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Residency vs working visa, suburbs, teaching and GP


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Hi everyone!


My hubby and I are thinking of making the move with our 1 year old. My husband is a gp and I am a special needs teacher so both of our jobs are on the skills list. Overall the aim Is that we are hoping that we will be able to afford a nice lifestyle I.e nice house, 2 cars, holidays but both work part time. Currently I work part time due to childcare costs hubby works full time and is ridiculously stressed all the time. Lots of people in his work place are having breaks downs and he doesn’t get to spend much time with our baby. We have a nice house but that’s where all our money goes we can’t afford holidays and we do have two cars but considering how hard he has worked for the past 12 years they are nothing particularly nice. Basically we feel we are not getting out anywhere near what we put in in the UK and would like to have more time as a family and a decent standard or living. We feel like we are just keeping our heads above water over here.  


we are currently debating working visa or residency. 


Residency pros:


we can rent rather than live with friends 

not limited to 6 month jobs 

may get permanent jobs and I could then work until I was entitled to maternity leave as we are planning another baby at some point in the future

residency cons

how much will it cost? - I think it’s a lot of money when it may not work out and we may return after 6 month/a year

currently most of our money is tied up in our house in the UK which we are planning to sell but if we needed the funds from the sale we may have to move into rented. There may be ways round this lending the money from family until the house sale goes through but it does involve more risk.


Does anybody have any experience/thoughts or advice? If anyone has got PR recently how much did it cost? 


Also so has anyone done or planning to do agency teaching? What’s they pay like how is it? 


Has as anyone been employed as a GP or done locum work? 


Finally sorry i know so many many different things in one thread! 

Our friends currently live in Freo and love it in terms of the social side as they have found it easy to make friends. By the time we move over they will be in their house in the hills in Bushmead.


I think one of the key things that will help is settle is finding somewhere we feel we belong and making friends. We are coming out to scope things out so will obviously narrow it down then. I’m in two minds at the moment if we would be better getting an apartment in Freo that way we can make friends and pay around $400 a week so we can save a bit of money then move into the hills or wherever when we are more settled. Or move straight to a family home near our friends in the hills - which may be better for family life but is it as social?


any advice would be greatly appreciated! 





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I don't know much about GP practises and if you  can work part time - you may struggle if you're both only working part time to buy/run two cars.

I would say when thinking of suburbs is to look at where your jobs are firstly - no good living in Rockingham and getting a job in Joondalup unless you like a long commute.

You'll be looking at quite a few thousand for the visa alone, then medicals and also flights, shipping fees, at least 10,000 GPB (low estimate) which doesn't include first months rent, bond etc.,

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Thank you for your reply.


I was thinking 10-15 thousand but I’m interested in how much a residential visa is compared to a working visa.


Do you know how much it is to lease and run a car in Perth I’ve tried to research online but there’s only so much you can find.  


Ive found these figures let me know if I’m out. I probably am it’s difficult to estimate. 


Per month 


$2600 rent 

$40 water

$50 electric

$40 gas 

$150 health insurance 

$34 house insurance

$100 internet and phone 

$1200 food 

$1500 cars 

$1080 childcare (3 days)


Total $6794 a month


thank you



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As mentioned above. I think you are confused on visas. 

First, you have to be under the age of 31 for a working holiday visa. Second, you can not have dependants.

The working visa you may be mixing this with is a employer sponsored visa. This is a temporary visa sponsored by an employer for up to four years. This does allow dependants to be included. However. The main applicant must work full time. There are a number of down sides with this visa. For example, you are not eligible for any government benefits. The state will charge you for education for children. The visa is tied to the employer, so, if the main applicant loses their job for any reason (leaves their job as well) the visa is also lost. The most important thing is that it is a temporary visa. Even if you want to stay later, that may not be your decision. 

A permanent visa offers much more security. It also allows you to do what ever you wish regards work. Work part time, change career, what ever you want. 

With regards costs, this is an expensive process. You should budget 30k for total costs. 

I also think you should research more. I am not sure why you think Australia will change your lives in the way you are looking for. It is an expensive country. The days of people moving from the terrace house in the UK to a mansion in Australia are long gone. Also, people work long hours. In fact the average is higher in Australia (longest working hours in the developed world) and many have less annual leave. 

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Thank you for your advice. Clearly we are at the very start of our journey! 


We are not thinking of moving from a terrace to a mansion we currently own a 5 bed new build house and actually would be happy to down size. 


The key key issue for us is my husbands job. He works generally 8-8:30 then brings large amounts of work home with him which is fine he earns a decent wage it’s more the atmosphere of the NHS. Many of his colleagues are off for mental health reasons the NHS is just under so much pressure it’s at breaking point and there are no private jobs over here. It just seems to be unsustainable long term for him to work continuously under so much pressure without it having an impact on his health. 


He has numerous colleagues that have emigrated and are having a better work life balance. I don’t know if anyone on here has experience of healthcare work?





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I work in health care as a MH nurse.  Whilst I feel that I have a better work life balance (perhaps because the children are now young adults), I do work 40 hours a week.  My husband is a broadcasting engineer and works similar hours plus on call.  Even though we do sometimes bring work home, we do feel more relaxed here .. but there is a daily grind that irrespective of where you're living you'll encounter.  Realistically, it's hard to re-establish yourselves in new jobs/careers but the initial efforts IMHO are well worth it.

My daughter graduated with her masters in education last year, there are few permanent teaching contracts - she was employed for 6 months last year and they offered her a years contract for this year.  It's possible that you may initially have to settle for short term or casual contracts.  You will need to look into what's required for  registration, but I know that you need to have the equivalent of a 4 year degree.

I'm not sure how GP's work- if you work for a practice or buy into a practice as a partner?  I've noticed with the GP surgeries we deal with, some seem to have a very static bunch of Dr's whilst other (usually the larger ones) seem to change quite frequently.  I updated a GP list last week that I'd done last year and one practice didn't have one Dr they had the year before.   He may have to look at full time initially to get his foot in the door and then reduce to part time.

Your chosen areas of Freo and the Hills are two of the more expensive suburbs.  Cars don't depreciate the same here and 2nd hand are more expensive than in the UK.  I know smart salary do leasing schemes for cars (I'm a public employee so have access to that .. not sure about private practice), but there is a penalty for ending the lease early.

As we both work full time, we've been very lucky to have a number of overseas holidays (my hubby loves the fact the young adults no longer want to come with us and keeps saying that everything is half price lol), travel interstate can be expensive.

We did bring all our furniture over as the cost of replacing everything new would have been far more expensive than the cost of the container.  It also allowed us the luxury of finding out the bargains and buying when something needed replacing rather than impulse buys because we needed something right away.

it's great to get all the information you can in order to start the process.  Perhaps your husband can enquire if surgeries are sponsoring? (some are managed by large companies like St. John of God).


ETA - you can do a virtual shop on Woolworths or Coles websites and look at properties on realestate.com.au for ideas of rent prices.

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Hi Ali,


Thank you for your response it has been extremely helpful! While we have young children I am happy to teach agency I would do over here if we could afford the risk of me not getting work and live off Toms wages but we can’t. We are both professionals and are happy to work hard and relatively long hours at the moment Tom works around 55 hours then spends every night and every minute he can at the weekend working from home. It may be that he works full time initially then potentially reduces down or it might be that working full time as a GP in Oz doesn’t mean so much work at home - just to have time at a weekend as a family without him getting up extra early to work, worrying when we do have a family day that he should be doing work. I think one of the key things for him as well is lifestyle, I appreciate that when you have young children they and work take up all of your time but I think just being able to get outdoors more would help him. 


We we have a lot to talk about, as mentioned I’m not sure Australia is the answer, it just seems our work life balance here is not sustainable. It would be very difficult for him to leave medicine as he is highly qualified in it not qualified in anything else and it would mean a large pay cut. 


Do do you have any idea why the GP turnover is so high? I think really we need to talk to some GP practices in Perth and get more detail on the work, hours and pay but I’m not quite sure how to go about that.


Car wise I think once we’ve sold our house we would be able to use some of the money to buy car, though we do want to keep a pot in a UK bank account for if we decide to come back. 

Again thank you for your reply it was really helpful.


I have contacted an emigration soliciter today and she is going to look into residency for us.


Kind Regards






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Personally, I would tend to not work near to where I lived - partly to help the work life balance and home/work separate.  I do wonder if some of the GP turnover is due to temporary visa's, but also in the suburbs I work, you do get some GP's leaving one practise and going with another.  I would think about the area's you might want to live (as you've already done), then look at what you feel is an acceptable commutable distance.  When we first moved, I had to go back to working on the wards and as it also entailed nights, I didn't want to travel more than 30 min - like you, I wanted to spend more time at home with the family and travelling over an hour each way to work didn't float my boat lol.

If you can narrow down some area's - then i'd just google GP practices in those areas and send out a few exploratory emails - when we were making the move I did find a lot of people very generous with their time in pointing me in the right direction.

If you're using a migration agent - make sure their MARA registered.  I look forward to hearing more about your journey.  We certainly feel the move has been worth it (12 years have gone very quickly), we feel very much at home and content.  My daughter (now 24) comments a lot about being thankful she had her teenage years here. Perth can get a bit of a slating for being isolated, boring and nothing for young adults to do … we've found none of that and my two have always found things to do.  

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You want to work less and basically make more? Is that realistic? And why would his work be less stressful over here?


Our experience is that part time work is far less common over here than in the EU.


P.s. if you eventually want to live in the hills, why not look for a rental and work over there immediately then? You build up a network and get to know an area that you are planning to stay in.

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