Poms Down Under - Offering hints, tips and information on emigrating and settling in Australia
 
   
 
Here are the latest updates to each chapter in Migrant’s guide:

 

1 MIGRATION WHERE TO START

 Visas

 Changes with visas are always happening at the DIAC (Dept of immigration & Citizenship).

 The following are changes which are different to the book:

Retirement visa’s (S/C 410):

This visa is no longer available and has been replaced with The Investor Retirement Visa

(Subclass 405) see: http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/retirement/405/

The Working Holiday visa

Is still available to UK & EU members as long as you are under 30 yrs, but the conditions of the visa

have changed, please take the time to read about these changes and remember that only one visa

per life time is issued. http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/

There was an overseas apprentice visa, but this has now been removed and is no longer available.

The DIAC has now introduced the CSL (Critical Skills List)

This List contains occupations that have been identified as being in critical demand in Australia. As these

occupations are in critical demand, applicants nominated in these occupations will have their applications

processed as a priority.

The Latest news on changes to the visa system:

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/whats-new.htm#o

MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority)

The MARA is undergoing change. The MARA was a division of The Migration Institute of Australia Limited, but the

DIAC is now taking over that role from the MIA as directed by Minster of immigration.

Migrants to sit an English test

Many visa's insist that you to sit an IELTS english test to before submitting your application.

Most UK residents may be eligable for 15 points but could recieve 25 if they sat the english exam.

See your particular visa for details.

Citizenship Test

The government have introduced a citizenship test for migrants. All new applications will be required to have a

basic understanding of English. Prospective citizens will have to pass a computerised test that will also test their

knowledge of the Australian way of life and Australian history. Also, new applicants will have to sign a commitment

to Australia's values and way of life.See: http://www.citizenship.gov.au/learn/cit_test/

Migrants seeking permanent residency, plus temporary visa holders planning to stay more than 12 months

will also have to give an undertaking to comply with Australian laws and values.

http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/choose-australia/about-australia/values-and-law.htm

English language test (IELTS) - Required testing & higher scores may be required for visa’s applications.

http://www.ielts.org/

Skilled migrant intake

This has been reduced by 20 per cent. The Government has already cut its skilled migration places

this year and in March the program was cut by 14 per cent down to 115,000 places. The Government will reduce those

numbers again by about 7,000 people to 108,000 because of rising unemployment rate.

2 RESEARCH BEFORE YOU GO

  

3 SOURCES OF INFORMATION

 Change of web addresses:

The Australian News used to supply a monthly newspaper they now have an Emigrate Magazine & Emigrate Annual their

new web site is: http://www.emigrate2.co.uk/default.htm

  

4 WHAT TO TAKE OVERSEAS

 Digital TV is now here and expanding see: http://www.dtv.gov/

 Digital Radio is just arriving here in Oz see: http://www.digitalradioplus.com.au/

  

5 INTERNATIONAL SHIPPER & REMOVALS

  

6 CUSTOMS & QUARANTINE

  

7 IMPORTING & KEEPING A PET IN AUSTRALIA

8 IMPORTING VEHICLE REQUIREMENTS

9 AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

Banking

Pen or Pin which you have had for a while in the UK & EU is now available down under:

Cardholders in Australia are now able to make Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Diners Club credit or charge card purchases by using a pen (signature) or entering their PIN (Personal Identification Number). The PIN is simply an alternative method of authorising card payments. Australian debit cardholders already use a PIN to authenticate transactions at EFTPOS terminals, and using a PIN on credit and charge card transactions will operate in the same way. Our EFTPOS terminals will

support a PIN on credit and charge card transactions.

Superannuation / Pensions

Cuts to superannuation tax concessions in the budget will hit both lower and higher-income earners. The Government will

halve the maximum limit on concessional contributions from $100,000 to $50,000 for those aged 50 or over, and from

$50,000 to $25,000 for younger investors. The new limits will apply from July 1st 2009.

There has also been a cut in the Government super contribution from $1,500 to $1,000 for those earning less than $60,000

a year. The budget did not contain a crackdown on the popular transition to retirement strategy where employees start a

pension at age 55 and sacrifice their salary into super. However the lower concessional contribution limits will reduce the

ability for higher earners to abuse this strategy.

AGED

Pension age increased progressively to 67 years by 2023

See: http://www.aph.gov.au/budget/2009-10/content/glossy/pension/html/pensions_overview_01.htm

10 MONEY TRANSFERS

11 TRADESMEN RECOGNITION

 

TRA

New rules have come into play with skill assessing for many tradesman where you will be assessed in your own country,

for full details see: http://www.deewr.gov.au/Skills/Programs/TRA/Pages/default.aspx

 

12 GETTING THERE

 

Emirates airlines have announced an increase to its free baggage allowances provided to passengers.

The new allowances are 30kg for Economy Class passengers, 40kg for Business and 50kg for First.

 

13 A PLACE TO STAY

14 MEDICARE

15 PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE

 

16 EMERGENCY SERVICES

 

Ambulance Cover

A few states now have removed the subscription and have placed levies on other items to

cover the cost, but many States still require you to take out a subscription or private insurance cover.

QLD – Residents covered, ACT - Residents covered, TAS - Residents covered

NSW- Cover Required, VIC - Cover Required , SA - Cover Required

WA - Cover Required, NT - Cover Required

Good site to check out: http://www.lets-getaway.com/ambulance.htm

  

17 CENTRELINK

  

18 HAVING CHILDREN IS A BENEFIT IN AUSTRALIA

Government Parental leave scheme

The Federal government will commit to paid parental leave from January 2011 for those earning less than $150,000 a year.

The scheme will pay the federal minimum wage for 18 weeks and will be funded by the government, (minimum wage is

approx. $544 a week, but this will be taxed).

Baby Bonus

This is a payment of $5,000 for each child and is paid in 13 equal fortnightly instalments. It is not taxable

income and is not considered income for Family Assistance or Social Security purposes.

 

The Maternity Immunisation Allowance

 Is a payment that is usually paid as two separate amounts when the child is appropriately immunised and aged between 18-24 months, and between 4 to 5 years. The full MIA rate is $245.50 and the MIA half amount is $122.75.

 

Child care

A number of ABC Learning childcare centre’s face closure but some have been saved, this has left a short

fall in places available at present.

 

19 EDUCATION, SCHOOLS, TAFES & UNIVERSITIES

 

20 IDENTITY & DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS

21 BUYING PROPERTY IN AUSTRALIA

First Home Owners Grant

The first home owners grant was raised from $7000 to $14,000 for existing dwellings and from $14,000 to $21,000 for new homes, this was known as the “Boost “increase, and is due to expire on June 30 2009. See: http://www.firsthome.gov.au/

First Home Owners Boost

As a part of Budget 2009-2010 the Australian Government has announced an extension to the First Home Owners Boost until 31 December 2009 with changes to the payment from 1 October 2009.

See: http://www.facs.gov.au/sa/housing/payments/Pages/FirstHomeOwnersBoost.aspx

22 INSURANCE IN AUSTRALIA

 

23 UTILITIES IN AUSTRALIA

 

24 INCOME TAX GUIDE

Individual income tax rates

Residents

These rates apply to individuals who: Are residents of Australia for tax purposes for the whole financial year and have

not left full-time education for the first time during the financial year.

Tax rates 2008-09

Taxable income

Tax on this income

$0 – $6,000

Nil

$6,001 – $34,000

15c for each $1 over $6,000

$34,001 – $80,000

$4,200 plus 30c for each $1 over $34,000

$80,001 – $180,000

$18,000 plus 40c for each $1 over $80,000

$180,001 and over

$58,000 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

The above rates do not include the Medicare levy of 1.5% (read What is the Medicare levy? for more information).

Tax offsets reduce the tax payable. Tax offsets based on taxable income levels apply to a range of circumstances. For more information read About tax offsets.

Non-residents

If you are a non-resident for the full year, the following rates apply:

Tax rates 2008-09

Taxable income

Tax on this income

$0 – $34,000

29c for each $1

$34,001 – $80,000

$9,860 plus 30c for each $1 over $34,000

$80,001 – $180,000

$23,660 plus 40c for each $1 over $80,000

$180,001 and over

$63,660 plus 45c for each $1 over $180,000

Non-residents are not required to pay the Medicare levy.

 

For more details go to: www.ato.gov.au

Simple tax calculator: http://calculators.ato.gov.au/scripts/asp/simpletaxcalc/main.asp

Tax File Number

As per the book you need a Tax file number ASAP, here is the link to get one online:

Online individual tax file number (TFN) registration. This service is available for temporary visitors or permanent migrants requiring a tax file number: http://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/content.asp?doc=/content/38760.htm

 

Private health insurance rebate

Private health insurance rebate has been reduced for higher income earners & Medicare Levy Surcharge has been increased.

The income threshold under which workers do not have to take out private cover will be increased, as per the federal

budget announcement. The $50,000 income limit for singles without dependents will rise to $100,000. The income level

for couples will rise from $100,000 to $150,000. The Government’s proposal to “means test” the 30% rebate may

well cause people to reconsider their private health insurance from July 2010.

The Federal Government 30% Rebate on Private Health Insurance means that for every $1 you pay in premiums, the

government gives you 30 cents back. This can be as an upfront reduction to your premiums, or paid to you at Medicare

or at tax time.

In the 2009 Federal Budget, the Government proposed means-testing the 30% Rebate from July 2010.

The proposed changes are outlined below:

Proposed Rebate from July 2010

Singles
(annual income)

Couples/Families
(annual income)

Current rebate*

Up to 65 years

65 - 69 years

Over 70 years

Up to $75,000

Up to $150,000

30%

30%

35%

40%

$75,001 - $90,000

$150,001 - $180,000

30%

20%

25%

30%

$90,001 - $120,000

$180,001 - $240,000

30%

10%

15%

20%

$120,001+

$240,001+

30%

0%

0%

0%

 

* The Federal Government Rebate for older Australians is currently 35% (aged 65 – 69 years) and 40% (aged over 70 years).

 

An increase to the Medicare Levy Surcharge

The Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) is a 1% surcharge on Australian taxpayers who do not have private hospital cover

and who earn above $70,000 (singles) and $140,000 (couples/families). The surcharge is calculated at the rate of 1%

of taxable income. It is in addition to the Medicare Levy of 1.5%, which is paid by most Australian taxpayers.

In the 2009 Federal Budget, the Government proposed changes to the existing income thresholds and increasing

the level of surcharge. If approved, these changes will come into effect from July 2010.

Singles
(annual income)

Couples/Families
(annual income)

Current MLS

Proposed MLS
from July 2010

$75,001 - $90,000

$150,001 - $180,000

1%

1%

$90,001 - $120,000

$180,001 - $240,000

1%

1.25%

$120,001+

$240,001+

1%

1.5%

 

25 EMPLOYMENT IN AUSTRALIA

 

26 VEHICLES & LICENSING INFORMATION

 

Drivers License:

Most States & Territory’s have changed their car licensing requirements for the better. If you are emigrating from the UK,

or a recognised country, and hold a full drivers license you need to present this at the nearest Transport Office. With your

current overseas license and a range of identity validation evidence (see their web site for full details).

Exemptions from licence tests
If you hold a driver licence from one of the following countries you are not required to undertake any tests provided

your overseas licence is current or not expired by more than five years. However, you still need to make an

appointment to changeover your licence if you are from a recognised country.

Austria

Finland

Isle of Man 1

Netherlands (Holland)

Sweden

Belgium

France

Italy

Norway

Switzerland

Canada

Germany

Japan

Portugal

UK

Croatia

Greece

Luxembourg

Singapore

USA

Denmark

Ireland

Malta 2

Spain

http://www.pomsdownunder.com/images/ecblank.gif

1 for licences first issued on or after 1 April 1991
2 for licences first issued on or after 2 Jan 2004

27 JUSTICES OF THE PEACE IN AUSTRALIA

 

28 INTERNET ACCOUNTS & ACCESS

New super fast National Broadband Network

The Government has announced the establishment of a new company to build and operate a new super fast National

Broadband Network. This new super fast National Broadband Network, built in partnership with the private sector will be

the single largest nation building infrastructure project in Australian history.

This new National Broadband Network will: Connect 90 percent of all Australian homes, schools and workplaces with

broadband services with speeds of up to 100 megabits per second - 100 times faster than those currently used by

many households and businesses. It will connect all other premises in Australia with next generation wireless

and satellite technologies that will be delivered at broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second.

29 SURF LIFE SAVING CLUBS OF AUSTRALIA

 

30 GARDENING DOWNUNDER

 

31 AUSTRALIAN WILDLIFE AND INSECTS

 

32 AUSTRALIAN SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT

 

New Labour government

Was elected in 2007, new prime Minster is Kevin Rudd

http://www.alp.org.au/

 

Federal Budget 2009/10

Has impacted a lot of areas, many are detailed below but for the full details

see: http://www.aph.gov.au/budget/2009-10/index.htm

 

33 WORLD OF DIFFERENCE

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS 2009

 

ACT

Canberra Day
Queens Birthday
Labour Day
Family & Community Day

Monday
Monday
Monday
Tuesday

16 March
8 June
5 October
3 November

 

New South Wales

Queens Birthday
Bank Holiday
Labour Day

Monday
Monday
Monday

8 June
3 August
5 October

 

Victoria

Labour Day
Queens Birthday
Melbourne Cup
Anzac Day
Boxing Day

Monday
Monday
Tuesday
Saturday
Monday

9 March
8 June
3 November
25 April
28 December 1

 

Tasmania

Launceston Cup
King Is Show Day
8 Hour Day
Queens Birthday
Hobart Show

Wednesday
Tuesday
Monday
Monday
Thursday

25 February
3 March
9 March
8 June
22 October

 

South Australia

Adelaide Cup Day
Queens Birthday
Labour Day
Boxing Day / Proclamation Day

Monday
Monday
Monday
Monday

9 March
8 June
5 October
28 December

 

Western Australia

Labour Day
Anzac Day
Foundation Day
Queens Birthday
Boxing Day

Monday
Saturday 3
Monday
Monday
Saturday 3

2 March
25 April 3
1 June
28 September
26 December 3

 

Northern Territory

May Day
Queens Birthday
Alice Springs Show
Darwin Show
Picnic Day

Monday
Monday
Friday
Friday
Monday

4 May
8 June
3 July
24 July
3 August

 

Queensland

Labour Day
Queens Birthday
RNA Show Day

Monday
Monday
Wednesday

4 May
8 June
12 August

 

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS 2009

 

ACT

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term
4th Term

30 January
28 April
20 July
12 October

9 April
3 July
25 September
18 December

 

New South Wales

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term
4th Term

27 January
28 April
27 July
19 October

9 April
10 July
2 October
18 December

 

Victoria

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term
4th Term

2 February
20 April
13 July
5 October

3 April
26 June
18 September
18 December

 

Tasmania

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term

11-13 Feb
15 June
21 September

29 May
4 September
17 December

 

South Australia

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term
4th Term

27 January
27 April
20 July
12 October

9 April
3 July
25 September
11 December

 

Western Australia

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term
4th Term

2 February
29 April
21 July
13 October

9 April
3 July
25 September
17 December

 

Northern Territory

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term
4th Term

28 January
14 April
20 July
5 October

3 April
19 June
25 September
11 December

 

Queensland

1st Term
2nd Term
3rd Term
4th Term

27 January
20 April
13 July
5 October

13 April
26 June
18 September
11 December

35 CHECKLIST

 

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