I am sitting here typing this in a place at one point I thought that I would never make it to – Australia!
Having served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and been lucky enough to see various parts of the world, I knew that it would not be long before I would get fed up with being in the U.K. Having secured a job in ‘Civvy street’ which I really did not enjoy I happened to spot an advert in The Sun about sponsored employment in Australia and after a chat with my wife Gemma, I began my quest to move to the other side of the world. After several promising interviews with various companies, I always seemed to fall at the last hurdle. This was mainly due to the fact that most of the jobs I went after were related to mining companies and like the rest of the world, Australia was finally feeling the pinch of the world wide recession. Don’t get me wrong, they still wanted skilled employees, but the selection criteria went through the roof and although I had a wide range of skills the mining companies targeted very specifically.
After a couple of years of trying to get to Oz, I had just about given up on moving here. I know that I could have gone down the immigration route myself as I was easily qualified to do so, but this can be a long drawn out process and with no guarantee of finding employment or actually obtaining a visa. This is why I always wanted sponsorship; at least I would have work on arrival in Australia.
I think that I had spoken to Tony before, but had never pursued using his services as admittedly I was put off at the idea of paying a fee. One day after virtually given up on Australia, I had a phone call from Tony asking if I was serious about moving to Australia and after a chat on the phone, Gemma & I went to see him as his office was not too far away from where we lived. The three of us had a fairly in depth chat about what our aspirations were and what LivetheDreamAustralia could provide for us and although still sceptical considering my past failed efforts, I decided to pay Tony his (small) initial fee and sign up for his services. Tony told me that I would only make another payment when I had agreed to and signed a contract of employment, then the final instalment when my visa was applied for.
Tony told me that he would prepare a profile for me and present my details to a few companies and that I would get an initial interview within a few weeks. No I won’t I thought, but true to his word, I had a Skype interview within 2 weeks. There was a follow up interview a short while later after which I was selected to attend a ‘face to face’ interview at his office in the U.K. The interview went extremely well and I was given all the right signals that I had been accepted. Unfortunately, by the time the company with whom I had the interview with had returned to Australia, they had decided to make redundancies (caused by a slowdown in the mining industry which they supported) in Australia and to put a hold on all offshore recruitment. I must stress, that Tony and the HR manager holding the interviews were caught unaware of this and is in no way a reflection of their services provided. Déjà-Vu I thought, here we go again. By this time, I was ready to move on and forget about Australia.
During this time, Tony had constantly been in touch and working away in the background on my behalf and he asked me if I fancied having an interview for a car dealership as a Service Advisor. A strange quirk here in Australia is that dealerships like to have experienced technicians as the face to face contact with the public advising them on their servicing needs. I thought that I might as well have the Skype interview to get first hand information about the job as it was not what I had ever envisioned doing for employment. I was scheduled for an half hour interview and after about 15 minutes I was told that I would be getting another interview where the job would be discussed in greater detail in terms of remuneration and when they were looking at having someone in place here in Australia. Five minutes into the second interview, I was offered the job and that is when Tony and Mike really earnt their money.
Through Tony, I was put in contact with various companies that specialised in relocating services such as removals, pet relocation and money transfers. Gemma and I used their services which saved us a huge amount in time and reduced the stress of relocating to Australia to a virtually non-existent level especially where moving our dog Bailey was concerned. Pet migration is a minefield and although we could have done it ourselves and saved money, it just would not have been worth the hassle of doing so. In hindsight, preparing Bailey’s paperwork was more in depth than ours.
Whilst all this was going on, Tony worked on my Australian C.V. (sorry, Resume) to attach to my visa application whilst Mike helped prepare my application by compiling all of my documents and referee statements. Mike is not a migration agent and never claims to be, but he does know how to help prepare your visa application and to ensure that it goes as smoothly as possible when it lands on the Australian Immigration Officer’s desk. Tony and Mike do not do everything, what they do is to polish your words and terminology so that it is understood more easily when presented for your visa application.
My visa application went fairly smoothly with the immigration officer only asking for another photocopy of our marriage certificate and my visa was granted in about 8 weeks. So, here we are in Alice Springs having finally made it and being really glad that we did. Initially, we were like most Brits whom when thinking of Australia, only think of coastal living but Australia has so much more to offer. It is also easier to gain a 457 visa if moving to a remote area and I have been told that when we qualify for gaining Permanent Residency, this will also be easier too due to being ‘remote’ but we have everything we need here and more than I initially thought that we would have. Small town living certainly has its perks.
My advice to anyone reading this is to listen to what Tony and his associated companies can do for you. Don’t set you mind on any particular place in Australia as this is a BIG country and there are opportunities throughout the land if you are willing to take the chance.
P.S. THE FEE WAS WORTH IT!