A year of thinking and discussing and we’d decided we definitely wanted to give Australia a go. We had been looking at visas and had considered taking a state sponsored one as they were a lot cheaper. With my qualifications/career (secondary teaching) I knew that Perth was a good option as they have a teacher shortage in some areas. We thought that we could always move to Perth initially and then relocate to Melbourne at a later date. The only problem was that we’d never been to Perth. So we went on another trip in July 2017, visiting Vietnam and Bali as stopovers and Melbourne and Perth as our Aussie cities. We had also sold our flat together and would be moving in my father in law’s on our return, to allow us to save as much as possible with a view to moving out to Australia July 2018.
When we landed in Perth, I think within about half an hour we had reached the consensus that this wasn’t going to be the place we wanted to live! There’s nothing objectively wrong with it but it wasn’t somewhere we were willing to fly halfway round the world and leave all our family for. We’re used to having London a 20 minute train ride away and Perth was just too ‘small town’ for us – things were shut because it was a Sunday!
Being back in Melbourne though reaffirmed that this was the place we wanted to be and while we were there we put our application into the ‘pool’. Anyone familiar with the process knows you have to apply to even apply for a visa. You go into ‘the pool’ and every fortnight they have a ’round’ where they allocate permission to certain people in the pool to go on an apply for a visa.
I remember that we were staying at my cousin’s, we had all had a good evening of drinking and catching up and when my husband and I went to bed, I said that tonight was our first round in the pool, so at midnight we would find out if we could apply or have to wait in the pool. We didn’t have our hopes too high as we’d read on immigration forums that some people stay in the pool for ages before being allowed to apply. Nevertheless, we anxiously waited for midnight.
Midnight arrived and we received confirmation that we were allowed to begin the visa application process!