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Posted on Jun 22, 2015 in Migration News |

Is it Better to Live in Australia or New Zealand?

They usually say: “If you want bucks, go to Australia, if you want quality of life, choose New Zealand”. But how true is that and why people are constantly comparing Australia and New Zealand? Perhaps, there are many more things in common than there are differences between them both. Let’s start with the similarities: both Aussies and Kiwis share many common traits such as culture, equality, mateship, ‘tall poppy’ syndrome, both love outdoor lifestyle, and sports. Most probably, some of these differences come from the various size and population – Australia’s population is 22.26 million, which is 5 times more than New Zeland (4.37 million). And here come the job opportunities, higher salaries, bigger market, stronger competiton etc. Australia’s Pros: More job opportunities. Unemployment is higher in New Zealand. Higher incomes and higher standard of living Higher salaries Warmer weather – If you’re coming from a cold climate, you may prefer the New Zealand climate though. No earthquakes More culturally diverse More internationally connected New Zealand’s Pros: Lower taxes (NZ tax rate is half of Australia’s one) Lower cost of living (around 10% lower in NZ) Not that high temperatures Friendlier people (especially in the larger cities) No snakes, poisonous spiders, hurricanes, bushfires etc. Safer compared to Australia – the crime rate is 12 times lower than that in Sydney and Melbourne and Australia boosts for having a very low crime rate than most parts of world! Stunning natural beauty – although Australia’s nature is magnificent, New Zealand’s one is much more diverse. Cost of Living Comparison Between Australia and New Zealand source: www.numbeo.com   Australia  New Zealand Meal for 2 at a Restaurant 80.00 A$ (90.06 NZ$)     79.95 A$ (90.00 NZ$) Milk, (1 liter) 1.42 A$ (1.60 NZ$)     2.35 A$ (2.64 NZ$) Loaf of Bread 2.80 A$ (3.15 NZ$)     2.25 A$ (2.53 NZ$) Rice (white), (1kg) 3.05 A$ (3.43 NZ$)     2.36 A$ (2.65 NZ$) Eggs (12) 4.54 A$ (5.11 NZ$)     4.03 A$ (4.54 NZ$) Apples (1kg) 4.26 A$ (4.79 NZ$)     3.26 A$ (3.67 NZ$) Oranges (1kg) 3.77 A$ (4.25 NZ$)     3.17 A$ (3.56 NZ$) Tomato (1kg) 4.79 A$ (5.39 NZ$)     5.04 A$ (5.68 NZ$) Potato (1kg) 3.07 A$ (3.46 NZ$)     2.24 A$ (2.52 NZ$) Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.46 A$ (2.77 NZ$)     2.30 A$ (2.59 NZ$) Bottle of Wine 15.00 A$ (16.89 NZ$)     12.88 A$ (14.50 NZ$) Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 4.96 A$...

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Posted on Jun 8, 2015 in Living Abroad, Migration News, New Zealand |

Moving to New Zealand

Where t o Move in New Zealand? There’s no one best place in New Zealand to head off – it all depends on your intentions. Whether you’ll give priority to your job and move to a place with excellent job prospects or you prefer to run away from the crowded metropolitan area and get back to nature – it’s all your choice! Auckland is the largest city with a population of over 1.2 million people. It’s a multicultural and industrial centre. The city transport is perfectly organized and you can find accommodation easily. Although Auckland is considered an expensive destination, it’s an ideal place to start your new life. Christchurch is the second largest city in the country with an excellent climate, educational and social facilities and you can get a perfect combination of working and relaxing here. Wellington is the windy capital city of New Zealand and the first place where European settlers arrived. It’s also an administrative and cultural centre with some of the best galleries, museums and restaurants in New Zealand. Its hilly terrain automatically grabs all newcomers’ attention offering a spectacular city view both at day and nighttimes. Hamilton is a lovely city located alongside the longest New Zealand’s river – Waikato river. Its major benefit is the short distance to beaches, mountains, lakes and caves. It offers a great outdoor life. It’s also a student centre with more than 25,000 people involved in studies. Cost of Living According to Mercer’s Cost of Living Survey, New Zealand’s major cities are more affordable compared to the metropolitans in the USA or in some European areas. New Zealand Cost of Living Meal in a Restaurant 18.00 NZ$ Beer (0.5 liter) 7.00 NZ$ Water (0.33 liter) 2.80 NZ$ Bread (500g) 2.50 NZ$ Rice (1kg) 2.60NZ$ Cheese (1kg) 10.25 NZ$ Tomato (1kg) 5.50NZ$ Potato (1kg) 2.50NZ$ Apples (1kg) 3.60NZ$ Transportation One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.50 NZ$ Taxi 1km 2.75 NZ$ Gasoline (1 liter) 2.00 NZ$ Utilities (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 1 bedroom apartment (Monthly) 180 NZ$ 1 min. of Mobile Tariff Local 0.60 NZ$ Internet (6 Mbps) 89 NZ$ Rent Per Month (1 bedroom apartment) in City Centre...

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Posted on May 27, 2015 in Australia, Living Abroad, Migration News, Work in Australia |

Essentials for All New Melburnians

Melbourne – One of the best cities to live in the world, nations from all over the world, colourful, vibrant, crazy, beautiful, welcoming. From Airport to city – When you first arrive at the Tullamarine Melbourne airport and you don’t have somebody to pick you up you can use Sky Bus. It operates 24/7 and is every 15 minutes from and to Airport. The journey lasts for about 20 minutes. The Sky Bus stops at the Southern Cross Station which is in Melbourne CBD and connects you to Melbourne public transport (Buses, trains, trams, cabs) and Victoria trains. If you arrive after 11pm you might not be able to catch public transport but you can still catch a cab. Public transport – Melbourne public transport is well organised. You can move by trains, buses, trams. The only city in Australia with extensive tram network is Melbourne. There are some single lines in Sydney, Adelaide and Gold Coast. An interest fact is that the Melbourne tram network is world’s largest urban tram network. To use the trains, buses and trams you need myki card. You can buy it for 6$ from any station and some retailers such as Seven Eleven 7/11. The card is regular plastic card like any debit card. You only need to buy it once and then just to top-up. You can top-up with myki money or myki pass. You can choose the most convenient way depending on the frequency of your travels. Different fares applies depending on the type of ticket you use but you can compare the fares on the website calculator easily. As of 1 of January 2015 Melbourne’s CBD is a Free Tram Zone. You can travel within that area for free. If you travel every day it is better to get myki pass for around 130-135 $ per month. Living in Melbourne – A good way to find a place to rent is through property companies/agents. However, this is not very convenient for new comers who are still not sure for how long they will stay, don’t have a job and finances are...

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Posted on May 18, 2015 in Australia, Australian Immigration, Migration News, Work in Australia |

How to Get Your Trade Qualifications Recognised in Australia?

There is a number of Australian visas  requiring recognition of your overseas trade qualifications in order to meet the Australian standards. We’ve summarized below some of the most frequently asked questions everyone is interested in: Do I actually need skills assessment before I get my Australian skilled migrant visa? Yes, you do need it. In order to make a valid visa application, you need to nominate an occupation from the SOL list and obtain a skilled assessment in that occupation from an authorised Assessing body in Australia. Where do I go to get my overseas skills assessed? Unfortunately, there’s no one particular authority in Australia that assesses all overseas qualifications. In fact, there are many government bodies and it depends on your occupation which assessing body you will need to go through. Here is an example: the Trades Recognition Australia issues skills assessments for migration purposes in most trades. In order to qualify you need to provide a Trade Certificate and prove at least 3 years formal apprenticeship outside Australia plus at least 3 years work experience in the trade after apprenticeship completion. Apart from this, in order to meet the requirements for your Skilled Migrant visa application, you should have been in paid employment for at least 12 months of the last 18 months prior to visa lodgement. As you can see, criteria are tough, but this because you need to prove you can undertake all the work performed by a tradesperson in Australia in the same trade. What if I don’t have trade qualifications? Can I still get recognized in Australia? If you are skilled worker but you don’t have any papers or qualifications from your country, you get apply for a Recognition prior Learning, which is a simple way to get assessment based on your work experience and skills that you have developed “on the job”. You just need to prove you have at least 3 years general trade experience, or 2 years work experience along with skills and knowledge in an associated field. And you need to provide evidence to confirm you’ve been regularly employed...

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Posted on May 11, 2015 in Migration News, USA |

US Work and Tourist Visas – A Short Guide

For those of you hoping to move to the US permanently, the Green Card and permanent residency are definitely the best approach. But keep in mind there are numerous alternative visa options for you to go and settle there. Travel Visa If you are Irish or UK passport holder a citizen of one of the visa exempt countries, you may travel to the United States for short periods for up to 90 days for business or tourism using the Visa Waiver program. Employment visas Employment based visas are usually issued for a certain job, for a specified period of time and with a particular US-based employer. Treaty Trader and Treaty Investor visas are suitable for nationals whose countries participate in treaties of commerce and navigation with the USA. For example if you are an Irish interested in investing in the US, you set up a company in the US and meet certain requirements, you can get an E visa type under such treaty. Performers P visa P visas are available for performers coming to the US as part of a group or individually to perform theatre, music etc. Performers usually need an authorised agent to initiate the process for them. O-1 visa This visa is usually designated for athletes, people of science and business considered as outstanding in their profession. But criteria are really high and you need a lot of evidences to support such an application. J-1 and H-1 visas J-1 visa is aimed for student or recent graduates and it part of the Exchange Visitor’s programs. The H-1 visa is a six-year visa, subject to quota and requested by an US employer for a qualifying applicant. Because of the quota, H-1 visa is hard to obtain. H-2 visas There are two types of this temporary work visa types: H-2A visa is for temporary agricultural and H-2B is for temporary non-agricultural jobs. H-2B visa is perfect for people, who want to enter the US on a one-time occurrence or just for a seasonal work. You have to have a job offer from a US employer. Basic advice: Do...

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Posted on Mar 25, 2015 in Australia, Migration News |

What Industries are Hiring in Australia in 2015?

Looking for job opportunities in Australia? Check this research with the top industries looking to hire in Australia. Construction Sector – a grow of 8 % is expected in the building trades by 2018. And the demand is not only in the big cities but all across the country. Building trades including: bricklayers, electricians, plasterers, drainers, carpenters, joiners, cabinet makers, plasterers, roof tillers etc. are expected to rise by 83,500 jobs till the end of 2018, according to the Department of Employment. Healthcare – The demand in the healthcare sector is a result of the aging population in the country and also the advanced medical technologies. Health professionals such as Nurses, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists will continue to be needed in 2015. A steady growth is expected in the whole sector, especially in the regional parts of Australia. According to Health Workforce Australia, the expected shortfall of Nurses by 2025 will be 109,000. Education and Training Sector – the expected growth is 6.7% by 2016/2017. Australian Government of Employment expects more than 58,900 vacant positions in education in the next five years. The demand for additional teachers now is because of the population growth. Another reason for the increased demand is that it was made easier and affordable for parents to send their children to school. The positions most wanted in the sector are Early Childhood teachers, Vocational and Adult Teachers. IT Sector – The highest growth of 20.5 % is expected in this area because technologies become a significant part of our daily life and that’s the reason why more and more specialists are needed in the sector. The high demand is in various technology occupations. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian relocation options  you can e-mail us at contact@visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share 🙂 Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on Mar 9, 2015 in Canada, Migration News |

Canadian IEC program opens (5th March) for Ireland!

  There are three streams to the program Young Professionals – OPENED International co-op internship – OPENED Working Holiday visa – Register now and get ahead of the crowd. The IEC program has opened for the Young professional and internship streams. You need a job offer / placement offering in order to be accepted onto one of these streams. But the highly anticipated Working Holiday stream still remains closed at this point. Yet we are expecting to advise our clients of the opening date for the 10,000 IEC visas very shortly. To secure an invitation to apply for the Working Holiday visa, the key is to be prepared ahead of the crowd. Canadian immigration have changed the process many times in the last couple of years. Anyone who missed the program last year could expect to face more changes this time around too. We, at Visafirst.com, are providing our clients with A preparation guide to ensure they are best prepared to navigate through the IEC stage. A list of expected questions that you may be asked A checklist of required documents that you will need The opening times both by email and text message so you can be sure not to miss out on the short window of times that exists to submit your IEC application. The correct link for the site also. Once the program opens and you have submitted your information, you then need to wait to receive your Conditional Letter of Acceptance if you have done everything right. This will take up to 14 days if done correctly. Once you receive this, we will have just a few days to submit your visa application. So this does not give people much time to gather the information – especially when some of the documents (like police clearances) can take a few weeks to obtain. Again, Visafirst.com will be handling this visa application stage for our clients. We will be Providing our clients with a checklist of required documentation and forms for the visa application Reviewing the documentation and preparing the visa application for submission with our ICCRC...

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