Sunday, February 28, 2010

Notice Given

My wife, Anna,  officially gave notice to her work that she will not be continuing  in the next school. She was required to let them know by March whether she was staying or going. Working in a school, they prefer if you commit to the entire school year, so a decision had to be made. Ultimately, she decided now was the right time to quit. This had the added bonus that we will retain our Health Insurance until the end of August, but after that we are on our own.

Now, of course, we don't yet have our visa to move to Australia, nor do we have any real indication of when that will happen. There are 2 possible scenarios I see:
  1. We get moved into Priority 2 once the new State Migration Plans are announced, and we would hopefully move in 3-9 months (my guess on how long it would  take).
  2. We stay in Priority 5, and will no doubt see our application on hold until 2012.
So this raises an interesting dilemma. If we have to wait until 2012, and Anna is out of work, what do we do next. We could stay here in San Francisco, but on a single income, that would be very difficult.  So as a back up plan, should the Australian Visa be on hold,  we started thinking about moving to Europe in September whilst we wait for more visa news. Having a UK passport, it gives us the rights of residency in various European countries. Our first thoughts were either Spain or France. The thought of spending 1 year there, possibly in a long term vacation rental, is a really appealing option.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

In a Sunburned CountryHearing about our ACT State Sponsorship, one of the people on the forum suggested that I read Bill Brysons In a Sunburned Country. He said it would give me a little bit more insight into life in Canberra. I promptly found myself a copy, and couldn't put the book down. Bill Bryson is a fantastic writer, and has written several  humorous travel books. This was the first of his books that I had read, but will no doubt be picking up some of his others.

The book covers Bill's travels across Australia, starting with a cross country train ride from Sydney to Perth. On driving adventures, he also visits Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Uluru. It was a little disheartening to read his opinions on Canberra, and his suggestions for new Canberra slogans, which included:

Canberra - There's nothing to it!


Canberra - Why wait for Death?

However in the end conceded that Canberra was a great spacious city, that escaped many of the troubles of the larger Australian cities. It had managed to stay  small and non-imposing. A city in a park.

I'll be honest. It does concern me a little, moving from a big city like San Francisco, to a much smaller place. However, I am willing and eager to give it a go.

If you want to grab a peek at the book you can do so below. 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

ACT State Migration Plan

I received an email from ACT State Sponsorship office to confirm that they will most likely be submitting their baseline list of occupations for their State Migration Plan (SMP). This is the wonderful news we were hoping for. Providing that their list is approved by the Minister of Immigration, Chris Evans, it will mean we will get bumped up from Priority 5 to Priority 2. Fingers crossed. We are not sure when ACT will submit their list for review, but lets hope it happens soon.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Australian Forum Support

I wanted to also thank the people on the PomsinOz Forum who have provided fantastic information, especially since the new changes on the 8th. it seems to be a great group of people, who, like the ExpatForum folks, go out of their way to help people out with their immigration dilemmas.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Austrlian States Unaware

Well, surprise surprise, it seems that the States were unaware of the changes made to the Australia Skilled Migration program yesterday. Having emailed the Canberra office for more information on the new State Migration Plan (SMP) they responded by saying that they were not privy to this information, and had no further information for us at this stage. Hopefully over the next few weeks more information will reveal itself as the states figure things out.

Monday, February 8, 2010

DIAC Announces New Changes

This morning the Department of Immigration and Citizenship has announced even more changes to the Skilled Migration Program. On inspection it appears that there may  be some good news for our application but we will have to wait  a little while more.

The key change for us is the reworking of the Priority list for applications. Whilst we are still at priority level 5, they have introduced a new Priority 2, which has what they describe as a State Migration Plan. Which will allow states to pick occupations they want to get priority above the general 175  non-state sponsored applications. Here is the new processing priority:

  1. Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS.
  2. Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency under a state migration plan agreed to by the minister.
  3. Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency and whose nominated occupation is on the Critical Skills List (CSL).
  4. Applications from people who are neither nominated nor sponsored in priority groups 1, 2 or 3, but whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL.
  5. Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.
  6. (i) Applications from people whose occupations are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).
    (ii) Aplications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.
  7. All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.
Were not quite sure what the new State Migration Plan (SMP) is yet, but with any luck we will be able to get on there, moving our application to the top of the queue.

Friday, February 5, 2010

New Changes Expected with Australia Immigration

New changes to the Australian Migration program are expected to be announced on Monday. We are very apprehensive after the last changes. Fingers crossed for some good news.
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