So You’re That Bloody Immigrant!
“We arrived and went through passport control, the desk for those with immigrant visas. Expecting yet more questions we were surprised how friendly and relaxed these people were.”
We knew that settling in a new country would bring some challenges but to be honest we have had enough. I am a professional engineer, highly qualified with a good deal of experience in the manufacturing industry but my career is going nowhere and we don’t see the future we want for my children who are 7 and 9 years old.
So moving to a first world country that would provide the security, education and healthcare was a priority in a country where we could both get good jobs. My wife Mari, she’s a teacher and we know they are in short supply as well as engineers. What we didn’t know was the pain we would go through in getting the visas – on one hand they say “we want you” then seem to put every obstacle you can think of in our way.
I knew that we would need to provide information on our background and career but these people are obsessed with detail – they must be paranoid. No I am not a terrorist nor do I have any friends who are. Yes I have worked in the Middle East but as a contractor to a United States company working on a NATO project.
English, yes I can speak English and OK yes I will take the test to prove I have a high level.
Education and work references need to be detailed – who, what, where, when and for how far back! One form even asks for all my and Mari’s addresses since we were 16 including those at university – and no I have not been radicalised.
We are getting closer now. Our qualifications have been assessed and they meet the requirement, all the references complete and support our careers and no we don’t have any convictions. Now the medicals – more time, more worry. At least our agent knows the ropes and keeps us sane, but still there are times when we think is it worth it?
We got our visa last month, resigned our jobs, sold our home and booked the shipping company so hopefully when we arrive our things will be waiting for us. At least with a big family we could stay with them until it was time to go.
We had been looking for jobs and I was lucky enough to get a good position with a company on the South Coast. Working on high-tech engineering projects with the Navy – it seems strange to me that this country needs to bring us in when they have so many universities but that’s good for me. My wife hasn’t been so lucky yet but does have interviews lined up.
Are we making the right move? I guess this is a question that most people have and leaving your family behind, what you know, your own culture is a big risk. I talked to people who have fled from war-torn countries and even in those desperate times it was fear that drove them and they still remembered their home country fondly. But, our decision has been made and if it doesn’t work out we can always come home.
We arrived and went through passport control, the desk for those with immigrant visas. Expecting yet more questions we were surprised how friendly and relaxed these people were. Friendly, not the serious intimidating types like they have in America, but welcoming and surprisingly with an Indian accent.
At last we were here, our new home. Recently the weather had been bad with storm force winds and raging gales but today it was clear skies – we had arrived and our new life lay ahead.
We had decided to take a month off before I started my job. We had found a small place to rent near my work. This would give us time to get the children into school and Mari to follow up on her contacts. She got some fill-in teaching work and ended up starting work before me. All was going well and now for my big challenge, my first day at work.
To say I was nervous, well I really did feel panicked now, new job in a new country working with some top level people. I had been told that these people could be a bit difficult with newcomers and would take time to be accepted.
No problem so far, Human Resources were friendly, I had spoken with them a lot before and those I met in what was to be my team all seemed good people. Some of them had come from abroad too and knew what I was going through. My direct boss wasn’t back until the Friday of my first week and had just left a message with his personal assistant Liana to “bed me in and show me around”.
I was told he could be a bit direct but he knew his stuff and once I had shown I was capable he would get off my back and let me run with the project. My nerves had hit me again 2pm couldn’t come soon enough.
Liana re-assured me as she took me to his office “Tim, Murray’s a great boss – just doesn’t suffer fools”. Thanks, I just left one of those in England!
I walked into Murray’s office, he was a big red faced man not at all what I imagined and he had a big welcoming smile.
So you’re the bloody immigrant – welcome to Australia.
By Ian Marshall
email: [email protected]
Contact Us: Advice On Migration Ltd, 2 Peel Terrace, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO12 7HP UK
Telephone: +44 (0) 1723 447 377 www.emigration-services.co.uk email: [email protected]