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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Not sure what I'm going to do, but I've been spending the past few weeks thinking about Australia. I'm American, but currently working in the Philippines. While here, I meet this Aussie girl that was on vacation for two months. Her and I hit it off great and I just can't get her off my mind. She's about to go back to Australia and now I'm actually considering a move to Australia.

I'm not far along in the relationship enough to be thinking marriage, but I do want to see where things go. I'm a college graduate, native English speaker (American English) and I'm a professional in my field of study. I'm not sure what the need is for Network Engineers in Australia, but I have a BS in Computer Science and a vocational degree in Electronics with 7 years of Networking experience, a CCNP, various Telecom training and part of my way through a CCVP. For those of you that don't know what those are, they are basically nerd certifications that people take.

I ran into a website that determines eligibility for a work visa. I was surprised that I wasn't given any points at all for my College degree. The questionnaire also asked about exams to prove I speak English. Do I really need to take one of these and if I do, where do I go to take one? It would be embarrassing if I failed that test.

Well, I'm a bit mixed up. If anyone has been in my situation and can give me some advice, I would be very grateful.

Josh
 

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Hi,

Not sure what I'm going to do, but I've been spending the past few weeks thinking about Australia. I'm American, but currently working in the Philippines. While here, I meet this Aussie girl that was on vacation for two months. Her and I hit it off great and I just can't get her off my mind. She's about to go back to Australia and now I'm actually considering a move to Australia.

I'm not far along in the relationship enough to be thinking marriage, but I do want to see where things go. I'm a college graduate, native English speaker (American English) and I'm a professional in my field of study. I'm not sure what the need is for Network Engineers in Australia, but I have a BS in Computer Science and a vocational degree in Electronics with 7 years of Networking experience, a CCNP, various Telecom training and part of my way through a CCVP. For those of you that don't know what those are, they are basically nerd certifications that people take.

I ran into a website that determines eligibility for a work visa. I was surprised that I wasn't given any points at all for my College degree. The questionnaire also asked about exams to prove I speak English. Do I really need to take one of these and if I do, where do I go to take one? It would be embarrassing if I failed that test.

Well, I'm a bit mixed up. If anyone has been in my situation and can give me some advice, I would be very grateful.

Josh
Hi Warrior and I'll move your thread to the Visas& Immigration section where there's more info re that as you may have seen, also with links to various Department of Immigration & Citizenship sections.

As far as your eligibility for a work visa, you'll find all that on the Immi site, it all being menu/link driven which ought to be easy enough for you to find your way around.

But as to your college degree, you would need to see where you are re your qualification assessment with ACS I suspect and you'll find them and computer/IT occupations on A-Z Occupations List - Australian Skills Recognition Information .
We do not so much have colleges in the Australian education structure, tertiary education usually six years at high schools prior to students going on to universities, so it'll depend on what your degree level is as to how acs will assess it and you'll be able to get an idea from their site.

Another thing you may want to consider if you are no older than 30 is the Work and Holiday Visa was developed for the US a couple of years back.
Visa Options - Working Holiday - Visas & Immigration
If you're eligible, that'll be far the quickest way to get here with work rights.

A lot of employers are reticent about employing WHV people because of the 6 months per employer limit but there can always be term contract positions and for someone with good experience and obviously not an english problem, there could be good possibilities and a step on to Employer Sponsorship as a possibility, even if with temporary residency first which can be followed by permanent residency sponsorship.
Employer Sponsored Workers - Workers - Visas & Immigration

The independent skilled approach, being a points driven system does have an IELTS testing factor if someone is after more than the basic points that are awarded to passport holders of countries with english as the language.
You'll find details under Visa Options and Eligibility sections.
Professionals and other Skilled Migrants - Workers - Visas & Immigration

The skilled visa regulations are having changes developed right now with finalisation expected in next few months and have a look at the What's New link on last page and Minister's 08Feb. announcement for details, a sticky thread at top of our Visa &Immigration page too.
The main upshot is that Employer Sponsorship has top priority re immigration.
 

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Sounds to me that the Working Holiday visa is your best bet. It will be the quickest way to get to Australia with working rights, and see where your relationship heads. It may be difficult to find a job on the WHV, but a skills visa will take 6-12 months and cost a few thousand dollars, IF you qualify with your skills.

If you do end up getting more serious over that year, you can start to look into visas that take your relationship into account.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds to me that the Working Holiday visa is your best bet. It will be the quickest way to get to Australia with working rights, and see where your relationship heads. It may be difficult to find a job on the WHV, but a skills visa will take 6-12 months and cost a few thousand dollars, IF you qualify with your skills.

If you do end up getting more serious over that year, you can start to look into visas that take your relationship into account.
It won't work for me. I'm already 32 years old. :(
 

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Well, if you cannot be accredited in a skill on the Critical Skills List, then you don't have too many options. You could still apply without being in the CSL but the processing times are measured in years. Wanderer, or others on this site may be able to offer more specific advice.

If you really want to pursue this, it sounds like you may need to do it on a tourist visa, and once you establish a relationship and want it to continue, there are visas for that.
 

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A visitor visa is the other quick way of getting down here and you can do an ETA online - Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) - Online Applications , they not having the No Further Stay condition that most alternative tourist visas do and so leaving your next step options a little more open.

Maybe before the girl is on her way back you'll have a chat to see if feelings are mutual and what would be a good time to visit.
She might even be inclined to head back to the Philippines or could love the thought of Hawaii if that is an option for all you know!

But in reality, you may both have some things to think about and obviously employment is one.
It'll depend on how high you value your current employment and like if you have a good job now I'd be reticent on letting it go, so it might be a case of seeing what ammount of leave you can get to take a trip downunder as we refer to down here as and given US companies are not so generous with annual leave as it is in Australia.

Even if it is only for a few weeks and your contact with oneanother until then is promising, as well as seeing what develops on that front, by checking with a few agencies and/or companies you'll be able to get a first hand idea of work possibilities.

A little planning ahead and you may want to make a few contacts via email with a short CV and indicating you'll be in Australia in X weeks time etc. and who knows, you may even get employment offers and if so, then you're left to decide on whether you have to return to the Philippines out of employment loyalty or because you have an ETA, you can go on to apply for an Employer Sponsored Visa, the 457 temporary residency can be approved fairly quickly [ weeks ] and an ENS permanent residency longer because you would need qualifications assessment.

So over to you Warrior and we'll stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the advice. My position is on the Critical Skills List and I qualify for the full 60 points. I'm almost done with my graduate studies, so that could help as well. As far as getting a tourist VISA, I was under the impression that since I'm American, I'm able to go there for up to 3 months without a VISA.

As far as employment goes, I'll be taking a HUGE pay cut. I looked at the pay for my particular field and the pay seems a lot lower. I'm not sure what I'll need to make to live comfortably in Australia, but I would rather be uncomfortable and happy than comfortably miserable.

My Aussie girl is with me now and things aren't getting any easier. The more time we spend together, the more difficult things will be.

Here were some things that her and I talked about:
She told me that if I'm a foreigner, I'll be taxed a lot more than Australians. Is this true? She told me I would have to become Australian and give up my U.S. Citizenship, which I don't want to do. I'm part Native American too, so there's that sense of pride when it comes to my nationality.

Could you also give me an idea of what the average upper middle class family in an area like Brisbane makes? I just want to see where I stand if I do end up making the move.
 

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Thanks for the advice. My position is on the Critical Skills List and I qualify for the full 60 points. I'm almost done with my graduate studies, so that could help as well. As far as getting a tourist VISA, I was under the impression that since I'm American, I'm able to go there for up to 3 months without a VISA.

As far as employment goes, I'll be taking a HUGE pay cut. I looked at the pay for my particular field and the pay seems a lot lower. I'm not sure what I'll need to make to live comfortably in Australia, but I would rather be uncomfortable and happy than comfortably miserable.

My Aussie girl is with me now and things aren't getting any easier. The more time we spend together, the more difficult things will be.

Here were some things that her and I talked about:
She told me that if I'm a foreigner, I'll be taxed a lot more than Australians. Is this true? She told me I would have to become Australian and give up my U.S. Citizenship, which I don't want to do. I'm part Native American too, so there's that sense of pride when it comes to my nationality.

Could you also give me an idea of what the average upper middle class family in an area like Brisbane makes? I just want to see where I stand if I do end up making the move.
As to salary, I think salaries can vary here quite significantly and it'll really depend on what type of job you could score and unless you're a headhunted type coming into an executive type position, it is quite possible that you may have to start a few rungs lower in an organisation than what you may be right now.
Seeing as you already work for a US firm with overseas interests have you looked at whether they have any association with Australia or perhaps it could be something on the horizon for them that could be kicked along if they had a willing scout.

As to what Ag has said, I think there's a bit of mixed information there for:
. re taxation, if you have someone here on a temporary basis taxation can be higher, that usually applying to WHV people though even they can be eligible for standard taxation rates if they settle somewhere for a minimum period of 6 months and become what is called resident for taxation.
You'll see details on Australian Taxation Office Homepage

So if you were planning on immigrating here, you would be on same tax rate as Australians essentially right from the time you started earning.

. On the citizenship issue, the requirement for immigrants to become Aussie citizens and drop their original to do that is long gone as far as Australia is and it is not even mandatory that someone becomes an Aussie citizen.
There are many immigrants in Australia who just stick with having permanent residency and that gives then most benefits of here other than voting and a passport.

As far as I know the dual citizen approach as far as Australia goes is determined by what the other country's law is for their citizens and I'm pretty sure you'll find that the US has the same approach.

The salary for the average middle class family in somewhere like Brisbane at a guess is probably getting to somewhere up around $100,000 and it could be 20-30% either side of that for in a lot of families you can have two wage earners.
 

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As far as getting a tourist VISA, I was under the impression that since I'm American, I'm able to go there for up to 3 months without a VISA.
To reiterate what Wander said, you will need to apply for an ETA online, you can't just fly into the country with nothing. Even for a visit as short as a week.

I agree with what Wander said about citizenship and I hope that the taxation thing is true for both you and me lol. Being a US citizen means having to file taxes in two countries when living abroad, sadly....
 

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To reiterate what Wander said, you will need to apply for an ETA online, you can't just fly into the country with nothing. Even for a visit as short as a week.

I agree with what Wander said about citizenship and I hope that the taxation thing is true for both you and me lol. Being a US citizen means having to file taxes in two countries when living abroad, sadly....
Yes, forgot to correct your impression re not needing a visa and for Australia, everyone except citizens and New Zealanders needs a visa or ETA.
And is that right nighstar re having to file a tax return in the US, even if you do not reside there but just maintain citizenship?
And do they actually have a tax rate for the absentees?
Here in Australia, if you have earnt some income within a year overseas and paid tax overseas but are still residing in Australia, there'll be some form of allowance re tax paid overseas.
It may depend on international agreement between countries.
 

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Well, if you wish to pursue permanent residency via your skills assessment, I am currently doing the same. My advice is this: Schedule your IELTS exam (English Language Assessment) and find out what you need to be certified in your skills area, and do that. Those are the first two steps to a skilled work visa, and they are not too expensive.

Once those steps are complete, you can assess the situation and decide on whether applying for the >$2k visa is the right next step!

Good luck. I am (hopefully) finishes with all my 175 visa related expenses and it has cost be about $3500 USD so far.
 

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And is that right nighstar re having to file a tax return in the US, even if you do not reside there but just maintain citizenship?
And do they actually have a tax rate for the absentees?
Here in Australia, if you have earnt some income within a year overseas and paid tax overseas but are still residing in Australia, there'll be some form of allowance re tax paid overseas.
It may depend on international agreement between countries.
Yes, US citizens still have to file taxes while abroad. Whether or not their foreign income will be taxable in America is another matter. As you said, it depends on agreements between the countries.

I've lived in Japan for going on 3 years now and have had to file taxes in America every year. Before coming I applied for and received a certificate which I then filed in Japan which exempted me from being taxed in Japan for 2 years. Since I've been here for longer than 2 years, my income is now taxed in Japan and I will have to apply for a tax refund once I leave if I want that money back.

I don't know if this kind of thing exists between America and Australia...

As for my foreign income being taxed in America, I'm not entirely sure as I've never done my taxes myself. I remember owing the US government money last year, but I can't remember the reason...

Anyway, I'm hoping that any income I have in Australia wont be double taxed.... I've heard that tax refunds are available when you leave Australia, but I don't know the details. Either way, refund or not, being taxed twice would suck....
 

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NighstarRe
Anyway, I'm hoping that any income I have in Australia wont be double taxed.... I've heard that tax refunds are available when you leave Australia, but I don't know the details. Either way, refund or not, being taxed twice would suck....
Apologies too Warrior for highjack or sidetrack but all a little relevant to your taxation question
What you may have heard of is posibly based on that WHV people when they come to Australia, just like any Australian here is obliged to put in a tax return at the end of a financial year [ and you can do it earlier if leaving the country ]

As I've indicated to Brian there is the normal resident tax rate and then one for non residents, but putting in a tax return does not mean an automatic refund for the return is a case of saying you have paid X ammount of tax [ backed by certificates ] and based on what you should have paid, there'll be a refund or not.

I have read of some taxation agents [ possibly a bit dodgy ] offering services [ for a fee ] where they claim to get you a refund and have also heard that this claim may be based on them advising people to just nominate in their return that they were resident for taxation purposes.

The Australian tax system is very much one where a return is taken at face value and cheating would only be caught up with where an audit on particular groupings is carried out, so if someone has been taxed at the higher non resident rate and then submits a return claiming to be a resident and that a lower rate should have applied, the system calculates a refund.
Mind you, I've also heard of people overseas getting a please explain letter!
Meanwhile agent keeps his fee and nose supposedly clean because when a tax return is submitted, it is the tax payer who signs what is claimed is true.

What can be claimed back without doubt after departing Australia is the employer Superannuation payment for the employee of 9% of wages paid.
 
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