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Relocating to Australia (during Covid!)

(32 Posts)
PipersOrange Tue 14-Jul-20 19:32:00

Work have just dropped a bombshell and offered my relocation to Australia this year (September / October). It's been a dream for a while but I hadn't really looked into the specifics. Has anyone done similar? Do you regret it?

Single parent, 6yo. What is reasonable to ask for as part of the relocation - short term accommodation when I get there? Help with school fees (not free for visa holders)? Covering the costs of putting my flat up for rent? Need to give a decision by the end of the month!

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Ponddering Tue 14-Jul-20 19:34:48

Is it a long term or short term contract? I would (and have in the past!) seize such an opportunity with both hands. Ask for as much as you can think of, even if 'cheeky' - they will only negotiate you downwards!

How exciting!!

PipersOrange Tue 14-Jul-20 19:36:58

@Ponddering long term (at least a year though honestly I'd want to stay for a few!). I've been looking online but can only come across spurious American relocation blogs, or relocation packages for very senior people (e.g. partner at EY). I'm definitely mid seniority at best, and that's probably pushing it grin

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PipersOrange Tue 14-Jul-20 19:37:07

@Ponddering long term (at least a year though honestly I'd want to stay for a few!). I've been looking online but can only come across spurious American relocation blogs, or relocation packages for very senior people (e.g. partner at EY). I'm definitely mid seniority at best, and that's probably pushing it grin

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mbosnz Tue 14-Jul-20 19:55:47

Visa costs, flight costs, removal costs if you're moving furniture, short-term accommodation costs, assistance with finding schools, is what we got.

We also got costs covered for going and checking out all the places they wanted us to potentially relocate to, both flights and accommodation, before we permanently relocated, because I said the girls and I were not flying blind and signing up to relocate to a place we'd never set foot in.

RedCatBlueCat Tue 14-Jul-20 20:35:51

5 years ago, not to Aus, we got:
Visa covered
Initial flights, plus excess luggage outbound
School fees covered
One trip home a year paid for
Medical insurance
Shipping of furniture OR cash option to buy new once there
DH got 60 days accomadation on arrival. Me and the kids had to follow once he had housing sorted.

I'd make sure any quarantine costs are covered, and that insurance against covid starts the second you land.

Good luck!

Mightymurphy Tue 14-Jul-20 20:42:16

Definitely school fees. International ones are really high. Where in Oz?

PipersOrange Tue 14-Jul-20 20:55:10

@mbosnz with covid I'm not sure how feasible it is to go out there to scope it out.. I'm not sure the borders will be open! I've been once before (but that was holiday and definitely not looking at residential areas / schools etc...)

@Mightymurphy Sydney. Thinking near the beach (coogee or marouba). I'll be working in the city centre but from home for the majority of it (even when things go back to normal - there's no office out there)

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PipersOrange Tue 14-Jul-20 20:56:22

@RedCatBlueCat good point about insurance! Interesting with flights home as well - I'm worried they may become extortionate when everything opens up, so I'll see if I can get work to commit to the flight cost up to £xxx

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RedCatBlueCat Tue 14-Jul-20 21:17:39

We actually lucked out on the flights. They insisted on pricing to our local airport. But Emirates flew to the one 50miles up the road. Think about if you want cash in them to book you a flight -in the current climate I think I'd go for the actual flights provided.

Also, what currency is your salary stated in? What happens if the exchange rate shifts? Who will benifit??!!

Whylurkwhenicanjoinin Tue 14-Jul-20 21:26:28

You mention EY, is that where you’re going to work? I used to work there during my Oz years, my friend still does and as far as im aware not many office based staff are commuting into the city at the moment...however there is so much choice for location just make sure you can walk to the nearest train station...exciting indeed!

PipersOrange Tue 14-Jul-20 21:58:00

@RedCatBlueCat salary would be in AUD... I (naively maybe?) assumed that if I'm living and working out there the if the exchange rate changed it wouldn't affect me day to day..

@Whylurkwhenicanjoinin not EY no, but we do a lot of work with them. I assume it will be remote working for the rest of the year, and then the role would be split between Sydney with some work in Melbourne.

Had a look at rent, it makes London seem cheap blush

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RedCatBlueCat Tue 14-Jul-20 22:01:34

AUD will be fine.
We (Brits) got paid in USD, and lived in country 3....
It got messy knowing how much money we were getting each month!

WaffleCash Tue 14-Jul-20 22:08:09

Surely you can't actually relocate right now? Borders are closed to non residents

granadagirl Tue 14-Jul-20 22:15:57

Niece did this coming up to 21 mths ago with her dd then 6
To Sydney
She lives in Petersham in a 2 bed new apartment block

She got
1 mths free accommodation
Pack up & Shipping furniture over
Flights for 2 of them

I’d ask for 1st class flights 😀
Nothing like comfort for 23 hrs
A car (if u can drive)
Private med insurance
Niece paid 1000$ for root canal

They seem to like it 😀 but her brother as lived there for 8 yrs too

PipersOrange Tue 14-Jul-20 23:20:09

@WaffleCash I fall under a key worker which as far as we can tell you can still apply and be granted visas for (am leaving that to our HR department - I assume they wouldn't be kick starting this if it wasn't possible!)

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Oncemorewithfeelin Tue 14-Jul-20 23:54:32

Depending on which state you are moving too, there will likely be quarantine costs to pay now. So make sure they will pay any cost associated.

Has there been a flight booked yet and Has your visa been issued?
If only a temp visa you will need to have permission granted to enter Australia.
At the moment they are cutting the amount of flights back into Australia so a lot of people are having flights cancelled. There is no guarantee that things will be any different in September/October.

SheWranglesRugRats Wed 15-Jul-20 06:42:58

Currently two weeks in quarantine in a hotel room at a cost of three thousand dollarsi believe.

WaffleCash Wed 15-Jul-20 07:14:06

They're still issuing visas as visas are valid for entry up to 12 months from now. It doesn't mean they'll actually let you in this year. I'm pretty sure you still need extra permission to enter if non resident - just having a visa is not enough.

MarieG10 Wed 15-Jul-20 07:29:22

I'm assuming that your child is NC with the father as he might object to the move?

ShanghaiDiva Wed 15-Jul-20 07:39:31

Dh and I were expats for 25 years and would suggest you consider the following for contract:
Can your salary be split Aus and uk? Do you need it to be split and do they fix the exchange rate?
Medical and dental costs
Flight home each year
Tax returns- help with cost
Visa costs and associated medical?
Relocation costs and shipping of personal effects: air freight/sea freight/cash in lieu of shipping?
Quarantine costs
Rent paid?
Utilities paid?
Car allowance?

Seraphinite Wed 15-Jul-20 07:46:31

@PipersOrange ask to see your employer’s international relocation policy to see what would be included. It’s reasonable to get a written offer with all the details before you decide.

I used to do a bit of work with expat relocation and our policy included different elements depending on the country and the role level. Things to check/consider:

- return flights at start and end of assignment are standard but some packages include flights home for visits (eg once a year)
- temporary accommodation on arrival for a set amount of time
- support from a relocation expert on the ground in Aus to help you find accommodation and schools and support you with other matters to settle in (ranges from essential advice such opening bank accounts to things like finding childcare or after school/hobby clubs nearby)

- relocation costs (check the detail for what’s included - weight/volume limits, certain items, max cost etc - you might have to get a couple of quotes yourself or they might have a preferred provider)
- costs for any legal or other fees to sell or rent current accommodation
- costs for legal or other fees to buy or rent accommodation in Australia (eg might get solicitor fees up to $x or cover bond/first x weeks’ rent)
- school fees
- travel insurance
- medical/health insurance for duration of assignment (and check what it covers including dental)
- all visa costs including support with completing visa application (and they really need to do their homework to ensure you can get a work visa in the first place)
- repatriation terms - how long is assignment/when can they or you end it/ what gets paid when return? (eg if you resign before end of the term you might have to pay for your own repatriation)
- do your own research on cost of living - they may have a comparison they can provide you but you should check. As you’ve already found out, Sydney is expensive
- check whether you’re being paid in GBP or AUD and if the latter, is it indexed to GBP
- check how they plan to treat you for tax purposes and what the implications are (ideally talk to a tax advisor to explain it)
- will they fund/support you with tax returns in UK/Aus?
- what jurisdiction will you be employed under (Eg UK law or Aus law)? Important to know as many things are different (holiday provisions, sick leave, termination procedures, redundancy etc)
- what happens at the end of your assignment? Will you have a job to return to/will they find you a job/would you have a redundancy provision if no role available)?

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head but my overarching advice is to research it all thoroughly and consider the benefits to you of doing this. I’ve seen people get caught up in the excitement of the idea and didn’t think through the reality (and in some cases this was a financial reality). Packages aren’t generally as luxurious as they once were (the notion of the rich tax-free expat!) so know what you’re getting in to. If the company doesn’t do this regularly/have existing policies then hopefully they will engage an expert to support this but they should be doing a lot of the leg work for you (you would just be wise to do your own homework too).

It could be an amazing opportunity - explore it with your eyes open and see if it’s right for you. Good luck!

alwayscrashinginthesamecar1 Wed 15-Jul-20 07:49:21

The border is firmly shut unless you are a citizen or have PR. Also flights in are very limited, even for citizens. They are currently only allowing 75 international people a day through Perth airport. Everyone that is allowed in has do two weeks quarantine in a hotel, at their own expense (about 3k). So I really don't think you're going to be able to emigrate in September, I'm afraid.

Seraphinite Wed 15-Jul-20 07:55:42

It could easily take a few weeks to get all the details sorted by which time you’ll have a better idea of the likelihood of when you might be able to enter the country. As an indicator, Qantas aren’t doing international flights before March

PipersOrange Wed 15-Jul-20 08:19:56

Thanks all for the update re: visa meaning entry not necessarily guaranteed. I'll definitely look into this - sounds like moving this year may be tricky, but no harm getting my ducks in a row

@MarieG10 nope - great relationship with their dad. He's given his blessing though, he realises it's a huge opportunity and would come (post covid) and visit.

@Seraphinite we're definitely not large enough for an international relocation policy.. I think we've moved one person to Asia and one to the US but they've all been single person relocations (so no family members). Thank you so much for the detailed breakdown - this is really useful, lots of things here I hadn't considered properly.

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