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?
I'm in Nz, so slightly different - here you apply for and get a job offer in one of the jobs on the "list" and then apply for your visa. Workplaces will usually help with your application- employers with jobs on the skills shortage list are used to it and have a vested interest in your application being processed quickly once they've made you an offer. It took us 5 months from starting to look ( just for one job initially) to getting on the plane.
i would agree that you need to really want to go somewhere rather than be driven by a need to get away from the uk. We've been here 2 years and found it pretty tough in terms of making friends/ feeling settled. we are getting there but seem to have hooked up with lots of expats rather than kiwis. However, We arrived with 2 year old Ds and pregnant with DS2- having a toddler and non-sleeping newborn would have been hard in uk as our families have never been local.
We love the lifestyle here ( compared to centralish London). We live in a fairly urban area, but easy access ( by car or the limited public transport) to the CBD and to get out of the city on the weekend. It only takes me 10 minutes to get to work, and we can be at a range of excellent beaches, walking places etc within 45 minutes. schools are generally good ( don't know about oz) - although again I'm comparing to London and the primary school lottery there.
we came out to "give it a go" for a couple of years, and in general the good points definitely outweigh the bad . We've just applied for permanent residency and bought a house. We miss family and friends, but life is just so much easier here- we both have quite stressful jobs and find work /life balance easier to achieve. It is quite expensive to live ( relative to earnings) - we have a modest 3 bed house in a recently gentrified area despite reasonably well paid jobs ( DP is a GP and I earn similar in IT). However we'd probably have had the same in London. At least we have a big garden here and room to extend the house if we decide to stay permanently- planning regulations are a lot more relaxed ( this is not always positive- there are some really badly built houses!)
Good luck with your decision- better get off to the beach
For US you usually need a degree or specialty skills with years of experience. This may give you more idea of requirements. http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulaski%27s_Ways:_How_to_Live_and_Work_in_the_USA
Not piss on your chips or anything, but the upthread thoughts about why you want to move are very important. Thinking things will be better than in the UK may prove to be true, but that can be balanced by those who don't find what they seek and then blame the country they went to.
Research, research, research is vital, but more importantly, knowing what you want and why you want it.
And when you get there, don't compare, forget the exchange rate.
If you are both under 30 then I'd check out BUNAC for short term working visas to the USA, Canada and Australia. I'm not sure if that would work for with your children, but certainly worth a look.
I'm in Canada and there are certainly parts of the economy (esp like Australia in mining, gas and oil) that are looking for workers, but unless your dh's skills are in demand then even if you could get a visa he'd not be able to get a job, and then you'd have a pretty miserable time.
Also bear in mind that emigrating is generally quite expensive (I seem to recall the US britishexpats site suggesting $10,000 as an average cost) so if you have no savings I'd start by getting some before you think seriously about emigration.
We moved to Canada and love it. My sister moved to Australia and hates it. It is a big risk to take, so you need to be very sure it's the right thing for your family. Also think very hard about your reasons, especially regarding your children as I think that people talk a lot about emigrating being great for children, and I'm not at all sure it's true. Certainly my two found it hard. Life in Canada is pretty cool, we have lovely hot summers and really cold winters and lots of outdoor stuff to do, but basically life here is really pretty similar to life in England. If anything I think it might have narrowed their horizons as travel is very expensive so they have really only been exposed to North America - in the UK we'd have probably holidayed in Europe much more.
echt you are right. Maybe make a list of what it is you both want/need out of life and then travel the UK to see if you can't find it in another area there. Moving countries is a hugely expensive and stressful thing to do and even then you have no guarantees of life being any better, same shit different pot. For many people they are no happier in other countries as it's them who are unhappy and not life making them that way
hi Mummypig. I've lived in UK, Switzerland, USA and NZ. NZ (home country) was by far top of my list, then Switzerland. I found the USA to be difficult in terms of accepting outsiders (big city, not small town).
I agree with other posters that you need to want to move to your destination, rather than just not liking the UK. This doesn't mean you shouldn't move, but use the dissatisfaction to spur your search for a country you're excited about. Actively wanting to be in a place helps so much.
I've been doing a lot of looking and reading the last few days and I think Switzerland could be the country for us. Great wages (higher living costs), snowy winters for skiing but the country can actually deal with snow, beautiful countryside, good schools. Dp is off to Soliturn with work next month so he will be able to refresh his memory of what its like.
However we would need to save for at least a year. We are getting married April, rhen hoping for another dc so we are looking at 2014/15 before we make a final decision. Thanks everyone for your input.
Switzerland's wonderful; we lived there for 3.5 years, then moved to the US just over a year ago. Four proper seasons, excellent public transport, good systems for things like pensions and unemployment benefit, a couple of hours from the UK, easy travel around Europe, etc etc etc.
The main thing that made us move to the US was needing to get our oldest back into English-language schooling. He was 8 when we went to Switzerland, and although became fluent in French, it was becoming clear that he was never going to reach his full potential doing his schooling in a foreign language. Our Swiss canton streamed on performance in French, German and Maths, so as a science-y, engineering-y, techie sort of kid operating outside his native tongue, he was unlikely to make the cut for the university stream. It would've been unfair to him to stay in Switzerland, and international schools financially weren't an option for us, hence the US move. I can't see you'd have the same issue with your kids, though; my youngest would've been fine doing her schooling in French (4 when we moved, 7 when we left).
We're very happy here too - it's been an especially good move academically and socially for the kids - but I think I'm a European at heart, and miss old architecture, foreign languages, and going everywhere by bike/bus/train.