Expat Interview From Plymouth To Sydney

expat interview

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Over 5 years ago Millie Deighton and her boyfriend Chris Hill left sleepy Devon and headed to sunny Australia in search of some excitement! We check in with them to see how it’s all going.

Name: Millie Deighton & Chris Hill
Age: 27
Where are you from: Plymouth, UK
Current Location: Sydney
Occupations: Millie – Executive Assistant, Chris – Service Manager

What was your journey to deciding to live in Australia?
“I had just finished university and Chris and I felt it a good time to go travelling. We had a one way ticket to Sydney with the intention of backpacking around the country. However plans quickly changed and Chris was quickly offered sponsorship to stay and work here for 4 years”.

What steps have you had to take with regards to visa applications?
“We originally entered Australia on Working Holiday visas which were easy to apply for online and inexpensive.

Chris then accepted sponsorship through his employer giving us a 4 year work visa (457 – Temporary Work Skilled). This requires you to have a job on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in which your employer nominates you. After we applied it probably only took a couple of months to be approved.

We now have our application for Permanent Residency pending approval. Again, this is nominated through Chris’ work and requires his job to still be on the Skilled Occupation List. The process has been long (and expensive) requiring lots of paperwork, police checks and health checks! The minimum timeframe for approval is 6 months – fingers crossed we’ll be there soon!”

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afl games Sydney

What makes the lifestyle in Australia so great?
“Australia has a very outdoor lifestyle, whether at the beach, the park, in the garden, going for a walk… whatever it is you are always outdoors. A lot of the beaches and parks have public BBQ’s so it’s also great for socialising.

Sport is also huge part of Australian culture and is easily accessible, even for big International games. Whether its Rugby Union or League, AFL or cricket, there is something for everyone here and going to games is a lot of fun!”

Are there any downsides to living in Australia?
“Apart from the obvious distance from home and family, I don’t think so. There is so much to do, and so many things to see it never gets boring. I guess seeing your first Huntsman (think extremely large spider, and then times by 10!) could make you question why you’d moved here!!!”

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Is there anything you miss from home?
“Other than friends and family, not so much now. Initially there were certain shops and foods that I missed, but I soon forgot about them (that’s until I stumbled across a British Sweet Shop and buy the entire place!!)”

Have you tried anything new since living in Australia?
“We have started scuba diving since moving to Australia, and have become obsessed! There are so many awesome dive sites in and around Sydney, let alone Australia.”

diving great barrier reef expats

Explore Darwin, Northern Territory

Are there any must do or see experiences that you would recommend in Australia?
“State of Origin is a game you have to see live at least once, even if you’re not a rugby league fan! The atmosphere at the games is incredible, especially at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane – if you’re brave enough!

And for scuba diving enthusiasts, like us, a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is a must! But also Broughton Island in Port Stephens, NSW is a great dive spot to see Grey Nurse sharks.”

Do you have any top tips for someone looking at re-locating to Australia?
“If you are looking to relocate with the plan to becoming a permanent resident take a look at the skilled occupation list to get an idea of what jobs are on the list.”

What are your future plans?
“Hopefully we will have our Permanent Residency approved very soon, meaning next year can apply for our Citizenship – whoop!” ☺

Money saving tips for moving to Australia 

By Gemma Glover

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