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Hi all, I have been on this site for about a year now, have spoken up a few times...have a few questions I hope you can answer.

My plans are coming together, my girfriend (de facto, we've been living together for years) and I are moving to Sydney at the end of Jan 2010 (so just about a month away). I have been given a job offer, and my company is beginning the 457 sponsorship application about a week ago. I am transferring internationally through my organization from US to AUS.

How long should I expect to wait? I have read that the 457 visa scenarios get expedited, has anyone experienced this? My target move date is 23 Jan 2010, should I expect this date to be feasible? I haven't lodged my application yet, I am waiting for some info from my company first.

I am moving my cat and dog, can people please share their experiences doing this? Our pets will be at the Eastern Creek Quarantine Station (Sydney). This is an expensive component to our trip but our pets are very important to us. I would love to hear other experiences and thoughts about the facility (and its employees).

How should I handle my expenses back home in the US? I still have some debt that I have to pay so I will be sending money back in some manner. I have learned a bit about LAFHA (living away from home allowance). Should I request to my new branch for this arrangement? It could reduce my tax burden.

One of the new 457 rules is that I have to prove health insurance for the time that I'm there. Does this mean I have to get health insurance from an Australian company? Or should I use an American health insurance company? And as far as documentation for the visa?

What are your thoughts on Kirribilli? We have researched a lot of suburbs and we think this is the one for us, for a lot of reasons. Does anyone know if it is possible to bike or walk across the bridge into the CBD?

How will my American English be received? Should I make a strong effort to learn to put a 'u' in more words than I'm used to? Or will it be ok for me to continue to spell 'favorite' like that?? I can adapt but it would be easier for me to leave out the errant u's.:p

What phone and service would you recommend? I would really like to get an iphone (or equivalent) for the purpose of having an easy-to-use map, and all the ease that an iphone could offer. Any advice on how to approach cell phone (and service) shopping?

Ok I think these are all the questions I have for now.;) I figure there's gotta be an expert on each of these topics on this forum. I've learned a lot over the past year, thanks all. I greatly appreciate any advice you can give. :)
 

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Hi:

I did something similar (457 visa US - AU).

Let's get to the questions:

Jan 23 arrival date as a 457: Possibly but not likely, some 457s get theirs within 2 weeks, most get them in a 4-6 week period. As this is also the big summer holiday period all over AU I expect you will get your visa in early Feb.

Can't comment on the pets, but since most pets do spend some time over in that facility I expect the level of care to be decent but not extraordinary.

Expenses back home: keep your US bank account and 1 US Credit card, have the mailing address to a close family member (i.e. parents or siblings). You can do occaisonal money transfers from your AU bank account to US Bank account, also you will find prices for many things in the US is cheaper (i.e. Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart), so online shopping will be much easier if you still have the US credit card and bank account.

LAFHA is not related to those home expenses but do push for it from your company, at the very least it will let you deduct your rent pre-tax and that's always worth it.

You'll get insurance from an Australian Insurance company, it's normally called overseas visitor cover. There are about 6 insurance companies in AU that provide it (I went with Medibank Private). Also make sure that you are not having the Medicare levy deducted from your paycheck (I think you need to file a form with the ATO to claim any money back if it is). Once you get the AU insurance they provide a letter proving you are covered and then you can give this to Immi as proof. The immi website has a link to the insurance companies that provide the needed insurance.

Kirribilli is a nice suburb and is also surrounded by nice suburbs. You can definitely walk across the bridge (not sure about bicycling, but probably that too, maybe have to walk your bike across).

You don't have to change your American English, the Aussies are very used to it as alot of American TV is shown here, nobody will bat an eye. They WILL make fun of you if you try to sound Aussie. Don't worry, the accent will creep into you slowly, then the family in the US will make fun of you because you sound 'funny'.

You can use Iphones here, as I don't have one I don't know who provides service, but I think the common ones are Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone.

For Internet and Cellphone type research go to this website:
Whirlpool Broadband News

Read the Stickies at the top of the forum to get your checklists ready, closer to move time is very busy and things can be missed if you don't have lists.

Also make sure you keep detailed financial records as you will be filing taxes in two countries for partial tax years (and likely US state taxes too), how fun will that be ;)

Good luck :)




Hi all, I have been on this site for about a year now, have spoken up a few times...have a few questions I hope you can answer.

My plans are coming together, my girfriend (de facto, we've been living together for years) and I are moving to Sydney at the end of Jan 2010 (so just about a month away). I have been given a job offer, and my company is beginning the 457 sponsorship application about a week ago. I am transferring internationally through my organization from US to AUS.

How long should I expect to wait? I have read that the 457 visa scenarios get expedited, has anyone experienced this? My target move date is 23 Jan 2010, should I expect this date to be feasible? I haven't lodged my application yet, I am waiting for some info from my company first.

I am moving my cat and dog, can people please share their experiences doing this? Our pets will be at the Eastern Creek Quarantine Station (Sydney). This is an expensive component to our trip but our pets are very important to us. I would love to hear other experiences and thoughts about the facility (and its employees).

How should I handle my expenses back home in the US? I still have some debt that I have to pay so I will be sending money back in some manner. I have learned a bit about LAFHA (living away from home allowance). Should I request to my new branch for this arrangement? It could reduce my tax burden.

One of the new 457 rules is that I have to prove health insurance for the time that I'm there. Does this mean I have to get health insurance from an Australian company? Or should I use an American health insurance company? And as far as documentation for the visa?

What are your thoughts on Kirribilli? We have researched a lot of suburbs and we think this is the one for us, for a lot of reasons. Does anyone know if it is possible to bike or walk across the bridge into the CBD?

How will my American English be received? Should I make a strong effort to learn to put a 'u' in more words than I'm used to? Or will it be ok for me to continue to spell 'favorite' like that?? I can adapt but it would be easier for me to leave out the errant u's.:p

What phone and service would you recommend? I would really like to get an iphone (or equivalent) for the purpose of having an easy-to-use map, and all the ease that an iphone could offer. Any advice on how to approach cell phone (and service) shopping?

Ok I think these are all the questions I have for now.;) I figure there's gotta be an expert on each of these topics on this forum. I've learned a lot over the past year, thanks all. I greatly appreciate any advice you can give. :)
 

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Hi Apotheosis,

On cell phones, or mobile phones as they're called here in Australia, I'd avoid Telstra like the plague, unless you plan to visit remote areas of Australia on a regular basis. Same applies to home phone and internet services too (on that note, Internode have very competitive internet plans and have excellent customer service). Telstra is the big, ex-government owned utility and, while it has the most extensive coverage, it has a terrible customer service record and over-priced plans. The fact is, all the service providers have excellent capital city and major regional centre coverage. I'm with 3 and when I'm out of the 3 coverage zone, my phone automatically switches to other carriers at no extra cost. I have an i-Phone and pay $50 per month and get $300 worth of included calls, as well as $200 of included calls to other 3 customers. I've never used my entire allotment and it's the only phone I use. Other carriers, such as Vodaphone, Virgin and Optus offer similar deals.

On spelling, only pedantic spellers like myself will be bothered... hehe.

On your accent... Australians generally love Americans, even though we 'pay them out' all the time ('pay out' is idiom for tease, another is the more coarse 'take the piss'). Aussies tend to only tease people they like; it seems to be a national pastime. If we do it to your face it means we like you, if we don't we'll do it behind your back. Weird I know. Just thought I'd let you know because I've known plenty of Americans who have taken a while to get used to this area of our culture.

You'll love Australia. Great food, world class wine (especially Barossa Valley reds and Clare Valley whites) great weather, great beaches. Laid back lifestyle, although Sydney can be pretty stressful... Melbourne is the best, Adelaide is good too. Try to get into Aussie Rules football, it's the greatest sport on earth, once you understand it. Very tough... full contact with no pads... hahaha.
 

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Hi Apotheosis,

I am in a similar situation 457 moving from the UK to AU. The application (visa and sponsorship) submitted at the beginning of Dec 09. DIAC approved the company sponsorship on the 6 Dec. Waiting for medicals to be uploaded. Hoping for approval before Christmas, otherwise early Jan.
 

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Hi Apotheosis,

On cell phones, or mobile phones as they're called here in Australia, I'd avoid Telstra like the plague, unless you plan to visit remote areas of Australia on a regular basis. Same applies to home phone and internet services too (on that note, Internode have very competitive internet plans and have excellent customer service).
I use Telstra for the mobile since it gives better coverage out here (regional south Australia). I've just switched from Telstra Bigpond to Internode and I've been very impressed. In my defence I signed up with Telstra because I could do that from the UK but I'm now very happy with Internode - and my broadband was switched in 2 days with no down time! Roll on next year when we get ADSL2 locally! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Will I be able to use my US laptop there? I understand getting a power converter, but will it be able to 'connect'? What about wireless technology, is it the same as US?
 

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Yes, in most cases laptops work on all voltages (see the power brick, they almost always say 100-240V, 50-60Hz). Wireless technology is the same everywhere (802.11 b/g/n and 3G).

Will I be able to use my US laptop there? I understand getting a power converter, but will it be able to 'connect'? What about wireless technology, is it the same as US?
 

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Hi there

Congrats on getting the visa. I'm still in the process of trying to figure that one out so any tips (from anyone) would be greatly appreciated.

I was in Sydney nearly 10 years ago on a 457 (but the company closed office). They wanted me to move to Sydney by a certain date, so I was able to initially get a business visitors visa (unsure of the name) and continue to be paid by the HQ office back home (as though I was on a business trip). When my visa came through I had to send off my passport to have the stamp put into my passport. I banked online, transferred my salary to my visa card and was able to withdraw it from any ATM in Sydney (and NZ) with no charge (something our visa cards allow you to do if you have money in the account. I don't know if this is standard so you'd need to check it out with your provider). Basically what I'm trying to say is if your company has an office in US, you might consider a similar arrangement as a Plan B. That way you can keep your moving date.

Yep Kirribili is lovely and yes there's a footpath across the bridge so no problems walking it there. Best of luck with it all !!!

Hope this helps and good luck!
 

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Hi there

appreciatCongrats on getting the visa. I'm still in the process of trying to figure that one out so any tips (from anyone) would be greatly ed.

I was in Sydney nearly 10 years ago on a 457 (but the company closed office). They wanted me to move to Sydney by a certain date, so I was able to initially get a business visitors visa (unsure of the name) and continue to be paid by the HQ office back home (as though I was on a business trip). When my visa came through I had to send off my passport to have the stamp put into my passport. I banked online, transferred my salary to my visa card and was able to withdraw it from any ATM in Sydney (and NZ) with no charge (something our visa cards allow you to do if you have money in the account. I don't know if this is standard so you'd need to check it out with your provider). Basically what I'm trying to say is if your company has an office in US, you might consider a similar arrangement as a Plan B. That way you can keep your moving date.

Yep Kirribili is lovely and yes there's a footpath across the bridge so no problems walking it there. Best of luck with it all !!!

Hope this helps and good luck!
Hi emma
with regards to the visa, call a few emigration agents, thats what im looking in to and their initial consultation is usually free or cheap,
i was a bit lost at first but the stuff you can pick up from this forum is great:clap2:

take care
claire
 

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Hi all, I have been on this site for about a year now, have spoken up a few times...have a few questions I hope you can answer.

My plans are coming together, my girfriend (de facto, we've been living together for years) and I are moving to Sydney at the end of Jan 2010 (so just about a month away). I have been given a job offer, and my company is beginning the 457 sponsorship application about a week ago. I am transferring internationally through my organization from US to AUS.

How long should I expect to wait? I have read that the 457 visa scenarios get expedited, has anyone experienced this? My target move date is 23 Jan 2010, should I expect this date to be feasible? I haven't lodged my application yet, I am waiting for some info from my company first.

I am moving my cat and dog, can people please share their experiences doing this? Our pets will be at the Eastern Creek Quarantine Station (Sydney). This is an expensive component to our trip but our pets are very important to us. I would love to hear other experiences and thoughts about the facility (and its employees).

How should I handle my expenses back home in the US? I still have some debt that I have to pay so I will be sending money back in some manner. I have learned a bit about LAFHA (living away from home allowance). Should I request to my new branch for this arrangement? It could reduce my tax burden.

One of the new 457 rules is that I have to prove health insurance for the time that I'm there. Does this mean I have to get health insurance from an Australian company? Or should I use an American health insurance company? And as far as documentation for the visa?

What are your thoughts on Kirribilli? We have researched a lot of suburbs and we think this is the one for us, for a lot of reasons. Does anyone know if it is possible to bike or walk across the bridge into the CBD?

How will my American English be received? Should I make a strong effort to learn to put a 'u' in more words than I'm used to? Or will it be ok for me to continue to spell 'favorite' like that?? I can adapt but it would be easier for me to leave out the errant u's.:p

What phone and service would you recommend? I would really like to get an iphone (or equivalent) for the purpose of having an easy-to-use map, and all the ease that an iphone could offer. Any advice on how to approach cell phone (and service) shopping?

Ok I think these are all the questions I have for now.;) I figure there's gotta be an expert on each of these topics on this forum. I've learned a lot over the past year, thanks all. I greatly appreciate any advice you can give. :)
Hi there
would you be able to give me and idea on how much to ship the cat?
our dog wont be going as i suspect she wont be here...shes in perfect health now but she is 13 and were not able to go till 2013 ish....oh the wait....


but i need a cat quote if you can supply...?
thanks for your time
claire
 
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