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under 45 to AUS?
Old 01-18-2010, 01:23 PM   #1
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under 45 to AUS?

While feeling a little burned out recently, I looked at the possibility of heading to Australia to work/play/travel for an extended period. Looking at their visa policies, I find that, as an under 45 licensed civil engineer without a criminal record, I would qualify for a permenant residency visa without even having a job offer. I have a second career working on tall ships, and would be able to do that there, if not immediately, then at some point eventually. It seems that permanent residency also immediately qualifies you to participate in the universal health care system.

Has anyone here had experience with this? Given the economy here, I would strongly consider doing this if faced with a layoff, and as someone looking to retire early, the abiliy to take most of the uncertainty out of my healthcare costs until older age would be incredible. My girlfriend used to volunteer at a dive shop in Byron Bay, and would be on board with this idea in a few minutes, so long as she could visit the states every year or so for family.

Thoughts and experiences?
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:38 PM   #2
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I don't have first hand experience but have plenty of relatives living in Australia at all ages from 70+ to new born babies and they all seem to do very well with the Health care system. Private insurance is also available and encouraged by the government in that if you you are a high earner and don't have private insurance then your Medicare taxes are increased. (Medicare is what they call their health system and applies to everyone).

We have had 2 month-long vactaions in Australia and plan to spend around 6 months there in 2012, it is a very different and interesting place. If I, personally, was laid off and had the opportunity to go work in Australia I would do it but YMMV as I have a built in support network waiting for me. Good luck in whatever you decide.
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Old 01-18-2010, 01:55 PM   #3
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I would suggest you take a look at British Expatriate Community : British Expat Community as that will answer a lot of your questions.

However, don't assume that you are going to be able to walk into a job easily. As you will see from the above board many have struggled even though their employment categories are on the required list. Also you may find the pace of life very difficult to adapt to.
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Old 01-18-2010, 02:25 PM   #4
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I have looked a bit at such sites, but one serious problem is that the health insurance issue that we deal with in American is a non-issue for most other countries, and gets a pass in most write-ups. In some ways it seems to be a too-good-to-be-true situation with the health care there.

I'm less concerned about the job issue, and I think that I can get boat work without a problem (and can live aboard) if engineering is harder to get a position in, but the PE will get me in the visa door.
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:56 PM   #5
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I'm Australian and can tell you that the medical system does work. If you qualify from day 1 under the PR system you will be able to use the system. It is not totally free, think for a prescription you pay the first $30 or so, Drs visits you will still get a co-pay.

However, I think to assume you will get a job that easy is the wrong thing to do. The Australian economy is strong at the moment, but behind that facade there is high unemployment and lots of people looking for work who can't find it. 18 months ago I would have told you to head to Cairns as they were always advertising for CEs and there are lots of boats there. However, that now appears to be one of the hardest hit areas.
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