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I thought I would tell you my story to see if it helps.
We arrived in Adelaide in Dec 2004, as a permanent move myself, partner and 3 year old son. After 7 months we decided we had had enough (many problems) and returned to the UK July 2005. My son was almost 4 and due to start school in Sept. We thought about staying a further 18 months to gain citizinship, but felt it better to start William in school as he would not start for another 18 months in oz and may fall behind. After returning to the UK we wondered if we had made the right decision. Our visas expired in Sept 2009, we were devestated and called the migration agent to see if there was anyway we could go back to Oz. We were able to get our visa extended on the following conditions: 1, it was less than 5 years since we left Australia 2, We had a reason to return (in our case my partner was able to secure work). So in March 2010 we applied for RRV and were granted within a week. This was expensive, and complicated and we needed to get visas for our 2 girls. We arrived back in OZ in Sept 2011, we are still unsure if this is the right move for us, but will hopefully stick it out to get citizinship.
As for our son, he had been at school for 5 years and was falling behind, it would have made no difference to him if he had stayed on in Oz for that further 18 months. Ther are also other options such as motessorri here. Children at a young age can be moved easily he is 9 and has settled well. As for the value of dollar/ pound thats a different story.
This is my first posting but relevant to your question. We emmigrated in 2006 and returned to the UK in 2008, we did not get citizenship and really wished we had done, we have 3 months now before our 5 year PR visa runs out, we decided to return to OZ last year but due to family issues it was not possible....
We are in the process of returning before the 5 year PR visa runs out, we have been intouch with our original agent who says that we would probably get an extension as we returned and stayed for compassionate reasons, but he also said it would be looked upon more favorably if my husband had the promise of work from previous employer or an employer...the turn around for renewals is approx 4 weeks at the moment.
We have decided to bit the bullet so to speak and just return before the visa runs out, but it is really stressful as it only gives us 12 weeks..
My personal advise would be to get the citizenship, gives you and your kids that opportunity in the future, it is certainly something we regret not doing....
Best of luck with your return, hope it all works out for you.