Migrating to Australia is an exciting prospect, yet one fraught with several challenges, which do not end once you have been granted a visa. On the contrary, the real challenge begins once you land in this country and begin your new life.
Coming to terms with the sea change, whilst also grappling with the newness of the place will make the initial settlement phase lively and interesting. If you couple the unfamiliarity of the way things are done here with the other day-to-day tasks you will be involved in – finding rental accommodation, looking for a job, and understanding the taxation and Medicare system to name a few – the initial period will keep you busy.
In my case, when I migrated to Australia on a Permanent Resident Visa along with my wife in 2013, we had no job in hand, and no friends or family members to support us when we arrived. Although we were well qualified with years of relevant experience, it still took me several months to find a job, and during that time we also struggled to understand the way of life in Australia and to attend to the several tasks at hand.
In hindsight, I wish we had access to online resources and had done our homework before we arrived in Australia. The challenge, however, was (and still is today) to find a single point of reference to cover the range of topics one required to get an understanding of.
For this very reason and to help aspiring or future migrants prepare for their settlement journey Down Under, I have compiled a list of the top five websites that will provide you with a wealth of information, and provide you with base knowledge that will empower you to make informed decisions.
Note – This list is meant to act as a starting point, and is relevant to migrants at all stages of the migration process.
- Department of Home Affairs: Immigration and citizenship (homeaffairs.gov.au) – The Department of Home Affairs was created as part of the Home Affairs Portfolio on 20 December 2017.. The Department is responsible for immigration and customs border policy, as well as several other portfolios, some of which include – National security and law enforcement policy, Emergency Management, Counter-terrorism policy and coordination, Multicultural Affairs, and Transport Security to name a few. Some of the vital services and links related to migration are: ImmiAccount – Applying online for a visa, citizenship, an APEC card and to notify the Department of address changes or new passport details, access to online and paper forms, pricing estimator to give you an estimate of the fees you may need to pay when lodging a visa application, Visa Entitlement Verification (VEVO) – a system that allows you to check visa status and conditions. (I lodged my PR visa without the help of a migration agent through this route.), residence calculator – This allows you to assess if you satisfy the residence requirements for conferral of Australian citizenship application, and panel physician gateway
- SEEK: www.seek.com.au – The portal for jobs in Australia. Founded in Melbourne, Australia in 1997, SEEK is a market leader in online employment marketplaces. The website has made it easier and quicker for candidates and hirers to connect by moving print newspaper job ads online. You can (and should) create your profile and upload your resumes and cover letters. Apart from the traditional service of notifying you of relevant jobs (if you opt for auto notifications), the portal offers a wealth of information related to jobs, interactive tools to seek alternate careers, identify wages in your sector etc.
- Realestate – www.realestate.com.au – With an average of over 8 million visitors each month this portal is the leading property resource in Australia. Whether you are looking for a share house, buying your first investment property with a great rental return or possibly even inspiration for renovating your kitchen, realestate.com.au is the one-stop shop for everything related to property. I love the search functionality that offers a range of filters so you can narrow your search based on your specific requirement. The blog is informative and provides some great ideas for renting, buying or renovation.
- Finder – Finder Money, Insurance, Mobile & Shopping Comparison – A leading comparison and money guide website that provides a wealth of information and advice that helps one make everyday life decisions such as finding a credit card, buying a home and getting health insurance. The company hires an army of researchers who are fiercely independent and offer frank and unbiased analyses, reviews and opinions. Whilst the website is free to use, the company generates revenue by means of referral links which, the creators are quick to highlight, is not passed on to you and neither do they inflate prices for this purpose.
- Australia Forum – Australia Forum – A forum community dedicated to Australian migrants and enthusiasts. The community discuss topical subjects ranging from residency, taxes, documents, visas, travel, health care, finances, banking, classifieds, and more! With over seventy-five thousand members online and over four hundred thousand posts, there is a wealth of information to help you along your migration journey. The moderators are responsive, strict, and helpful, and there are many active community members who are in a position to provide practical advice based on their own personal experiences. The forum has various discussion boards (with sub-topics) like living in Australia, travel in Australia, and general discussions, that make searching for relevant topics easier. An essential social support group that I wish I was aware of when filing my migration papers or during my settlement journey.
Do you think there is some other website that could be included in this list? Any feedback or comments? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below or email me at email@example.com
Aussie Migrant: Jobs