As our departure to Adelaide approaches ever so closer, I thought I'd tell you how we got to where we are, hopefully it would help new arrivals and others who are thinking of making Australia their home. So here goes and hope I don't bore you too much. I'm a Radio broadcast professional, as in, I run 3 radio stations over here in Colombo, Sri Lanka, my wife is an English elocution teacher and we have 2 kids who are under 10. We decided to holiday in Melbourne and Sydney and visit my sister, my uncle and my wife's many cousins in April 2013. That trip was certainly an eye opener for me, as I saw "what could be". Until that time I had balked at the idea of ever migrating as we were relatively well off in SL and couldn't imagine leaving our families behind. My wife and I, had visited Australia before on holiday, separately, and this was the first time we came as a family, that gave us a totally new perspective of what was important to us. We were smitten! Which made me meet with a prominent migration lawyer while we were still on holiday in Melbourne, who informed me that I had the necessary skills and experience to gain the number of points for a 190 visa. So it began, no sooner we came back to SL, we started on the migration process, first up was the IELTS for me and I needed a 8 in each band to get the required points for my anzsco category 111211. I received 7.5 for writing on the first go, so I needed to sit for the exam again which was very frustrating! The second time I sat for it (October 2013) I got the required score, a word to anyone sitting for IELTS, practice, practice, practice! I know so many people who wrongly under estimate the exam, its all about concentration and time management without which, you won't be able to get a high score.
IELTS in hand, I changed my migration agent to another more low profile agent, who gave me his personal attention, as recommended by 2 friends who used his services to settle in WA on a 190. First came collating all the documentation required for the application to the Australian Institute of Management, who was the certifying body for my skill set. We applied on the 1st of January 2014 and by April I was informed that AIM had endorsed my application. Then came decision time as to where we wanted to settle for the initial 2 years, as per the Skilled Nominated Occupation Lists at that time, I had the the option of applying to WA or SA, It was a very very difficult decision to make, as we had close friends in WA but did not know a soul in SA, on the upside for SA was the fact that we had close relations including my Sister in Melbourne, so in a crunch it would be an hours flight or 7-8 hour drive to get to them ( I love driving) So we chose Adelaide and applied for state sponsorship (I found out later that I knew a friend from Sri Lanka who lives there now), which we received by the end of June. We sent our Application to DIBP by the end of June, and did our medicals in early July. Finally we had to sort out the police clearance which took more than a month and a half to get, A case officer was made contact with my agent in mid august and wanted our passports scanned in Colour and re sent, so we knew that the wheels had begun turning.... the 3 and half months beginning July 2014 was the most nerve wracking in all my life! Were we rejected, were we passed? do we sell the cars now or wait? do we start selling the house now or wait? During all of this, I had to keep the whole thing under wraps from my work as I didn't want the staff knowing and there by create instability in the company. Those 3.5 months felt it was 3 and a half years, but on Friday the 24th of October at 9.30 am we got a call from the agent, I saw his name on the phone and knew at once he was calling with the decision from the DIBP, I was at home and kept the phone ringing as me and wife prayed before answering his call.... We had got it! tears well up in my eyes as I think back to the moment when we knew that we had got our PR to live Australia, 9 months and 24 days since we applied for it! What a moment! what a day!
We then had the sad task of beginning to tell close relations and then close friends that we were migrating, it was not easy at all. Then it came to the crunch time, we had to sell up and make entry before July 2015, the house sold extremely quickly and the new owner is even letting us stay in it until we leave, God has been great to us right through this process, everything seems to be falling in place. Thanks to this forum and everyone on it, we feel like we already know Adelaide and in particular the south. Again for future migrants the 3 words that really helped us were, Research, Research, Research! the amount of time I've spent online learning about Adelaide cannot be surmised! I doubt I will be needing GPS Navigation to get to our short term rental from the airport, as I've travelled down the route on google street view so many times! ha ha no i'm not jobless, I'm still at work until the end of March.
I've booked a short term rental in Christies beach to base our selves when we arrive, but we've already gone one step further. We have sorted out a long term rental as well! Thanks to this forum we decided that the south of Adelaide was the place for us, I really don't like city living, and prefer wide open spaces and the commute doesn't bother me either as I already drive 1 hour 15 minutes in bumper to bumper traffic both ways, everyday over here in colombo. We zeroed in on 3 areas, Hallett Cove, Seaford and Port Noarlunga, but thanks to so many on here, have decided that Port Noarlunga ticks all the boxes for us. We were also adamant on finding a home with 2 bathrooms! why do so many Ausi homes have only 1 bath room? Whats up with that ? :-) after scouring realestate.com.au over the past months I got a feel that houses in PN have a high demand, I applied for the ones we liked and zeroed in on one in particular which happened to be occupied by a member of the forum who sent me additional details of the house and importantly the agents direct contact details. I also got advise from forum members who knew the are very well, one even drove past for me! (there's such a fantastic group of people on this forum to whom I am indebted to- you know who you are!- I shall be brining our famous Ceylon tea with us to say thank you for all your help) I also got my friends who live closer to the CBD to come inspect the house on our behalf and with their good report was happy to apply for the house (which had quite a few other prospective renters inspecting as well) We got word a couple of days ago that we've been approved by the land lord! what a great feeling, knowing we already have a home waiting for us, Some may raise an eye brow that we rented a home for 1 year without ever setting eyes on it, but I'm confident that with all my research and the advice we recieved that the area and the home in particular are meant for us. With the home sorted out I wrote to the primary school, who have given us an appointment to meet with the principal a couple of days after we arrive. I have also managed to pay an advance on a the car we want, which hopefully would have arrived at the dealer by the time we arrive in ADL.
Yesterday we shipped our stuff and hopefully should have them within a few weeks of our arrival, now for all the farewell parties and all the last minute things we need to do..... upto now - House ok, school ok, car ok! all before we even arrive, God is indeed great! only one more thing! a Job! :-) but I'm not going to start looking in earnest until we are settled in! I will ad more details of our journey so far from time to time and especially after we arrive. I hope this helps anyone looking to migrate, please PM me if you have any questions.