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If you are planning a shift to Sydney, the jewel in Australia’s crown, you’ll need to be healthy, of good character…and hopefully be good at sport! The first port of call for determining how to settle in the Harbour City is: http://www.immi.gov.au/migrants/

Only New Zealanders can enter, work and live in Australia without a visa. All other nationalities must pass health and character checks and meet strict entrance criteria to be given the big tick by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMIA) under three criteria:

* Skill Stream Migrants, who must pass a points test and score well in skill, age and speaking English

Family Stream Migrants, who must be sponsored by a close family member who is already an Australian citizen

Humanitarian Program Entrants, who are refugees or people in need of humanitarian assistance (and might make the Australian Olympic team in the future!).


If you have made the move to “The Lucky Country”, but are stuck for advice on immigration issues – such as checking on pets still stuck in quarantine or querying the exorbitant amount of customs duty on your liquor cabinet (this is seriously sobering!) –  jump on these sites:

www.immi.gov.au – Department of Immigration & Citizenship

www.customs.gov.au – Australian Customs Service

www.affa.gov.au – Australian Quarantine Inspection Service

www.directory.gov.au – directory of all Australian Government Departments

www.nsw.gov.au – New South Wales Government


www.yellowpages.com.au (including a free business listing service)


For help with immigration issues, the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre can be contacted on (02) 9262 3833 and viewed at www.iarc.asn.au

Don’t be scared to speak up if you feel you are being ripped off or treated unfairly. The NSW Ombudsman handles general enquiries on (02) 9286 1000 and lists contact details for all manner of complaints authorities and watchdogs – from banking, insurance, legal matters and health through to police, privacy, media and telecommunications – at http://www.ombo.nsw.gov.au/complaints/complainhandlinbod.html

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) promotes competition and fair trade and also gives consumers some protection against unfair business practices. Ring them on 1300 302 502 or head to their website at:  www.accc.gov.au

If struggling and in need, check if you are eligible for assistance via Centrelink, a government department assisting people to become self-sufficient: www.centrelink.com.au

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