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Advise regarding Oz migration

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Dear all come before you seeking some much needed advise.

My husband is a USC and I'm currently processing my ROC.

However, there is a quite interesting option developing for us and I would like share it.

We are thinking of relocating to Australia via a subclass visa 189 or 190 which are Permanent Residency visa.

I see a number of Aussies here awaiting their K1 visas to be approved.

Therefore, I would like to know the pros and cons for Australia and the USA in terms of living in each country, labor market, living standards, prospects, etc

Thank you and I will await further insight from you all

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I am an Aussie about to relocate to the US, so I can't speak about the US but I can speak about Australia. I'm a born and bred Aussie, albeit my parents were immigrants.

Labour market - is ok, but it's tightening. We (as in the country) relied for many years on the mining boom but that's ending and I'm not convinced we have a plan for how to survive the downturn. Aussies have gotten very used to a high standard of living built on the back of that boom but there's no logical replacement for that revenue. We are heavily in debt and there is a resistance to paying off that debt, which means our ability to grow is hampered. Just my opinion on that: others may think differently. If we don't find a way to grow, our labour market will get even tighter.

Australians are generally well educated and competition for good jobs is fierce. Coming from overseas, you will be competing against people who have been here for years (either as native Aussies or imports). Your overseas experience may not resonate with employers unless it's a specialised field where there is a demand for it. For example, if you are an accountant... we have lots of those here and odds are employers will pick the 'safe' choice of a local. But if you are a surgeon with a niche, then they will jump all over you.

I'm in the same position going to the US and I've tempered my expectations. I'm a senior exec / Director in Aus. I expect I will have to drop a couple of levels going to the US - not because I'm not skilled, but because I have to build my reputation and US experience before I can demand an equivalent salary. I'm ok with that because I like a challenge. :-)

Healthcare - the health care system is pretty good. You can opt for the public system, which is free (well not really, see below about taxation) or opt for private health insurance which is faster and often better. To give you an idea of the difference, a colleague of mine needed her tonsils taken out. She had to wait 12 months on a waiting list in the public system, enduring multiple illnesses during the 12 months, and shared a room with six others when she finally did have her operation. She continued to be ill afterwards and, once again, went on a waiting list. My son needed his tonsils removed: it was done two days later and he had his own room. Post-op care was covered under our insurance and was immediate. No waiting lists. If you're young and healthy, it's probably worth just using the public system. If you have a family, are planning to start a family, or have health issues, private is the way to go.

Cost of living - can be high if you are living in the major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth et al. In inner Melbourne, for example, where I live you can't buy a house under $1.5m. And that's not even a fancy house but a basic three bedroom home on an average sized block. You can get bigger houses in the outer suburbs but that means a long commute if you are working in the CBD and, often, minimal infrastructure (like public transport, schools, shops etc). Our property is in a bubble, driven by high demand and limited supply in areas people want to live in.

Food is reasonably priced. Cars are more expensive here. Makeup is more expensive here. Technology is more expensive here. I compared the price of laptops this morning as I am planning to buy a new one Stateside. Here in Australia, the model I want costs just under $2000. In the US, just over $1000. This happens across the spectrum on anything imported. We pay a heinous markup.

Taxation - I've a real issue with our taxation system so take the following for what it's worth. We are taxed horribly, in my opinion. Over 50% of my income last year went on income tax, health care levy, flood levy, car registration, house rates, and anything else the government decides to slug me for. Australia enjoys a brilliant social welfare structure but we are overtaxed for it, as our bureaucracies are often anything but efficient. If the government needs more money, they just introduce a new levy and you have no choice but to pay it.

Culture - I live in Melbourne which is a multicultural melting pot. Alot of people say Australia and Australians are very racist. They can be. I'm ethnic and in the 41 years I've lived in Melbourne, I've been abused.... once. And that was 30 years ago. I think Australians, generally, are pretty welcoming and naturally curious about others. My husband is English and gets a bit of stick about being a pom, but nothing vicious.

Aussies are pretty laid back and casual about life. The phrase 'she'll be right' is used alot. It denotes that things will work out and don't worry about it. It doesn't mean Aussies aren't passionate but - in my opinion anyway - there is an element of 'let the cards fall where they fall' about Aussies. Sometimes that's great. Sometimes it's maddening.

All of the above is just my opinion based on my experiences.

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Good morning Emily,

Thank you for taking time, your feedback is much appreciated.

Your thoughts and concerns about Australia similarly compared to what our friends in Asutralia have told us.

I wish you nothing but success and prosperity in your visa journey.

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I will provide some US input. I am married to an Aussie who moved here last year. I am the US citizen.

The standard of living in the US varies widely based on where you decide to live. I have lived in 3 different states in my 40 years. Ohio, Florida and now Tennessee. I would say Ohio and Tennessee are basically along the same lines. Florida, in the main cities, it's a bit higher standard of living, but no where near the cities in Aus. The price differences listed by PP are accurate. Our car registration here in Tennessee is around $30-40. Not hundreds. Although from what I understand, Aus rego includes insurance. We pay car insurance separately in US.

Health insurance here is, in my opinion, terrible. Obamacare made having insurance mandatory and there are penalties if you do not have it. Many smaller businesses are being forced to provide their employees with health coverage due to Obamacare, but the options they provide are basic and either cover very little, or require the employee to pay very large deductible.

I will explain "deductible" a little bc my husband had a very hard time coming to terms with this coming from Aus. This the amount of OUT OF POCKET money you spend before the insurance begins to CONTRIBUTE ANYTHING. So, for example: You go through the marketplace to get health coverage. You see plans with "premiums" of $300 a month. Not bad right? But then, when you read the terms, the deductible is $5000 or even $10000 before any insurance benefits begin to take effect.

So you are required by law to pay monthly for the coverage that you may not even get help from bc the deductible is so high. Same goes if you get coverage through an employer. Using us as an example. My husband works for a fairly large bank company. He was provided 2 options of health coverage. High deductible/low premium plan or Low deductible/high premium plan. Basically, first one means smaller amount taken from each paycheck (for our family of 5 it is around $150 every 2 weeks) and our deductible is $4500. Opposite plan means more taken from each paycheck (As we didnt do that one, can't say exact, but it was over $300 each paycheck) and deductible was $2500. The system is horrible. Most doctors and hospitals regularly agree to patient doing a payment plan because no one can pay the full amount at one time. Also, one learns to defer going to the doctor or hospital unless it is dire, and/or you know you have the funds.

Public transportation was another "shock" for my husband, who is from Melbourne. Here in Tennessee, as well as many areas of the US, there is no reliable public transportation. Taxis exist, but not to the extent as in Melbs where you exit a place and several are just waiting on you.

There are no public trains here. of course in NY and Miami and probably California, there are. But as a whole, the US is not a public transportation kind of place. Almost everyone has a car and usually it is necessary in order to travel to a job.

Housing costs vary widely depending on where you reside in the US. And that's about all I can tell you. You would have to research the specific area you are considering in the states through a website or personal contacts there. We have a 3 bedroom house, decent sized plot and it cost $160,000 4 yrs ago. There are newer properties in newer subdivisions down the street going for $234,000 for 3 bedrooms.

Best of luck to you with your future!

Our Immigration Journey Originated with:

K-1 Visa -  Date of arrival to US  Aug 30, 2014

                  Married September 26, 2014


Oct 6, 2014 Sent in I-485, I-131, I-765

Dec 27th, 2014 Received EAD/AP card in mail

Jan 15th, 2015 Notice of Potential Interview Waiver received.

Sept 3rd, 2015 Inquiry requested and placed by USCIS as to status of Green Card/ AOS

Sept 8th, 2015 Notification on USCIS website that "response has been sent" regarding inquiry and inquiry is now closed.

No changes elsewhere on website information. Form letter stating we should hear something within 210 days.

Sept 8th, 2015 Sent in Renewal EAD application.

Sept 19th, 2015 Website update: New Card is Being Produced! !!!




July 3rd, 2017   Mailed original application and documents.

July 6th, 2017   NOA

July 31st, 2017  Biometrics appointment.   (Received letter of appt on 7-21-17)

Oct 10, 2018    Approval of ROC  :) via online USCIS site.  

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