MOVING to AUSTRALIA: Need advice!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 01, 2011 12:37 AM GMT
    Hi boys (and girls?)

    I'll keep it short and sweet:

    Me and le BF are making the move to Australia. Basically because we can both get Visas there easily enough (he already has his, I'm in the process) He's Irish, I am American. I couldn't get to Ireland (and why the fuck would I want to, srsly!?) He couldn't get to the USA. So we're forced to relocate, and Australia sounds sunny and warm! Among other things.

    We plan to be there Feb. 2012. We'll be on the Work & Holiday Visa (1 year, extendable)

    Basically, I'm looking for tips about where to live, which Cities are good for young start-ups. We'll be looking for jobs, hopefully ones which can turn into a career, something which can extend our visa to short term stays etc.

    Him: Architecture
    Me: Business/Finance kind of shiz

    I know the W&H Visa is for "subsidising travel" but we're kind of loop-holing it (no that's what she saids) and hoping to find jobs that can eventually sponsor us for longer stays.

    He wants Sydney just because it's Sydney- no real reason otherwise.

    I want Melbourne because I've got a friend there and I feel like it's less intimidating? (read: smaller, less expensive.. etc?)

    Anyway, comments, advice, suggestions welcome but please keep it relevant and refrain from just blabbing about your amazing awesome travel experience and how wicked cool you are cause you back-packed across the desert with kangaroos and koala bears! (which aren't Bears, fyi) This is a big move, and something which I'm very apprehensive about, as it could end up being a BIG waste of a SHIT ton of cash. But we're trying to make something work, and we're seriously running out of ideas and options at this point! So please, help a brotha out!

    Kthanxbai. icon_wink.gif

    J

    (P.S. I know that wasn't short or sweet. Whatevs)
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Nov 01, 2011 1:25 AM GMT
    I've been to Oz several times. When I lived in Fiji (1994 - 2004), Oz wasn't very far.

    There are many nice places in Oz. However, unless you like huge cities and can deal with their associated problems, I'd suggest not living in Sydney. The Australian government is actually attempting to steer new residents away from settling in Sydney. Many cities in Oz are big on historic preservation.

    Try to get information on employment opportunities before relocating to Oz. You two may well end up living there permanently; it shouldn't be a big adjustment if you can find suitable employment. The per capita income there is slightly lower than in the U.S., but there are more important considerations than that.

    There are plenty of guys in Oz who are on this site; probably you will receive advice from them.
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    Nov 01, 2011 1:34 AM GMT
    Thanks! Yeah, Sydney is both the obvious choice and also the obvious place to avoid, depending on how you look at it. He has friends who are there frequently, so I think his idea is that people would be through at different times to visit, plus the allure of the nice beaches. I just like Big Cities, so would love that kind of setting myself, but I also think there might be MORE opportunity elsewhere, as I've been in the job market inLondon, Edinburgh, Boston and NYC of late, and honestly I've had the best luck in Boston/Edinubrgh. So I'm thinking big cities often aren't the best place to look for jobs...
  • FRE0

    Posts: 4865

    Nov 01, 2011 2:04 AM GMT
    Sydney does have a number of nice beaches. However, the only time I saw a couple of them it was during cold weather, so few people were there.

    Bondi Beach (pronounced bahn day) is considered very nice and is popular, but I really don't know why; I was not impressed with it. California and Oz have many nicer beaches. Bondi Beach isn't very big, is inclined to be very crowded, and parking near the beach is next to impossible.

    There are a few beaches near Sydney (and in other places in Oz as well) that are legally nude. Because of all the bays etc., sail boating is very popular in Sydney.

    The only time I drove in Oz was in January 2004 when I toured Tasmania. Tassy was very interesting and scenic with rugged mountainous terrain. Probably economic opportunities there would be very limited, but its lack of huge cities with their associated traffic would be very nice. I have many nice photos I took in Tassy. My favorite one is of the sun setting over the Gordon River; I had it enlarged and it's hanging on my wall. I'll post it if I haven't already.

    I didn't dare drive in Sydney; the streets in many areas lack an obvious pattern and often meet at odd angles at complicated intersections. The street signs are often not in standard locations. Because I get lost easily anyway, I new I'd have no end of trouble in Sydney. However, regardless of where you settle in Oz, I would recommend visiting Sydney; there are many interesting things there. You should also visit Tassy and, although I didn't, I'd also suggest visiting Queensland, perhaps on a camping tour.

    Learning to drive on the left with right-hand drive may be a challenge, but I learned to do that in Fiji before visiting Oz so it wasn't a problem for me when I drove in Tassy. It would be easier to learn to drive on the left if you first rode as a passenger for a while. Concentrating on driving on the left can distract from paying adequate attention to other things and, until you get the hang of it, the risk of getting into trouble is increased.
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:09 AM GMT
    Again: I appreciate all the information. BUT: You're toeing the line of those types of "OMGIMSOCOOLIBACKPACKEDWITHKOALASANDKANGAROOS" type stories. Not totally relevant to me relocating and finding apartments, jobs, friends etc...

    but thank you for all the tourism tips!!!!icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Nov 01, 2011 2:15 AM GMT
    I've been to Australia several times. As a US citizen it will not be easy for u to just up and move there. Yes, there is the WHV (working holiday visa) however have u seen the restrictions on where one can work?

    It may be easier for ur Irish bf to gain citizenship and the proper visas than for a US citizen.... Australia has a long history of immigrants from both the UK and Ireland. . . In fact, I think they kind of favor these people.

    I hope u've checked out the government website.
    Start off with the WHV, however keep in mind it will not allow u to work for one employer longer than like 6 months at a time and it's usually in fields like seasonal migrant type work from berry picking/harvesting, Au pair, maybe a front desk job at a hotel.
    Also, I think u have to be 30 years old or younger to qualify.

    US citizens have different requirements to meet than Irish citizens, so thats why im thinking it may be easier for ur Irish bf to get the papers needed.
    Perhaps talk to an immigration lawyer in OZ? As u may know, the whole process is quite expensive.

    I've been up and down the east coast of OZ and adored sydney.... I stayed in the suburb of Manly and took the ferry into CBD everyday. Manly is so awesome with a cute little area to walk around called "the corso" with shops, restaurants, cafes, and of course....the beach. Manly beach is beautiful.
    Bondi is nice too, however overrun with tourists and other transients. Nice to visit, not to live tho.

    Brisbane aka Brizzy is also a nice city located north of Sydney in the state of Queensland. Probably the best weather in the country IMO.
    If i had to comapre it to a US city, perhaps Miami comes to mind, minus the hispanic/caribbean influence of course. Again, thats if I had to compare.... MOstly, whats similar is the climate....and the build up of the beach areas....and the kind of self-abdorbed attitude of some people.


    Keep in mind, theres only like 5 major cities in OZ so u dont have a huge selection like in the US.
    Melbourne is a very cool city too, its the furthest south and Australia's 2nd largest city....large Italian and Greek influence. Great food scene.

    Good luck dude, keep us updated.
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:25 AM GMT
    Sydney, Melbourne ( both good for finance and architecture) or you could come to Perth, it's really pretty and has a MASSIVE mining industry that pays through the nose for most things!
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:29 AM GMT
    Im an architect, and I used to live in Australia,... not in Sydney, but Brisbane..
    I travelled , worked, and sutdied around australia for 14 months, and Brisbane is a great place to settle... Nice weather, very dynamics, urban growth , architecture developement... very green city, near Gold coast and the most famous surf spot in the world, and near the great barrier reef...
    In fact if I have the opportunity to move to asutre (permanently) it will be in Queensland... Sydney is OK, but nothing special, Melbourne is awsome, lots of history, but the weather is very cold on winter and dry hot on summer time...

    Any places in Australia will be good to settle down, but I had good vibes for Brisbane ( I lived 12 months) and Melbourne...

    PS: Canberra, forget it!!!

    Good luck...
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:44 AM GMT
    If you want a foreigners advice on Australia, I would have to say compare and contrast what you want.

    Sydney if you take it from a Canadian perspective is like Toronto. There are SO many foreigners living in this city that it leads it to have a very worldly feel. It is very multicultural (somewhat intercultural) and it has loads of opportunity for both work, entertainment, living and excitement. That being said, there is something lacking in terms of the 'real' Australian feel. It does have a thriving gay community and the overall openness of the city is decent, not to forgot pretty cool architecture, beaches and attractions. (MANLY IS GREAT! A little resort town reachable via the water-buses).

    My personal favorite is Melbourne. It doesn't get ridiculously hot. Face it... if you have an Irishman with you... they over-heat easy. It is a city full of culture, class and beauty. It is like the Montreal of Australia which means it has a distinct European feel to it which leads it to be very modern, classy and livable.

    My best advice to you though is that everyone is different. Since you do have a H&W visa you should definitely check out some different places. The Gold Coast has a very commercial and American feel, so you might feel at home there.

    Darwin is ridiculous, in terms of temperature but the BEAUTY is astounding. It's just 40+ most of the year.

    Brisbane isn't too bad either, sky scrappers on the beach! Can't complain.

    If I was to move back. I'd move to Melbourne.
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    Nov 01, 2011 2:49 AM GMT
    I moved over to Melbourne after growing up in Perth, at the age of 20.

    I'm 24 now and do not think I will ever relocate again in the foreseeable future. Melbourne is just absolutely perfect.

    You can live insanely close to the city (20 min walk, 5-10 min tram ride) for under $220 AUD. Food is cheap (but we have some absolutely amazing restaurants), transport is cheaper (because, in all honesty, no one pays for trams).

    Melbourne just has soul, something which, from my personal visits, Sydney doesn't have.

    Both cities can be kind of 'cliquey' in terms of the 'ghey' scene, it's much easier to make awesomely awesome straight friends.

    The only major downside to Melbourne is the weather. It can be damned awful.



    I know that's not the most coherent/articulated list of things, but if you want specifics just ask and I'll post.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:22 AM GMT
    Import saidI've been to Australia several times. As a US citizen it will not be easy for u to just up and move there. Yes, there is the WHV (working holiday visa) however have u seen the restrictions on where one can work?

    It may be easier for ur Irish bf to gain citizenship and the proper visas than for a US citizen.... Australia has a long history of immigrants from both the UK and Ireland. . . In fact, I think they kind of favor these people.

    I hope u've checked out the government website.
    Start off with the WHV, however keep in mind it will not allow u to work for one employer longer than like 6 months at a time and it's usually in fields like seasonal migrant type work from berry picking/harvesting, Au pair, maybe a front desk job at a hotel.
    Also, I think u have to be 30 years old or younger to qualify.

    US citizens have different requirements to meet than Irish citizens, so thats why im thinking it may be easier for ur Irish bf to get the papers needed.
    Perhaps talk to an immigration lawyer in OZ? As u may know, the whole process is quite expensive.

    I've been up and down the east coast of OZ and adored sydney.... I stayed in the suburb of Manly and took the ferry into CBD everyday. Manly is so awesome with a cute little area to walk around called "the corso" with shops, restaurants, cafes, and of course....the beach. Manly beach is beautiful.
    Bondi is nice too, however overrun with tourists and other transients. Nice to visit, not to live tho.

    Brisbane aka Brizzy is also a nice city located north of Sydney in the state of Queensland. Probably the best weather in the country IMO.
    If i had to comapre it to a US city, perhaps Miami comes to mind, minus the hispanic/caribbean influence of course. Again, thats if I had to compare.... MOstly, whats similar is the climate....and the build up of the beach areas....and the kind of self-abdorbed attitude of some people.


    Keep in mind, theres only like 5 major cities in OZ so u dont have a huge selection like in the US.
    Melbourne is a very cool city too, its the furthest south and Australia's 2nd largest city....large Italian and Greek influence. Great food scene.

    Good luck dude, keep us updated.


    Thanks for all the tips! Yes the WHV is for people to 'travel' but I have an extensive list of friends who have gone there on 'holiday' and wound up with a 4 year work visa. It's not a very uncommon thing for British people to do. (I went to University in the UK for 4 years so I know a fair amount of people down there scattered around)

    The <30 years old hang up is why we have to move now. The BF will be 30 in May, so his options fizzle out QUICKLY as soon as he turns 30.

    I guess I know alot about the geography/weather etc etc. So I'm more looking for recoomendations of nice, REASONABLE places/Suburbs to live. Our budget for housing will be in the area of 2$,000 AUS/Month for rent (i.e. 1,000 per person), and I wouldn't want to have to commute a ridiculous distance into the city centers. This is why I was thinking Melb. as I've heard central living isn't quite so expensive, wheras in Sydney CBD is very expensive.
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:24 AM GMT
    boarder03 saidIf you want a foreigners advice on Australia, I would have to say compare and contrast what you want.

    Sydney if you take it from a Canadian perspective is like Toronto. There are SO many foreigners living in this city that it leads it to have a very worldly feel. It is very multicultural (somewhat intercultural) and it has loads of opportunity for both work, entertainment, living and excitement. That being said, there is something lacking in terms of the 'real' Australian feel. It does have a thriving gay community and the overall openness of the city is decent, not to forgot pretty cool architecture, beaches and attractions. (MANLY IS GREAT! A little resort town reachable via the water-buses).

    My personal favorite is Melbourne. It doesn't get ridiculously hot. Face it... if you have an Irishman with you... they over-heat easy. It is a city full of culture, class and beauty. It is like the Montreal of Australia which means it has a distinct European feel to it which leads it to be very modern, classy and livable.

    My best advice to you though is that everyone is different. Since you do have a H&W visa you should definitely check out some different places. The Gold Coast has a very commercial and American feel, so you might feel at home there.

    Darwin is ridiculous, in terms of temperature but the BEAUTY is astounding. It's just 40+ most of the year.

    Brisbane isn't too bad either, sky scrappers on the beach! Can't complain.

    If I was to move back. I'd move to Melbourne.


    Haha funny you mention the weather: The irishman has lived in South America for a time, so LOVES heat. I on the other hand enjoy my New England Autumn, so I love the milder climates. But I also love the beach (I'm a cape cod native after all... can't go a season without the beach!)
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    I guess another element I'd like to hear about, as stupid as this may sound, is the local stereotypes etc.

    I mean being from new England, I can stereotype NYC and Boston very well, and in that regard I know I'd be much more suited in Boston. Boston: Preppy with a hangover = me... if you catch my drift.

    I don't mid huge cities (London would be my ideal location) but also love the charm of smaller cities (University in Edinburgh) So I really am pretty open to either option. My concerns are finding jobs, hopefully being able to find a way in which to stay somewhere for a reasonable amount of time (i.e.a few years at least until he can get an american visa), and the costs/benefit of places. I'll pay more if it's really worth it, but I'd like to be able to enjoy my life too and travel around a bit instead of just paying rent month to month and having no spending money/life...
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    Nov 01, 2011 3:45 AM GMT
    Hmmm. It does vary a lot depending on where you go.

    South side is very preppy and seen as snobbish.
    North side is your alternative / hippy side.
    And from there it breaks up even further. I.e. Collingwood/Fitzroy are the gay 'ghettos', lots of small, really cool bars, live band venues, some vegan stuff, Aussie made clothing etc.
    Carlton is little Italy.
    Prahran would be the College Prep with a hangover suburb.

    But having said that, everyone mixes fairly well on a social level.

    In terms of finding somewhere to stay, check out www.gumtree.com.au. They have everything from couch surfing, to house sitting, to renting apartments/houses for a couple of days/up to 6 months.

    Job-wise I'm not really too sure, I know there's always a pretty serious need for Architects and Finance Managers, but if you need something a bit more specific. I can start sifting through the patrons at my bar and nose something a bit more solid up for you.

    As for enjoying yourself in Melbourne. There's ALWAYS free/really cheap, very interesting things to do.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Nov 01, 2011 5:22 AM GMT
    wear sunscreen everyday or in 5 years your skin will look like an old shoe!! My cousins live there and their parents have such deep wrinkles in their face and neck.icon_idea.gif It's also because they are only half Italian as well.
  • gbc59

    Posts: 90

    Nov 01, 2011 8:13 AM GMT
    The 4 big cities are always booming, Sydney city n east suburbs, newtown , Nth shore are nice, DO NOT head out to the western suburbs are a big no go zone (feral) what i seen Sydney more party city, Melbourne very cultural , more of a sports oriented city both easy for travelling around > Sydney gets some wild weather and more polluted driving a nightmare Melbourne does get very hot but winter bitterly cold (australian standard cold is 0 -15 celcius, Brisbane more tropical weather all my mates love holidaying there,easy to get around lots of touristy stuff to do in Queensland. Perth Modern exciting loads of jobs oppurtunities due to the mining boom , but it is the most remotest city in the world....but its has the worst heat waves off all mainland cities heatwaves over 40 c very common. The smallest city Adelaide is very quiet not much happens and jobs in your field are rare in my mind though its the best, less polluted ( its called the 20 minute city) also great weather but most gay men from other cities will look and laugh and treat you as a lower class if u say you live there.
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    Nov 01, 2011 8:19 AM GMT
    Melbourne is AMAZING. Born there, but moved to The Netherlands after I was two. but I have been back often!
    It's an amazing city, with beautiful architecture (classic and modern) and I think it also has a lot to offer business-wise. And the weather is awesome.
    Can't wait to get back!!
  • CDNinOZ

    Posts: 38

    Nov 01, 2011 8:54 AM GMT
    We moved to Melbourne a couple of years ago after living in Scotland and Canada. It's a great city with lots of culture, restaurants, etc.. It's easy to start to feel at home here.

    Job market is not bad either. Mine was prearranged but my hubby found work within a couple months. Housing is fairly expensive, but likely less than Sydney. As for beaches, Sydney likely has us beat icon_smile.gif but there are lots of great places to visit within a few hours of driving. Yarra valley, great ocean road, Wilson's Prom, ...

    Weather is coolish and wettish (lately) in Winter, and hottish in summer. We get really hot and dry days which are fairly rare (40Cplus). It's not always that hot, usually around 30C. I love the dry heat in the summer, it's much easier to take than high humidity heat...

    Not sure how much stuff you're bringing... we shipped a few boxes and then bought stuff here. Most apartments are not furnished.

    Feel free to message if you have questions...



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    Nov 01, 2011 9:02 AM GMT
    I've only skim the responses on this thread, so I apologize if this is doubling up.

    First of all, Melbourne is currently cheaper to live in Sydney, cheaper restaurants/housing etc. with a booming arts culture (more so than Sydney, however). Friendly people from my experience and always had a great time. I'm a food fanatic, and if I were to compare, Melbourne has better selections and tastier food than Sydney (Sydney is good, but Melbourne is YUMMY!!)

    Sydney, as mentioned earlier, is a transient city (lots and lots of foreigners and backpackers). Great nightlife! Wonderful beaches, and so far great weather! Local stereotype = don't go out to the west 'burbs!

    Immigration: W&H visa is a great transition to Australia. Keep in mind that this has work restriction of 6 months maximum per employer. I would suggest to have a work already laid out before you move out here - even better if there's a potential employer that would sponsor you. Considering that you are within the financial industry, Sydney is cuthroat; however there are plenty of opportunities within the banking sector and the financial markets out here.

    W&H visa might be extendable for Irish descents (too lazy to confirm/research), but I don't think U.S. citizens get a 2nd year W&H.


    How long are you two been together. There's a possibility that you guys can fulfill the 12 months residency requirement (through living together in Australia with W&H visa) for the de facto spouse visa. I met someone that is an American with a British boyfriend and they both relocated to Australia through a spouse visa (they do have to prove that their relationship is genuine and had to send out skype call details // phone call // letters // parcels information to immigration) - very agonizing in terms of paperwork. The spouse visa will grant a temporary residency in Australia (2 years) and if the relationship is still ongoing, can be granted a permanent residency status.
  • ads80

    Posts: 60

    Nov 01, 2011 9:33 AM GMT
    Hey there,

    You've probably worked it out by now but here are some thoughts from someone who lives in Melbourne.

    First, it's Mel-ben but most people work that out. I need to dispute the pronunciation of Bondi, it's Bon-Die.

    Anyway, that's not what you're after. Most of the other guys are right about the characteristics of the cities. Culturally, I tend to think that Sydney is more like LA (the glamour capital, a bit superficial, certainly more cut throat in the finance sector) and Melbourne is like NYC. Melbourne is deeply cultural, multi-cultured, awesome art and food scene with great wineries nearby.

    If you're looking for suburbs, like Sydney, avoid most of the west. Some of the inner west, and outer north west are okay but generally, head east. Don't go too far south east, you head into cashed up bums territory.

    The eastern suburbs are the more affluent, lively places like St KIlda are normally pretty popular with new comers. You'll rent a 2br apartment for $2k no hassles within a short distance of the city (this is where some of the inner west suburbs, like flemington, Maribyrnong, etc aren't bad options). Check out www.realestate.com.au - it's one of the most popular rental sites over here. If you try to get a decent place really close to the CBD you may struggle, but check out suburbs like Carlton, Brunswick, even Coburg and you'll do okay.

    Collingwood is definitely the new home of gay in Melbourne. It is a bit 'grittier' than other areas - perhaps indie might be the better term. The gay scene used to centre around Prahran, which was super-twinky but it really has dropped off in recent times. The College Prep hangover comment above is about spot on.

    Depending on what type of architecture your BF is into, you still couldnt go wrong in Melbourne. Big growth corridors means loads of residential work and there is a lot of industrial/commercial development in Melbourne. Someone suggested Brisbane earlier - also booming development wise.

    Finance/Biz wise, if you weren't touching Sydney, you'd do well in Melbourne. A couple of the big 4 banks are headquartered in Melbourne and there are large offices of the big consulting/finance firms like PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, etc.

    I have a bit of a bias toward Melbourne, even though I didn't grow up here. Despite its sometimes imperfect weather, it has pretty much everything else you could ever ask for in a city.

    On the Work Holiday Visa thing - the restrictions on industry only apply if you are looking to extend. If you want a second year, you need to have done 3 months in a regional area in specific industries. The rest of the time, go your hardest.

    My partner moved over from the US and was on a WHV and we just applied for his partner visa. It is an expensive, detailed process (cost about $3k so far) but hey, what's love worth?

    Good luck - and happy to help. We've gotten pretty good at the immigration thing and have done it without overpriced immigration lawyers. In fact, the department of immigration are extraordinarily helpful.

    Let me know if I can help with more info.
    Adam
  • ak77

    Posts: 8

    Nov 01, 2011 9:51 AM GMT
    I've lived in Melbourne for four years and don't regret the choice at all, great city, great (and varied) character, and the weather's awesome compared to the UK, if a bit erratic at times...........but yeah the gay scene is probably as cliquey as Sydney.

    I came in on the WHV, and didn't have a job organised, then just winged it when I got here, although I was aware that my profession was on the skills shortage list (Engineering), so was reasonably confident of getting a job. Long story short, got a job in two weeks and then after a couple of months asked if they'd sponsor me (457 visa), they said yes, visa was approved just before I'd been with them 6mths, here I am 3.5yrs on, applying for permanent residency next year then citizenship the year after.

    My understanding at the time was that the WHV could be applied for up until you are 30yrs and 11mths old. You then had 12 mths to enter Australia once it hd been approved. My ex-gf was 30 and 10 mths old when she applied, so definitely a bit over 30 is allowed.

    Both of your occupations sound like they could fulfill the skills shortage requirement for a sponsored working visa (457) - but I could only find the architecture one at a quick glance. Might be worth checking if your partners educational qualifications are ok for the various approving bodies. (also he may be slightly more marketable if he's older and more experienced)
    http://www.immi.gov.au/asri/occupations/a/architect.htm

    You don't necessarily both have to have relevant skills as one of you could piggy back on the others 457 visa (my ex-gf piggy backed on my 457 visa until we spilt) you just have to prove you've been together for 6-12mths in advance from what I recall (have joint bank account statements, plane tickets etc as proof)

    Anyway, hope everything goes well and its definitely worth it. With your joint salaries, you should be able to have a pretty nice lifestyle here...
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    Nov 01, 2011 9:51 AM GMT
    I agree with a lot of what Adam has mentioned. I lived in Mt Isa mining town in Nth West Queensland for 6 months (think about driving 11 hours into the middle of nowhere and you are there lol) but to put my 2 cents in maybe you could also consider

    Cairns - nice smaller city - up North so pretty warm and humid. Very close to the Great Barrier reef so FAB diving. As a random place Townsville appealed to me a lot. A few mozzies but places like Magnetic island and its beach front area with great swimming are really nice.

    If you are thinking a bigger city then Brisbane is a nice choice. Not too big and not too small. Their train system is getting better and ther is a lot of development going on so work should not be too bad.

    If I wasn't in love with New Zealand Aussie is prob where I would head (5 million kiwis - 4 mil in NZ and 1 mil in Oz LOL).... that and I couldn't get used to cops with guns on the street. Not a kiwi thing thanks goodness!

    Sydney has great inner city living - the suburbs are really spread out and you have to be really prepared to commute a fair way at times. Bondi Beach - a New Zealand Suburb (full of Kiwis) is nice and has great cafes - but most beaches are pretty good. My sister lived there for years and loved it.

    Heaps of friends ahve shifted to Melbourne - great culture and well laid out city.

    Best suggestion - travel around - talk to the locals and go by gut instinct!

    Good luck and YAY for the Awsome opportunity to come "down under!"
    Cheers

    Neil
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    Nov 01, 2011 10:44 AM GMT
    Welcome to Australia!

    Jobs

    Architecture jobs are a dime a dozen in the major capital cities so he should be fine.

    Finance jobs are another story. Sydney is recognised as the Asia-Pacific regions Global City so it's here that you'll find the majority of finance related companies. Not to say they don't exist in Melbourne but they are fewer and farer between. Melbourne is known more for sports/arts/culture/events.

    And you'll want choice as the finance sector hasn't rebounded quite so well since the GFC! That said compared to the US you'll probably think there are heaps of jobs.

    Brisbane is a big country town; Canberra is full of admin and politicians; Perth is a gigantic mining town. Forgive the stereotypes!

    Qualifications

    Architects are required to be registered with RAIA to call themselves architects. You don't have to be an architect to do most architecture work though.

    http://www.architecture.com.au/i-cms?page=11859

    Visa

    Check the conditions on the visa - I believe that you can only hold a job with the same company for 6 months; you then need to find another job with a different company or a different State.

    Also check whether it precludes you from getting other visas (such as sponsorship) in the future. Check out the conditions for sponsorship as well. Immigration laws in Australia are complex. You can get a visa extension of 12 months if you work 3 months in 'farm work'. Most people don't take this option up and there's probably good reason why!

    http://www.immi.gov.au/ check 'finding a visa'

    Costs

    Living costs in Melbourne have risen substantially and are now pretty similar to Sydney. Sydney wages are slightly higher generally speaking. Unless you intend to buy real estate, which is difficult as a foreign national, there isn't a substantial difference in accomodation costs. If you want to see how much money you can burn, go to Perth. The mining boom has seen it rival Sydney for cost of living but if you aren't in the mining sector you'll suffer cause wages are lower. I could have died last time I got the bill for breakfast in a cafe there!

    http://www.australia-migration.com/page/Cost_of_Living_calculator/95

    Where to Live

    Sydney CBD is expensive but you wouldn't want to live in the city; more likely on the edge of the CBD in an inner suburb. You would definitely get a 2 bed apartment within a 15 min walk to the city for $2K a month. Let me know if you want more details and I'll get them to you. I actually live in one of those 'western suburbs' that you've been warned about but it's my home and I love it.

    Lifestyle

    No city in Australia is huge! Sydney covers the size of LA with a population of just 5M. Think loads of suburbs. Melbourne is smaller. I love Melbourne and visit often (an hour away by plane) but I live in Sydney. Enough said?

    Melbourne consistently rates as the worlds most liveable city. Sydney does at times too, and usually ranks highly, but the traffic can be horrendous and usually lets us down.

    People

    Sydney is a transient city. People come and go in large numbers. As a result putting down roots and making meanigful friendships can be harder than Melbourne simply because you meet so many tourists! Not to say that Melbourne doesn't have it's own fair share.

    Amenity

    Both cities are pretty amazing. Though St Kilda Beach is the closest to Melbourne and you just can't compare a 3 metre wide stretch of sand to the vast beaches that are 10 mins on a train from Sydney CBD.

    Weather

    Melbourne is know for literally having four seasons in one day. Sydney is more consistent with a temperate rather than tropical climate like Brisbane. It doesn't snow in any major city though the ski fields are roughly half way between Sydney and Melbourne.

    That's about all I can think of at the moment so let me know if you need more info! Happy to play tour guide to help fellow RJ'ers settle in if you do end up in Sydney.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Nov 01, 2011 10:45 AM GMT
    Okay so I live in Sydney and will tell you of a few things.

    Firstly, Sydney does have the most expensive cost of living in the whole of Australia. That being said, work for both you and your partner would probably be found in Sydney or may be limited to certain places I think depending on your visa.

    Melbourne I have to say is so beautiful, even the random architecture around the city makes it a beautiful place and your partner will appreciate it too.
    It's similar to Sydney with the city lifestyle but honestly the people in Melbourne are HEAPS nicer too.
    Not to mention the shopping in Melbourne is awesome, I love shopping there. Honestly I spend $850 dollars on shopping ... BUT I did end up completely changing my entire wardrobe. My first ever shopaholic experience.

    Queensland is also very beautiful but work opportunity there in your respective fields might be a little more scarce. Beaches have the clearest blue water ever. Real surfy kind of lifestyle I'd say, but you don't really hear much about it's night life.

    Either way, when ever you arrive, WELCOME TO AUSTRALIA MATE icon_smile.gif
    It's a great country and yes every country has their ups and downs but you'll definitely love the weather. We do get a good mix, it does get nice and cold in winter and smouldering hot in summer icon_smile.gif
    Only thing is, watch for hayfever during spring due to massive pollen outburst. (it's not a cloud you literally see of pollen being released, I was just exaggerating, just incase that part freaked you out).
  • ozmstud

    Posts: 1

    Nov 01, 2011 11:00 AM GMT
    yeah guys -- don't dismiss Canberra straight away -- the unemploymnt rate is very low and a building boom is happening that needs well qualifed people and also finance guys.

    it is a well planned city that has come of age and has the youngest population in age range, good facilities and you can fly to every capital city direct and to the gold coast and townsville.

    an easy three hour drive to Sydney for a weekend away and a eight hour drive to Melbourne --- air is approx 50 mins to sydney and 60 mins to Melbourne.

    check out the jobs on www.seek.com.au or similar and housing [buy, rent, share] try www.allhomes.com.au; and also www.liveincanberra.com.au for good information.

    I hate the Canberra bashers -- not all the city is involved in politics and with 350,000 residents, great roads and facilities -- takes no more than 40 mins in peak to get from one end to the other (40 kms) is far far better than Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane.

    consider it as an ideal opportunity to try the nation's capital.