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Relocating to Ireland or Australia (Melbourne/Sydney)

(31 Posts)
Serioussteve Wed 02-Dec-15 05:23:25

We are thinking of relocating to Ireland or Australia once our daughter completes college, so a couple of years (gives me time to finish degree too). My wife is disabled and never likely to work, I'm hoping my health concerns will resolve by then too, I'd be working in the web/IT Industry, entering around mid-level. I have some experience - six years or so but things have changed massively and I'm investing a lot of time + degree to get my skills up to date.

So, what are both Republic of Ireland and Sydney/Melbourne like to live in? I've no idea on wages at this stage, what would I need to earn to be comfortable - clearly renting initially but if we like it in either we are likely to want to stay. How difficult is entry to the two countries? Are there any disability benefits like DLA/PIP my OH could claim?

No need to think about schools as education will be completed, although if DD wanted to move with us she'd be looking at university there.

So really, housing prices, benefit system, cost of living, any information really would be great.

Many thanks smile

Serioussteve Wed 02-Dec-15 05:27:15

Forgot to say OH is on a CGMS insulin pump for type 1 diabetes, so how good is healthcare in both countries, am totally unsure how healthcare would work given her condition...

SiegeofEnnis Wed 02-Dec-15 05:44:05

What do you mean, how difficult is entry to Ireland? If you're an EU citizen, you can live in Ireland, just as I, an Irish person, can live in the UK.

Healthcare is expensive in Ireland, and you pay for GP visits. And rents are high at the moment. I adore my homeland, but it's considerably cheaper for me to live in the bit of England where I currently am. There are all kinds of reasons to live in Ireland, but the cost of living isn't one of them.

Is there some reason why you're considering two such diametrically opposed countries on opposite sides of the world?

WhittlingIhopMonkey Wed 02-Dec-15 05:45:00

Hmmm rents in Ireland at the moment are astronomical. Have a look at the website to get an idea.

There's also been severe cuts to health service in recent years.

If a good but affordable standard if living and great health care are what you are after Ireland wouldn't be the first place I thought of.

If you have expensive private health insurance and are happy to pay over the odds for goods, services and a roof over your head then you will enjoy it here smile

Serioussteve Wed 02-Dec-15 06:15:14

We definitely want to get out of the U.K., we both had unhappy childhoods and just want a fresh start somewhere. My OH really likes the idea of Ireland while Oz had always had an allure for me, and IT jobs seem reasonably paid over there.

JassyRadlett Wed 02-Dec-15 06:21:43

Visas are difficult for Australia, particularly with medical issues. I think you could find it quite difficult.

GrinAndTonic Wed 02-Dec-15 07:00:29

Australia will take one look at the medical history and stamp a big denied stamp on your application.
If they are happy to refuse residency for a small boy with mild autism then type 1 diabetes is in ghd too hard basket.
I'd still try though. Worse thing they can say is no.

SiegeofEnnis Wed 02-Dec-15 11:16:46

How much time have you or your partner spent in Ireland, though? In many ways it's only superficially similar to England (the only bit of the UK I know well and have lived longterm - obviously, you may not be coming from England), and is a very different society. I've lived in five very different countries, as well as England and Ireland, and remain unconvinced by the fresh start to escape unhappiness idea. Some places will suit you more than others - the ME was a spectacularly wrong enviroment for me - but you don't leave yourself or your formative experiences behind. If you aren't motivated by financial stuff - because it's unlikely you will be better off in Ireland, which has a high cost of living - do spend as much time as you can in whichever part of Ireland you would consider living in before you make the move. Good luck.

ChippyOik Wed 02-Dec-15 11:23:56

Can't tell you about Australia, although it sounds like the hotter choice of the two!

I am eligible for the basic hse care here in Ireland but I felt co-erced recently by the new legislation to buy basic private health care (347 euros a year, but I had no pre-existing medical conditions). I'd ring somebody at Laya or bupa to see what costs you'd be looking at if you have to factor in looking after a medical issue.

I'm in Dublin and I have no pension blush and I'm aware that there are definitely places I could move to in Ireland that are much, much cheaper and I could buy a bigger house and have money left over.

Compare house prices in Dun Laoghaire Co Dublin with house prices in say Gorey Co Wexford, or Ennis Co Clare and you will see what I mean. Have a look on

I think that the best way to live well in Ireland is buy a house first, near a medium sized town, throw yourself in to whatever is going on in the community. Like siege of ennis says, I think with all the costs such as property tax and water bills, you won't be living like Kings with all your money left over! but Australia property is expensive I believe. I agree with her, go on a tour of Ireland, checking out the medium to big towns outside of Dublin and then sit poring over or and think about how near they are to the airport and so on.

Serioussteve Wed 02-Dec-15 11:52:23

Good advice about Ireland, thanks for that. I think we'd spend a month in the country assessing things prior to committing.

Australia would be first choice I think, depends on visa it seems. I'd be working in a decent job and the OH would stay home with her unstable diabetes. We've talked about potentially fostering or adopting over there once settled for a few years too. I guess we need to evaluate other countries too, Europe, America. ME doesn't really appeal.

Thanks for the links and responses so far, most most helpful.

GrinAndTonic Wed 02-Dec-15 12:03:21

Adopting is near to impossible here. To adopt from overseas takes years and years and adopting in Australia is nearly as bad and there are just no children to adopt. They all stay in long term foster care. I wouldn't even bother with looking at adoption. Hugh Jackman and Deborah Furness are trying to get the laws changed.

Smidge001 Wed 02-Dec-15 12:27:30

I'll second grin's comments on adoption in australia. I looked at the stats and there were 17 adoptions in the entire year!! No way would you get to the top of that list.

I also think you would struggle massively to get a visa if either of you have existing medical conditions. If you are still keen to come out here then you need to spend some time looking at the visa requirements.

Even if you did manage to get permanent residency, medical treatment in sydney/melbourne isn't cheap. GP visits cost $50-60 a pop in the main cities. Ambulances aren't free. Even private health cover doesn't pay for anything like what it does in the UK (doesn't pay for specialists or any out-patient services).

I'm guessing with a daughter soon to finish college you will be too old for the working holiday visa! If you can find a company to work for that has a branch in Aus and you can wangle a transfer, that would be your best bet. The visa is then sponsored by the company, less stringent as a result (though also a max of 4 yrs I think - but perhaps enough to have a break/change?)

Good luck, but I think you should do some internet searching on the government websites re visa requirements etc before you get too set on Aus.

SconeForAStroll Wed 02-Dec-15 12:37:06

We lived in Australia for two years. We came home.

Melbourne in particular isn't massively hot, much more temperate, one holiday we spent there in late October (their mid Spring) it was 12 degrees during the day. It is v.expensive.

Sydney is even more expensive. Property is scarce, rents are high.

Brisbane is subject to the most intensive storms I have ever lived through.

Perth is lovely, I liked it best. But it is closer to south east Asia than the rest of Australia. It is also hugely expensive.

We lived there before my ds developed type 1. Certainly for him, temperature variations have a massive impact on the stability of his sugar levels - and he is normally really stable.

IT is not as well paid out there as you may think. Dh is a programme director for one of the larger consultancies. Since he has been back he has met 4 of his former colleagues who have transferred to the UK.

Have a look on the property websites and the Woolworths supermarket and Coles supermarket sites to get ideas of prices.

Have a look in the Living Overseas board on here as well, there are lots of threads about Australia.

Above all try to remember that the grass may appear to be greener, but it still needs cutting. And some of it is an optical illusion caused by distance.

SiegeofEnnis Wed 02-Dec-15 12:50:50

Maybe if you could say what kind of life you want, people could suggest other places you might not have considered?

If adoption is something that is very central to how you see your future, then Ireland is probably not for you. It has a very different looked-after children/adoption system , meaning there are very few children eligible for domestic adoption in Ireland, and I gather there are also problems with intercountry adoptions.

SiegeofEnnis Wed 02-Dec-15 12:54:05

Sorry, x-posted with Grin on Ireland and adoption.

ChippyOik Thu 03-Dec-15 12:27:38

ps, applications for the DLA are notoriously turned down routinely the first time but if you meet all the criteria stated on the website, then they are usually accepted.

have a look at or ring them to ask about IT opportunities

would being in receipt of a disability living allowance be compatible with fostering and adopting?? I am not an expert on this but my cousin adopted a baby and she was ''perfect'' on paper and it still took 7 years.

ChippyOik Thu 03-Dec-15 12:29:38

this is from the citizens advice page, rules to comply with in order to be eligible for disability living allowance

Stillunexpected Thu 03-Dec-15 12:45:28

I think you have a rather optimistic outlook on how easy it would be to move to either of those countries, given both your and your wife's health issues. You seem certain that you would be working in a "decent job" but how do you actually know that? The employment situation in Ireland is improving but only in relation to how it was until recently which was dire. There is definitely a surplus of IT/tech types around since lots of the Celtic Tiger companies went bust. Competition is stiff for jobs.

I don't know what your opinions on healthcare in this country are but in my experience (I am Irish and live here but all my family, including elderly mother in a care home and sometimes hospital, are still there) we are incredibly lucky here by comparison. My 90+ year old mum has spent literally days in A&E depts waiting for admission to a bed and this seems to be accepted with a resigned shrug by all concerned. Going to the doctor with one of my nephews costs 50 euros a time, everything is so expensive.

I'm not sure that unhappy childhoods are going to be resolved by just moving country either. Whatever problems you are still overcoming from those will just move with you to Oz or Ireland.

ChippyOik Thu 03-Dec-15 12:51:56

Before I got the job I have now and bought at the bottom of the market, I had seriously considered moving to the north of england!!! I thought, good infrastructure, NHS (omg!!) and lots more job opportunities. I had lived in London and loved it but obviously couldnt afford to have a good life there. I had seriously considered moving to north of england or to belfast. I would have liked that I could be back in dublin by train in two hours but I hate the NI accent! blush I know you have council tax in the UK but for that, you get your rubbish collected and your children get their school books free! I've to pay for water, school books, GP apts, rubbish (300 euro a year approx) and, and, and, if you earn above 12,200 euro approx, you have to pay USC too! (this is as well as PAYE) and USC is deducted from gross salary, before PENSION even.

I gave all of this a lot of thought at one point and I decided to move to a medium sized town in the north of england. But luckily things fell in to place for me here.

lborgia Tue 08-Dec-15 13:13:49

Pp have been very polite. You will not get into Australia. Simple as that. The medical costs here are also ridiculous, but actually is truly waste to start talking about it because you won't get in.

Sorry OP, but ime,you may also find that you can't leave your past behind by switching countries - unless you're putting physical distance between you and someone you need to avoid.

You sound really motivated to make a change. .a big move within the UK would probably give you the breathing space without becoming a foreigner. Don't underestimate the isolation and alienation of being in a new country with no friends or family near by. And just because they're English speaking means f-all. Divided by a common language applies in Oz just as much as the US.

Another idea that might sound barmy..have either of you ever had any kind of counselling therapy to help draw a line under your childhoods? Applying some effort and money to that might make a huge difference, and is still a damn sight cheaper than immigratingsmile. Once you've got a bit of a plan for how you will think about the past, moving county might be even happier.

Good luck, you will make something work!

LoveWA Wed 09-Dec-15 02:05:15

As the pp said, you won't get into Australia.

Ireland has massive problems too, namely the health service which should be a massive consideration for you.

An escape/move to somewhere else in the UK would be your best bet IMO.

Laptopwieldingharpy Wed 09-Dec-15 04:00:46

How about south east Asia. There many very expat friendly, very livable places with very decent public healthcare and job prospects for middle entry/mature candidates.

Singapore of course although rents are high. Thailand and Malaysia, but also vietnam, cambodia and Indonesia if you can secure a healthcare package.
Maybe a stretch of the imagination right now but more feasible than Australia.

Serioussteve Thu 10-Dec-15 00:14:15

Thanks for all the post, I am thankful.

Essentially we will be both starting counselling early next year and the big plan once my degree is complete - I have significant but a decade old experience in my field, so degree to bolster knowledge alongside real world networking/learning - find a job for a year or so then look to brush the past away and move somewhere brand new for a fresh, clean, start.

We'd be looking to kick back, have relaxation and enjoy life for what it is without the stresses and issues of the past biting at every turn. We thought a new country would best achieve this. I'd selected Australia and my OH Ireland. We'd , mistakenly it seems, thought IT jobs were possible and paid reasonably well. We both speak only English and this would have to be a major consideration. In terms of destination we are both open to suggestions. Moving within England probably wouldn't put enough distance, Scotland possibly would.

Sad to hear about medical issues and Oz. Although I know of a Brit - IT Consultant - who relocated to Melbourne after having Leukaemia. Am Very, very sad! I assume NZ would be the same too. I will read the Living Overseas board too.

mrssprout Thu 10-Dec-15 01:06:28

Most of what I would say has been said. I would imagine getting a visa with fairly serious health issues would be nearly impossible. Adoption in Australia is also nearly impossible ! To adopt one of you would need to be an Australian citizen (unless they have changed the rules in the last few years) they also look very carefully at your medical history when assessing you. As much as I love it here you may be better off looking around at other options. Whatever you decide hope it all goes well for you

Glastokitty Thu 10-Dec-15 02:24:43

I have moved to both places. IMO Australia is vastly superior. Ireland is lovely, but jobs are still scarce and the weather and healthcare is truly shit. Unless you can afford private health cover, which will be pricey, you're better off in the UK. Healthcare in Oz is much better, but you will find it very difficult to get in with certain pre-existing medical conditions. Again, unless you get Permanent Residence you will need private health cover. I suggest you talk to an immigration agent though as health issues are not an automatic bar, it very much depends on prognosis and cost of treatment throughout your lifetime, this is considered on a case by case basis. Also be aware that even if you do get in your wife is unlikely to get any benefits. I was ineligible to claim anything for the first two years of residence, but if Oz Immigration thinks your wife will be an economic cost to the country, rather than a contributor, she has no chance really. Do not underestimate how difficult it is to get a permanent visa here, I have several friends who came out here on temp visas thinking it would be easy to stay if they liked it, they're all back in the uk now.

So, Ireland is more realistic I guess, but I wouldn't move there with health issues.

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