How do I go about moving overseas? Namely Oz/USA

(36 Posts)
MummyPig24 Mon 31-Dec-12 17:17:24

Dp and I have 2 children. We are utterly fed up for life in the UK and feel many other countries could offer us a better life. We filled out an Expression of Interest online for Australia, but the occupation we chose for dp (Electronics Engineer) was not in the list for an invitiation to apply for a visa. It only came up with this after completing the form.

How do we find out what jobs are on the list for a work related (independant) visa? How do we make ourselves more eligible? It also said because dp has not completed a skills test we would not be invited to apply for a visa. What is this skills test and how do we do it? How do we "get" more points? The only points we seem to be able to get are for our age and the fact that English is our first language.

Does anyone regret their decision to move abroad? How was it for you?

natation Mon 31-Dec-12 17:37:11

Do you have to look at just Australia or USA? There are probably opportunities in the EU where you'd get a better family life.

MummyPig24 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:20:37

Dp did some work in Switzerland a few years ago and loved it there so would consider Switzerland. Where else could we go for a better life? I can speak French well enough to get by initially. How quickly would children pick up another language?

natation Mon 31-Dec-12 22:01:34

It depends on age, child's temperament and parental attitude how easy going to a country where the education is in another language. Under the age of 8, it is usually not too hard for the children to adjust, above about the age of 8, then the child's temperament and parental attitude become more crucial in success at picking up another language. It does make it easier to move to areas where you find other English speakers, if you're not moving somewhere where you already have family living.

skratta Tue 01-Jan-13 00:52:00

It's useful to go to a country which has a lot of English-speakers (not expats, but in a country where a lot of people will try, or will, learn English, for jobs etc; and in schools). For instance, Sweden, where I've found (I was born there, but this is DH's experience really, not mine) a lot of people will speak at least limited English, and a lot of TV shows are ones converted into that language from English, and quite a few businesses will actually have things in English (I don't know why though?).

I thought electronics engineer was good enough for a visa, according to this so where did you find out it wasn't? It appears to be up to date information, and from ANZSCO? Might be wrong of course!

Otherwise, Switzerland sounds good. If he already worked there for a few years, he has a good-ish understanding of life there, and has a bit of knowledge about daily life, not just holidaying there. If you can speak French well enough, it's good, although I would advise you to start simple German lessons (a large part of Switzerland speak German, as well as other languages too, as you probably know) just to make sure.

Like natation says, under about eight they should be fine, over that, it will take a lot of work (for instance, as many French only DVDs as you can find, especially ones which are French versions of English language films, mostly French books, and making sure you speak to them in French as much as possible is obvious, loads of stuff- if you want some information before deciding, check over on Bilingualism).

Mosman Tue 01-Jan-13 06:31:04

If he has the words oil and gas anywhere on his CV he'll get into Australia right now, electronics engineer, could that be an Electrical engineer too ? If so straight in, if not go to night school quick and pick up the extra dipolma's.
Or he could come out to Australia on a student visa and do it that way, he can work 20 hours per week whilst he studies but he'd get the additional qualifications and you'd be there.

We're in Abu Dhabi and have a really good life. Our package includes a housing allowance, schooling allowance (no free education) and the school the kids go to is an excelent school that follows the British curriculum but they also learn arabic and the school has many nationalities for the kids to mix with. We also had an allowance for shipping our stuff over and we get flights back home every year.

Most people here speak English and really want to, though if you make an effort with a little arabic they love it.

BoerWarKids Tue 01-Jan-13 07:11:31

You say you're fed up of life in the UK, can you identify why? How exactly will another country be different and/or better?

Personally, I think people should emigrate because they really want to move to their intended destination, not to escape Blighty. Whatever it is you don't like could easily follow you to wherever you move to.

LarkinSky Tue 01-Jan-13 07:13:03

I dont know about Oz but re your questions about Switzerland: You can live in French speaking Switzerland - Lake Geneva region (cities of Geneva, Lausanne, Montreux and surrounds) - and not need German at all apart from for holidays to German-speaking bits of the country as you don't hear it spoken/need it.

French is enough and to be honest many of the 40% of expats who make up Geneva's population live here with little or no French.

It's a very English-speaking city with anglophile international schools, crèche, radio & media, shops, businesses: you can find employment here without having good French too. Of course the more of a local language you have the more it'd enhance your stay but it's certainly not a requisite.

LarkinSky Tue 01-Jan-13 07:15:36

Sorry, the vague 40% statistic is meant to be that approx 40% of Geneva's pops room are expats, foreigners... One of the highest proportions in the world, because of the UN and international organizations and companies headquartered here.

MummyPig24 Tue 01-Jan-13 07:15:50

Thank you everyone for the responses. When we filled out the EOI it came up with "currently the job "electronics engineer" is not being accepted under an independent visa and therefore your EOI will not be put forward for an invitation to apply for a visa." Or words to that effect.

Dp only worked in Switzerland for 2 weeks, some people at his work place get to travel more frequently. Apparently the language there is swiss German. I said why doesn't he find out about transferring to another branch overseas but he is not sure if that is possible.

The children are 5 and nearly 3 so young enough. How do you go about looking for jobs abroad?

LarkinSky Tue 01-Jan-13 07:16:31

Argh bloody phone: pops room = population

MummyPig24 Tue 01-Jan-13 07:21:04

Well really Boer we need a fresh start. There is nothing keeping us here. I'm very keen on Australia, but dp would move to Switzerland in a flash. I suppose we could move town or to a different county. But I want to give the children the opportunity to experience a different lifestyle too.

Larkinsky do you like living in Switzerland?

SavoyCabbage Tue 01-Jan-13 07:22:29

The jobs list for Australia changes all the time depending on the demand.

I don't like living here at all but many people do of course. (My husband pushed me into coming here.) The cost of living is astronomical. I have struggled to find work as people would hire an Australian over anyone else any day of the week, which I quite like as it goes, but it doesn't help me.

You are not going to live the life from "wanted down under" where the houses are an hour and a half away from the outskirts of the town but I know lots of immigrants here who are really happy. I think being a first generation immigrant is always going to be hard. It's hard being a nuclear family without anyone else to help toy or give a toss about you.

Mosman Tue 01-Jan-13 07:23:52

You could get company sponsorship on a 457 visa, not impossible at all. Check out seek.com.au, all the ads will say must have the right to work in Australia but truthfully that's never going to happen with every role that they need to fill. Perth alone needs an additional 120,000 in the next 3 years.
That said you'll be competing with highly educated Asians for the roles and there are some amazing candidates around. Is his CV outstanding ?

Mosman Tue 01-Jan-13 07:28:47

The other thing to consider is what will your DH earn in Australia, check seek out for that too because we are earning $200,000 and struggling.
We pay $650 a week in rent - nowhere near top end - to live 20 mins from the CBD, childcare is $1000 a week and then $1000 a month for bills and on average I think a weekly shop of $400 followed by top ups throughout the week of between $150 and $250, depending on what we have in the cupboards.
I am importing a lot of things like trainers, school stationary from M&S, John Lewis etc because we just couldn't afford to buy that sort of thing locally.
BUT we do both have jobs here which is more than we had in the UK and for that I am grateful.

MummyPig24 Tue 01-Jan-13 07:31:20

I wouldn't call dp's cv outstanding. We are only 25 so not many years of work behind us but a lot ahead! He is in his 2nd year of a HNC qualification. So he is working hard to better his qualifications.

Nobody here gives a toss about us unless they want something. We have no one to rely on, I am used to coping alone. I'm sure it would be different abroad but who knows until it happens.

Mosman Tue 01-Jan-13 07:37:19

I'm a recruiter in Australia, not in his area but my advice is get those qualifications under his belt. Save like demons, you'll need £10,000 to start a life in Australia as well as flights.
Make sure DH has a solid work history, without a degree he needs 5 years industry experience for a 457 visa.

TheSloppelganger Tue 01-Jan-13 07:49:01

Have you spent much time in these countries you fancy OP? If you have then clearly you know what you are getting into. But if you haven't spent much (or any) time in them then I really wouldn't recommend uprooting to somewhere you can't be completely sure you will like living.

I spent 6 months in Aus - went off merrily thinking it would be great - and honestly I was glad to get back to the UK. I know a lot of people love it there, but it just didn't suit me at all.

I now live in a Southern state in the US, I spent 3 months 'visiting' here as a sort of trial before I actually moved because I was cautious after my experience with Aus, but I felt at home in the US pretty quickly, and have been here 2.5 years now and am very happy and have no intention of returning to the UK.

I personally wouldn't fancy it - bit too cold for me I think - but a couple of my cousins have emigrated to Canada (Independently of each other, one to Vancouver and one to Toronto) and both like it very much there. So that might be one to consider too?

britishexpats.com/ might be a place to visit if you haven't already, you might find some answers there.

LarkinSky Tue 01-Jan-13 07:59:51

Yes and I do like it. We have the best living standards and quality of life I can imagine we would find anywhere in the world (we've lived/done postings on 4 continents so I've a little experience of different countries). The only thing that would improve life is to have grandparents closer, but as it is they are only a 90 minute Easyjet flight away so we see them every 8 weeks anyway.

It haa been great for DH and my careers (I went from being a SAHM to starting an exciting and well paid new career here which I love). Childcare is doable (we can afford a nanny here) and there are many options for schools from good, free Swiss State system to an array of international schools, the fees for which are often paid for by employers. Switzerland seems to have been immune to the global recession really. After 4 years here we're trying to put firm roots down now.

However FWIW I would never live in Australia as its simply too far away from family and friends in the UK. Now I have kids Europe is as far as I'd go, excepting a temporary 12 month posting to Africa perhaps.

MummyPig24 Tue 01-Jan-13 09:13:02

Did you move because of your husbands job? Was it a transfer or a completely new job? Is it possible to rent? We don't earn our own home and have no savings as we are paying for our wedding which is in 4 months. I also can't drive, what is public transport like?

saffronwblue Tue 01-Jan-13 09:15:55

Both Australia and the US are very car dependent societies and with some exceptions public transport is not great. Huge generalisation but worth thinking about.

SanityClause Tue 01-Jan-13 09:22:46

Is your DH an engineer or a technician?

In the UK, all sorts of people are called "an engineer", for example, the person that comes to fix your telephone or dishwasher. In Australia, an engineer is a person with a degree in engineering, eg a civil engineer or that sort of thing.

Maybe the website is assuming the former, but if your DH is the latter, then his skills may well be more desirable in Australia. I'm not sure how you could clear up that misunderstanding, but there must be a way of doing it?

SavoyCabbage Tue 01-Jan-13 09:40:21

My dh got a job here and then we moved here. He is has an Australian passport and so do our dc so no problems there.

We paid for the move ourselves. Dh got a company car which I use and we rent ($600 a week) near a train station so we don't need two cars. He pays $170 a month for his train pass. The trains are highly unreliable and crowded but even though he has a space in the city, it's still cheaper than running two cars.

You have to pay for a lot of things yourself here.$120 to go to the doctor, $220 to go to the occupational therapist, $700 for books/grounds maintenance for school, (state school) our school dress is $60. Not £4 from asda <sob>.

On the other hand....this week we drove into the mountains, less than an hour away and camped for $7 a night in the most beautiful place. My girls played in the river and saw kangaroos.

Arana Tue 01-Jan-13 09:53:44

I'm not going to weigh in too heavily here, but people saying the cost of living is astronomical in Australia aren't always correct. Some things are more expensive, but also salaries are generally much higher (about 2.2x). You can't use the exchange rate as a modifier unless you will only be living on UK earnings, and not earning in AUD$.

We spend less per week on our food shopping ($150) than we did in the UK (£100). It cost me $29 after my medicare rebate to go to the GP, $200 for books etc at school (prep admittedly) and $120 for a full year's school uniform. A tank of petrol is $70, annual passes to the Gold Coast theme parks are $99, and the parks are awesome and free smile We live in Brisbane btw, and both me and DH are very indirectly employed by the gas and mining industries. I'm an environmental consultant, and DH is an IT manager. Our combined salary is $155k a year, and we pay $440 a week in rent.

Feel free to ask any more questions.

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