So, you’ve given it some thought, had a chat with your nearest and dearest and watched enough episodes of Neighbours and Home & Away to have developed the required nasal twang to make you fit right into your new dream life in Australia.
Then you made the fatal error of starting the real research and, before you knew it, you were curled up in the fetal position in the front room, singing Swing Low Sweet Chariot and promising yourself you’d never stray again.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The process of migrating is huge, not just from a legislative point of view, but also logistics, costs, and perhaps most importantly, the emotional strain that it induces. There are few things in life more unsettling than living with one foot in two continents – unable to move forward in your old life and unable to put roots down in your new destination. We call this the M factor – migration ready, move ready and mightily motivated. Yes, it’s tongue-in-cheek, sure, but stay with me – there are definitely parallels to the TV show with a similar name.
Firstly, the world is full of people who think they have the M factor. For example, there are those who go at it like the proverbial bull in a china shop and then pull up at the last minute. This is after investing a significant amount of money and realising that they actually don’t have that last piece of drive to leave behind all that is familiar and comfortable in return for an uncertain future in a foreign land full of strangers. They’re like the folk who get to the auditions, all bluster and confidence, and then freeze in the wings while waiting for their turn.
Then there are those who are pushed into it by others – their partners, friends or family, who tell them repeatedly that it’s the right thing to do. But deep inside, they know that they really don’t want it and end up miserable, trapped in living out someone else’s dream.
But then there are those who are so right, and so ready, and don’t even know it. Or maybe they do know it, but just don’t know what to do with it.
That’s where working with an expert comes in. Definitely less judgmental than those on that TV show, a Registered Migration Agent will offer you sound, honest feedback on what your options are and advice on the process. The good ones will make sure that they spend time with you, understanding what you hope to achieve, what your goals are, and what your timeline expectations are, and then will put a plan in place to help you achieve those.
In some cases, you may get answers that you don’t want – but those answers might stop you making an expensive and humbling mistake. In other cases, you may get information that you hadn’t considered that put a new spin on the direction you thought you wanted to take. But in all cases, you’ll come away from the experience wiser and more knowledgeable.
Don’t take a chance on missing out on a life that you’ve always dreamed of by trying to undertake something as legally complex and emotionally challenging as an international relocation on your own.