Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Permanent Residence in Australia

I had heard of a Green card and H1 visas and so on and so forth,but never heard of the PR.That was till me and my partner decided to emigrate to Australia.The process seemed long and excruciating.Endless papers to be studied and signed,documents to be submitted and many other things.It seemed endless.Thats when we heard of "PR" for the first time and that it stood for Permanent Resident.Once the papers were submitted I thought that was the end of it but I was wrong.The agent kept asking for updates and different documents.My father patiently did all that for us.Then we faced the daunting task of appearing for the IELTS(English proficiencey test) exam which we thought would be a cake walk for us who were private school educated.But it wasn't that easy as we had to secure a certain band.For the uninitiated a band means a level of proficiency that you had to achieve,If i remember we required a total of 120 points each in our application to qualify for emigration,so me and my partner had to get above 6.5 in this test.I must admit that the test wasn't that easy.People who had taken the test previously misguided us saying it was easy and just 1-2days preparations were enough.I'm sorry thats not true.Both me and my partner are of fairly good IQ'S and we both had to prepare well for the test.So all those planning to take it,please prepare well ahead of time as its not worth spending all those dollars and not getting a good grade.We were notified that we came 3rd and 4th in the tests,not that it mattered.We had bands of 8 which was good for us.Then we had to undrgo our medical check-ups and after that wait for approval which came within 2 months.When we landed in Sydney we were fortunate that my cousin came to pick us up and we had a place to go and crash.Many people don't even have that.So thank God for that blessing.My cousin did the basic things like getting an account opened,the medicare formalities and took us to the RTA(transport authority) and showed us the train stations and the markets.He even sent us for this motivation session organised for free by a group of Indian professionals to help new Indians like us,by giving a little talk about life in Australia and how to look for jobs.It was a good interaction.We landed in Sydney end of September 2006 and hiring was at a low as its end of year and no one wants to hire,train for a few months and face the risk of the person going away in January next year.It is true though no one will agree.My partner finally landed a base admin job in February and it took me another 3months.We both had niche backgrounds.We didnt work in any big MNC'S or any It companies ot hospitality,and neither were we doctors.So it was hard.Getting a place to stay was harder than beating Mike Tyson in boxing.Since we didnt have jobs for 6months and didnt have previous rental history the agents wouldnt give us a chance,even though we had money to pay the rent and advance or deposit.By Gods grace we did find a direct owner and rented his place,where we are staying to date and are very happy.The key to survival here is to come with a little back up money and to pick up any job that comes your way.To be honest, its again your luck if you can find a job of your liking.We didnt have any kids when we came and that was a big blessing.Now we are happy with what we have and hope to do well.Australia is a great place to live in and from what I see, also to raise a family.Unlike other parts of the world where there is a lot of racism and violence, this is so far a much nicer and safer place to live in.So come prepared for initial hiccups,the way will clear for all those who persevere.We surivived,so can you.Good luck mate and welcome to Aw strah lee aa!Be prepared for the twang!

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