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A lesbian couple loving free, learning anew, and living in Melbourne


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Moving to Australia: 10 Things to Know About Leasing a Property

Moving to Australia 10 Things to Know About Leasing a Property, Melbourne How to Rent a House, Glasswork, Melbourne Houses, Lezgomelbourne, Go Melbourne, Leasing a Property Melbourne Australia, Living Moving to Melbourne How to Rent a House

You can find some beautiful glasswork in well preserved houses. This one, however, can be found in the RipponLea Estate.

You can find a lot of literature about moving to Australia. That’s one of the first things you notice when you do your research online. There are brochures made by the state and local government which you can download. The wealth of information is out there if you know where to look.

But sometimes all the straightforward information you get out there is not enough. Some of us need to work with the details; some of us need some context so we know when and how we can apply such information.

I would like to think that I am one of those. So let me share with you a bit of what I know about leasing a property in Melbourne.

1. Referrals
Renting out a property includes a referral, either from your personal or professional network. So, it is best to know a couple or so people who know you and can vouch for you. Check with your real estate agency too it written referrals are needed.

2. Inspection Times
You may find yourself walking around a neighbourhood and saw a sign for a unit or house for rent. You don’t just barge in or try to snoop around the property. You have to contact the agent and get the details for an inspection time. Be sure to not be late though as some inspection times can be quite short.

3. Rent Rate
Apartments or houses are most commonly leased on a weekly rate. Don’t forget this as you compute and compare your options. The rent is also paid on a fortnightly basis or every two weeks, unless otherwise specified in your contract.

4. Lease Periods
Apartment units or houses are commonly leased on a yearly basis. Although, you may find some that allows you to rent a place from a monthly basis to a 6-month contract, especially in the city where a lot of travelers transit.

5. Location
Research and know what you are looking for in a neighbourhood. You can situate yourself in proximity to public transportation or to where you are looking to send your kids to school. It all depends on the needs of your family so it’s best to plan your priorities.

6. Furnished or Unfurnished
It all depends on your needs, really. But most of the time, the units or houses for lease are unfurnished so you may want to adjust your budget and expectations accordingly.

7. Utilities
Ask about the utilities you need to pay, the due dates, and where or how you can pay them. Depending on your lease or contract specifications, you may be billed for gas, aside from water and electricity. Other monthly bills you may need to pay are for those that you applied for such as internet, phone, and cable television.

8. Bond
A bond is similar to the security deposit we know back home. Typically, a bond is a month’s worth of rent. Knowing this, you have to allocate a budget for the bond and anywhere between 2 weeks to a month’s worth of rent to be paid in advance when you apply for a lease.

9. Always ask your agent
Do not be afraid to ask your agent anything regarding the house. It’s important to know the condition of the house, how certain amenities work, and what to do when something acts funny. Keep communications line open with your agent. For everything else, the real estate agency will update you if a new agent has been assigned to you.

10. Parking
If you see yourself buying a car in the very, very near future then you need to consider your parking options during your lease. If you leased a self-detached house with its own garage, I doubt you’ll be having problems. But in a crowded city where there is barely space for cars, you need to study your options and research the parking rules regulations in the city. It is best know what parking permits to apply for, what on-street parking rules are in your local area, and the terms in a strata parking in your building.

Resource: Melbourne Parking

 

Here are other links that you may find useful:
PDF Guide by the Consumer Affairs Victoria on Renting a Home
PDF Relocation Guide to Melbourne by the Government of Victoria
PDF Relocation Guide for Skilled and Business Migrants by the Government of Victoria
www.immi.gov.au
www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au
www.newcomersnetwork.com

 

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Packing and Buying Winter Essentials Part 1

Brrr! Autumn is the season where you start piling one layer of clothing after another. It is also the season where you have to wrestle yourself out of bed every morning. And now that it is almost winter, it only gets colder and harder to wake up and leave the comfort of those warm blankets.

If you’re moving to Melbourne or Australia during this time, and if you’re not used to cool temperatures like that of Baguio and Tagaytay, then you must prepare yourself and pack some of these items with you. Sure, you can find and buy these items when you get here. It won’t be a problem if you have a budget allotted for winter clothing.

But then again, with temperatures of 7C – 17C, can you brave the cold with barely anything to keep you warm? Besides, you can buy all of these back home at much cheaper prices.

1. Beanies
In the Philippines, we call these bonnets although that may not be accurate. Anyway, bring some with you, especially when you are prone to getting headaches from being exposed to cold weather.

2. Gloves
As I am typing this, my fingers are feeling numb from the cold. If you’re like me whose hands turn to ice whenever the temperature drops, then bring a pair or two. You might want to buy a full finger glove and a half finger glove. Half finger gloves expose the tips of your finger so you can easily text or sms someone on your touch screen smart phone.

3. Scarves
It’s not just a fashion statement; you can keep warm with a simple scarf wrapped around your neck on a cool, windy, winter night.

4. Thermal undergarments
If you like to keep warm without putting on thick layers of clothing, bring thermal undergarments with you. I did because I don’t have any idea how cold autumns or winters can be. Others will tell you it is not necessary, but a pair is okay. I think it will help you adjust to the cool temperature better.

5. Umbrella
It sometimes rains in Melbourne; it doesn’t matter if it’s summer or autumn. You have to have a sturdy and reliable umbrella with you, especially if you don’t want to get soaked in freezing water.

Umbrellas here aren’t cheap and the cheap ones end up in the trash really quickly. So buy a really good umbrella and bring it with you. I’m not telling you to buy golf umbrellas since you won’t be able to put that in your luggage. Just buy a really good one, one that can withstand strong winds. It can be windy here so cheap umbrellas don’t last long.

6. Coats or Jackets
There are many kinds of coats or jackets that you can buy, but what you should be bringing with you is one that is thick enough to keep you warm. There are puffy jackets or vests that you can buy and bring with you. If that is not your style, you can buy a cape, a parka or any coat made of fleece or wool. There are also jackets that are thermal lined so you can keep warm without wearing too many layers.

7. Sweaters & Cardigans
You don’t have to bring a ton with you, just bring one or two so you can layer your clothes. Sometimes, when you attend dinners or parties, it can be too warm to wear a jacket indoors. You have to leave your jacket at the cloakroom, but still keep warm wearing your sweater or cardigan.

8. Boots
If you want to keep your feet and legs warm, then you have to wear boots. But I suggest you invest in a pair that you can wear to work or wear for hours on end. Let’s be practical here. You will do a lot of walking, so invest in a pair that won’t torture your poor feet.

You can buy a good pair of leather boots in the Philippines or you can buy them here for anywhere between $150 – $200. It’s your call. And while you may be able to find $10-$30 boots from big department stores, I don’t think it will be real leather. So, invest wisely.

9. Tights
Tights or leggings help keep you warm. I don’t know how or why but it acts like a second skin for me. So yes, you can wear your dress and keep warm by pairing it with tights or leggings.

10. Facial moisturiser
It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter; I find my skin drying up like the dessert. There is very little humidity here so you have to keep your face and body moisturised. Buy some facial moisturisers to take with you and remember to choose one with a good SPF. Australia is near the hole or tear in the ozone layer, so you have to protect your skin.

On my next post, I’ll be making a list of items that you can buy to make you home more warm and cosy this winter. If you have other suggestions or questions, please feel free to comment.

 

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: Documents and Paperwork

Some people move here with job offers, others with little or no prospects at all. The latter can be really troublesome, time consuming, and cash draining. Remember, you’re starting from scratch. Not unless you have a friend or relative who can house you for free, all you have is yourself, your time, your health, and your savings.

Building a new life in Australia can be difficult for anyone, but not impossible. It’s best to prepare for everything. No matter the circumstances, you can make the transition a smoother one if you have one less thing to worry about.

What I have listed here are just documents you have to accomplish, things to apply for, and other essentials you need to remember and prepare before and after coming to Australia.

1. Contract
Print your job contract stipulating your salary, your official role or designation, and of course, your own signature. You will be presenting this to POEA when you apply for an exit clearance. Consequently, you will be attending the PDOS or the Pre-departure Orientation Seminar.

Frankly speaking, I don’t know what is the purpose of the PDOS. It just wastes time and resources. If people have access to the information they need, they wouldn’t have to attend this seminar. Imagine, the taxpayer’s money goes to pay for utilities, rent, and salary of various speakers who have to give out these seminars. If you compile that into a handbook, into catalogues or brochures Filipinos can just pick it up, pack it in their luggage and we would all be on our way. And in case you forget, you can always read it online or download it. It’s much simpler and cheaper that way.

Besides, if you have travelled overseas as an OFW or business consultant, you are more than familiar and informed of what you can encounter in another country. You know what your rights are and where you can seek help if any need arises.

2. Print your Notification of the Grant of a Visa
You have applied for a visa and it has been granted, congratulations! The Australian Embassy at the Philippines no longer prints the visa on your passport, but it is attached electronically. However, for some reason, the immigration officers at the Philippine airports request to see your visa or a proof of it. Even though they know that the Australian Visa is attached electronically, they still insist! Isn’t this just pure incompetence?! Argh!

So please, save yourself the headache and print it.

3. Apply for a Medical Insurance
It doesn’t matter whether you are a student, a worker, or a dependent visa holder, you will need a medical insurance. You need to take note which one is right for you, what extras you may need to pay, and how long is the waiting period.

4. Bank Account
If you have an international account, you can easily access your money here through Visa or Mastercard. If you have a BPI account, don’t forget to activate Cirrus before you leave. Also, if you want to transfer some of your money from one BPI account to another, you would have to “apply” for that account in your local bank in the Philippines.

You can also apply for a bank account in Australia even before getting here. It requires you to fill out some forms, details like your date of arrival, and of course, proof of identification.

5. References
If you do not have a job offer upon migrating, you can always secure not only your employment clearance or history, but references as well. You need both professional and personal references so you can have a better shot at applying for a job and renting an apartment. It is also helpful to have references based in Australia as well.

6. Get your Tax File Number or Australia Business Number
You can apply online for an Australian Tax File Number or Australian Business Number, so you don’t have to be anxious about

7. Identification
Australia uses a point system for identification when you make an application or complete transactions such as receiving a package from the post.

8. Get connected
Set your phone on roaming 24 hours before your flight, afterwards, buy a $2 simcard so you have a local number and access to the internet.

9. License to Drive
Secure a driving license if you or your family will be settling in the suburbs with little access to public transportation. More information can be found here. Simply select the appropriate state you will be moving to and it will direct you to the respective website.

10. Research
There are plenty of resources you can use, read, and download regarding immigration, work rights, and other information or concerns regarding visas like this one or you can always visitwww.immi.gov.au.

I might be echoing some tips I have written before, but I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to accomplish these. It helps to know what you need to do and to remember. So hopefully, by reading this, you are better prepared and more confident about moving to Australia.

 

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: How to Cope

Having arrived late last year, I was able to keep myself busy by taking in a bit of the sights Melbourne has to offer. The first couple of weeks were truly exciting since everything is new and different. You get to check some of the things the city has to offer like the parks, the local watering hole, the nearest place to get brunch or Chinese take-away, and of course for the sweet tooth like me, where to get your fix for gelato.

Arriving late last year also means I was occupied with shopping for Christmas presents. Yes, we are quite lucky to have more than a handful of friends when we got here. There were get-together dinners, exchange gifts, and parties.
By January, I was getting settled on a routine. There are days reserved for a trip to the market, nights for playing badminton, and a whole day spent on making a full diner with friends. Then there was the Australian Open and Australia Day too.

And wouldn’t you know it, a few days after, the calendar moves to February. It’s love month and the Chinese New Year has come and gone too.

Nothing says you have to get a move on than two New Year celebrations. I would love to have a job by now, but, that is not the case.

So, if for some reason you find yourself stuck or unmotivated or lonely, you’re not the only one. You can keep your sanity in check and maintain your positive attitude by always doing something. In my case, sleeping in and watching television all day helps pass the time, but it doesn’t make you less depressed.

Lezgomelbourne Yarra River

Walking along the Yarra River

While you fine tune your resume and here are some ways you can do to beat the blues away. Again, I’m making a list because it’s just a really nice and easy way to organize my thoughts.

1. Have you talked to someone today?
Hello! How are you? Even a simple exchange of greetings is enough acknowledgment. So take advantage of these days when you can make new friends or acquaintances.

Talk to people who matter while you are not yet too busy to catch up with them. Use whatever social media you can. Skype, Facebook, Yahoo Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp are just some of the applications out there.

2. Participate
I’m sure you have your own stories, your own stock knowledge, and other ideas. You can share these to the community or to the world wide web by writing your own blog like I did. Share what you find interesting, inspiring, or even helpful.

If you think making a blog is too demanding of your time or patience, you can always post your ideas in forums. I’ve mentioned some sites in a previous post, here.

Hopefully, that would give you an idea on the kind of people you want to engage with or the kinds of topic you want to discuss.

3. Pick up your old hobby
Do you knit? I would love to learn how to knit. I think one of my hobbies is picking other hobbies. Lols.

All I’m saying is it’s the best time to practice or indulge yourself with your hobby. At the end of the day, you have made some progress or end up with a finished product in your hands that you can be proud of.

4. Life is out there
Explore a different part of your neighbourhood, or a different neighbourhood altogether. Don’t stay cooped up inside the house. While it isn’t too cold out, while you have a few hours before picking up your kids at school or fixing dinner, you can roam like a local. Walk. Get some sunshine. Breathe in the air. And don’t forget your sunscreen.

If you want more ideas, this other post here and here just might help you.

5. Have a Calendar
Do you know what you are going to do tomorrow? What about the next day? Next week? A calendar encourages you to set some activities you can look forward to. It can be a simple letter you need to write or a short coffee break with a friend. It can be anything you want it to be.

6. Learn something new
Do you like pomegranates? I do. You haven’t tried it? Well, you won’t know unless you try, right?

7. Be Grateful for Something
We all have bad days. We all go through a rough patch every now and then. The thing is, you can always choose to look on the bright side.

8. Love yourself more
People can beat you up physically, emotionally, psychologically. Life is hard enough as it is. We need to help ourselves and love ourselves more.

9. Time Out
It’s okay to take a break. You earned it for trying day in and day out.

10. Make your own list
Always aspire for the things you want to achieve. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short-term or a long-term goal. Write it down. If you can think it, you can do it. If at times you forget, put it up on the walls or on the mirror where you can see it every day. Give yourself a boost.

I know, it’s beginning to sound like a self-help post. But, it is what it is. I try to take my own medicine so I don’t get stuck in a rut. It’s not a pill. It’s not a cure all. It’s just about getting busy and staying positive. It takes some effort, but it’s better than beating myself down. It’s just not healthy for my self-esteem.

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy

I was in a shopping frenzy two weeks prior to my flight for Australia. I was thinking, what clothes do I need? What was worth buying here that was cheaper? Do I need to bring my books?

I am a bargain shopper and I want nothing but a good deal with every peso or dollar that I spent. So, what is it that I just had to pack in my luggage and had to have shipped? And what makes sense to just leave behind? Read on and find out.

1. Bed sheets
Philippines is a textile manufacturing and garment producing nation, so if you look really well, you’d be able to find lots and lots of good sales and deals on items from something as small as socks to as big as bed sheets.

I had brought with me two sets of queen size bed sheets with a 500 thread count, both of which I had bought on sale for around $40 equivalent. If you were to buy bed sheets here, it would probably go for $39 that barely has a 300 thread count. It’s one of the luxuries you can afford.

2. How cold is cold?
I kept asking everyone as to what the weather is like in Australia. It differs from state to state, but it can be agreed upon that it can be quite chilly. And even though the temperature doesn’t go below zero in winter, you can gauge just what winter clothes you need.

I, for one, bought thermal inner wear, and a thermal lined jacket. Many may laugh at me but I can’t stand walking out on a windy, 14C evening. It’s summer here and that temperature is but normal at night. So you can imagine how cold it’ll be by winter time when it goes down to 2C.

3. If you’re going to ask, “Can we find tabo in Australia?” As a Melbourne resident, I can say that yes, you can buy one but finding it is not easy. We went to Queen Victoria’s Market and entered an Asian Grocery, I think it was Minh Phat Supermarket and bought one for around $2.50. So go get your tabo now or later, your choice.

4. Buy new shoes. Sanitize and disinfect old ones.
Buy new shoes and pack it with you. Old shoes means you have to wash them, wait for them to dry, and then put it in your luggage.

It is much cheaper to buy shoes in the Philippines. Even a pair of boots in Payless Philippines has much better quality than a pair of boots, on-sale, at Rubi Shoes on Bourke St.

5. Toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner can be quite heavy to add to your luggage. And you can’t have liquids shipped by air or sea freight, to the best of my knowledge. So, keep them to a minimum. Purchase what you need for a couple of weeks and not more than that.

6. A pair of denims is a great investment, now and forever. One that fits really well gives anyone that tailored look. That way, you can wear it for a casual stroll along the city or dress it up on a Friday night out. Splurge and find a good tailored pair or two to bring with you.

7. Jackets. You can never have too many jackets, I think. You wear one over a dress, you wear one for the office, you wear one for the movies, and you wear one for winter.

8. Underwear, lots and lots of underwear. A good pair of briefs, on sale, can cost $5 each.

9. Buy something for your skin, especially if you have the sensitive type. Weather or temperature changes can be rough on your skin and you are best prepared to handle it with products you know and can rely on.

10. A month’s worth of over the counter medication is more than enough. Don’t forget to declare them, if or when you are in doubt.

You can also read:
10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All About Packing Up for Down Under

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All about Packing Up for Down Under

Southgate, Yarra River, Melbourne, Australia, Lezgomelbourne, Packing, Travel, Tips

The Yarra River and the Southgate Cityscape

I am a bit OC when it comes to packing. I have to have my lists, Ziploc bags, Sharpie, packaging tapes (which for security reasons, as I recently found out, you cannot bring in your carry-on luggage), and scissors among other things.

I don’t have any idea as to when or how many days you should pack before your departure. (I was packing for a whole week and I was stressed at the very last minute). I’m guessing, you should be packed, at least your check-in luggage, two or three days before your departure date. Afterwards, you can just dump anything you forgot in your carry-on luggage or purse.

Other than that, here are a few simple things you can do to make sure you got what you need:

1. Pack new clothes and ship the old ones.
You won’t be taxed for your clothes purchases, as far as I know. To be on the safe side, make sure you don’t go over $1000 on your shopping expenses, including your gadgets. So keep your receipts.

Your old clothes can be shipped as unaccompanied personal effects, including old shoes. Make sure you have used or owned them for 12 months and have had everything sanitized. Write down everything that you packed too.

2. Sea freight or Air Freight?
There are many pros and cons to having your stuff shipped from the Philippines to Australia. They call it reverse cargo and it comes at a much heftier price tag than sending a balikbayan box from the US or Australia to the Philippines.

Sea freight packages needs to be picked up at the port, which means you have to have a car. Second, you may have to clear customs by yourself and pay certain taxes. I don’t have experience on this regard so you may want to ask around. But from what I gather, you can ship as much as 3 boxes for the price of one. Still, you may have to wait for about 15 days to a month for it to arrive.

Air freight ships your package door to door, in 3-4 days. However, this does not guarantee that you won’t be charged by customs for certain taxes. There have been stories about that going around. I, however, didn’t get charged for anything at all. So, you may want to verify that and you may also want to shop for the cheapest cargo forwarder around.

PS. From what I gathered, FedEx doesn’t ship used clothes.

PPS. As of Oct 16, 2012, the DTI released a number of cargo forwarders who are blacklisted because some of the packages failed to make it to their destinations. You can view it here.

3. Check your airline baggage restrictions.
PAL offers 23kg for economy flights, a hand-carry luggage limit of 7kg, and two carry-on items such as your purse and laptop bag. JetStar allows you to choose your baggage allowance, allowing you to purchase up to 40kg. The only drawback is JetStar does not offer direct flights from the Philippines to Australia, unlike PAL.

I have also been reading certain information on the forums that you can try and get the help of IOM or International Organization for Migration for booking your flights as family/migrant to Australia. The contributors to the forums also said that you would be able to get between 40kg – 60kg baggage allowance per person. Again, you may verify this on your own.

4. Electronics
You may be asked to pay certain taxes or fees by Australia customs for bringing in more than $900 worth of new electronic goods or gadgets. But, if your gadgets have been used or owned for more than 12 months, then I’m guessing it’s all good. So, once again, keep your receipts if you can.

But, the duty free concession for minors is less than $450. So please, compute and check how much your household will be bringing in. You can read more about it here.

5. Piracy
Australia is strict when it comes to piracy. So don’t bring any pirated CDs or DVDs. I’m not sure about pirated, luxury bags, but to be on the safe side don’t bother.

They may also do random checks on your laptops or external hard drives. Purchase and store only original software, music, movies, and books. No pirated materials!

6. Bag it!
Place all your gels, liquids, lotions, and even perfume in Ziploc bags so the customs can easily see how much liquid you have on your carry on. More than 100ml and Philippines customs will chuck it out before you board the plane. But, if you plan to put them in your check-in luggage, double bag it for good measure.

7. Porn
Do you really have to?!? No porn!

8. Food Stuff
You can’t bring in any dairy products or food with dairy as an ingredient from the Philippines such as milk, cheese, or polvoron. Meat products, canned, dried, or otherwise, cannot be brought in Australia as well. Certain spices, fresh fruit or dried fruit with seeds, produce, and other food stuff with seeds are not allowed either.

One way to breeze through customs is to just not bring in any food, even the ones from the airplane. But, if you persist, read and familiarize yourself with Australia customs rules and regulations.

9. Cigarettes
Only 50 pcs of cigarettes is allowed tax-free. Bring more than that and you either have to throw it away or pay the appropriate fees and fine.

10. Wood, shells, feather, and raw hide.
No, no, no, and no. If the restriction on animal by-products is too vague for you as it was for me, I declared the pearls that I was wearing to Australia customs and I had no problems whatsoever. So, if in doubt, declare it.

This list is not a comprehensive guide that lists what can be brought in or what shouldn’t be brought in. It is a rough guide that will give you an idea on what restrictions there may be. So, once again, if you aren’t sure, declare it to customs. Or you can learn everything by heart here, here,
and here.

You can also read:

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

Disclaimer: LezGoMelbourne is not paid by nor affiliated with any of the companies, shops, or brands mentioned above (if any). These are LezGoMelbourne’s personal opinions with no intention to cause or do any harm. These tips/guides are not to be taken as fact or absolute. Please consult with a professional for your own counsel.

© LezGoMelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com 2013 Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, including photos if any, without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lezgomelbourne/Lezgomelbourne.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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LezGoMelbourne Guide – 10 Tips on Moving to Australia: The Necessary Preparations

Once you’ve gotten your visa approved, now is the time to make other life changing decisions. I’m sure you have plans already laid out, even before you applied for a visa, but now it’s time for everything to take shape. Time is crucial.

The moment we received notice of our approved visa, my partner, Boo, had less than one month to prepare. I had around two and a half months to pack, prep and fly as well. Every day of the week since then, we had to accomplish something. And so should you.

It’s time to drill it in your head that you’re moving to Australia. Building your life there can be both difficult and exciting, but before you can get to that part, you have to fix your priorities first. So, settle your affairs one at a time and remember to do the following:

1. Make a calendar and set the date.
You may or may not have an employer waiting for you, but it is important that you get things in motion so you can properly prepare yourself or your family for the move. This way, you can have as much time as you want or you can easily allocate what little time you have and spend it with your friends and family.

Prepare your calendar so you can make the most out of your everyday. Planning ahead means you’ll save yourself plenty of head ache, and of course, money. That means, you also have to book and pay for you flight as soon as you can. The early birds get to pay a cheaper fare than the others.

2. Money is crucial.
Count what’s in your piggy bank because you won’t be able to go far without it. Ask yourself, how many months can your savings afford you or your family housing and living expenses? One month may not be enough, even if you have a job waiting for you. You just can’t risk it, especially if you don’t know firsthand how expensive it is to live in Australia.

3. Gather all the documents you need and identification that you can.
There are so many reasons why you need them that I don’t know if I still need to emphasize it. Still, you need them because: You need doctor’s prescriptions for certain medications that you are bringing with you. You need skill certifications for your profession. You need to produce employment history when you are job hunting. You may need police clearances when applying for another visa. You need school transcripts for you or your children. You need medical records and birth certificates and so on and so forth.

PS. Photocopy everything and have important documents validated or notarized.

4. Print your Visa Approval Notice or Letter
Yes, the Australian Embassy in the Philippines no longer stamps your passport. Your visa is attached electronically, but for some reason, the immigration officers in Philippine airports still want you to present proof that you have an Australian visa. Don’t ask me why, it’s just the way it is. Been there, done that.

5. Update your resume and your references
You need to update your resume and make different versions of it. Why do you ask? Well, if you are making a career change or applying for different positions, your resume should reflect the requirements of your potential employers.

Also, you need to secure the telephone numbers and email addresses of your references. They have to be up-to-date so employers can easily communicate with them.

6. Secure your bank accounts, forward your mail, and cancel subscriptions.
You can easily do some of these transactions online, but since it’s the Philippines, sometimes it’s more reliable to just transact over the counter. I easily activated Cirrus on my BPI ATM card at a bank branch and had them forward any bank statements to another address. Also, you may want to ask BPI to approve a local account, such as your mother’s or your wife’s account number, so you can make online deposits to it even when you’re overseas.

Face-to-face transactions are more reliable. One time, I encountered a bill collector for a local cable subscription company who was more than keen to cancel my subscription for me. He also asked that I provide him with some monetary assistance as cancelling cable subscriptions can be tricky. I smelled something fishy. So, I went directly to the cable provider’s office and cancelled my subscription without paying anything. So, beware of your bill collectors. Some are liars! They can be devious.

7. Research and shop for a new neighborhood
Nobody will do it for you, so you have to look hard where you and your family may live. Think about neighborhoods with proximity to the things you need, like school for the children, your commute to work, the nearest grocery, and the post office among others. Walkscore is useful if you want to know where or how near things are.

Another site which helped me a lot is www.realestate.com.au. I really recommend it.

8. Go to POEA and get your Exit Clearance. And for emigrants, secure your CFO sticker and attend your PDOS or peer counseling seminar. You can check the following website for more information: www.poea.gov.ph and www.cfo.gov.ph.

9. Secure your dollars.
You can withdraw and access your money from any ATM in Australia, but it also helps to have a few dollars on hand. So far, I have seen only one foreign exchange accepting Philippine Pesos and that is at the airport. At the time, they are selling Australian dollars for Php47. Yipes!

You can bring in as much as $10,000 Australian dollars, but more than that, you have to declare it. But, if you can access your money through your ATM, why would you even hold on to that much cash?

10. Build your network
Filipinos can be found all over the globe, so I am sure you can find a friend or a relative somewhere, somehow. They’ll be more than glad to help. At least that’s what the reception I have had so far. Anyway, to help you set your expectations and get your hands on some real and friendly advice, you can interact with lot of Australian residents and Filipinos on www.pinoyau.info and
www.forums.whirlpool.net.au.

For other ideas and tips, best to visit the site of the Australian government on immigration about moving to OZ here and here.

You may also want to read:
10 Tips on Moving to Australia: To Buy or Not to Buy

10 Tips on Moving to Australia: All About Packing Up for Down Under

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