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The Australian citizenship test

Posted on Jan 28, 2009 in Living Abroad |

For over 2 years now, those who want to become Australian citizens have to pass the citizenship test, by answering questions about Australia’s values and history. Currently, you can sit the test in one of the many test centres spread all over Australia. The exact locations of all test centres can be found here. According to official figures from the snapshot report, 96.3% of all who took the test passed it from the first or second attempt. The high pass rate indicates that the assistance provided to applicants is clearly helping. Applicants who take their time to go through the resource book and do a bit of homework, usually have no problem in passing the test. It is common to hear cheers coming from the testing rooms. If you would like to know more about the test, please visit the citizenship test overview...

The Internet and senior Australian citizens

Posted on Jan 12, 2009 in Uncategorized |

Last year, I’ve read about a new initiative of the Australian Government to open internet cafes for senior citizens. What are internet cafes, but a place where senior citizens can gather to discover the world of versatile communication by becoming familiar with the Internet. For young people might seem as a good initiative, but for older people sites such as “Seniors-On-Line” mean a lot more. The Australian Government provides great support by acknowledging a number of sites aiming to provide computer and Internet education, discounted computer parts and systems, as well as discounted internet access for senior citizens. If you are traveling to Australia this year, don’t get surprised if you happen to stumble into a senior cybercafe. If you happen to be in a situation where a senior citizen is about to give you advise on how to customize your firewall, you should hear what he has to say, before making a fool out of yourself...

Average Weekly Earnings in Australia

Posted on Dec 22, 2008 in Australia Working Holiday, Working Holiday Visa |

Hi there, Working Holiday Makers! In 2009  many of you will undertake a journey to Australia and spend at least one full year there. Once you are in that new place you are faced with so many challenges and decisions. What is ahead of you? Where are you going to stay? Will you find a good company to travel with?  What about a job, will you find a job with a decent salary? Well, I can’t answer most of these questions, however I can give you a rough idea of the money you might be able to earn. As you are aware you are only allowed to work to supplement your travels, but this does not mean you can’t get a good paycheck. I got the following information from the Australian Bureau Of Statistics. All information on it is free and it can be accessed by anyone, so if you are interested to know more about Australia I advise you to browse around. How much are Australians earning in 2008? Currently, Australians working full-time earn about 4,5% more than what they used to get back in August 2007. If last year you have earned $1,100 per week, this year you get $1,145. Multiply this by 4 and you will get about $180 extra per month. Now, there are a lot of people working part time, so they have to be considered when calculating all employees total earnings (full-time ordinary time, full-time in general and part-time).This figure might be more relevant to you, the Working Holiday Maker. According to the ABS the weekly earnings of an Australian citizen in August 2008 were $897.9, compared to $875.1 in 2007. This still means that the average Australian is receiving about $100 extra per month. There are several states in Australia. Which state offers the highest income? Most of you are not going to Australia to make a fortune. You are going Down Under for a number of reasons, however only a few of you are considering migration, at least at the beginning. The salary is not the most important thing for a...

Australia Standard Business Sponsorship

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 in Living Abroad |

If your second working holiday visa is running out, but you feel like spending some more time in Australia you might want to talk with your current employer. One way to remain Down Under is to have your employer sponsor you, thus helping you to stay in Australia for up to 4 years. Employer sponsored workers must remain with the same employer. You can not change employers, unless your potential employer is willing to become your sponsor as well. Eileen: Welcome to the Visa First live chat! How can I help you today? Jenn: Hi Eileen. I am an Irish backpacker on my second year WHV. I have just finished my 6 month stint working for a company. Is it possible to work more than 6 months with this company under my visa if the employer agrees to it? Just an extra 3 months say? Eileen: No Jenn, unfortunately it is a requirement of your Visa that you cannot work for one employer for more than 6 months. Your only option if you wish to stay with the employer for longer is to perhaps consider sponsorship. Jenn: That what i thought but a friend mentioned that if the employer agreed to the extension then it was OK. Yes I am considering sponsorship but it is hard to get job on the that the Australian Gov considered skilled! Eileen: What are you working at here in Australia? Jenn: I managed to get a job for a catering company ISS on one of BHP Mine sites in WA. I was only doing dining room, bar, cleaning of rooms but i don’t think they consider that as a skilled job, regardless if the Company can’t get the staff! I just finished my 6 months with them 2 weeks ago. Eileen: The skill of the job isn’t really the problem for sponsorship, if the employer is willing to sponsor you then you should be okay. Have the company offered you sponsorship? Jenn: I didn’t actually ask them if they would sponsor me as i thought it wasn’t a skilled job! They probably would...

Australian Work Related Expenses

Posted on Dec 4, 2008 in Australia Working Holiday, Working Holiday Visa |

If you intend to travel to Australia and work for a while there is a very good chance that you can get a few bucks back by filing a tax return at the end of the tax year. Many working holiday makers tend to overlook the details and do not always get the maximum possible amount back. Work-related expenses – You need to keep track of them. They might easily be refundable and the amount can be included in your tax return. If your work-related expenses are below $300 (AUD) you don’t even have to provide receipts, however you have to be able to show that the deductions are related to your income. You also have to show how you calculate the claimed amount. If your expenses exceed the $300 threshold you need to provide receipts for them. Which receipts should you keep, well – keep all of them. You never know when you might need them, and you can easily discard of them after the end of the tax year. If you like to receive a professional estimation of your Australian tax return, including all claimable expenses, take a few minutes and fill in this application...

Finding Work in Australia

Posted on Dec 3, 2008 in Australia Working Holiday, Working Holiday Visa |

Earlier today I was on the phone with one of my colleagues and I got a list of the top 20 employers/recruitment agencies our clients find job with in Australia. Working holiday makers could really use this information to do a research on available job placements. People visiting Australia on a Working Holiday visa usually work every once in a while to supplement their travels around Australia. In most occasions such job placements can be found in farming, fruit picking, working as a bartender, or a waitress. Of course, many other job placements are out there for the taking, so be sure to check out at least a few of the sites mentioned below. They might give you a good start Down Under. Geoffrey Nathan www.gnjobs.com.au Hays www.hays.com.au Manpower www.manpower.com.au Freespirit www.freespirit.com.au Grunt Labour www.gruntlabour.com JP Morgan www.jpmorgan.com Alliance Recruitment www.alliancerecruitment.com.au Barbera Packers Goodwood Rd, Bundaberg, QLD 4670 Pinnacle www.pinnaclepeople.com.au Bligh Appointments www.bligh.com.au Blue Collar People www.bluecollarpeople.com Bluestone Personnel www.bluestonepersonnel.com.au S.E.S.A.H.S. www.sesiahs.health.nsw.gov.au Career People www.careerpeople.com.au Drake Australia www.drakeintl.com Face 2 Face Recruitment www.f2frec.com.au Forrest Nursery www.forrest-nursery.com.au Yandilla Park www.agriexchange.com.au Horner Recruitment www.horner.com.au 24/7 Nursing Agency www.247nursing.com.au The Australian tax year ends on the 30th of June and this is the time when you can lodge your tax return. You will have about 4 months before the deadline – 31st of October. You will definitely need your final payslip from each employer as it contains the total amount you have earned and total tax paid. Be sure to always ask for your final payslip. In case you miss such a document, Taxback can help you recover it. The document retrieval service is quite efficient as long term relationships have been established with all employers listed above. If you have already found an employer and you feel like sharing, just write me at ask@visafirst.co.uk and I will included to the...

French Schengen Visas in a Flash

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 in Living Abroad |

Like every company offering visa processing services we have our share of cases with delays in processing. Now, there are cases when the problem is with us, and moments where authorities have a huge backlogs. Either way we try to keep you informed and sort out your visa as soon as possible. Last month we had the chance to help a customer with her French Schengen visa applications in a matter of hours. It’s a good thing she lived near our office and she was able to come by. Janine: I need a visa for my 17 year old daughter to travel to France, mother is British but daughter still has South African passport. Peter: When is she traveling? Janine: 22nd November, she has had a visa, but it expired a few months ago. Peter: And what is her name? Janine: Roxanne ******** Peter: What is the nationality of her father? Janine: South African Peter: I will check with my colleagues dealing with the French embassy and will e-mail you the required documents. Janine: I have established what is required and have all of them together but require them to be submitted, the previous company I dealt with have moved and i cannot contact them. Janine: Both my daughter & husband have settlement visas for the UK Peter: Do you need 2 visas? Peter: We can book you an appointment for early next week. Janine: Yes, what will the cost be? Peter: 70 pounds each. Janine: If I have all the docs can I drop them off or what is the best way to do it? Peter: First we have to book you 2 appointments – we can book you for the 18th or 19th of Nov. Janine: Does my daughter have to attend? Peter: No – you just bring the documents and we will attend the appointment. Peter: To book you for next week we need – full name,date of birth and payment Janine: I can come to London tomorrow or 18th to bring the docs, how do we effect payment Peter: We need the documents 2 days...

Youth Mobility Scheme – Tier 5 Visa for the UK

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 in UK Working Holiday, Working Holiday Visa |

Youth Mobility Scheme is the new name of the UK Working Holiday Scheme. Requirements remain nearly the same. A point based system applies. You must score 50 points to be able to apply. You get 30 points if you are a citizen of one of the following countries – Australia, Japan, Canada, or New Zealand. Another 10 points are awarded if you meet the age criteria (18-31). If you cover these requirements you can score another 10 points if you prove that you have at least £1,600, or their equivalent. One of our customers was a bit confused about the right visa she is after. After 15 minutes of chat with one of our representatives she was able to take the proper actions and begin the process right away. Karen: Welcome to the Visa First live chat! How can I help you today? Nadia: I’m wanting to apply for the youth mobility visa. I don’t know if its temporary worker or youth mobility migrant I’m after? Karen: Hi Nadia, how old are you and when do you intend to travel? Nadia: I’m 25, leaving on 17th of January. Karen: OK, and how much funds do you have available? Nadia: $8000 savings so far. Karen: Great! Can I take your name and date of birth please? Nadia: Nadia *****, **/**/**** Karen: And what’s your home address, contact number and email address Nadia: 15/ 178 ******** Street B******** 0407009313, *******@hotmail.com. Karen: And can you get a bank statement with 3 months transactions history? Original one? Nadia: Can I copy from Internet banking? Karen: If on the bank statement there are the following details: Karen: Your name Karen: Account number Karen: Financial institution name and logo Karen: Date of the statement Karen: And the Internet copy should be accompanied with a supporting letter from your bank on company headed paper, confirming the authenticity of the statement provided. Karen: And also the stamp of the bank should appear on all the pages of the statement Nadia: Okay, I can get but not right away… Once I get that what next? Karen: You need...

A new movie about Australia

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 in Uncategorized, Videos |

Now playing in theaters is a new movie called “Australia“. It was released Down Under earlier this week (Wednesday). According to Nielsen EDI the movie grossed $1,307,853 in ticket sales on its opening. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman play the leading roles of Lady Sarah Ashley and Drover. The plot takes place in  northern Australia before World War II. Adventure, Drama, War, Western – This is what you will find under Genre in IMDB. It sounds interesting as it is, however I doubt that these for words are able to describe a movie offering a little something for each viewer. For all of potential Australia working holidaymakers this would be a good occasion to familiarise yourself with some Australian slang. Despite the fact that it is a fictional movie, involving some real world events around WWII, it might give you an idea of how things were back then. Enough talking, go out there and see the movie!...

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