in buying and selling a house if that’s what you needed to do, then getting here and things not working out. Not surviving in Australia and having to return to where you came from is an expensive business, for a family it could be ballpark around $60,000.

So, assuming you need a job when you get here, it’s a very good idea to do some thorough research to find out exactly what your chances are of securing that work.

Here are some pages to help you:

3) Will you survive without your friends and family?

no-more-friendsThe reason this one is in here is quite simply because, from what I can see, missing friends and family is one of the major reasons why some people return to their previous countries. This is a question only you can answer, but I suggest you think long and hard about it. As already mentioned, it’s a very costly mistake if you have to go back, so you need to be sure that you will survive without your friends and family.

The best thing you can do when you get here is make new friends.

Here are some pages to help you:

Oh, one more thing.

Think of the kids

Please do make sure you and your husband/wife/partner whatever, have a very strong relationship if you are bringing children with you. This really is a major consideration. You see, if one of you decides after a period of time that you do not like it here and you want to return back to where you came from, and the other one wants to stay, it’s a big problem.

One of you will lose access to your children. Be sure to read my page What You Must Know About Bringing the Children.

Is your New Year’s resolution to move to Australia?

If it is, I do hope you succeed. Hopefully my website can help you with that in some way, there are lots of pages here to help you. It was a dream for me back in 2005, a dream I was lucky enough to make real by the end of 2007. If it was down to just me, I’m pretty sure I would not have made it, I would not have qualified for a visa. But thankfully I got in because my wife was younger and smarter.

I was lucky, I hope you are too.

If anybody has any comments to make about the above, or want to mention any other important considerations that could be added to my shortlist, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Visa Assessment Service
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Nadim January 15, 2016, 9:28 am |

    Hi bob,

    This is my first post at your blog. I want to know that, can we still apply under Skill Migration for subclass 189 or 190. As I create account at and I found to my surprised that there is no subclass 189 or 190.

    Can you please help in this regard because I am planning to apply in any one of the above mentioned subclass.

    • BobinOz January 15, 2016, 10:00 pm |

      No, I’m afraid I cannot help you with this, only MARA agent’s are allowed to do that. See Would I Qualify?

  • Tracy January 6, 2016, 11:46 pm |

    Great post as always, Bob! I’d like to cheekily add a number 4 if it’s not rude…
    4) Are you willing/able to tolerate an incredible amount of bureaucracy?! Because you will have to find every possible piece of ID, work history, payslips from the last 10 years (if you’re in healthcare and needing registration), certifications from JPs (what’s a JP you ask? And how do I find one?!), a printer, an endless supply of ink and paper for said printer, a scanner, a good partner who will tolerate you shrieking and crying about scanners and printers and JPs, a vast quantity of alcohol to mitigate said stresses, and a HUGE amount of determination not to be put off your dream!!!

    But if/when you finally jump through all the hoops, it really is worth it…3 months here and after the “Christmas without friends/family” hurdle, I have no regrets. Do it!! And thank you Bob for being the inspiration ?

  • Sheena January 5, 2016, 9:49 pm |

    Hi Bob, my Husband & I are keen to move to NSW, spoke about it for 18 months and finally decided to make the move if we can. Hubby is an UK Electrician and 33. We qualify on points, but do you know if the electrical qualification he has, is recognised? All very daunting and wondering where to begin.
    Thanks 🙂

    • BobinOz January 6, 2016, 11:18 pm |

      I don’t know the full details, but this is something your husband really needs to look into. My understanding is that his current qualifications will not be recognised here until he does further training so that he can comply with Australian standards.

      If he doesn’t have that further training, any electrical work he does has to be signed off by a qualified Australian electrician and as such the pay won’t be as good. I believe it’s possible, although I’m not 100% sure, that he can do this training while still in the UK and get the certificate he needs for when he arrives.

      I also believe it’s the same sort of situation for other professions, certainly plumbers, I know lawyers also have to go through further training, maybe many many more occupations.

      I’m sure there are many websites out there that can help you, I think you need to do some googling. Good luck, Bob

  • djmcbell January 4, 2016, 11:52 pm |

    We visited Australia last year (my second visit, though my wife has been more often in her childhood, and it was my son’s first) and decided we liked it so much that we’d move over (from the UK). I’ve got family over there and decent employment prospects, and so, in April last year, we got the ball rolling.

    Whilst the journey from “let’s get over there” to “we’ve got the visas” was pretty easy for us (thanks to a company that specialises in helping you apply for visas – though it did cost a pretty penny), we’ve now got arguably the worst parts coming up – actually getting there. Our visas were granted mid-September 2015 and we’ve got until mid-September 2016 to get out there, so between now and then we’ve got to sell the house, get everything packed, sell what we can, sort out whatever paperwork we need to get done and fly out.

    I would guess that moving to Australia isn’t a decision anyone should take lightly – for a lot of things we’ll essentially be starting from scratch (no house, job, car etc – though my family have said they’ll help out where necessary). It’s daunting and it will be a stressful time before we go, and for a few months after too.

    I’m confident that both my son and I will enjoy it, but do worry that my wife will want to come back (as does she, though she is looking forward to going probably more than I am). They are reasonable worries – basically, she’ll miss her family a lot, and we both accept that, but the only way to find out whether she’ll prefer life in Australia is to try it – and her parents (being the caring parents they are) have basically said “if you come back because of us, we’ll be annoyed, so don’t” (which may sound uncaring, but actually is quite caring).

    For what it’s worth, I’m moving within an hour’s commute of Melbourne’s CBD which has loads of jobs in my specialist sector (which I could get paid quite handsomely in). However, the local small city (which is 10 minutes away) does currently have at least one job (following a very quick, not-at-all-thorough search) which would also be ideal, and well-paying, for me – but probably won’t be there once I get out there (likely to be in the second half of this year).

    I guess, like Bob, I’m saying that it’s a big process to move out to Australia (or anywhere for that matter) and not really to be taken lightly.

    • BobinOz January 5, 2016, 9:07 pm |

      No, it’s not a move to be taken lightly, and I know you haven’t, you and your wife have thought about this long and hard. That’s why I think it will all work out for you.

      By the way, I’m not sure what kind of visa you’ve got, I think it was PR wasn’t it? Anyway, check the terms, on certain visa types all you need to do is come out here for a quick holiday to validate it before mid September this year and then I think you get up to 5 years to actually show up for good to live here. You can check that with your MARA agent.

      Might come in handy if you have problems selling the house.

      • djmcbell January 5, 2016, 9:12 pm |

        Oh yeah, it’s some sort of professional independent visa. We can simply come out on holiday to validate it, but we can also give my wife’s parents power of attorney (I think it is) over our affairs so they can sell the house for us if we go out beforehand. Cheaper than leaving, coming back, then leaving again.

  • Fabiana Walters January 4, 2016, 11:38 pm |

    Hi Bob!

    We started our visa application on the 4th of Jan (2013 – new year resolution then). This 2016 we spent our first new year in Australia. And I have to say, thanks to you because it all started reading your article on your move to Australia a few months before that!

    Best resolution we ever made! ?

    • BobinOz January 5, 2016, 9:04 pm |

      It all started by reading my article? Well I’m really pleased it worked out well for you, otherwise you might be walking the streets of Brisbane looking to punch my face in 🙂

      Seriously, I’m thrilled it has all worked out for you Fabiana, and I hope you grow to love this country is much as I do. Thanks, Bob

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