The truth is that virtual interviews don’t differ from in-person interviews too much. It’s just the medium that’s different – computer screen instead of face-to-face.
Want to know how to interview well in this format? Here are eight great tips we found on Forbes Magazine:
1. Position yourself properly
Don’t sit too far away from the camera. This makes you appear smaller, which can send a subconscious message that you’re ‘less powerful, nervous, or otherwise disengaged’.
2. Look level
As during in-person interviews, strong eye contact is key. If you set up your camera at eye level, you’ll easily achieve it. Don’t position your camera too high or too low. Instead, use a desktop stand for your laptop or prop your webcam on a stack of books.
3. Light it up
The interviewer wants to see you clearly. The worst thing you can do is sit with your back to a window or with a light behind you. Either of these will creates shadows and obscure your face. The best strategy is sitting facing a window with the curtains drawn open to let in natural light.
4. Smile at the camera
We tend to look at the people on our screens when meeting virtually because that’s what we do in person.
However, this is not the best strategy for virtual meetings.
Instead, look straight into the camera to connect with the rest of the people in the interview. It sounds silly but if you do this, you’re actually looking directly at the other attendees.
5. Don’t use virtual backgrounds
Zoom offers the option of using a virtual background, but you shouldn’t use it. The virtual backgrounds often glitch or pixelate. The interviewer might also regard your background as unprofessional! Rather stick to a neutral background.
6. Use a strong voice
When you’re interviewing online, you want to speak up and speak clearly to ensure that everyone heard and understood you correctly. Keep in mind that many of the non-verbal cues we rely on when speaking in person is not obvious or visible online.
7. Stay stable
Posture is everything! Don’t slouch or hunch over and don’t sway in your chair or fidget when you’re nervous. A bouncing chair is only going to serve as a distraction and that’s not something you want in an interview.
Instead, sit up straight, relax your shoulders and look straight into the camera. And smile!
8. Mute notifications
Deactivate all your desktop notifications before you start the interview. The ping of an incoming notification is going to be disrespectful to the interview and it’s going to distract you. You can catch up on conversations after the interview.
We’d like to add these two tips to Forbes’s list:
9. Test your equipment before the interview
Even if you’ve had your laptop, earphones and webcam for ages, test all the equipment you’ll use prior to the interview. Ensure that you can hear and be heard properly. If technical glitches still crop up during the interview, remain calm and friendly while you troubleshoot.
10. Dress the part
Don’t slack when it comes to choosing an outfit simply because this is a virtual interview. You still want to wear a crisp and ironed shirt; you still want to look your best. Dressing the part means you show that you’re serious about the job.
You get invited to an in-person interview…
You might get the job based purely on your performance during the virtual interview, but you might also get asked to do an in-person interview. Travelling to Australia for an interview is going to be expensive but if you really want to live and work in Australia, you’re might not have a choice.
Here are practical tips for this sort of interview:
- Make lists. It’s the best way to ensure that all the essentials are packed. Passports, interview outfits, and documents – it all goes on the list!
- Arrive at least two days before your interview. That way you’ll ensure that you’re not dealing with interview nerves and jet lag too. You can also use the extra day for last-minute prepping.
- Pack more than one interview outfit. More pieces give you more choice on the day. Plus, should the unthinkable happen – toothpaste on a cuff or a missing button you didn’t notice back home – you still have something to wear.
- Take documents in double. Print your CV but also have a backup on a memory stick. If you have a portfolio and you’re taking the hard copy, also have it online or on your laptop. This way, you’ll always have something to show should prints get lost or damaged during your travels.
Here’s another good idea –schedule a couple of interviews while you’re in Australia, so that you don’t have to travel again.
What if the interviewer first wants to speak to you over the phone?
This might happen with or without warning! Either way, keep in mind that the person speaking to you cannot see your face. It’s all in your voice, so speak confidently and clearly.
It’s also important to stay in the moment. Don’t get distracted and don’t let your mind wander. Really listen to what the person on the other side of the line has to say.
Final tips for your Australian job interview
Due to time differences, your interview might be scheduled before or after your normal working day. Don’t let this hinder you from getting the job; be flexible with your time.
Finally, get yourself and your equipment ready at least 15 minutes before your interview is due to start. It doesn’t matter that this is a virtual interview – being late is never an option!
In other words, extending job offers to and employing suitable workers for positions where there is a shortage of talent in Australia.
However, as one would expect, there are requirements to meet to be eligible to do this. In some cases the requirements are solely for the visa applicant. There are also visas with requirements for both the applicant and the employer.
Before we get to that, let’s look at how employer sponsored visas differ from general skilled migration visas.
What is the difference between employers sponsored visas and general skilled migration visas?
The difference between these visa categories lies mainly in how your eligibility is determined. When it comes to general skilled migration visas, you usually have to take a points test and score above a certain threshold to be eligible to apply for a work visa.
There is no points test for employer sponsored visas. Instead, you have to be nominated by an Australian employer to work in your occupation. Some sponsored visas also require that this occupation is on a skilled occupation list.
There is a similarity between these visa categories too – you must have the skills and experience necessary to perform the tasks of your occupation.
Now let’s move on to the visas that fall under the employer sponsored category.
What are the available employer sponsored visas?
Australia has three employer sponsored visas:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)
- The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186)
- The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (subclass 187)
Who can apply for the subclass 494 visa?
The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa has two streams under which you can apply for a visa:
- Employer Sponsored stream
- Labour Agreement stream
To apply for a subclass 494 visa under the Employer Sponsored stream you must:
- Be under the age of 45, unless you’re exempt
- Be nominated to work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
- Have at least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
- Have a relevant skills assessment, unless an exemption applies
- Work only for your sponsor or associated entity, unless you’re exempt
- Meet the English language, health and character requirements
To apply under the Labour Agreement stream your employer must have a labour agreement with the Australian government and you must:
- Be under the age of 45, unless the labour agreement states otherwise
- Be nominated to work in a specified occupation under the terms of a labour agreement
- Have at least 3 years relevant work experience in your nominated occupation
- Have a relevant skills assessment, if this is specified in the labour agreement
- Work only for your sponsor
- Meet the English language, health and character requirements
The requirements for both visa streams also state that you have to live and work in designated regional areas of Australia. Regional Australia is all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Who can apply for the subclass 186 visa?
The Employer Nomination Scheme has three streams:
- Direct Entry Stream
- Labour Agreement stream
- Temporary Residence Transition stream
To apply for a subclass 186 visa under the Direct Entry stream you must:
- Be under the age of 45
- Be nominated by an Australian employer
- Work in an occupation that’s on the list of eligible skilled occupations
- Have at least 3 years relevant work experience, unless you’re exempt
- Have a positive skills assessment, unless you’re exempt
- Meet the English language, health and character requirements
To apply under the Labour Agreement stream you must:
- Be a skilled worker who’s nominated by an Australian employer with a labour agreement
- Be under the age of 45
- Have suitable work experience and skills
- Meet the English language requirements
- Meet the health and character requirements
To apply under the Temporary Residence Transition stream you must already work in Australia and:
- Hold a subclass 457, Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa or related Bridging visa A, B or C
- Usually, have worked for your employer for at least 3 years full time while holding a subclass 457 or TSS visa
- Have been nominated by an Australian employer whose nomination was approved in the 6 months before you apply
- Be under the age of 45, unless you’re exempt
- Meet the English language, health and character requirements
Who can apply for the subclass 187 visa?
To apply for a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa, you must:
- Be under the age of 45
- Hold a substantive visa or a Bridging visa A, B or C
- Usually, have worked for your employer in regional Australia for at least 3 years full time while holding a subclass 457 or Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa
- Have been nominated by an Australian employer whose nomination was approved in the 6 months prior to you applying
- Have the required skills and qualifications needed to perform the tasks of the nominated occupation
- Meet the English language, health and character requirements
Up to November 2019, the subclass 187 visa also had a Direct Entry stream, but this stream was replaced by the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494).
Can I bring my family?
Yes, your family is allowed to join you on all the visas discussed above. Any family members who do want to join you, must meet Australia’s health and character requirements.
How long does it take to get my visa?
Australia’s Department of Home Affairs judge each visa application it receives on a case-by-case basis, which means processing times vary based on individual circumstances.
For instance, whether you’ve lodged a complete application with all the necessary documents or how long it takes to get additional information such as health checks from external agencies.
Can I also apply for permanent residency?
The Employer Nomination Scheme visa and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa are permanent residence visas. In other words, if you’re granted either of these visas, you have permanent resident status.
The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, on the other hand, is a temporary visa but you’ll be eligible to apply for permanent residence after 3 years if you meet the requirements.
Want to find out if you could apply for one of the employer sponsored visas for Australia?
Take the first step today by booking your free initial assessment online. Our consultants will explain how the emigration process works and discuss the best way forward with you.
Couples living in limbo as Australia’s partner visa backlog reaches nearly 100,000 applications due to COVID-19
The world-wide COVID-19 pandemic has had many unintended consequences. One of those is the fact that nearly 100,000 Australians are now in the queue waiting for partner visa grants. This has left thousands of couples in limbo, and sometimes separated for months, while waiting on visa outcomes.
What are couples saying?
Jaskomal Kaur told Australian broadcaster SBS that she hasn’t seen her Melbourne-based husband Aditya Rajput since the couple got married in India in 2019.
Kaur said “It’s been over 15 months and I’m beginning to lose hope of reuniting with my partner. I have spent all my first occasions that are considered auspicious in the Indian culture alone at my parents’ house, instead of celebrating these special moments with Aditya.”
Swapnil Patel and his wife Monika are in a similar situation. The couple applied for a partner visa for Monika last year in June after she arrived in Australia to join Swapnil. Since then the couple have been extending Monika’s stay in the country by applying for new visitor visas.
Patel told SBS that he has spent close to AU$11,000 on visa applications thus far. This includes the partner visa application as well as subsequent visitor visa applications as the visitor visas are only valid for three months at a time.
What is the word from the Australian government?
Labour MP Julian Hill raised the issue of partner visa applications in the Parliament last month. He highlighted the plight of couples being separated and the emotional toll it’s taking on couples. He also called for action from the federal government to address the growing backlog.
When asked for comment by SBS, a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs assured the broadcaster that although the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the Department’s operations, the Department continues to progress partner visa applications.
The spokesperson also mentioned the fact that some visa applicants are unable to proceed with their applications because services for certain criteria such as health checks and biometrics are unavailable at the moment in their home country. This is again due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, the Department of Home Affairs cannot process and finalise visa applications without all the necessary requirements in place.
Why the long wait?
The Kaurs and Patels, and countless other couples like them, have applied for the subclass 309 visa. The Department of Home Affairs states on their website that the processing times for this visa is between 18 months to 26 months.
The duration depends on individual circumstances and the complexity of the application.
The problem now is that while applications are still being submitted, the Department of Home Affairs are operating on a limited basis due to COVID-19. Naturally this means that it’s taking the Department even longer than normally to process visas.
This is our advice if you want to apply for a partner visa……
In a nutshell – speak to an immigration advisor. This is the best way to ensure that you get your partner visa application right. The last thing you want to do in the current climate is cause yourself further delays due to incorrect or missing documents.
Also take into consideration that a partner visa costs from AU$7,715. And that’s the government fees alone! If you don’t get your application right or it’s rejected, you’ll lose all that money.
We have seen that the average processing time for partner visa applications has increased drastically over the past few months. However, if a decision ready application is submitted a direct grant in a shorter period of time can usually be achieved.
Katrin Maja O’Flynn, Intergate Emigration Licensed Agent
Book your consultation today!
If you’d like licensed advice about your partner visa application, simply book a telephone consultation online with Katrin Maja O’Flynn. Katrin is one of our licensed immigration agents and she’ll guide you on the requirements, assess your eligibility and advise on the best way forward.
Here’s what Dale and Kate, recent clients of ours, have had to say after dealing with our team:
Hi Maike, Katrin and Natanya,
This has literally been the most swift and efficient process I have ever experienced in my life. Less than 6 months from start to end…where we were expecting closer to 2 years. You have all been fabulous to work with and trust me, I have already referred many people to you.
I want to thank you so much for all you have done for us and giving us the key to start the chapter of our lives that we have been wanting to start.
Have a great week!
Thanks so much again!
Dale and Kate
Subclass 887 visa applicants usually have to lodge their applications in Australia. Immigration regulations also stipulate that the applicant has to be in Australia when the residency is granted.
Due to COVID-19, many visa holders are stuck overseas at the moment.
Australia has thus decided to make temporary concessions to enable some applicants to apply and get their Subclass 887 visa from outside of the country. These changes come into effect on 19 September 2020.
You must meet work and residence criteria to be eligible
As explained above, you’ll now be able to apply for your Subclass 887 visa even if you’re outside of Australia. This is subject to you meeting certain requirements. Specifically, work and residence criteria. You’ll have to be able to provide evidence of at least:
- 9 months full-time work in a specific regional area (or, if a shorter period is specified in a legislative document, that shorter period), an
- 18 months residence in a specified regional area (or, if a shorter period is specified in a legislative document, that shorter period).
These time frames are usually slightly longer at 1 year and 2 years respectively, so the shorter time frames is a further concession to applicants from outside Australia.
Australia has made similar concessions for onshore applicants. You can view these concessions on the website of the Department of Home Affairs.
This is for visa applications lodged on or after 19 September 2020
The concession comes into effect 19 September and thus apply to visa applications lodged on or after this date. It is also only applicable to applications lodged during the COVID-19 concession period.
This concession period came into effect on 1 February 2020 and is ongoing until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Contact us if you need assistance with your Subclass 887 visa application
The emigration landscape is constantly changing due to COVID-19, so we urge you to work with an immigration advisor who’s up to date on all the latest developments.
You’re welcome to contact us for assistance should you need it! You can reach us at +21 (0) 21 424 2460 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our advisors are all MARA licensed which means you can rest assured that you’re getting the right advice!
Acting Minister of Immigration Alan Tudge and Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michealia Cash released a joint statement on 2 September 2020 detailing Australia’s plans to support businesses to fill critical skills needs. The aim is to help create jobs in Australia and to rebuild the Australian economy.
New Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List to guide Australia’s efforts
Australia has developed a new priority skills list with 17 occupations called the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL).
This list is going to allow small numbers of sponsored skilled workers into Australia to fill urgent skills needs in critical sectors.
Minister Tudge advised that the occupations on the list are based on advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with relevant Commonwealth agencies.
As to the reason behind the creation of the list, Minister Tudge said “Our priority is getting Australians back into work but we also need key health workers to help fight the virus and skilled migrants who are going to be job multipliers, to help the economy recover.”
The occupations on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List
Existing skilled migration occupation lists will remain active and visas will still be processed, but priority will be given to those in occupations on the PMSOL.
The 17 occupations are:
- Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
- Construction Project Manager (133111)
- Mechanical Engineer (233512)
- General Practitioner (253111)
- Resident Medical Officer (253112)
- Psychiatrist (253411)
- Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
- Midwife (254111)
- Registered Nurses:
- Aged Care (254412)
- Critical Care and Emergency (254415)
- Medical (254418)
- Mental Health (254422)
- Perioperative (254423)
- Registered Nurses nec (254499)
- Developer Programmer (261312)
- Software Engineer (261313)
- Maintenance Planner (312911)
PMSOL complemented by strengthened labour market testing requirements
Minister Cash said that her Department would complement the PMSOL with strengthened labour market testing requirements:
“In addition to the current requirements of two national advertisements, employers must also advertise their vacancy on the Government’s JobActive website. JobKeeper is keeping many Australians in work and our $1 billion JobTrainer fund will create 340,700 new training places, but some sectors still need more skilled workers now.
The  occupations were chosen after careful analysis of recent changes to the internet vacancy index, changes in employment, and longer-term stability in the labour market for individual occupations.
As COVID-19 continues to play out both at home and abroad, we will closely monitor labour market trends and respond to any changes in our skills needs.”
How do eligible skilled migrants go to Australia?
Visa holders with sponsorship from an Australian business in a PMSOL occupation can request an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions from the Department of Home Affairs.
Successful applicants will be subject to a strict 14-day quarantine on arrival in Australia. This quarantine will be at the expense of the visa holder.
The information about how to apply for a travel exemption can be found on the website of the Department of Home Affairs – click here to visit the relevant page.
If a dog or cat is part of your family, and you’re considering emigration to Australia, you’re probably wondering, ‘can I take my pet to Australia’? We’re here to tell you the answer is ‘yes’ – but only if you’re from an approved country, and it’s not a cheap or simple process.
Chances are though that you can’t bear the thought of leaving your pet behind. That’s why we’re sharing the most important facts about taking your pets to Australia:
- Approved countries.
- The cost.
- Quarantine requirements.
- Requirements around microchips, vaccinations, etc.
- What happens to old animals or animals with medical conditions.
Let’s start by finding out if you can take your pet to Australia.
Which countries have approval to import pets to Australia?
Australia has approved 96 countries from around the world for pet imports. These countries all have adequate animal health services and a satisfactory animal health status.
Further to this, the 96 countries are divided into three groups:
New Zealand, Norfolk Island and Cocos Island are in group 1. Dogs and cats from New Zealand and Norfolk Island do not need an import permit. Dogs from Cocos Island also do not require an import permit but cats do need a permit to enter Australia.
Group 2 countries are describe as approved rabies-free countries and territories. There are 26 countries in this group and animals from these countries require an import permit to enter Australia.
Group 3 countries, which totals 67 countries, are described as approved countries and territories in which rabies is absent or well-controlled. Just like Group 2, animals from this group need an import permit to enter Australia.
It’s not all dogs and cats that can be imported
Australia prohibits the import of some pure bred dogs, as well as domestic and non domestic hybrid cat breeds. These include but are not limited to:
- Domestic/Non-domestic hybrid cats: Savannah cats, Safari cats, Chausies, and Bengal cats
- Pure-bred dogs: Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier, and Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario
- Domestic/Non-domestic hybrid dogs: Czechoslovakian wolfdog (Czechoslovakian Vlcak), Saarloos wolfdog, Lupo Italiano (Italian wolfdog), and Kunming wolfdog.
How much does it cost to import a cat or dog to Australia?
When importing your pet to Australia, you have to pay:
Together, it will bring the cost of importing one cat or dog that undergoes the minimum quarantine to AU$2200.
Additional fees will also apply if your cat or dog needs extra services such as treatments, veterinary care or an extended quarantine stay.
To get an accurate costing it’s best to get a quote from a reputable pet importer. You can speak to our team to get the details of our preferred pet importer.
How long does my pet have to stay in quarantine?
All cats and dogs must stay in quarantine for at least 10 days. This has to be at the Mickleham post in Melbourne, which meanss your animal must enter Australia at Melbourne International Airport.
Stays will be longer if issues arise that increase the biosecurity risk, for example when a tick is found on your dog.
What else must I have?
To take your pet to Australia, you’ll need the import permit you’ve paid for plus the following:
- Pet microchip: Your pet must have a microchip which was scanned by a vet.
- Vaccinations: Your pet must have had a rabies vaccination within one year of entry into Australia. It is recommended, but not required, that your dog or cat get other common vaccinations too. The type of vaccination will depend on whether you’re emigrating from a Group 1, 2 or 3 country.
- Treatments and blood tests: Additional treatments and blood tests are required before departure. Again, this will depend on the group of country you fall under.
What if my pet is old or has a medical condition?
The good news is that there aren’t any age restrictions on animals. But if you’re concerned about the effect of a long flight and quarantine time on an older animal, please speak to your vet. You vet will be able to advise on any extra precautions you should take.
As for pets with medical conditions, these animals can be imported but they must still be able to meet all Australian import conditions. Please note that medical conditions must be mentioned in the import permit and if your pet is diagnosed after the permit has been granted, you must inform the Australian authorities.
Visit the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for more
Like we said, importing a pet to Australia is not a simple process. The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has a full list of FAQs on their site, so bookmark it and visit it when the time comes to start your emigration.
Please also remember to speak to us if you’d like to get the details of our preferred pet importer. This company has more than 40 years of experience in pet transport to destinations all across the world. You can rest assured that your furry friend will be in good hands!
If you’d like information on how to move your personal belongings to Australia, we recommend reading this blog post.
In our guide, you’ll find information on:
- Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPEs)
- Fees and charges
- Duty-free concessions
- Clearing your belongings once in Australia
- Tips for preparing your goods
- The best way to pack your belongings
Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPEs)
Unaccompanied Personal Effects include your household and personal items that you’re taking with you to Australia but that’ll arrive separately to you. Usually this means these items arrive in Australia by air, sea or post.
Typical UPEs are clothing, personal hygiene and grooms items, furniture, appliances, sporting equipment and books.
To check if an item you’d like to take with to Australia is allowed or not, you can consult the importing guide of the Australian Border Force.
However, according to Australian import regulations, the following items are not UPEs:
Here’s what you cannot take with you
You are prohibited from bringing certain items into Australia. These items are:
- Fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Live plants and bulbs.
- Prohibited and restricted seeds.
- Unidentified seeds, including spices.
- Live animals that require an import permit, including pets. Find out here how to take pets to Australia.
- Biological products including some plant-based, herbal medications.
- Unprocessed goods of plan or animal origin.
- Soiled goods, or goods containing organic residues.
- Goods knowingly infested with pests or diseases.
To do a search for a specific item, you can go to the Australian Border Force’s website section on prohibited items.
Fees and charges
There are multiple fees and charges you have to include in your budget. These include but are not necessarily limited to:
- Documentation screening charges.
- Inspection fees. Your final inspection fee will depend on the time it takes to inspect your goods.
- Treatment of goods, if applicable.
- Facilitation fees and storage fees, charged by Approved Arrangement (AA) sites.
To get an accurate costing, it’s best to speak consult either the website of the Australian Border Force or to speak to a reputable import company.
You may be eligible for concessions on customs duty and Goods and Services Tax if you and your goods meet certain requirements.
Requirements that you have to meet:
- You arrived on a ship or aircraft from a place outside Australia.
- You meet permanent residency requirements.
Requirements that your belongings have to meet:
The goods must be:
- Your personal property;
- Suitable and intended for use by you in Australia; and
- Personally owned and used overseas by you for a specified length of time. Usually, this is 12 months prior to your departure to Australia.
Please be aware that you won’t receive concessions for:
- Cars or car parts.
- Tobacco and tobacco products.
- Alcoholic beverages.
Clearing your belongings
You can arrange to have your goods cleared yourself, or you can use an agent or representative to arrange to have your goods cleared on your behalf.
To clear your UPEs, you must complete and lodge an Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement (B543 Form). You can lodge the form in person or online. Read more about both options here.
Tips for preparing your items
As mentioned, Australia wants to prevent pests and diseases entering the country. This necessitates the emptying, draining, cleaning and drying of any items that have come into contact with food, soil, plants, animals, or their products.
Let’s look at some specific examples of what you can do:
- Garden furniture, fencing, pots, ornaments, outdoor toys, tools and implements: Remove all soil, animal and plant debris.
- Waste bins, brooms, and vacuum cleaners: Remove all waste from these items.
- Container and appliances: Clean these items.
- Camping and sporting equipment: Thoroughly clean tents, backpacks, golf clubs, soccer boots and the like.
- Carpets, rugs, and mats: Vacuum.
- Animal bedding, grooming equipment, cages, and fish tanks: Wash and vacuum; remove all traces of pet hair; drain and clean.
- Fresh water sporting equipment: Drain and dry equipment like reservoirs, wetsuits, and fishing tackle.
- Household items made from wood or with wooden components: Check wooden artefacts and toys, musical instruments, furniture, kitchenware, timber and items with wooden components for any signs of insect infestation. Either treat affected items or leave these items behind. Also check furniture and baskets containing materials such as bamboo, banana leaf, cane, rattan, and wicker.
- Everyday household items: Check for plant material such as seeds, flowers, leaves and pine cones. Think ornaments, photos albums, pot pourri, artefacts, decorations, and the like. Don’t forget to check the fillings of heat bags.
- Fresh food or opened packages of dry foods, and herbs and spices: Do not pack these items. You could import these items but it might be easier to simply buy fresh once you’re in Australia.
Packing your belongings
If you pack properly when moving household items to Australia, you’ll minimize the time it takes the Department to inspect your goods. This in turn will help keep the costs of the inspection to a minimum.
Here are tips from the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on how to make their job easier:
Create a packing list:
Record all boxes and what is in each box. Also include a description of what the goods are made from. For example, metal bed frame or cane basket. The Australian authorities will ask for this list.
Label and number:
Number the packing boxes and match the numbers on your packing list. Be sure to use permanent marker to write on boxes when you’re labelling them. Don’t use sticky labels, as these often fall off during the move.
Cartons and packing materials:
It is best to not use second-hand boxes or bags, unless you’re absolutely certain these are free from animal or plant material. Additionally don’t use straw, sawdust, wood shavings or other plant materials as packing or filler.
Pack items in groups:
Pack goods that the biosecurity officer may be interested in together and group the boxes together.
Pack for safety:
Securely wrap sharp or breakable objects such as knives or ceramic items. Clearly mark boxes with medical items, dangerous goods, or any items that could pose a safety risk. Do not pack flammable items such as fireworks or paint thinners.
Don’t want to go it alone? We can refer you to a shipping company!
Intergate Emigration has established a relationship with a renowned shipping company that has helped thousands of individuals and families import their belongings all over the world.
This South African company has more than 20 years experience and a comprehensive network of agents across the globe, and partner with experts to ensure that all information is current and relevant to avoid delays and unnecessary costs.
If you’d like us to introduce you to this company, all you have to is call us on +27 (0) 21 202 8200 or email us at email@example.com
Let’s recap what to do when moving household items to Australia
Your personal belonging and household goods are classified as Unaccompanied Personal Effects. The biosecurity officer will be interested in items that originated from animals or plants, or that have been in contact with animals, plants, water, food or soil.
To minimize the time it takes to inspect your goods, you should clean your belongings and pack the boxes in a way that makes it easy for the officer to check your belongings. The inspection is charged on time, so the shorter the inspection has to be, the less you’ll have to pay.
If you meet certain requirements, you’ll be eligible for concessions on customs duty and Goods and Services Tax.
For more information, please see the website of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. If you’d like information on how to move your pet to Australia, we recommend reading this blog post.
Not so fast though. You’d want to read our guide to moving to Australia with family before doing anything else.
Why? Because moving abroad as a family can be the best of times, but also the most testing of times.
Let’s explain how you can keep fights and frayed nerves to a minimum.
It’s the day you’ve been waiting for – your visas have arrived. Suddenly it’s all too real and your mind starts racing. Instead of trying to do a million things at once, start here:
Share the news
Announce the news during a family meeting instead of telling the family in a throwaway manner or telling everyone individually.
A formal meeting will give everyone, especially the children, a chance to ask questions. It will also give you the opportunity to paint the move as a massive adventure so that everyone are on the same page and excited about the road ahead.
Involve the children
The quickest way to get children on board, is to make them part of the process. It will make your children feel like they have a say in what’s happening to them.
- Ask for their input and give regular updates on developments
- Let them make decisions, such as which toys to take
- Assign age-appropriate tasks
- Let them help you pack
Get to know your future home together as a family
Australia will be your family’s new home, so introduce all the family members to the country as well as the city and neighbourhood you’ll be staying in.
Use the internet, country and city guides, maps, videos – whatever is going to make this a fun and interesting experience for your family.
Create a checklist
Moving abroad with your family is no easy feat! The only way to keep track of everything is to create a checklist.
A checklist does so much more than just spell out what should be done though. It also brings a sense of security and structure to a manic time in your lives. Plus, with everyone knowing their responsibilities, arguments are kept to a minimum.
Take care of the basics
It might be too early to enroll your children in school, and you probably won’t be able to take up medical insurance just yet, but knowing your options is a good thing.
You won’t believe how stressful finding a home, school or medical insurance can be when left to the last minute.
No-one likes goodbyes but in this case there’s no avoiding them.
Start preparing your children well in advance! Get them to say their goodbyes to teachers, friends and family, but not all in one go. When goodbyes happen over time, your children will get used to saying goodbye and it softens the blow a little bit.
You should do the same, but without overwhelming yourself. Your schedule is going to be jam-packed, so squeezing in too much will only stress you out.
The move went well and now you’re ready to tackle the new adventure as a family.
Make the new house feel like home
You should unpack boxes with key items first and decorate with family favourites straight away. Think family photos, treasured stuffed toys, preferred bedding sets and that lived-in living room couch. Seeing the familiar will make everyone feel more comfortable, and at home, in a flash.
Explore the neighbourhood
You’ve already done the research – now go out and explore! It’s a great way to make everyone feel at home.
If your children is still a bit sad about leaving home, make their points of interest the focus of your exploring. Go see what the local play parks look like, drive by their school and go to the beach, if that’s an option.
Stay in touch with family and friends back home
In the age of Skype and Zoom, it couldn’t be easier to stay connect with loved ones back home. Set up video chats as a family and as individuals, so that the whole family gets to speak to everyone they’re missing. Seeing familiar faces and catching up are great comforts.
Involving everyone in the process is the best thing you can do when moving to Australia with family. Apart from that, make an effort to work as a team, to get everyone excited and to make your new place feel like home as quickly as you can once you’ve arrived.
We’re talking about more than the beautiful beaches, magnificent scenery and diverse wildlife here. The Organisation for Economic Coorporation and Development (OECD) measures quality of life with these metrics:
- Working hours
- Sense of community
- Air and water quality
- Life satisfaction
- Life expectancy
It just so happens that Australia scores well on all metrics.
Australians earn USD49,126 per year on average with the average household net wealth estimated at USD427,064. The latter is higher than the OECD average of USD408, 376.
However, looking at disposable income is going to give you a more realistic picture of how far your money is going to go in Australia.
Here the OECD finds that the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is USD32 759 a year. This is slightly less than the OECD average of USD33 604 a year.
2. Working hours
In Australia, 13% of employees work long hours regularly. This is above the OECD average of 11% .
With that being said, full-time workers in Australia still spend 60% of their day on average, or 14.4 hours, on personal care and leisure activities like socialising with friends, hobbies or sports.
Australia is one of the biggest education spenders among OECD countries. The country spend the eight highest proportion of its gross domestic product on primary to tertiary educational institutions.
At tertiary level education, Australia spend US15,556 per student and around a third of the total spending is allocated to research and development.
When it comes to the students themselves, students scored higher than the OECD average in reading and science but not significantly different from the OECD average in mathematics. Overall, Australian students scored similar to students in Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, the UK and the United States.
Looking at tertiary education, Australia also scored high. The OECD found that 81% of adults aged 25-64 have completed upper secondary education, higher than the OECD average of 78%.
4. Sense of community
The majority of Australians say there is a strong sense community in the area they live in. In fact, 95% of Australians believe they know someone they could rely on in a time of need.
5. Air and water quality
The level of air pollutants small enough to enter and cause damage to human lungs is 5.2 micrograms per cubic metre. This is substantially lower than the OECD average of 13.9 micrograms per cubic metre.
When it comes to the quality of Australia’s water, 93% of Australians say they are satisfied with the quality of their water. This is again much higher than the OECD average, which sits at 81%.
6. Life satisfaction
Life satisfaction is not just how happy Australians are in the moment but it is instead how satisfied people are with life in general. When asked to rate their general satisfaction with life on a scale from 0 to 10, Australian on average gave it a 7.3 grade. This is higher than the OECD average of 6.5.
7. Life expectancy
From birth, the average life expectancy in Australia is 83 years of age, which is three years older than the OECD average.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics also keeps data of life expectancy and breaks it down by gender. In 2016 to 2018, life expectancy at birth was 80.7 years for men and 84.9 for women. In the past 10 years, life expectancy has increased for both men and women.
Does the quality of life in Australia sound appealing?
If the quality of life in Australia sounds appealing and you’d like to explore the possibility of living in Australia, be sure to give us a call to discuss your options.
Our immigration agents are licensed and registered with MARA, so you can be sure of having your chances assessed accurately and getting the correct emigration advice.
However, there are things you can do to make your emigration as smooth as possible. This starts long before you apply for the visa!
1. Have an immigration eligibility assessment done
To emigrate to Australia, you’ll need a visa to do so. There are a number of visas available for all kinds of purposes, from working to investing in a business.
The best way to find out if you qualify for one of these visas, is to do an eligibility assessment.
There are online assessments available but our advice is to get a licensed immigration agent to do the assessment with you.
You’d want to do this as a first step so that you know that you’re spending your time and energy on a dream that’s possible.
2. Do your homework if you’re going to work with an immigration agent
If you do decide to work with an immigration agent, ensure that this person is licensed and registered with MARA. That’s the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority of Australia.
By doing this, you’ll ensure that the advice you’re getting is based on the latest immigration regulations.
You’ll also have the peace of mind of working with an immigration agent that’s held accountable for the advice he or she gives you.
3. Research life in Australia
Hopefully you’ve been to Australia a few times and you know what to expect. But if you’ve never set foot Down Under, it’s wise to do some research. Find out:
- If the quality of life is what you’re looking for
- How cities and territories compare
- What the cost of living is
This is just a starter list, so add to it whatever else is important to you. If you’re a parent, that might be information on schools. The more you know, the better prepared you’ll be.
4. Start exploring the job market now
Exploring Australia’s job market will give you insight into the types of jobs that are available, the salaries within your industry, and the skills and experience employers ask for.
5. Decide what you want to with your home and its contents – and whether you want to buy or rent once you’re in Australia
When it comes to your belongings, you can choose to ship everything, to store some or all of it, or to sell everything before emigrating to Australia. Compare the costs to see which route will make the most sense for you.
The next decision to take is whether or not to sell your current home or keep it. If you keep it, you could rent it out. The extra money could come in handy.
Of course there is the possibility that you’ll be forced to sell your home to finance your emigration. If you’ve gotten those cost estimates we discussed, you’ll know if this will be necessary or not.
Then the time will come to decide between renting and buying in Australia. Renting is a good place to start. It gives you time to find your feet before having to make huge property decisions.
6. Get cost estimates
We strongly advise getting estimates of costs to see exactly how much your emigration is expected to set you back financially. Many people don’t realise just how expensive moving countries can get.
Flights and visas are often just the beginning!
It’s also advisable to add initial living and housing costs to your budget, as well as emergency funds for at least the first 6 months.
Get in touch when you’re ready to emigrate to Australia
Intergate Emigration’s immigration agents are all licensed and registered with MARA. We’ve also helped hundreds of families emigrate to Australia!
To see how we can help you too, simply book a free initial assessment or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Either way, our consultants are ready to assist and answer the questions you have about emigration to Australia.