Musings, Travel

How I Landed Myself in ‘Straya

<>Ever thought of migrating?  I didn’t. To travel – yes.  But permanently moving to one place never really crossed my mind.</>

Life in Abu Dhabi was comfortable.  We were earning well and we have adjusted well in the country.  That’s why we were not keen on moving.  However, the assurance of permanency is always an issue.  You can never be a resident of that country even if you have already stayed and worked there for over 5 years.  So that made us think.

Migration, they say is a behavioral adaptation for any living organism to survive.    People move because of different factors.  For me, it was stability.  The possibility of stability and the need to take root pushed me to migrate here in Australia.

our initial entry stamp

It’s almost three (3) years since moving to Australia.  It wasn’t easy but so far it’s all worth it.  Like most changes, we try to adapt and embrace it quickly as I was pregnant when we moved here in 2015.

Sydney Opera House

So how did we ended up here in the land Down Under?  It all started with a thousand rereads of a booklet.  Booklet 6.  I have to read that booklet and tons of other links just to have a clear path on what to do.  You don’t need a migration agent.  You just need time to read and understand the whole process.

Harbour Bridge

First step is to choose the visa you will be applying for.  There are plenty of visas to choose from when you plan on living and working here in Australia.  In my case, I have chosen Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189.  To simplify, I have used my skill as a Civil Engineer to apply for permanent residency in Australia.  Luckily, my profession was among the profession listed in the Skilled Occupational List.

Skilled Occupational List

Then, collate the necessary documents.  One of which is your Certificate of Employment (COE).  I started contacting all my previous employers and asked for a reprint of my COE.  As per requirement , the COE must have 5 detailed description of the work I have done in that company.

While waiting for my reprinted COE’s, I have started reviewing for IELTS.  I know this is one of the difficult part in the application.  Since enrolling for a review is a bit expensive, I have decided to do a self-study.  Review materials are readily available online so you could practice.  Note, when registering for the IELTS exam inform the center that you would need to send a copy of your result to the assessing institution.  For my profession, that would be Engineers Australia.  It would be free within 2 months after results are released.  But if you forgot to inform the center in advance sending a copy to the assessing body would be with a cost.

After, the IELTS you can start drafting your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  It is like a narrative of your job experiences.  You have to explain in detail your scope of work in every company that you have worked at.  You can choose at least 3 companies which you think have displayed the necessary work for a civil engineer.

Once you have completed your IELTS, collected all your COE, school records and your CPD you are now ready to submit your papers to Engineers Australia.  The process period for the assessment will take around 12 weeks.  Depending on the time you have submitted your documents.  If the 12-week period falls during a Christmas holiday expect a few weeks of delayed.

Assessment result will come through a letter informing you how many years of your work experience has been accepted or qualified in terms of Australian standards.  With this you can now file for Expression of Interest to the Australian immigration website.  You will then receive an email inviting you to apply for a visa in Skillselect.

You will need to open an immi account for your to be able to proceed with the application.  All the required documents will be listed there.  Take note on the police clearances.  You will need to submit police clearances from all the countries you have lived in for 12 months or more.  A medical exam will also be required.  An Australian Immigration accredited clinics are listed in the website.  You just need to contact them and set an appointment.  We did our medical exam at Dubai London Clinic – Garhoud Branch.  Its inside Festival City Shopping Mall.

Once the documents are complied with, you can now lodge your visa application.  Then the waiting game starts again.  The processing period varies.  Some got their visa after a day of lodging some about a month.  Our visa took 3 months before it was awarded.  Lodged it first week of April 2014 and received the good news first week of July 2014.  If ever you feel anxious you can always check with Australia immigration consultants.

The whole process took us almost a year.  It was costly and an anxious period of our life.  But once you receive the email indicating your visa, its all worth the wait.   And that was how our Australian adventure began.

At the Parliament House in Canberra