Are you up to speed on recent 457 visa changes?

Are you up to speed on recent 457 visa changes?

The most commonly used working visa, the sub 457, was recently reviewed by the government in an attempt to streamline the process for businesses and expatriates looking to start a new life in Australia.

The trusty old 457 visa has given thousands of skilled foreign workers the option to move to Australia. Businesses apply to sponsor applicants that possess certain skills transferable to their company, offering them a job position that can last up to 4 years upon arrival in the country.

The exchange works well, as due to the Australian local labour shortage, many businesses that require particular skills, such as joinery or culinary experience, have struggled to add new members to their workforce.

The 457 visa allows the Australian economy to grow, while offering overseas workers the opportunity to temporarily reside in an extraordinary country they have always dreamed of. Employers are permitted to pay the market rate, so expats could even be living on a comfortable salary of up to $53,900 per annum.

457 misuse

However, despite the overall success of the exchange, there have been some unfortunate cases where the 457 visa has been misused.

Vulnerable prospective workers are sometimes fooled into paying excessive fees to a fraudulent migration agent, only to find when they make the expensive pilgrimage to Australia that the job they have been sold is completely wrong for them. Or worse, they arrive to find that they no job at all.

To combat this issue, and to make the visa seem more attractive to prospective applicants, the government has set about implementing some changes.

Migration agents

In an attempt to stop any further exploitation, the government has stressed the importance of using an authorised migration agent.

A good migration agent can be a blessing throughout the process of relocating overseas; helping you to fill out the relevant paperwork, advising you on any extra evidence you need to support your application and speaking to the relevant people.

Be cautious when choosing an agent, as although there are many legitimate agents around, there are a small number of fraudulent ones who are just out to grab your money. Ensure that you go through a registered agency with a good website, positive customer feedback and online reviews.

A more relaxed English proficiency policy

In the past, government regulations required applicants to possess a strong grasp of the English language, scoring at least 5 on the IELTS test across the main areas of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

However, the government has stated that it will act with a more relaxed policy in some cases, as many of the skilled roles needed do not require a high level of English to carry out the work. Applicants should be accepted as long as they can proficiently perform the tasks that they are being employed to do.

Streamlining for low-risk applicants

The new legislation is going to make it easier for low risk applicants to gain a visa.
Low risk applicants can be categorised as having a genuine intention to work throughout their time in the country, hold a clear criminal record for the last 12 months and are in good health with medical insurance.

The government has also dedicated extra services to monitor high-risk applicants, who are those with criminal convictions, a lack of health insurance and cannot prove that they will be moving overseas to commence employment.

While relocating to Australia is an exciting time, there are obviously many things to be aware of. If you are particularly worried about the process, speak to a registered migration agency. They can ease you through the next steps and guarantee that everything is in place for you to begin your new adventure. – IETS test page 40 – income threshold

Guest post from True Blue Migration – Thank you Fiona Mayers.


International removal company

Moving to Australia – International Removal Companies

Moving to Australia – International Removal Companies – who to choose?

There are many companies to choose when it’s time to pack up your trunk, but making sure you have a company that is going to organise everything is very important.

Moving your precious household possessions for international shipping is not like moving in the UK or even to Europe. International removals are a completely different process involving export packing, container loading, shipping, export documentation, customs and the observance of local regulations and procedures at destination.

Thankfully, I can recommend a company who I have had personal connection with, and I know they can be trusted to handle everything for you.

White and Company have been established since 1871, so they weren’t quite on the first fleet over here in 1770… but not far off.

Good luck on your voyage, me hearties.


netball on the Sunshine Coast

Netball on the Sunshine Coast

Remember this post…

help I’ve been taken hostage

Well after almost 4 years, the time came to hang up my Zumba pants.

Let me tell you, it was not a decision that I made lightly – I loved the whole ‘stage’ thing, acting the fool while dancing, getting fit and being paid for it.. I just think the time for Zumba had hit rock bottom on the Sunshine Coast and it was time to move on.. and of my original class of 60 participants – the 8 had to agree.

So now I was faced with a dilemma, watch my thighs return to semolina – or take up a new sport…
… so netball it was.

Sigh, Monday night indoor netball – how I thought I would be good at it, is beyond me.
It was almost 28 years since I last donned my ‘GK’ bib, and they only reason they through that at me all those years ago, was because I was about 5 freakish inches taller than the rest of the 12 year olds in my class.

The rules were different now too, something about being able to use the net at the back of the court to pass to your player – and the rest of the rules? Well I realised I never knew much about them all those years ago anyway – I just remember not being able to move with the ball… probably something I should’ve looked into before getting back on the court.

Within a few minutes, my memories of being a team player all came flooding back to me… I was totally useless – and after actually not being able to catch the ball for the umpteenth time, the other players stopped passing to me.

It was exactly like being 12 again.. only now I wasn’t tall – just average, with a big sweaty radish-coloured face.

I dreaded the the following week, I hate to be the one that lets the side down – so I thought I would try extra hard, and also bought a pair of ‘intimidating’ netball gloves – the old ‘fake it till you make it’ chestnut.

Nope, I was still shite.

I didn’t go the following week – I felt sick at the thought of it…
.. but then a whole heap of the other girls in my team were going down like flies, not able to make the time/day or husbands not back from work to look after the kids etc, etc..

… so I manned up (?!) and fearlessly went back onto the court.
I was still shite, but at least I was there, making up the numbers – and the other girls appreciated me turning up – they even passed the ball to me occasionally.

So I still come home sweaty and beetroot-faced – but I’m doing it… and keeping the semolina at bay – at least till the end of the season.

netball on the Sunshine Coast



It’s that time of year again… Magpie Season!

I was shocked today, to see a cyclist riding along the road with cable ties on her helmet…

I wasn’t shocked to see the cable ties – more shocked that a whole year has flown by since the last Magpie Season.

I know they are only trying to protect their young, but as soon as it nears the end of August, these birds seem to have demonic possession – it seems they don’t really want to just frighten you away, they are more interested in taking out an eye or removing a small chunk of ear.

I can’t say I’m really a fan of magpies anyway, but during the months of August to November this little black and white feathered creature transforms from its status of being a slightly aggravating bird – to a savage suicide-bomber.

Of course it does have a good reason, after all it is nesting season, so she is only doing what any female suffering postnatal depression in a hot feathered suit would do.
In past years I have regularly witnessed this same sight at the same time of year…

Watch out behind you!

The local postman veering his motorbike all over a busy road, usually waving one arm frantically above his head in an effort to stop the bird from persistently clacking its bill on his helmet – and not just once or twice, the bird usually takes it personally and actually wants the man dead…

Postie escaping a defiant magpie

But it does make me burst into knicker-wetting laughter as an onlooker, and it does probably traumatise the poor postie – who must be miles away by the time the damn thing stops attacking.

So just remember to watch out at magpie season – change your walking and cycling routes to avoid areas where they might be nesting or if all else fails, take a helmet/shield/suit of armour/oozie 9mm with you in your bag.


moving to Australia

Snakes putting you off moving to Australia?

Thinking about moving to Australia?

Sorry, just couldn’t resist!

BUT after living here 7 years, I’ve only come across two semi-scary snakes and they soon bolted when I went near them – even the one with venomous goo dripping from its fangs.

So I’ll set you straight – snakes are not a valid reason to avoid this wonderful country.

…But crocs n spiders…?


Beautiful picnic spots in Australia Cherry Blossom Tree

Sushi on the Sunshine Coast

After a busy week at work; helping hubby with his carpet cleaning business; amusing two small children on Easter hols and trying not to throttle our teenager… Mr G and I had a wonderful relaxing evening on our own at the Cherry Blossom Tree in Maroochydore…

Although the Cherry Blossom Tree has been a regular haunt of ours over the last few months, we usually arrive to a queue of people – and patiently wait in line… which we never complain about, as the sushi is without doubt the best in town.

Tonight however, was different. We were there at 9pm, so most people on the Coast are tucked up in bed ready to start their ridiculous exercise regimes at 5am (see earlier post!)
…so we chose our seats thoughtfully, enabling us to people watch and pounce upon the sushi train at the same time.

As the prize-winning sushi chefs chopped, diced, rolled and blow-torched the little seaweed pouches, Mr G and I leisurely delighted in plate after plate of rice and raw fish.
My absolute favourite just had to be the lobster salad sushi… with lobster and flying fish roe…. dribble.

We were almost the last people at the restaurant, but we didn’t feel hurried to leave. So once we had filled up to an uncomfortable level, we contentedly left… and made our way over to the movies, to use our cheap tickets that also bought from the restaurant.. a perk for spending over $20!

We’ll be back, very soon and I have my eye on that platter…


Cherry Blossom Tree on Urbanspoon


Taking pets to Australia?

Before you decide to take your pets to Australia – take a look at this article published in Australia & New Zealand Magazine...
It’ll give you a run down of costs, time- frames and what to expect from a pet transport company – vital information for the easy route to taking Pets to Paradise

Taking pets to Australia







Oh, and it was written by someone quite smart  😉