Shankar provides valuable insights into how to plan for and make the move to Australia

In Relocation case studies by Ben Duncombe5 Comments

How long have you been in Australia and how long prior had you been planning to make the move?


I have been in Australia for a little over 10 months. I had been planning for about a year to make the move.



Did you move with family? How this was process and was it easy to secure a visa for everyone? 


I did not move with my family to start with. Couple of reasons, I do not have a job when I was relocating and also I wanted to make sure I set everything here before my wife and kids arrive in Australia. With the grace of god, everything went as planned for me – I moved here in August 2015 and my brother was kind enough to let me stay with him, I ended up saving a lot of money on rent. My family arrived here in April 2016 after I got my first job in November 2015. It gives you that extra bit of flexibly to pick job offers anywhere in Australia if you are alone, also you can buy all the necessary house hold stuff before you family arrives.


It is always good to lodge visa for the entire family together. Some people consider lodging a separate application to deter costs just in case if the visa for primary applicant is rejected for some reason. Here are the things to consider

  • As long as you can substantiate your claims in EOI with right documentation, your application with be through 99.99 percent of the times unless you have a serious medical problem
  • It is very costly to lodge a separate application to dependents. When you launch a separate application, one among your dependents now becomes the primary applicant. Remember, you are not the primary applicant anymore as you had already gotten your VISA.
  • Processing time for dependent visa (spouse and child) is huge, it is almost 4 times the general skilled visa processing time. Most people end up getting their family on visiting visa while dependent visa is still being processed. An important point to remember here is that you will have to be outside Australia when dependent visa for your wife/ kid is issued. This is a lot of stress as you will have to take an unplanned break from your job and unforeseen airfare costs to go out of Australia.



What visa did you initially enter Australia on? Are you still on the same visa?


I entered Australia on Skilled Immigration Visa also called as 189. I am still on the same visa at the moment.



Why did you choose to come to Australia on that visa? What other options did you consider?


The reason why I chose to come on that visa is because:


  • It lets you work anywhere in Australia without any restrictions.
  • You are a Permanent Resident (PR) from day one which means, you are eligible for Medicare, free education for kids, monetary support called Family Tax Benefit from government if your family income is less than 120K per annum. To Summarize – Except for the “right to vote” you enjoy all the benefits & privileges that a citizen of Australia would get.
  • You will also be eligible for citizenship if you stay in Australia for 4 years (this doesn’t mean you cannot travel to your home country for vacation). Once you get your citizenship, you are eligible to work in other countries like the USA as well.



What was the process for securing the visa? How long did it take?


It took me about 3 months to secure my Visa from the day I cracked IELTS. I think the process of securing the Australian PR Visa is very straight forward and well streamlined. I know most people back in India or other countries take the help of immigration agents assuming it to be a complex process. However, it is not true if you do your homework right.


Here are the steps:


  1. Check if your skill (job that you have been doing) is listed in Skilled Occupation List (SOL) on immigration website
  2. If yes, it is time to calculate your points. You can accumulate points based on your age, Number of years of experience in the skilled occupation, education qualification, and your command over English language. (Tip – google for websites that can simulate the point system)

What I like about Australian immigration process is that it gauges a candidate based on all the aspects of what is required to conduct a job effectively. For example, you may be good at doing what you do but what if you cannot communicate well. Commination is the key in any role and any level to generate synergy. Take the case of US process for example, they shortlist H1 applicants based on a computer program (lottery) and many eligible candidates end up losing, many undeserved candidates end up getting work permits.


Believe me, it is not so easy to gain these points. Here is an example for point calculation


Age 32: 30 Points


Experience: 9 years of relevant experience considering you started your career as early as 23, please note the first two years of your experience are generally not considered. The assumption is that the first 2 years of anyone’s career is always learning, be it on the job or from formal trainings. In most cases it takes 2 years for anyone to reach a certain level of competency in whatever they are doing. Having said that, only 7 out of your total 9 years is considered for points’ calculation.


So, 7 years would fetch you 10 points.


Education: Any Bachelor Degree in Technology would fetch you 15 points.


This sums up to 55 in total – what I love about this point system is the way it is designed, 90 percent of the people end up scoring only 55 excluding IELTS/PTE Score** . If you think through it logically, if you score more in experience you lose points in age and vice-versa.


Now that we have 55 points, you need to score well in the English test (7 or more in all bands for IELTS) to secure 10 points and cross the threshold of 60 points in total.


OK, now let us take a step back here. Think about the things that are in your control and that are not. Age, Education, experience is very much in your control so you don’t have to worry about them. What is not in your control and what is a major hurdle I would say for any person whose mother tough is not English is cracking IELTS / PTE.


** International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and Person Test for English (PTE) are the tests that measure the language proficiency of people who want to study or work in environments where English is used as a language of communication.



  1. If the point simulator fetches you 60 points or more it is time to apply for the English test and also get an assessment done for your experience and education qualification by a relevant body in Australia. Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the governing body for technology people. Candidates have to submit the governing body with true copies of all experience letters, a detailed resume with roles and responsibilities, all education certificates. They take anything between a week to 2 months to come back with an assessment. It is very important to read your assessment copy carefully. They mention the date from which your experience is considered to equate to work at an appropriately skilled level and also its relevancy to the skill you are applying.


  1. Fourth step would be to lodge what is called EOI (Expression of Interest). I recommend watching YouTube videos on how to fill the EOI form. EOI is letting the immigration know that you have all the eligibility to migrate to Australia on a skilled visa and seeking their invitation. Please note you don’t have to submit any documents while filling an EOI. It is just a form that asks you questions about your age, work, English test score, education etc. The system would then calculate the points and dumps your EOI application in the pool. Every month a limited number of applicants are invited to apply for Visa based the score & date of application.


  1. Once you are invited, you get a link in the invitation to create an immigration account and substantiate your claim for your points. In your account, you will have to attach true copies of Education, travel document (passport), Experience letters, ACS Assessment Copy, IELTS Score Card, Police Certificate about your character etc.


Paying the Visa fee is the next step for primary applicant and their dependents. Once the payment is made, a case officer is generally assigned within 2 to three months. He / She will get in touch with you if they need more clarity on anything to decide on the application. They will also send you a HAP ID which is a unique ID to get your medical tests done from an authorized medical center in your native country. All the medical reports are sent by the medical center to the immigration team.


Once the case officer has all the necessary documents to decide on your case, they will decide on your application and send you a grant notification. It has all the important info about your visa and most importantly the date by which you will have to make a first entry in to Australia.


Please note, case officers are generally patient and would ask via email/call if they need any clarity. If you don’t have a document to substantiate a claim you can ask for time to go back to them.




What was the hardest thing about relocating to Australia? 


It was not very hard to relocate except for the fact that you may have to leave your friends and relatives back home. Thanks to technology that made the life easy with fast travels and easy communication.



What would you have done differently?


Doing homework before stepping in to Australia. After getting your Visa, reach out to local recruiters via LinkedIn, Seek, and look for opportunities while you are still in your native country. I made a wrong decision of quitting my Job in India and arriving here jobless. Most of the organizations are also paying for relocation expenses for entire family.


However, some companies prefer people who are onsite. My recommendation is to try for couple of months from your native country before moving here.



How did you secure your first role in Australia? What advice would you give to a Salesforce job hunter looking to secure their first role in Australia?


It is a small world, you only deal with a limited number of recruiters for the technology you are in to. This holds good for salesforce too. It is very important that you first win the confidence of those handful of recruiters you deal with. Believe in the fact that Salesforce is a technology that is in demand and an ideal candidate will always find an opportunity. Here are my suggestions


  • Build a strong and short (not more than 2 page) resume – provide just enough details to make the recruiter curious to learn more about you with a follow-up call.
  • For you to be shortlisted for a position your resume should always standout – certifications do help.
  • LinkedIn is the best source of job postings with greater response rates, buy a premium access if need be.
  • Keep in touch with the recruiters so that you stay on the top of their mind
  • Seek feedback after every interview
  • It is very important to discuss about the position with the recruiter before the interview. Also ask relevant questions during the interview to understand their pain points and demonstrate how you handle such situations out of your experience.


When I first arrived, I landed in Adelaide as it is the place where my brother lives. It was not easy for me as most of the requirements are either in Melbourne or in Sydney. I slowly started applying for positions and started getting a handful of calls. I was interviewed by couple of Salesforce partners in Australia and New Zealand, however were unsuccessful. One has budget issues and put the position on hold and the other feels that the domain is not relevant to what I worked in the past. My third interview was with the frim that I working at the moment – they have completed Phase 1 of Salesforce implementation. They are looking for someone internally not just to implement rest of phases but also tackle the most important issue which is adoption. I was competing with two other people in the final round, as I mentioned before my certifications and showing them practical solutions to the problems that they have at that moment helped me bag this permanent position.



What advice would you have for a Salesforce professional looking to move to Australia?


Do your homework right! It is very important to get certifications under the belt to stand out in the crowd. Reach out to the recruiters via LinkedIn. It is always a good idea to move here with a job in hand rather than looking for opportunities after migrating.



What have you found to be the main differences between living and working in Australia compared to your home country?


Due to globalization, you pretty much feel the same in terms of your work. However, you get to work with people with varied backgrounds and cultures. In a long run this helps you to be a global citizen.


Public transport is far better when compared to what we get in my home country and this helps me to save lot of time commuting and gives me personal time with family. Australia has lot of tourist attraction places that helps you to spend quality time with family and friends.


Also, quality of living is the best– clean surroundings, better education system for kids, and government support.


I can’t ask for anything better!



Why did you choose Australia in the first place?

Australia is the only country after Canada that offers a permanent residency based on the skills that you poses. Also, the process of getting a PR is very well streamlined. Weather is moderate and close to the conditions back in my home country. Quality of life is the best and kids get best of the education for free.



How has moving to Australia been good for your career? 


This helped me to know more people and become a global citizen and also incremented my salary by manyfold.



Have you now got an Australian accent?

The British ruled India for considerable amount of time and I consider that to be a blessing in disguise for all Indians. Most of educated Indians speak acceptable English.

I don’t think I picked up the accent completely, however I am quite comfortable using the local jargon. As they say learn the culture not the language, in my short stint here I think I picked up the culture quite quickly.


Leave a Comment