Hi there, we are here on a 457 visa and we completely regret not applying for PR from the off set. We are severely restricted to what we can and can't do with both work and financially and we get no financial assistance from the government for childcare or anything else!!
We are here on my husbands visa. We applied straight through Flinders medical centre and they sorted most of the visa including some of the cost, it took about 8 months from application to visa being granted.
He is a Dr at RAH, he has changed his job twice already since we have been here due to having to retrain as the British FRCA is not good enough for the Aussies!! We, at one point were illegal immigrants as we didnt have a visa at all when one employer cancelled their sponsorship and the next employer reinstated it. It is a very nervous time.
We plan to apply for PR in the next month as we are still waiting for the documents from the medical board for his full registration, something which has taken one year to fulfill all the various assessments and tests, also something which they don't tell you you will need to do when you begin applying to move to Aus!!
BUT,please don't read all this woe and hassle that think that life here is awful because it certainly isn't. Despite all the constant let downs of not being able to get a loan to buy the finer things in life, or get a credit card,or move jobs freely or sometimes feeling like a second class citizen because you are not a permenant resident (gosh when I read that back I sound like a right moaning old so and so!!) we really love it here in Adelaide. Our children are happier and healthier than they have ever been, our social life as a family and individually is the best and we have the best friends (who are now our extended family) anyone could ever need or want! And I thank each and every one of our friends for being so wonderful. When we are feeling blue we take ourselves down to the beach and breathe in all the natural beauty that is on our doorstep and immediately know that all the sacrifices are worth it.
What I guess I am trying to say is that yes, the 457 visa is an easy way into Australia, but if you are planning to make your life here permenantly then I would go for the 175 visa from the beginning. It might involve a few more bits of paper, but you will still have to do the IELTS test for the NBSA assessments and all the rest is much the same. Oh I would also suggest that you get your names on the IELTS waiting list as there is quite a long wait to sit it; and you will both need it for your skills assessment for your visa and for your nursing rego here. If you can get registered here now, it could save you 6 months of waiting for it to happen when you are here!!!
Some of these PR visas are only taking 3-4 moths to be processed too. It would save you so much money and heartache in the long run, and with the £ being at such a low point, the more help you can get, the better off you will be.
I wish you all the very best of luck and hope to see you in Oz soon!
thanks Julia, hubby has just passed the IELTS and Im booked in for a date in May :D once thats over we'll move onto getting the registration stuff sorted.......PR route is looking to be the better option :) xx