Blogging the process, the tears and the all important checklists.

This particular dream began February 2010 when I landed in Sydney to meet my bestie (and after the jet lag had worn off!). After several hours of wandering around the city in circles on day 1 we gave up, went back to the hostel and slept. 18 hours later I wake up, my passport was stolen but we did find Sydney Opera House and got this cute snap.

Having no passport proved very problematic, I had difficulty getting into pubs! I’m 33 now and still getting ID’d the odd time so when I was 19 I probably looked like I was about to do my first communion. I did eventually get a replacement, it took 3 months and meant I couldn’t fly, even internally around Australia. Shout out to Becky for getting a 16+ hour coach with me in solidarity when she could have just gotten a flight! We had gotten ourselves jobs in a bar in the outback. Disaster. The pint taps pour out sideways at speed. The bugs. Out time in Amby we essentially drank our wages and left with no more money than we went with.

Ended up Brisbane for most of time in Oz and fell in love. Having no passport, aside from difficulty getting into pubs also meant I was never able to successfully open my bank account, which meant I couldn’t get a proper paying job which means I burned through my savings at an astronomical rate. Moral of the story, put your fucking passport in the safe before falling asleep in shared dorm, in fact just lock everything away.

When the funds eventually ran out it was time to go home, return flight date was altered and I remember crying literally from the train station in Brisbane all the way home. The passport control guy asked me if I was OK and I sobbed that I was in love with his country and swore I’d be back one day. He nodded sympathetically and I got onto the plane probably looking like I was escaping some domestic abuse situation.

The next 10 years consisted of studying and terrible relationships and then covid and then my thirties. Wish I had’t spent my twenties dreading my thirties, so far definitely the best decade of my life. Covid for me, like many people put life into context and made me realise how precious time was and that this had been my dream since I was 19 and I deserved to go for it. Started the process with a dodgy company and got scammed for nearly €300 (avoid UIS Australia/Canada, google them)*. Can be hard to tell when starting out where to go for advice. I can strongly recommend the Down Under Centre and got chatting to Jenny. Jenny is a very straight up, short and sweet kinda lady who will give you the facts and knows her shit. I think a big reason I joined was for the Down Under Centre facebook page which has been a huge comfort and pool of information and things I never even thought of. So yeah, if you’re looking they do free initial consultations.

The skills assessment stage by far took the longest. I was assessed by the ACWA and as there is no Australian Equivalent of a Social Care Worker we had some very expensive trial and error. It’s 975AUD per assessment, and 500AUD for an appeal. I did three assessments and one appeal before success. The skills assessment came back positive when I was in New York and I couldn’t quite believe it. I had convinced myself the ACWA were just not gonna play ball with me at all and I’d have to try again at a later point but success! The next parts happened very quickly. Lodged an EOI (Expression of Interest) in the states looking for my role ‘Community Worker’ and waited. 8 days later I had an invite to apply for the 190 visa in NSW. The 190 is the best emigrating visa you can get as it gives you permanency upon landing and thus, way more rights (voting, healthcare, buying a house is cheaper/easier etc).

Visa lodged 11th November 2022, never been so happy to pay someone thousands of euro! Police checks done and back 27th November and have Medicals on 5th January. The police check and medicals expire after a year so if my visa is not granted by the 26th November, realistically early October it means I will have to re-do both. If the visa IS granted before October then I have to be onshore by the 27th of November 2023. I set up an emigrating instagram page specifically if you’re interested:

*got this money back via a bank chargeback although it took 9 months. Look up what this is and buy through PayPal when you can, customer has more protection.



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Until I emigrate!!!!

Update 27th March 2023!

I’m in! I’m fucking in! Visa granted and a one way flight booked and a Moana themed leaving party planned! This has been a super exciting and super surreal and terrifying stages. The stalking of apartments to rent in Sydney suburbs has increased as well as pricing up local gyms.

This intense homework stage has taught me that as much as I’d to get it all sorted before I land a lot of the really big important bits can’t be done till I’m actually there. My bank account can be set up partially before I land, but can’t be activated till I’m there. My tax registration number I need to be on shore, which is slightly worrying coz if it takes too long I can be emergency taxed. Medicare, need to be onshore. Australian driving licence, on shore. So basically I’m gonna have loads to keep myself busy with my first month.

The clear out has recommenced, not that it ever really stopped and I’m slowly trying to read all the books in my house coz I’m certainly not bringing them with me. Anyone wanna buy a dryer?!

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