From the very first day I started this website I have received comments, and many of those comments are very specific questions. Some I can answer, some I can’t.

For those questions I am not able to answer, I have looked elsewhere for expert help. I have now built relationships with many people who I trust and who can answer questions that I can’t.

This Store offers a combination of products and services available either directly from me or from other experts who I both know and trust.

My Store:

Visa Assessment Service

Simon Earles - MARA Registered Migration Agent

Simon Earles – MARA Registered Migration Agent

Would I qualify for a visa to move to Australia?” is THE most popular question I am asked on this website. This is a service that answers that question professionally, giving you all of your available options in a written report.

If you are looking to move either permanently or temporarily to Australia, selecting the correct pathway and visa to suit you can be a nightmare. You can do it yourself, there is plenty of information on this website to help you.

But if you do not want to do all that reading and you’d rather have a professional MARA registered migration agent to look at your case for you, then this service is for you. Click on…

Other Experts:

Each product in this section has been extensively reviewed by me and I have personally spoken to and build a relationship with the experts behind these products.

Only goods and serices that I am happy to endorse appear here, I can therefore fully recommend each and every one of the products available below.

Currency Exchange

TorFXI have known the team at TorFX and have been working with them since October 2011. I love what they are doing for people looking to exchange currency, whether it be from GBP two AUD or any other combinations of currencies worldwide.

The big difference with this company is that they work out of modest offices in the West Country of England, therefore avoiding the huge overheads that other companies incur with their offices in major cities. Lower overheads for them mean a better exchange rate for you. You can read all about it by clicking…

ePackage Cover IIIFinding a Job Sponsorship

How do I find a job sponsorship?” is the second most popular question by far that I am asked here on this website. I worked with Human Resources and Recruitment expert, Nadine Myers, in updating and finalising her 2013 version of her top-selling ePackage on the subject and the result is a product that will certainly help you in your search for sponsorship. Go to…

IELTS – The English Language Test

ielts_onlineStruggling to pass your IELTS? For many people, gaining the extra points available for passing the International English Language Testing System can mean the difference between moving to Australia or not.

Unfortunately, many people also struggle to pass with the required grades across all four parts of this test and the test itself is quite expensive. Fortunately the help you need isn’t.

Your Resume or CV:

If you are looking to secure a job in Australia, whether you are applying from here or abroad, you need your application to stand out amongst the others. The Resume Centre is a company founded by James Innes, one of the world’s leading professional Resume experts.

The Resume Centre is Australia’s most popular Resume consultancy, specialising in professional Resume writing services and LinkedIn/Viadeo profile writing services.

You can even get a free resume review by simply uploading your current resume. Visit The Resume Centre for more.

The Resume Centre

Thinking of Exporting Your Pet to Australia?

As many of you know, my wife Karen formed a company called Dog Walks Pty Ltd back in 2008 to help pets and their owners through the quarantine experience.

Sadly, her Dog Walks team can no longer physically visit your pets or walk your dog in quarantine. Rule changes by the Australian government have put an end to that which effectively means…

  • No visitsebook_cover
  • No exercise
  • No treats
  • No idea what the facilities are like inside quarantine
  • No photographs
  • No updates (even telephone calls to quarantine staff are not allowed)
  • No playtime
  • No toys
  • Absolutely no contact whatsoever

A scary prospect for a loving pet owner, for sure. In fact the whole process of exporting your pet from beginning to end is quite daunting. To help you though, Karen has written a guide, to find out more please visit…

studyingStudent Visas

I am grateful to my MARA agent for introducing me to Peter, who runs a company that specialises in finding the most suitable placement from hundreds of schools and colleges and over 40 universities around Australia and New Zealand.

Thousands and thousands of students from all over the world come here to Australia to study and for many of them this can lead to permanent residency. Do you want to study in Australia? Learn more…

Living with Snakes in Australia

Snakes CoverAustralia’s snakes are scary enough to put some people off of moving to Australia completely. Don’t let this be you!

Geoff Coombe has been working with Australian wildlife for nearly 50 years with a particular focus on venomous snakes. You could say he is a snake expert. He and I got together around the end of 2012 with the sole purpose of creating an e-book for my readers so that they can have a better understanding of snakes in Australia and how to live with them.

To find out exactly what’s in this book and to hear about the massive discount Geoff is currently offering, visit…


Visa Assessment Service
Visa Assessment Service
{ 44 comments… add one }
  • Patricia Bromley-Marks December 6, 2020, 1:15 pm |

    Sadly OUR MATE, the Marmite equivalent, is no longer in Coles Supermarkets. Anyone know if it is still in production???

    • BobinOz December 9, 2020, 3:24 pm |

      We have the same problem here in Brisbane, it’s not available anywhere, the shelves are empty. The problem seemed to start around April/May this year, just after Australia closed its borders to international travel. So I’m wondering if it is a Covid related thing? The product is imported from the UK and maybe the transportation costs have become too expensive because not many planes are flying here.

      Just a theory, which doesn’t really help, we still have no Our Mate!

  • Amy May 12, 2017, 10:48 am |

    Hi Bob,
    My husband shared your website yesterday and I have spent hours browsing through it, reading various comments, posts on finding job, visa etc and want to keep browsing more as you have so much to talk about everything in Australia. It’s great blog. I would love to talk about my experiences as well and share videos may be later.
    Thanks so much for inspiration, posting, sharing, replying to everyone…
    I am just messaging to say thanks to you. You have lovely family.
    I have moved to Australia and it will be soon two years now, in state of finding the right full time opportunity this year. Last year worked with a company on contract role.
    Currently occupied with freelance consulting projects which are going ok but not fully occupied. It’s tough and same like applying jobs everyday. But the experience from 2015 till date has been amazing thanks to my dear Husband, family and people like you who love to share their experiences and knowledge.
    I have been part of meet up groups here in Australia which I never came across earlier in UK and Ireland.
    I might write to you later on questions, as of now just reading what you have shared on every subject.
    Thanks again and keep posting.

    • BobinOz May 12, 2017, 5:41 pm |

      Hi Amy

      Thank you for your very kind comments, I do appreciate them. Yes, getting into the job market initially can be quite tricky, and it does seem that these days contract work is far more common than getting an actual full-time permanent position. Jobs for life, which were very much a thing of the 70s to the 90s, just don’t seem to exist these days.

      Sounds like you are having great fun though and loving Australia and that’s the main thing. I do hope you find suitable work soon, keep us posted.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Heerma Seedoyal April 15, 2017, 11:45 am |

    Hi Bob
    I am a Mauritian national with a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Brookes University in the UK. I came to Melbourne 6 years ago after 5 years in the UK hoping to settle here in Oz I came here on an international student visa and completed a diploma in Community Welfare,a diploma in business management and an advanced diploma in marketing. I worked extensively in the community services sector for 18 months but was unable to secure a sponsored job so had to go back onto an international student visa. I have been working part-time in community services since then while studying full-time.I am frustrated by my lack of success in being able to secure sponsored employment and was wondering if you could offer me any advice on how to resolve this issue.


    • BobinOz April 17, 2017, 9:45 pm |

      Yes, I’m afraid it is very difficult to find a job sponsorship these days, the job market isn’t that great at the moment. There is a banner on the right-hand side of this page towards the top, it’s red with a magnifying glass and it goes to website that lists jobs available with sponsorship in this country.

      It’s a membership site, but it’s only $10 per month, $20 for premium, worth a try. Hope that helps, Bob

  • Megan Murphy March 2, 2017, 2:30 pm |

    Hi, to cut a long story short, I came over here June 2016 on a WHV (I’m from the UK), my partner is an Australian Citizen, we are looking to get another visa, we have looked at the partnership visa and we do qualify but it is close to $7000, is there another Visa that you could suggest. I am a Youth Worker by trade and have inquired about the 457 Visa but as of yet have not had an replies.

  • Shannon August 22, 2016, 10:50 am |

    Have you ever thought about doing a Vlog ( Video Log ) . You’ve got the face for it ! Ha ha! I’m sure me and the boys from here in Darra would love to hear more from you !

    • BobinOz August 22, 2016, 5:06 pm |

      I have done a few, not many though, mainly because I think I have a face more suited to radio 🙂 If you click on the YouTube icon on the very top right-hand side of every page, you’ll go to my YouTube channel. I think I have about 100 or so videos on there at the moment, just not many with my face on them.

      I used to play football in Darra, five aside, indoor (soccer). Hung up my boots now though.

  • Harry August 22, 2016, 9:49 am |

    look thanks for the update guys really appreciate it, gone to tassy soon i’ll spoon you the updates.

  • Donna May 28, 2016, 6:14 pm |

    Dear Bob and other readers
    I would really appreciate some ideas or advice as to how to find out about a visa from the 1980s. In a nutshell, my family emigrated to Australia in circa 1982 and we were here for 7 years or so on a PR visa. I wondered whether the visas were ever cancelled when we flew home, or subsequently. Or whether they may be active – bit of a long shot maybe. Many thanks

    • BobinOz May 30, 2016, 3:19 pm |

      Gosh, that is a long shot. Personally I think the only thing that would still be valid after all that time would be Australian citizenship, sounds like you didn’t get that. Don’t take my word for it though, I really don’t know, if you think it’s worth pursuing then you would need to get in touch with the Australian immigration department I would think.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Subham Das February 4, 2016, 5:14 am |

    Dear,Sir/mam…My name is Subham das from india,West bengal sir/mam I have to go Australia because My city has any problem & my all family member is died so I need a job & sir my English very bad so sir of you want me so I’m very happy…plz plz this is my contact number 918101291900

  • Sarah Lebowitz October 17, 2015, 7:22 am |

    Could old split fronds be sent to Ohio? I make masks out of them, but they have to have a split in the middle so that it can be seen out of by the mask wearer.
    They also make awesome mixed media wall hangings.

  • Mason4 September 20, 2015, 4:26 pm |

    Bob – your website is amazing! Thank you so much for all of the info you give. As well as being informative, it is also comical at times and has often made me chuckle!!

    I digress …. The reason for posting isn’t to ask you for help with a visa application – I sense you are perhaps getting rather fed up with asking people to contact your MARA agents!! I am a UK registered nurse so intend to seek employment and then apply as a skilled migrant. My husband would also seek employment and then apply for a skilled migrant visa. We would at this point seek advice from your agent.

    My question is for both yourself and anyone else whom reads your blog and may have had a similar experience….

    Unfortunately, dad died recently. It was completely unexpected and has left my whole family devastated, he was only 59 and fit and healthy. Mom is only 52, and whilst I have 2 sisters who live in the UK, they are very independant. I can’t see any way I’ll feel able to emigrate and leave mom in the UK. I have 2 young boys whom she dotes on and I would miss her too much. If dad were still here, it would still be hard to leave, but I would feel confident in the knowledge that they had each other.

    I can’t seem to find any way of getting a visa for mom. Can anyone offer advice??? She is over 50 but isn’t ready to retire yet. I had thought of perhaps employing her as a childminder for myself, not sure if this would be an option? I’ve looked into the retirent visa but whilst mom has assets and savings, this option would be so expensive I doubt she would be able to afford it. With less than 1/2 her children in Oz that stops her applying for a parent visa (unless grandchildren count?). Does anyone have any ideas? Or have any of you moved to Oz over 50?

    Sorry for the long post!!

    • Mason4 September 20, 2015, 6:27 pm |

      Haha having reread that post it seems I am asking for visa advice after all!!

      Apologies in advance!

      • BobinOz September 21, 2015, 1:47 pm |

        Well spotted Mason4, yes, this is very much visa advice. You will need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent to discuss any possible options. Good luck, Bob

        • Mason4 September 21, 2015, 3:44 pm |

          Sorry Bob, thanks again for the great site 🙂

          • Claire April 14, 2016, 12:25 pm |

            Just read the comment above, ity actually made me laugh as I can imagine how hideous it must be with all the visa questions!! I am a registered nurse and we LIVE in australia, we live in Victoria (no visa advice required we have got 189 perminant residence visas), we migrated here in February.
            I am writing to comment of Masons post, we have come here with my sons, I have only 1 sister (she moved to queensland 5 years ago) and our parents remain in the UK, they are almost 70 and loving retirement! They also dote on my sons however they feel they have MORE involvement in their lives via social media and facetiming. They have plans for some extended holidays, and have had a few extended holidays over the past 5 years to the southern hemisphere (not just australia). They feel they can get on with THEIR lives without being tapped for babysitting! Whilst I acknowledge that we are new to Australia I appreciate that you feel torn in your move, essentially i’m saying do what feels right for YOU and then maybe your Mum can visit for holidays so she still spends time with your sisters in the UK??

            • BobinOz April 14, 2016, 5:17 pm |

              Yes, that’s good advice Claire, hopefully Mason is still around to see it. It’s so easy these days to stay in touch across the globe with all the gadgets we have, and extended holidays are much easier to arrange than permanent residency.

              It’s definitely an alternative option, moving here isn’t the only way, but as you say, it’s whatever feels right.

            • Mason4 April 14, 2016, 5:40 pm |

              Thank you Claire – it’s a difficult decision, however we have decided to go ahead with our plans, albeit not quite as soon as we had hoped due to an unexpected change in circumstances. Mom will miss us, but she wants us to be happy – and I believe I will be happier in Oz! Just need to tie up some loose ends here, but fingers crossed we will be in Oz soon(ish!) xx

              • Claire April 14, 2016, 6:59 pm |

                Good Luck to you. Someone said to me “you regret what you don’t do more than what you do do!!”
                This website has FANATASTIC advice and great signposting. It makes the whole experience a bit less daunting, with heaps of laughter to be had too.

                • BobinOz April 14, 2016, 11:58 pm |

                  Thank you Claire, I really enjoyed that comment, it made me 🙂

  • Isa August 21, 2015, 6:50 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    Thank you for having such a useful website available to people moving to Australia. My partner and I are moving to Australia in September. Myself on a New Zealand Family Relationship Visa, subclass 461 for 5 years. I do have a pre-existing medical condition for which I have a pacemaker inserted. The device requires a yearly check up, which is done outpatient by pacemaker technicians. I am trying to figure out whether health insurance companies will cover this as a pre-exisiting medical condition. I understand it might be difficult to answer and judged by each individual case and insurance company. But, do you have any information on pre-existing medical conditions?
    Thank you in advance.



    • BobinOz August 21, 2015, 9:38 pm |

      No, sorry, I can’t help with this. I think this is something you will need to discuss with your medical insurance company when you take out your insurance policy.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Heidi Grimwood August 12, 2015, 3:51 pm |

    Hi bob, thanks for the informative site. I am a social media specialist and work from my computer. I want the opportunity to spend a yr in the gold coast while my daughter goes to school to see if we like living there. we have oodles of close friends there. I also want to develop my business connections while there and if it works out we will apply to make the move permanent. My question is – is there a visa for that as i am 37? Or do I have to go down the route of trying to get a job? My business can work any where in the world so i am always earning money. hope you can help. thanks Heidi

    • BobinOz August 13, 2015, 6:51 pm |

      Hi Heidi

      I’m afraid I just can’t answer that question, only MARA migration agents are allowed to offer this kind of advice, see Would I Qualify?

      You may also like to check out my page about Visas and if you watch the video, it will help you see how you can look into this for yourself. Good luck, Bob

  • Hayley Bigwood July 6, 2015, 7:47 pm |

    Hi Bob, I’m new to posting so please bear with me !!!! Your website is soooo informative . However I was wondering if you can help me with this. I had a stroke in April 2013. I’m back to normal with work etc but I’m on permanent medication which I pay for on the NHS. Could this be a problem ???
    Thanks Hayles
    ps I’m 52 -self employed hairdresser .

    • BobinOz July 7, 2015, 7:06 pm |

      This doesn’t sound like the kind of condition that would cause a problem, but then I cannot speak on behalf of DIBP. May I suggest you Google “Fact Sheet 22—The Health Requirement” and then you will know as much as I do about the situation.

      I do suggest you speak to a MARA migration agent though, they keep up with all the latest rules and regulations and given your age, I think it might be best to speak to an expert to find out the best way to proceed.

      Good luck, Bob

  • syed zeeshan ahmed November 9, 2014, 2:07 am |

    Hi Bob
    I like your website. I am software engineer I want to relocate in Australia from pakistan. what will be the visa process? How much time it will take?and what will be the fee for the hole process.

    • BobinOz November 9, 2014, 10:13 pm |

      I can’t answer that for you Ahmed, but my MARA migration agent can through my Visa Assessment Service. Those questions and a great deal more in a full and thorough written report. Good luck, Bob

  • Maik October 12, 2014, 10:12 am |

    Dear Bob,

    I have used your MARA registered migration agent. I paid for the service online, filled in the form, but can’t get a mail through to the address mentioned in the form. There’s a mail server issue on the Australian end.

    I have sent it to Simon directly now. I just wanted to inform you that there seems to be an issue…also with your private mail address.

    Best regards,

    • BobinOz October 13, 2014, 4:17 pm |

      Hi Maik

      Sorry to hear you had problems, I’ve just tested the email address and it’s working fine now, so I suspect that server error was temporary. Glad to hear you got your forms through to Simon all the same.

      Good luck with your assessment, Bob

  • Sara March 27, 2014, 10:05 pm |


    Thanks very much for the info on this site – I feel like I am starting to see through the fog of visa confusion. With regard to the visa assessment service, does it look only at skilled visas? My husband is Australian and we are really torn between whether to apply for a spousal visa or a skills visa (both have tricky aspects in that obviously my husband is currently living in the UK so there is the question of spousal support if we were to look at a spousal visa).

    Many thanks


    • BobinOz March 28, 2014, 2:45 pm |

      Hi Sara

      My MARA agent can look at all visa options, not just skilled visas. Sounds like you possibly have two different directions in which you could go, the report you get will outline the pros and cons of each before recommending the best course of action for you.

      My MARA agent is fully aware of the different kinds of partner visas available and the requirements to get them.

      I think if you were to go through the service, even more fog will be lifted. 🙂

      Good luck, Bob

  • Mary January 27, 2014, 9:27 pm |


    Is there anyone who has recently used Resume Centre services as I am urgently looking to rewrite CV for Australian job Market – arriving in Mid March and want to send away CV’s in advance. Thanks. Was also looking at

    • BobinOz January 28, 2014, 5:06 pm |

      I sell quite a few of these CV’s each month Mary, nobody has complained, although I know that’s not what you are asking. I can tell you they are a highly reputable company though and they do offer a full money back guarantee.

      If you do go ahead and you are not satisfied, you can also let me know and I can speak to the business owner about it directly. Good luck, Bob

  • ruth keating October 22, 2013, 3:03 am |

    what a brilliant page so much help !!! myself and my husband are looking into moving to Australia to live. we both went on working holiday visas in 2008 loved it and now with our 2 year old son want to make the big move.. our problem is we need advice with out costing a fortune applying and been rejected on the medical process. my husband has a genetic heart condition which was diagnosed in 2006. in 2011 he had a ICD(like a pacemaker) fitted on doctors advice as a precautionary measure and lives a normal life only restriction is in playing sports at a competitive level. our son also has recently been diagnosed with this gene and takes a beta blocker medicine to regulate his heartbeat and he lives a normal life also but this has brought up mixed answers as to if they will pass a medical for residency? any help on where to get the right answers before we apply.
    many many thanks ruth

    • BobinOz October 22, 2013, 2:02 pm |

      Hi Ruth

      This isn’t something I can answer with a straight “yes or no” type of response, but my feeling is that you will probably be okay. By the sound of it, the condition isn’t expensive to treat, it’s under control and it’s certainly not contagious.

      I suggest you Google “The Health Requirement – Department of Immigration and Citizenship” and top of the pile will be the link that you need to click on to find out more about this. There are guidelines, hopefully they will help you decide for yourself what your chances are.

      Good luck, Bob

    • Rahul September 1, 2015, 10:25 pm |

      Hi Ruth

      I came across your post. I’m planning to file for my visa but my wife has an ICD implant. I was wondering if you could share your experience and if you got a grant.


  • Isobel Doney August 9, 2013, 6:21 am |


    I submitted my contributory parent visa application in June 2012 and have been told that it takes 18 months before it is assigned a Case worker and the process begins. I have 2 questions
    A. Is it possible to transfer to a temporary CPV
    And b. is that visa a quicker route

    Thanks for any advice

    • BobinOz August 9, 2013, 1:53 pm |

      This is a question for a MARA agent Isobel, and I’m not one of those. I can recommend my agent if you do decide to seek professional assistance, the link to my visa assessment service is in the above shop. I hope you understand that questions like these simply cannot be answered without knowing ALL the details of the case, which is why only a full assessment will work.

      Cheers, Bob

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