After a particularly brutal winter in Scotland, in early 2007 I took the plunge to move to Australia and further my career as a digital designer. I had no contacts, no friends or family, but somehow I knew it would workout. After few months of travelling the East Coast, I flew over to the West and based myself in Perth. Shortly, I was fortunate to be offered a Senior Designer role at a small creative agency called Advertising Design Service (ADS) which is situated in an amazing location close to the beach in the beautiful suburb of Cottesloe, near Perth.
Initially, I was on a 3 month probation period which is the maximum amount of time you can stay in one job in Australia with a Working Holiday Visa. Once that was up however, it was time for both myself and the agency to decided whether I was to stay in the country and become a full time employee. There was thankfully a mutual agreement that I should continue at ADS, and the next step was to work out the technicalities of that. For me, I had to commit to living thousands of miles away from home. For the agency, they had to go about the lengthy process of sponsoring me as a designer in their company. This can be a time consuming and costly process. To apply for a sponsorship visa you need to sift through the immigration forms at www.immi.gov.au and go through a bundle of steps to get your visa approved. There is a minimum you must be earning and a few other rules like you must be over 18, have no criminal convictions… trivial things like that.
But, once the initial slog of the visa application is over and you receive that letter of confirmation, you can relax and start your new life as a designer abroad. Whether you stay for a couple of years like I did, or decide you want to move over permanently and get residency, I thoroughly recommended giving it a go. If nothing else, it’s great to start the day with a morning surf and finish work just as your colleagues back home are waking up.
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