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dylan

Over 50 - are we wasting our time?

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We've just been introduced to this forum by friends and family and have spent a great deal of time browsing and taking in so much useful information.  Fantastic site.

My wife and I are considering moving to WA.  Our 3 kids have flown the nest (although the youngest is keen to join us) and we are in a fortunate position to be self-sufficient, mortgage free with a small portfolio of investments that provides an income that we can happily live off.  We've not arrived at this position without years of hard work, hard knocks, injury and stress but it was worth it in the end!

A more sedentary life is what we're after in a completely different climate and country.  We have friends and relatives in Perth and Adelaide who are all very much in favour of getting us out to Oz. 

I am a qualified and experienced carpenter/joiner and have a Masters Degree in Building Conservation.  I appreciate that there is probably less demand in Australia for my services in conservation than in the UK but I would very much like to continue in this practice.

My wife is a qualified speech and language therapist and fluent in Spanish.  She is currently practicing as a therapist as well as giving private Spanish lessons.

The question is: Are we too old to apply for a visa?  I am 50 and my wife is 50 this year.   Whereas we can support ourselves financially and can obviously provide proof of the same, we would like to continue practicing in our career fields given that we both feel we have something to offer, as well as enjoying our work.  We do, of course, understand and appreciate that we would not be given priority over younger, local residents who are qualified and experienced in the same fields.  Our initial plans would be to set ourselves up in private practice.

We decided that 2018 would be the year that we investigate the possibilities of emigrating - so here we are.

Any comments are gratefully received and we hope to be able to fulfill our hopes and dreams over the course of the coming months.

 

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Most visa classes require that you are under 45 at the time of application. There are some classes with higher age limits but they involve having immediate family already in Australia or significant long term investment in Australia.

I moved heaven and earth to get my application on their desk just before my 45th as a day late and it would have been curtains for my hopes.

Sorry to say this, but I think you've left it a bit late.

 

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There are now no permanent visas available to you. There are some temporary visas such as a 457 sponsored visa which would give you the right to live and work in Oz for up to 4 years, though this visa is about to be abolished and replaced with a new visa and the full regulations for which are not yet known. 

This requires an employer to sponsor you and to be honest, at your age, would be very hard. It also comes with a number of down sides. You also mention that your youngest child would like to come, but, if they have flown the nest- are independent - then it is unlikely they would be allowed if they are not fully dependent on you. 

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We are like you, unfortunately, over 45 and have Oz aspirations.  The options available to us seem to be a Business/Investor visa with lots of hoops, lots.

or if your "small portfolio" permits (what is small? :)), the Significant Investor visa which is virtually "no questions asked".

The other option we read about is the Retirement visa, if you can show retirement income of AUD75K a year.

Also heard about the folks who do the 'visa runs' to Bali or Singapore every three months, though I wonder if this is really possible, practical or sustainable. (!!!)

Perhaps it is easier to retire yourself in Malaysia by obtaining their 'My Second Home' PR visa (show income of just USD 2000(?) a month), and making the frequent runs to Perth or the other cities for your kicks, stringing together AirBnB stays?  Air Asia flights are cheap, and Oz's harsh weather and high costs could be weary.  Professionally, I have a hunch you could easier find conservation work in Malaysia as more owners look to conserve heritage structures and upgrading them for use - restaurants, shops, offices.

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I have seen businesses for sale for only 100k AUD that say business migration is possible. Not sure about the details as we already have a visa. But could be worth looking into. There are quite a few business brokers dealing with migration purposes. The businesses aren't the best (at least they didn't fit my criteria), but you would be basically buying a visa.

 

If you have enough cash for a decent investment (at least 300k to 400k aud) you actually have some decent businesses with cashflow)

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My understanding of the 'hoops' of the Business/Investor visa is DIBP is actually looking at the whole picture, so you must have been involved in owning and running your own business for some time, achieving a certain turnover level, or have managed some investment portfolio professionally to establish your case.  I.e. they are looking for some track record, so if you are a business person all along I suppose that is great.  But if you have been employees all the time like we have, and want to buy a business or get into it for the purpose of a visa, I feel myself standing on very shaky ground and having our application thrown out.  Wish I had AUD 5m to spare!  (Significant Investor Visa)

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Many thanks for your replies.  Its all really helpful. I know we're pushing it - and not just in terms of age.   If we are able to emigrate, we would have AUD 400k to invest in a business or set up our own.  I have always been self employed / owned my own limited company as I really didn't think I was that employable (the Navy only employed me for 5 years!)   In any case, my skills in conservation and construction have allowed me to successfully run my own ship.  Similarly we would have AUD 75k income per annum from our portfolio in the UK which we would retain, in the safe hands of our daughters (!)  The sale of our house would provide additional income.  It is, essentially a retirement / lifestyle change but with our feet still firmly in a business.

Sadly my wife underwent emergency major surgery last month which has put a halt to our plans for now but she's recovering well and we may take up the reins later in the year.  However, from a medical point of view, we may not be very welcome any more ..... 

Once again, many thanks for your comments.

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