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Is it Better to Live in Australia or New Zealand?

Posted on Jun 22, 2015 in Migration News |

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$) Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 4.96 A$...

How to Start a Business in Australia?

Posted on Jun 15, 2015 in Australia |

Starting a new business might be really scary – it involves a lot of planning and financial decisions. Australia is considered as very friendly to business-minded people. You need to decide first what your intentions are: investing in a new business, working as a foreign company or acquiring an existing company in Australia. There are four basic business structures Down Under – think which one is most suitable for your business: sole trader, companies, partnerships and trusts. Each and every company in Australia are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Before you Start a Business, you need: Business Plan – this is the first and the most crucial step. It gives you the insights of your business for the coming years and it outlines the route you intend to take, the prospective revenues, costs, competitors etc. Get an ABN – This is an unique 11 digit number which is individual for each business and is called Australian Business Number (ABN). If you have already worked in Australia and you have a TFN, the ABN doesn’t replace it but it’s used for business tax purposes. Business Visa Options Australian Business Short Stay Visa – this 3-month visa might suit you if your plans are to attend meetings, negotiations and business visits. It doesn’t allow you to work in Australia. Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa (provisional) – this is a 4-year visa that might be useful if you want to manage a new or existing business and/or make an investment in Australia. It gives you an option to extend your stay for another 2 years should you need to develop your business there. You first need to submit an Expression of Interest and to be nominated by an Australian state. Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa (permanent) – this visa allows you to continue your business in Australia. In order to qualify you need to have a state nomination and to hold one of the visas below: the provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa or 457 Business (long term) visa or Special category visa Australia Business Owner visa...

Moving to New Zealand

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 in Living Abroad, Migration News, 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...

Australian Bridging Visa – Do You Need It?

Posted on Jun 3, 2015 in Australia |

Bridging visa is the “bridge” between 2 substantive visas in Australia. But what it actually means and in which cases you need a bridging visa? We’ve tried to summarize all the information on the bridging visas in one place for you. First and foremost, why do you need a bridging visa in Australia? You need a bridging visa in order to remain legal in the country while your new visa application is being processed. If your status is unlawful non-citizen, you may experience major issues such as: risk of being deported from Australia; ban for another visa for three years after you leave Australia; or you might be in debt to the Australian Government because of the costs on your removal. What’s a Bridging Visa? There are several types of bridging visas and each of them depends on a particular situation. Generally, you are granted a bridging visa while still in Australia on a substantive visa, waiting for a new visa application to be granted; or you are granted a bridging visa in order to get a lawful status while you make your arrangements to leave the country. For example, if you are onshore on a working holiday visa and have lodged a 457 work visa, you will be granted a bridging visa, which will become effective once your Working Holiday visa expires and will keep you lawful in the country until your 457 work visa application is decided. Bridging visa Types Bridging visas in Australia are not equal. In most cases, bridging visa is issued with the same terms and conditions as your last visa. They are valid for the period you reside in the country. If you leave Australia, your bridging visa ceases automatically. Should you plan to leave the country for a family event such as wedding or funeral and then return back, you need a special bridging visa allowing you to travel overseas for a particular event, and for a certain time, which is Bridging visa B for travel. – Bridging visa A – if you are on a substantive visa and you apply for...

Essentials for All New Melburnians

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

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...

How to Get Your Trade Qualifications Recognised in Australia?

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

US Work and Tourist Visas – A Short Guide

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

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...

The 7 Biggest Working Abroad Mistakes

Posted on Apr 28, 2015 in Working Abroad |

The decision to look for a work abroad is a big one, it might even be the decision of your life, so you need to look at every step carefully, considering factors like cultural differences, social lifestyle, climate etc. So, what are the biggest blunders you should try to avoid? No. 1 – Not being aware of the local employment legislation, income tax rates, yours and your employer’s obligations, etc. It is crucial to research this before you go to have an insight of what is admitted or forbidden in your destination country. It may also help you better understand the relationships in your prospective job place. No. 2 – Not calculating your costs – Remember, you are going to work, not going on a vacation and you can’t afford to underestimate the hidden costs of moving abroad, renting a place, a security deposit for the house, health insurance etc. You need sufficient funds to support yourself and/or your accompanying family for at least 4 weeks (just in case). Budget carefully to ensure a smooth move to your new country. No. 3 – Not visiting your new location before accepting the job offer. If possible take a trip to your new country beforehand. Thus you can meet interested employers, you can show your real commitment and after all this is the only way to get ‘a feel for the place’. No. 4 – Not knowing the destination you are heading off to work. Making an internet research or reading a guide for the place won’t be sufficient, you need to find out people who have spent a certain time in the country and make connections with someone who’s still there. Get as many opinions and perspectives as you can. No 5 – Not moving for the right reason – being in the country on a holiday and working in this same country are completely different experiences. Think about what you’ll get over there and what you’ll leave in your home country. If you are moving abroad because of your partner’s job you need to analyze what would your own...

What’s New on the Australian 457 Business Sponsorship visa?

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 in Australia, Australian Immigration, Work in Australia |

There are few changes on the 457 Business Sponsorship Visa that came into effect recently. 1. English Language Requirement. Although the Government didn’t support expanding the list of nationalities exempt from English language test, there are still good news. In addition to IELTS and OET, the Australian government starts accepting TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE and Cambridge CAE certificates as part of your visa application. These are the minimum required scores for 457 Sponsored Visa: IELTS – overall average score of 5, a minimum score of at least 4.5 in each band (while you needed a minimum of 5 before.) OET – “B pass”for all four components TOEFL – total of 36 points, at least 3 in Listening and Reading and at least 12 in Speaking and Writing Cambridge English: Advanced – Average score of 154, with minimum of 147 in each band Pearson Test of English (Academic) – Average of 36 points, with minimum of 30 in each band. Also, another change is that you are exempt to English language testing if you’ve completed at least 5 years of study at the secondary or tertiary level. The study is not needed to be continuous and without breaks as it was before. 2. Minimum salary for exemption from market rate salary requirements was reduced from $250,000 to $180,000. 3. Your Employer has now a longer period provided to notify the Immigrations on any changes concerning the visa or the job. This period has been extended from 10 to 28 days. The Australian Immigration is trying to strengthen the integrity of the Sponsorship program, making some of the requirements more flexible. It is expected that this visa route will be further amended – the process will be simplified and the approval periods will be increased. All these should take effect before the end of 2015/2016. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian visa options you can e-mail us at contact@visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share...

Australian Skilled Migrant Visa – Current Update

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 in Australia, Australian Immigration |

The waiting time for the Expression of Interest (EOI) applications lodged in January 2015 was two weeks. Because of the larger number of EOIs lodged between December 2014 and March 2015 it is expected that their processing will take a little bit longer. The occupational quota for ICT Business and System Analysts has already been reached, which means that no new invitations will be issued for Skilled Independent and Skilled Regional Sponsored Provisional Visa until the new migration program is announced in July 2015. The Australian government announced that Accountants and Software and Applications Programmers are also near to reach their occupational ceilings. The different areas Engineers – Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers along with Computer Professionals are next on the list to reach the cap. Here is a summary of the occupations and the invitations issued so far: Occupation Annual Ceiling Invitations Issued % Used ICT Business and Systems Analysts 1,620 1,620 100.0% Software and Applications Programmers 5,005 3,999 79.9% Accountants 5,478 4,290 78.3% Other Engineering Professionals 1,000 602 60.2% Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 1,680 954 56.8% Computer Network Professionals 1,788 999 55.9% Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers 1,188 548 46.1% Other Medical Practitioners 1,000 413 41.3% Electronics Engineers 1,000 391 39.1% Telecommunications Engineering Professionals 1,000 346 34.6% Chemical and Materials Engineers 1,000 275 27.5% Civil Engineering Professionals 2,850 781 27.4% Electrical Engineers 1,332 283 21.2% Dental Practitioners 1,000 194 19.4% Architects and Landscape Architects 1,476 203 13.8% Registered Nurses 15,042 1,930 12.8%   Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian Immigration visa options you can e-mail us at contact@visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share 🙂...