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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I wanted to introduce myself as someone who has spent quite a bit of time paging through the wealth of information on this forum. I have recently begun to explore the possibility of moving from the U.S. to Sydney. I am in sales and marketing, in the construction equipment industry, and I have an offer from an equipment dealer in Sydney. It's a bit crazy, I know, but I imagine that most of you know what I'm going through, so I wanted to post and, welcome any advice!

My wife and I just booked a trip to Sydney, scheduled to depart in a 9 days. We will be spending 7 days on the ground, and the prospective employer has an informal agenda scheduled. The major purpose of the trip is to see if we can agree on a compensation package, and to determine if we want to spend the next 3-5 years there. I think I know the answer to the latter... Yes please.

It seems as if I have the hardest part of the puzzle figured out--the work visa. My prospective employer would take care of it. My wife is an art teacher (certified k-12 in the U.S.) and we do not have kids. We do have a dog however, that we hope to be able to bring with.

Anyway, it's not a done deal yet, but I'm very excited to start considering it. And very overwhelmed at the prospect of everything that needs to happen to get there (particularly the part about selling all of my stuff, including my house and 2 cars).

So, nice to meet you all.

Chris
 

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Hello all,

I wanted to introduce myself as someone who has spent quite a bit of time paging through the wealth of information on this forum. I have recently begun to explore the possibility of moving from the U.S. to Sydney. I am in sales and marketing, in the construction equipment industry, and I have an offer from an equipment dealer in Sydney. It's a bit crazy, I know, but I imagine that most of you know what I'm going through, so I wanted to post and, welcome any advice!

My wife and I just booked a trip to Sydney, scheduled to depart in a 9 days. We will be spending 7 days on the ground, and the prospective employer has an informal agenda scheduled. The major purpose of the trip is to see if we can agree on a compensation package, and to determine if we want to spend the next 3-5 years there. I think I know the answer to the latter... Yes please.

It seems as if I have the hardest part of the puzzle figured out--the work visa. My prospective employer would take care of it. My wife is an art teacher (certified k-12 in the U.S.) and we do not have kids. We do have a dog however, that we hope to be able to bring with.

Anyway, it's not a done deal yet, but I'm very excited to start considering it. And very overwhelmed at the prospect of everything that needs to happen to get there (particularly the part about selling all of my stuff, including my house and 2 cars).

So, nice to meet you all.

Chris
Hi Chris,

welcome to the forum have you read the sticky threads at the top of the forum page there is loads of useful advise as well as links to web sites to answer most of your questions. It sounds to me you have made the hardest decision the rest should be straight forward my motto is nothing ventured nothing gained

good luck

weelee:clap2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Chris,

welcome to the forum have you read the sticky threads at the top of the forum page there is loads of useful advise as well as links to web sites to answer most of your questions. It sounds to me you have made the hardest decision the rest should be straight forward my motto is nothing ventured nothing gained

good luck

weelee:clap2:
I haven't made the decision yet, but we'll see. I've never been, but everyone in the States oogles at the idea of moving to Australia... I can't wait to see it.
 

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Hi Chris:

Welcome to the forum. I'd check about the dog as they have some very strict customs and quarantine in AU. So it's likely your dog will need to be put in some quarantine and also need to get shots more than 6 months before you travel.

It's not trivial stuff from the few other members who have done it.

Other than that, I'm biased but AU is nice. Although you won't get the type of prices for shopping you get back in Indiana (and Sydney is closer to New York in expenses). Just be prepared for that and don't let the US dollar exchange rate fool you either, you'll be earning in AU dollars, so go into a grocery store and find out what stuff costs so you can be prepared for that.

If that's all OK, then the 4 weeks vacation/yr is nice :)

Lots of topics, so start with those stickies. And if you need some ideas (401K US is like AU Superannuation). AU Medicare is like company provided insurance in the US and many times you don't have any co-pay. There is private insurance in AU where you have larger selection of doctors and hospitals. Just a bit to think about.

Oh, the trip over is mind-bendingly, exhausting and long (there is just no way around 20 hours of flying), luckily the urge to kill goes away after 7 hours in the air ;)

Hello all,

I wanted to introduce myself as someone who has spent quite a bit of time paging through the wealth of information on this forum. I have recently begun to explore the possibility of moving from the U.S. to Sydney. I am in sales and marketing, in the construction equipment industry, and I have an offer from an equipment dealer in Sydney. It's a bit crazy, I know, but I imagine that most of you know what I'm going through, so I wanted to post and, welcome any advice!

My wife and I just booked a trip to Sydney, scheduled to depart in a 9 days. We will be spending 7 days on the ground, and the prospective employer has an informal agenda scheduled. The major purpose of the trip is to see if we can agree on a compensation package, and to determine if we want to spend the next 3-5 years there. I think I know the answer to the latter... Yes please.

It seems as if I have the hardest part of the puzzle figured out--the work visa. My prospective employer would take care of it. My wife is an art teacher (certified k-12 in the U.S.) and we do not have kids. We do have a dog however, that we hope to be able to bring with.

Anyway, it's not a done deal yet, but I'm very excited to start considering it. And very overwhelmed at the prospect of everything that needs to happen to get there (particularly the part about selling all of my stuff, including my house and 2 cars).

So, nice to meet you all.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow. I read up on Australian dog importing rules, and you are correct. Not trivial in the least... Very discouraging to put it mildly. Not only is there a 6 month waiting period after you have had something called an RNAT test in the U.S... there's a minimum 30 day quarantine period. And a quick sum of the taxes, fees, and quarantine cost got me to about $2,000 AUD. Awesome. Not to mention the microchip and 18 step exam schedule that is laid out in detail on www . daffa . gov . au (I can't post links yet, do to me being a noob). And the initial appointment costs back in the US that will easily be $750.

So, that's a bit prohibitive I suppose, especially for an 8 year old dog. But we don't have kids, and she's about as close to a child as they come. So I suppose we're going to have to do it.

Well, 7 days left before the trip. I guess I better buy some electrical adaptors, eh? Anything else I need to consider for this first trip? I assume some Benedryl to try to sleep during the 20 hour flight? Oh, that's going to be rough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are cars as hard to import from the US to Australia as dogs are? I would like to bring one of our vehicles, but not if it's going to be too cost prohibitive.
 

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The dog is going to be easier and cheaper.

First: Cars here have the steering wheel on the other side, you'll need to get your car re-certified, and then there's the actual cost of shipping.

You can go to the AU customs website to read up on it, but unless it's a classic I don't think it's going to be worth it.

Are cars as hard to import from the US to Australia as dogs are? I would like to bring one of our vehicles, but not if it's going to be too cost prohibitive.
 

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Are cars as hard to import from the US to Australia as dogs are? I would like to bring one of our vehicles, but not if it's going to be too cost prohibitive.
If you search on something like Mustang you should find the (many :) ) posts about importing a Classic Ford Mustang (left hand drive) from UK to Australia. If we had known what it was going to be like we probably wouldn't have bothered.

If you have a good expensive car then you may be hit by luxury car tax and if it's a classic then you need to make sure that not only can you import it but that you can get it on the road.

Assuming it's a left hand drive car then you'll be charged higher insurance and you may have to have it converted to right hand drive - you need to check the rules for NSW since the state rules vary a lot.

Regards,
Karen
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
If you search on something like Mustang you should find the (many :) ) posts about importing a Classic Ford Mustang (left hand drive) from UK to Australia. If we had known what it was going to be like we probably wouldn't have bothered.

If you have a good expensive car then you may be hit by luxury car tax and if it's a classic then you need to make sure that not only can you import it but that you can get it on the road.

Assuming it's a left hand drive car then you'll be charged higher insurance and you may have to have it converted to right hand drive - you need to check the rules for NSW since the state rules vary a lot.

Regards,
Karen
Ok... So scratch the idea of bringing my 2007 Mazda MX-5! Not exactly classic, or luxury. I just was dreading the idea of driving stick with a right hand driver. Wrong side of the road AND shifting with the wrong hand! ;) Oh well, I suppose it will all be part of the experience. Thanks for all of the great advice. I'm getting very excited! 6 more days!

Regarding visas: What kind of visa should I be shooting for with this employer? I see that that 457 seems to be the most common. But should I be shooting for a permanent residence visa, such as the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 121/856)? Based on what I could find, the only major difference is that it entitles you to government healthcare? Are there tax implication differences between these options?

FYI, it appears that I will have a contract for a 3-5 year commitment with the employer. Again, I would be a salesman for them. Oh also, I don't know if it matters, but I have a good education, which I assume is relevant if I need to take one of these skills assessments. I have with a bachelors degree in business with a computer information systems major, and an MBA. I have 8 years professional experience in sales and marketing.

Thanks again to everyone for your assistance. This forum has been extremely helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Regarding visas: What kind of visa should I be shooting for with this employer? I see that that 457 seems to be the most common. But should I be shooting for a permanent residence visa, such as the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 121/856)? Based on what I could find, the only major difference is that it entitles you to government healthcare? Are there tax implication differences between these options?
I believe I answered my own question regarding the visa, but I still would like some additional clarification. Based on my interpretation of this, it appears that an 856 PR visa requires that I hold a temp visa (such as a 457) first. It appears that the 121 visa requires that I am outside of Australia at the time of issue (meaning, I'd have to wait in the U.S. until approved, which could take a long time)...

So, is the 457 my best bet for now? If so, I'll need to make sure that the employer is subsidizing my health insurance, correct? And what are the tax implications of working on a 457? Do I pay Australia tax, U.S. tax, or a some other mix? Thanks in advance.

Chris
 

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457 You are taxed on all of your income (so no first $6000 is tax free). However as a 457 if you get LAFHA (another topic to bring up with your employer - and do a search for that on the forum) you can have your rent paid pre-tax (reducing your taxable income).

Note the 457 works alot like a US H1B, you have to stick to the one employer. Biggest risk is if you lose your job (now I know sales people have higher turnover than non-sales people - meet those targets or else). And if you lose your job you could have as little as 28 days to leave AU.

As for taxes, get a tax person who does both (might cost a bit initially). But essentially:

first year: you'll pay taxes in both countries (but not 100% in both, depends on how long you've been in each for that tax year). To make it more fun US Tax year: Jan-Dec, AU tax year is Jul-Jun.

second year: you'll pay AU taxes, but you can use that as a credit for your US Federal tax return (you need to file Federal US tax returns for life - Uncle Sams rule, not AU). If you're below a threshold (I think US $80000 or thereabouts) you don't pay any US tax, if you're above it, then you pay some US tax. Go to the IRS website and get Publication 54. Two things to look for: Housing Exclusion (i.e. you can write off your housing costs) and Foreign tax (can be used a credit/deduction on US taxes). Bottom line, keep detailed records of dates in either country and how much is coming in and going out. Then hand that bundle to your tax accountant(s).


Employer does not need to subsidize your healthcare, you can negotiate additional salary to cover it, but they're not obligated to subsidize it.

Do some searching on the forum for 457, it's been brought up alot.

***
I personally did the 457 --> 856 PR application and it's fairly quick. A 457 is for 4 yrs, so you can come over on it. Live on it for 2 yrs and then decide if you want to go for PR. If you're hooked way before the two years you can always file a independent application for PR and once it's ready to grant (the visa officer will let you know when it's about ready) you can leave AU for a few days (i.e. go to New Zealand), get your new visa sticker at the AU embassy, and enter AU as a PR.
I believe I answered my own question regarding the visa, but I still would like some additional clarification. Based on my interpretation of this, it appears that an 856 PR visa requires that I hold a temp visa (such as a 457) first. It appears that the 121 visa requires that I am outside of Australia at the time of issue (meaning, I'd have to wait in the U.S. until approved, which could take a long time)...

So, is the 457 my best bet for now? If so, I'll need to make sure that the employer is subsidizing my health insurance, correct? And what are the tax implications of working on a 457? Do I pay Australia tax, U.S. tax, or a some other mix? Thanks in advance.

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
OK... I spoke to the prospective employer again, and while I hate to be a newbie pest, I am looking for little more guidance on the visa issue. The employer has never brought over a foreign employee, and he's asked me to do the "homework" on all of the particulars related to paperwork (meaning, I can tell him what I need from a visa standpoint). He has agreed to sponsor me, obviously. He agrees that it would be advantageous for me to have a permanent residence (PR) visa. I see that many people have gotten 457's, and it appears to me that the only difference between a PR visa and a 457 is as follows: 457 doesn't entitle me to government health care, 457 doesn't entitle dependents to Aus schools (OK, because we have no children), and 457 is revokable if terminated by the employer (I gather that I'd have 28 days to leave the country if things didn't work out).... Also, I see that the 457 only lasts 4 years.

So, the big benefit of having a PR visa, it appears, is that I'd have government healthcare, and that I would not have to worry about being deported, if things didn't work out with the employer...

So, what visa should I tell him I need? I assume that the PR visas are more expensive for the employer, but if it offsets the costs of healthcare (which I'd ask him to otherwise pay if I'm on a 457), then won't the cost be a wash? Furthermore, if it isn't possible to get a PR immediately (I'm unclear on this part, as I've read contradicitons on this matter), and the employer expects me to stay for 3 years, then I'd ask him to subsidize the PR visa after 2 years anyway... meaning, he'd have to pay more for the PR visa at that time. Any thoughts? Perhaps I should find one of these "visa agents" I've heard referenced...
 

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This is the one to get then if you want PR and employer is sponsoring:
Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 121/856)

121/856

It's usually worth it to get a PR as then even if you lose your job you can still stay in AU.

OK... I spoke to the prospective employer again, and while I hate to be a newbie pest, I am looking for little more guidance on the visa issue. The employer has never brought over a foreign employee, and he's asked me to do the "homework" on all of the particulars related to paperwork (meaning, I can tell him what I need from a visa standpoint). He has agreed to sponsor me, obviously. He agrees that it would be advantageous for me to have a permanent residence (PR) visa. I see that many people have gotten 457's, and it appears to me that the only difference between a PR visa and a 457 is as follows: 457 doesn't entitle me to government health care, 457 doesn't entitle dependents to Aus schools (OK, because we have no children), and 457 is revokable if terminated by the employer (I gather that I'd have 28 days to leave the country if things didn't work out).... Also, I see that the 457 only lasts 4 years.

So, the big benefit of having a PR visa, it appears, is that I'd have government healthcare, and that I would not have to worry about being deported, if things didn't work out with the employer...

So, what visa should I tell him I need? I assume that the PR visas are more expensive for the employer, but if it offsets the costs of healthcare (which I'd ask him to otherwise pay if I'm on a 457), then won't the cost be a wash? Furthermore, if it isn't possible to get a PR immediately (I'm unclear on this part, as I've read contradicitons on this matter), and the employer expects me to stay for 3 years, then I'd ask him to subsidize the PR visa after 2 years anyway... meaning, he'd have to pay more for the PR visa at that time. Any thoughts? Perhaps I should find one of these "visa agents" I've heard referenced...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK. I came to the same conclusion after posting... It looks like a 121 visa is the way to go, as the 856 requires a prior temp visa. So, to qualify for the 121 PR visa, it appears that I need to: have a skill listed on the ENSOL, have my skills assessed, and have 3 years experience in the same occupation as listed on the ENSOL. FYI, I believe my ENSOL category would be 2222-11 (Sales Rep--Industrial). I might qualify for 1231-11 (Sales and Marketing Manager), although technically, I've been a sales manager, not a marketing manager....

It says I then must: have an employer willing to sponsor me, demonstrate I have appropriate skills to do the job, acquire any applicable license to do the job, provide a letter of appointment by the employer and employee, and have vocational English skills... Details are listed here: Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 121/856)

I should be able to meet all of these requirements. So does my interpretation of it sound about right? This is the best way to go then? Anyone know how long it will take to process, and can I enter the country to start, while it's being processed? Also, will my wife (who is an art teacher, K-12) need a seperate visa to work?

BTW, It appears that this is the only PR visa available (other than the 175, which is for skilled workers, with no employer sponsor)

Thanks to all for your help--especially amaslam :D . I'm looking forward to it working out the details with the employer, but if the visa is up to me, I just want to make sure I make the right choice.
 

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Hi Crwolf:

Looks right so far, Employer sponsored takes about 2-3 months. No you can't work before it's granted (so no working while waiting). Your wife and kids will get their own visas but be on the same application as you.

Get your paperwork in order, especially the FBI and local Police Checks (they can take a long time), also note with a PR visa you will have to do a more thorough medical than a 457 (X-rays, blood test and check by a doctor).

Good luck :)

OK. I came to the same conclusion after posting... It looks like a 121 visa is the way to go, as the 856 requires a prior temp visa. So, to qualify for the 121 PR visa, it appears that I need to: have a skill listed on the ENSOL, have my skills assessed, and have 3 years experience in the same occupation as listed on the ENSOL. FYI, I believe my ENSOL category would be 2222-11 (Sales Rep--Industrial). I might qualify for 1231-11 (Sales and Marketing Manager), although technically, I've been a sales manager, not a marketing manager....

It says I then must: have an employer willing to sponsor me, demonstrate I have appropriate skills to do the job, acquire any applicable license to do the job, provide a letter of appointment by the employer and employee, and have vocational English skills... Details are listed here: Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 121/856)

I should be able to meet all of these requirements. So does my interpretation of it sound about right? This is the best way to go then? Anyone know how long it will take to process, and can I enter the country to start, while it's being processed? Also, will my wife (who is an art teacher, K-12) need a seperate visa to work?

BTW, It appears that this is the only PR visa available (other than the 175, which is for skilled workers, with no employer sponsor)

Thanks to all for your help--especially amaslam :D . I'm looking forward to it working out the details with the employer, but if the visa is up to me, I just want to make sure I make the right choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Crwolf:

Looks right so far, Employer sponsored takes about 2-3 months. No you can't work before it's granted (so no working while waiting). Your wife and kids will get their own visas but be on the same application as you.

Get your paperwork in order, especially the FBI and local Police Checks (they can take a long time), also note with a PR visa you will have to do a more thorough medical than a 457 (X-rays, blood test and check by a doctor).

Good luck :)
OK! Well, I spoke to the ultra-helpful (actually, not very helpful at all) Australian Embassy in the U.S. about Visa particulars, and it appears to me that I am back to square one... Here's what I found.

A 121 visa is what I would pursue if I wanted a PR visa with an employer sponsor, but it takes on average, a year to process. And I can't enter Australia or work in Australia while it's processing. So, that won't work if I intend to work in Australia by the end of 2009. So, it seems, like most of you I will be pursuing a 457 visa. But wait! There's more!

I asked if I could apply for a 121 once I arrived on a 457. She could not clarify nor answer that question definitively, because she says that every visa processed may be subject to something called a "no further stay condition." Meaning, I'd have to leave after the visa expires. What the hell is a "no further stay condition????" :confused2:

She wouldn't clarify, and wouldn't tell me why one might get that condition--only stated that if you get it, you must sign it. Thus, it appears to me that it is impossible to get a PR visa before coming to Australia, unless you intend on waiting for a year first. How convenient. :clap2:
 

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I would ask a visa agent for a second opinion. The embassy can only give general information. I think if sponsored by an employer or state then the processing is < 3 months and you get a PR. Do a search on the forum as many people are going the sponsored route (state sponsored).

OK! Well, I spoke to the ultra-helpful (actually, not very helpful at all) Australian Embassy in the U.S. about Visa particulars, and it appears to me that I am back to square one... Here's what I found.

A 121 visa is what I would pursue if I wanted a PR visa with an employer sponsor, but it takes on average, a year to process. And I can't enter Australia or work in Australia while it's processing. So, that won't work if I intend to work in Australia by the end of 2009. So, it seems, like most of you I will be pursuing a 457 visa. But wait! There's more!

I asked if I could apply for a 121 once I arrived on a 457. She could not clarify nor answer that question definitively, because she says that every visa processed may be subject to something called a "no further stay condition." Meaning, I'd have to leave after the visa expires. What the hell is a "no further stay condition????" :confused2:

She wouldn't clarify, and wouldn't tell me why one might get that condition--only stated that if you get it, you must sign it. Thus, it appears to me that it is impossible to get a PR visa before coming to Australia, unless you intend on waiting for a year first. How convenient. :clap2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I would ask a visa agent for a second opinion. The embassy can only give general information. I think if sponsored by an employer or state then the processing is < 3 months and you get a PR. Do a search on the forum as many people are going the sponsored route (state sponsored).
I must have read 100 threads today talking about visas. Shortest PR visa I saw was 6 months. Most were closer to 9. I'll try to get an agent tomorrow, for a second opinion. But it sounds to me that I need to go the same route as you did (I believe)... that is 457 (which I gather takes 6-8 weeks), move and begin working for the employer, then wait 2 years, then process the 856 PR visa from Oz.

Seems like the only down side is that I don't get government healthcare. But it appears as if insurance is pretty cheap, and I'll just negotiate that with the employer. I don't have kids, so the schooling isn't an issue. Only other downside to the 457, best I can tell, is that it pretty much marries you to the employer, but I'm not too worried about that. I'll make it 2 years, no problem. Good on ya, mate. (I learned that one recently--love it) :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, only one day left before my first trip to Australia! I'm flying into Sydney and spending some time in Newcastle, Port Stephens, Wyong and Sydney. (Why those other cities you ask? It's where the employer's business is.) I'm very excited. I've been learning a ton on this forum, and I'm looking forward to seeing the place that you all are passionate about, in person. It's overwhelming thinking about the prospect of relocating from the U.S. to the other side of the world, but I'm going to keep an open mind.

Any last pearls of wisdom for me before my first trip?
 
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