Extra Living Traveling

Tips To Get To Australia

October 1, 2019

Where to Start 

So you’ve decided you want to look into living and working in Australia, but don’t know where

to start? I’ve been asked lots of questions about the whole process of moving

over from the US and how I went about it.

My experience may be a bit different as I was already in Australia when I decided that I would

see if I could get certified as an SLP and find a job, but overall the process would be similar.

The steps I went through to living/working in Australia: 

  1. August 2015 – Decided I wanted to come to Australia – yay! 
  2. August/September 2015 – I already knew that I would look into working as an au pair for a family for my stay in Australia – so I looked on Au Pair World & found a family on there that I would au pair for 
  3. September 2015 – Applied for my Work & Holiday Visa (462) which was approved quickly (within a day) and booked my flight to Australia 
  4. January 2016 – Arrived in Australia and traveled around with one of my best friends from home for a couple weeks – then made my way to Darwin where the family was that I would be an au pair for
  5. During my time in Darwin, decided I would want to stay longer that I anticipated, so looked into other visa options and how to get certified as an SLP in Australia
  6. March 2016 – While in Darwin, drank all the coffee and made all the phone calls trying to figure out how to get certified through the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) 
  7. April 2016 – Got certified through the MRA (more on the MRA later)
  8. April 2016 – Started looking for jobs – went to a Speech Pathology Australia branch meeting to network – the next day one of the SLPs e-mailed me about a potential locum (short-term) job at Royal Darwin Hospital
  9. Got in contact with the manager at the hospital and was offered the locum position for 10 weeks, began locum position May 2016 
  10. When my locum position was ending, applied ALL over Australia for my next position
  11. Accepted a part-time job at a private hospital outside of Sydney
  12. August 2016 – Roadtripped and moved to Sydney
  13. While in Sydney, started applying for other jobs to supplement the part-time
  14. Found a contractor/casual position for a private practice 
  15. November 2016 – During my time in Sydney, submitted my visa application for the Skilled Independent Visa (189) 
  16. February 2017 – My 189 Skilled Independent Visa was approved and granted me permanent residency
  17. November 2018 – Left my Sydney positions to go home to the US for a couple months to spend time with my family and friends and to do some other traveling (South Korea, Japan)
  18. February 2019 – Came back to Sydney essentially funemployed (picked up a few casual referrals through the private practice I had been working for) and continued applying for other jobs (was ready for a change from Sydney) 
  19. February 2019 – Accepted a contractor position for a private practice in Perth (~2 days per week)
  20. March 2019 – Roadtripped and relocated from Sydney to Perth 
  21. Started applying for other jobs around Perth to supplement (and decided I would start this blog!)
  22. August 2019 – accepted a second position as a contractor for an aged care company 
  23. October 2019 – Speech Down Under ready to launch! 

**A few side notes

It might seem easy/seamless in the list above, but…

  • Rejection is real – I did not get offered every job I have applied for here 
  • Lots of documents are needed for the visas and MRA application – I relied heavily on my family in the US to help me chase up some of the documents I needed from home as I was already in Australia 
  • The visas and Mutual Recognition Agreement Application are not necessarily cheap 
    • 462 Work and Holiday Visa
      • $485 AUD
    • 189 Skilled Independent Visa
      • From $4045
      • I took the IELTS English test for enough points – website lists cost as $340 AUD
      • Other additional costs – fingerprinting, medical exam, etc. 
    • MRA Application
      • $700 AUD
      • This does not include the annual membership fee 
    • Membership to Speech Pathology Australia
      • 2019 – Certified Practising Member $546 AUD 

More on all this later, but…

…the main things you need to get you going are: 

  • Determine which visa may best suit your needs [see my previous blog post for more information on visas] 
  • Speech Pathologists – Mutual Recognition Agreement 
    • You are eligible submit an MRA Application if you are certified through the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), Speech-Language and Audiology Canada (SAC), The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists (IASLT), New Zealand Speech-Language Therapists’ Association (NZSTA) 
    • The Mutual Recognition Agreement permits under some conditions for certified or full members of one association to become recognised by the other associations
    • Check the Speech Pathology Australia website and your respective association’s website for further information 
  • PTs and OTs – you would need to check with the assessing authority in Australia regarding certification/practicing here
    • Australian Physiotherapy Council Limited
    • Occupational Therapy Council of Australia Limited
  • Job search 

I can focus on the MRA Application and job searching in future blog posts. In the meantime, check out the Speech Pathology Australia website if you have burning questions regarding the MRA Application (there’s a job board on there too with job postings!). 

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