You’ve overcome the hurdles of your visa application, driven yourself crazy with deadlines and documents and now you have finally, Visa Granted! Congratulations and welcome!
There are a lot of things about our culture and lifestyle that we take for granted and when we are uprooted and planted in a new country, it takes a lot of getting used to. How do I take public transport? Where do I get groceries? How do I get a job?
Hopefully, in the course of applying for a visa, you would have already planned ahead with major things like accommodation and schooling. However, Emma Drynan, managing director of Freedom Migration, says that when settling in a new country, it’s usually the small things that make the biggest difference.
“The best part of my Job is telling people “Visa Granted” but another part of my job as a migration agent is to help families settle down in Australia as easily and smoothly as possible,” she said.
“When couples or families arrive from overseas, they are usually overwhelmed by the number of things they need to do to start a life here.”
“There’s getting a bank account, go card, Medicare and phone plans. What we see planned for the least, is the social side of things,” Emma said.
Everyone often has their own established network of companions and making friends in your new home country is a vital part of migration too.
“Being a multicultural state, Queensland is brimming with different ethnic communities. One of the things I advise my clients of is where and how they could meet people from similar ethnic backgrounds,” Emma said.
“Although I encourage them to mix and form networks with people outside of their own ethnicity, having a home away from home or something more familiar often helps the transition.”
“Visiting temples, churches or mosques or attending events are a fantastic way to meet people and build ties with the community. It’s essential for new migrants to find a support group outside of their own immediate family,” she said.
As a partner visa specialist, Emma says that it is important for all members of the family to have a friendship or support circle.
“With my clients, one person is often a stay at home parent or is temporarily at home while they learn English or look for employment,” she said.
“While everyone else in the family may have colleagues or school friends, the stay at home partner is not given the same opportunities to meet people. It is important not to neglect their social life too.”
“Joining a group in the community or even just getting to know your neighbours will always be useful in the long run,” she said.
Although it is not a pleasant thought, being prepared for all circumstances, even the negative ones, is something that Emma says new migrants often forget to do.
“After getting a visa and moving to a new country, clients are often so happy they forget to make back up plans in case something goes wrong, whether it is in the relationship or just in general,” she said.
“I cannot stress enough how important it is to have people you can rely on beyond your partner. Just so that when they are not around, you will still be able to deal with emergency situations.”
“Having people to go out with also takes away some of the loneliness of being in a new country and leaving family and friends behind,” Emma said.
Australia is a beautiful and blessed country. Most people choose to start a life here in pursuit of a better future and Emma says that new migrants should make the most of the opportunity.
“There is nothing better than seeing my clients feel a sense of belonging in their local community and be comfortable enough to call Australia their home.”
The Department of Social Services provides information for new migrants about settling in Australia on their website. The information booklets are available in several languages. For more information visit https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/settlement-services/settle-in-australia
Starting Life in Australia Checklist:
For more migration information, call Emma on 07 3063 1200.
I am the founder and principal migration agent at Freedom Migration. I am extremely passionate about uniting partners and families with their loved ones overseas. It might be because I’m the product of a partner visa family.
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