Are you in the process of emigrating to Australia?
The Australian government has announced plans for a large-scale recruitment drive for 20,000 skilled immigrants.
The immigration department has said the nation needs more engineers, doctors, car mechanics and accountants and is planning exhibitions across Europe and India to promote the scheme.
In the 1950s and 60s, Australia mounted a major campaign to attract immigrants from Britain, but this time the migration will be more targeted to fit specific labour requirements.
Are you considering taking your skills abroad? Have you already made the move? Have you had your application previously rejected?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:
I moved here from OZ 3 years ago, and the old saying you 'don't know what you've got till it's gone' plays true. I love the UK and Europe, I have made it my home and even plan to marry a Brit. However I would go back in a heartbeat. My advice: Go if you can, if you don't like it you can always come back. The life style is second to none, and the fact that it is sooooo far away from everything (let's face it home is only a phone call away) actually becomes appealing. Especially with what's going on in the world these days. In all honesty its the best place in the world (I have seen a fair amount of it), and a great place to bring up kids. Good luck to all the hopefuls.
Although born and raised in UK, I have dual nationality and visit Australia regularly. My friends and family from here and there often ask why I don't make the move permanent. Several reasons: 1) distinct lack of culture, bad football coverage, racist self obsessed locals 2) way, way too hot. A day in the sun is lovely when rare, but having to apply cream every time you leave the shade is too much. 3) A year spent in 'paradise' dropped my IQ by half and reduced my conversational skills, to 'ah yeah, I reckon 4) All their beer (although ok) tastes the same.
Jonathan, London, UK
Why is it that everyone seems to want to emigrate to 'culturally shallow' plastic English-speaking countries? I'd much rather learn a new language and emigrate to a country like Brazil, Chile, or Argentina - just like lots of Spanish and Portuguese people do. Too many British people want to stay in their comfort zone! South America has a much richer culture than Oz - I wouldn't move to Oz if you paid me! Yuk!
John Richards, London, England
I agree with several of the comments above. It is not that I want to go live in Australia, although having spent time living/working over there already I would be sorely tempted. What I want to do is move away from the UK. The cost of living, the lack of respect for each other, the growing underclass and falling educational standards. These and many other reasons make me look at the UK and I think, I don't want to be here. Unfortunately, holding the Olympics or a change of government won't make things any rosier.
Sven, Sheffield, Britain
We left the UK in 1995 for Aus - my husband had a job offer so we got assisted emigration. I had a good job within 4 weeks (we are both mining engineers). We spent 10 years in Aus living mostly in the bush (fabulous place, fabulous people) and had 3 children along the way. It is a long way from family and it is hard work developing family ties for them with people they only see once every 2 years or less. The quality of life is good (and hot) and cheap when compared with the UK. We are currently working in Canada for 3 or 4 years and are planning to head back to Aus after that. I have never wanted to look back on my life and wonder what it would have been like if I had done something different. The world is out there for the exploring - sometimes you just have to jump.
Laura, Yellowknife, Canada
My wife is Aussie but we met and live over here. I love Australia, but living there would be a step too far. Every time I'm there I feel like history is happening elsewhere - you are so far away from the great centres of civilisation. Great holiday destination, but London is capital of the world and I wouldn't trade that for a dull suburban life where "better quality of life" means a beach and a barbie.
Andy, London, UK
I am a software engineer who applied for skilled migration to Australia in May. I received an acknowledgement of the receipt of my application and have been told to wait a year for a reply. The timescales are not really conducive to a fluid labour market.
Gary Timuss, Oxford, UK
I'd love to emigrate if I could. I'm highly skilled in a technical subject and have two university degrees. Unfortunately I'm too old to qualify for entry. As a single man who's a higher-rate tax-payer, I'm tired of being treated as a "cash-cow" to be milked of my hard earned money. I put a lot of money into the British tax system, but get very little in return. I worked out in the Middle East back in the 1990s and bitterly regret ever returning to the UK.
Unknown UK Tax-payer, London, UK
To anyone who is young without ties, this is something you have to try as it will be a great experience. Living in another country gives you a whole new perspective on pretty much everything. It will also give you a greater appreciation of what you have left behind. I moved to the US with my job in 1997 and I have really enjoyed it. I have a great life here, but I still love my trips back to the UK and I'm looking forward to moving back with my family next year.
Daniel, Minneapolis, USA
The grass is never greener but the different shade of green might suit you. Indeed it is less a place being worse or better in absolute terms and more like seeds being scattered to the wind. Some will prosper in certain places and different ones in others. Meanwhile, it is worth considering a move carefully since if you ever decide to move back you may find the place you left has changed for good. Indeed, the past is another country, as they say.
Matthew Stott, Cadiz, Spain
Having made the move to Moscow seven years ago nothing will entice me to return to the UK. High taxes, high crime and a generally miserable attitude to life is not something I have a great desire to return to.
Ed, Moscow, Russia
I lived in Aus for 6 years. We put in for residency but due to a clerical error on the form were turned down. Now being back and after having had a child the lure is not so strong for my wife esp as she has family so close. As for me - well every time I see Sydney on the TV I wonder what I'm doing here. It's tough but if you have the chance go, go, go you will not regret it. Word of warning have your forms filled in by qualified and recommended professionals do not scrimp on this cost as it really cost us very dearly.
Stefan, Leeds, UK
Oz is a great country if you have money but it's no different to the UK if you don't - you'll still have the same worries about your mortgage which will still be the same proportion of your income as in the UK. Remember most salaries are less in Australia than the UK and income tax is generally higher. Houses are no longer cheap and jobs are generally more difficult to obtain in Australia and unemployment is somewhat higher than the UK. That's why there are so many young Australians in the UK.
Annette, Kirra, Australia
If I'd been 40 instead of 60 I'd certainly looked at emigrating to Oz especially with my IT skill set. However, I decided to move to Spain at 60 where at least they have a sense of national identity, culture and no anti-social behaviour that's prevalent in UK cities. Add in no stealth taxes, low council taxes, sun, sea and sangria there's no contest. Sorry Gordon Brown, I've exiled myself with my hard earned pounds.
Mike Godfrey, Denia, Spain
I moved to Canada just over four years ago and have recently married a Canadian. I know a few people that have moved to Australia and love it. For me it was too far to go. As an IT professional I would say to anyone, stay where you are. In Canada anyway there is nothing and it seems to be the global norm at the moment. My wife and I are considering relocating back to the UK. My wife loves the UK and wants to leave Canada.
Mark S, Canada (Ex UK)
I married an Australian citizen a couple of years ago and as soon as we've paid my university debts off we're moving to Australia. We would go sooner but it's hard paying off the British pound with the Australian dollar.
Been in the USA for eight years and getting used to the fact that I'm probably never going to live in the UK again. It's not such a huge loss although being away from close family is the worst of it. If I was going to move again, I would definitely do the Oz thing. We were married there in 2001 and discovered that Sydney is a great place to live and work. Maybe one day I'll make it over there permanently.
Ash, LA, USA
I genuinely can't understand why anyone with a degree would want to leave the UK. I think it's the best country I've ever been to and would emigrate there in a heartbeat if your short sighted Home Office would allow me to.
Sanford Santacroce, NYC, USA
I am a fifteen-year-old and I have already chosen that when legally feasible to do so, I will apply to emigrate to Australia. The UK offers nothing to me. Schooling is deteriorating, job prospects are not very high and given the Australian lifestyle and climate I know which one I would prefer. This new idea is a great one, lets just hope the chavs we live with do not follow.
Shola P, London
Having lived in Australia for eight years I would warn people not to expect too much. There aren't the job opportunities that you get in the UK, and if you want to live anywhere 'civilised' the housing costs can be exorbitant. Everywhere is a long way from anywhere else and really the place just exports raw materials and imports finished goods, not a good way to run a country. It's also way too hot and rarely has rain. When we were there we lost the roof of our house to a waterspout and nearly lost the whole house to a bushfire. If you don't like huge cockroaches and big poisonous spiders then stay away, you have been warned.
Chris, Telford UK
I'd love to travel extensively in Australia to enable me to fully appreciate its culture, natural beauty and people. However having been fortunate enough to have lived and worked in a number of countries I have come to realise the grass is rarely greener on the other side. At the end of the day why would I want to move abroad on a permanent basis, unless of course I was willing to settle for living somewhere that would always be second best when compared with the UK?
Peter Reed, W-S-M
I don't know what it is about Australia, but everyone I know who had ever been there wanted to stay and live there if they could have. I am an Engineer and if I were 20 years younger (I just turned 50 unfortunately) I would definitely look into an opportunity like this.
John, NJ, USA
We are trying to get a visa, but are considered too old at 45 and 47 even though my husband is a qualified engineer with the specific skills short in Australia as his brother is age (35) is working in Brisbane in that profession so knows first hand both the labour/skills shortage in engineering and also my husbands expertise and knowledge that would benefit Australia. We also would be able to but a property outright in Australia once we sell our UK property. We have two daughters one of which is due to attend university so another asset for Australia.
Debbie Tallentire, Bracknell Berkshire England
Almost five years ago while studying in Melbourne I met my fiancé. In 2001 I had to return to my country and ever since we have been planning my return to Australia. Last month after a somewhat lengthy process I finally got my visa. I will be moving to Australia next month and I am looking forward to it.
Nicolas Canal, Bogota, Colombia
Last year my son and his wife emigrated to Vancouver, Canada. Although as a mum I'm devastated at their decision, having visited them and seen the quality of life, the opportunities and the 'coffee culture' as opposed to the yobbish lager culture in this country I fully understand their decision. Unless this country cleans up its act we will continue to lose the brightest and the best!
Irene Mills, Coulsdon, Surry UK
My wife and I are seriously thinking about leaving England in the not so distant future, but I wouldn't move to Australia. I have nothing against Australia; it's just that it is so far away from Europe.
Michael Neill, Hull, UK
We moved to Canada for a two year stint. That was six years ago. We had all our options open to come back, including our house and a secure job, but chose to stay here. We have chosen to live in a country with a slower pace of life, greater social equality and less focus on money. I took a drop in disposable income to stay here, but the quality of life is much better.
Jon, Comox, Canada
I made the move to Sydney nearly two years ago. Haven't looked back. The process of getting a visa to stay is quite long winded, but with qualifications and experience its made a lot easier for you. Its not all beer and beaches, but the lifestyle is a more focused towards 'outside of work' activities than in the UK. Australia is such a diverse and interesting place, with people from many nations generally living in harmony together. Australia is not a tax break or full of deadly spiders, but I would certainly recommend it.
Ed, Sydney, Australia
I am actually in the process of applying for a highly skilled migrant visa to Australia. It does seem restrictively difficult....and they say they want. us over there
I did the backpacker thing around Australia in 1991, after meeting some Aussies in a pub in London. I loved the country, the people, the climate and most importantly for me, the standard of living. England is a great country, but I think the financial divide between the classes has grown too much, so in 1992 upon my return to England I started the process of emigration. After 22 months, much form filling and one rejection I was given permanent residency. I have now lived in Sydney for 10 years with no immediate plans to return (maybe for the Olympics). Life is good.
Ian Welling, Sydney, Australia
I'm a Londoner currently taking time off to live in Australia for a year. It is a stunningly beautiful country with warm, good-natured people. I do have reservations about the prime minister, John Howard, but can report to the man worried about poisonous animals that in Sydney itself you never really see anything particularly worrying. On the contrary you get beautiful parrots in the sky, amazing flying foxes, and curious possums.
Michael Contaldo, Sydney, Australia
The grass is definitely greener on the other side. Sydney is great but the East coast in general is tacky and full of the yobs that you're trying to escape from in England
The land down under is full of opportunity and good luck for all who want to give it a go. I am UK-born and have lived in Australia for around 40 years. Come and be part of a hard working, beach loving, sports mad, BBQ's in summer lifestyle and breathe the clean air.
Steve Whitelock, Brisbane, Australia
I migrated as an accountant in February. This whole moving to Australia thing is deceiving. It's really not as easy as the media makes out. Plus, people forget that you still have to live a normal life in Australia. It's not all barbies, beaches and beer. You still have to get the kids to school and navigate rush hour to the office. Public services actually tend to be better in the UK. The biggest difference is the weather.
Paul, Gold Coast, Australia
I made the move from the UK just over two year ago. From day one I loved this country, climate, geography and people. It never ceases to amaze me how proud Australians are of their country and culture. I'm now a permanent resident and in the process of buying my first house here - I'd recommend it to anyone.
Claire, Sydney, Australia
I moved to Perth almost 2 months ago with my husband and 4 children. I am a midwife and came to Oz on my skills. We think the opportunities and lifestyle for the children and ourselves in Oz far outweigh the UK. House prices, jobs, weather - the list is endless. We are loving it out here and haven't thought about going back since we landed.
Cheryl, Perth, Western Australia
I moved to Western Australia with my wife and three kids nearly 3 years ago. We became Australian citizens last week. Australia is a land of opportunity if you are prepared to work hard. It is also a very diverse country, each major city is very different to the next. Perth is a modern, clean city with great facilities and infrastructure. The sun shines for most of the year and, in my opinion, is the best place in the world to bring up children. Australia is not the paradise it is sometimes portrayed as, it has its social problems too, most notably there is still a lot of work to be done to address the disadvantages faced by indigenous Australians. The thing I admire most is the ability Australia has to be truly multicultural and yet for the vast majority to see themselves as Australians first and to be proud of their country. I now also see myself as Australian, with English heritage.
Dan, Perth, Australia
I lived in Australia for seven years and it's not all it's cracked up to be in my opinion. A big desert island really; too hot in summer and it rarely rains. Nice for a holiday but not to live there permanently. I lived in Perth which is a beautiful city, but fairly dull. And the pubs are not good because most Aussies sit at home and drink in front of the telly.
Nick Hewson, York, UK
My wife and I are skilled professionals. I have lived in USA, UK, Malaysia and Singapore and was exposed to different people and cultures. Soon, my family and I will be moving to Australia to live and work. If you want a change in life and scenery go for it. Don't be hindered by different accents!
David, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Lisa (Florida) - you are a woman, 50 years of age - don't try Australia unless you can face many months of rejection before you get a job. Bring 6-12 months salary with you. Ruska - while everyone, employed or not, has access to basic healthcare, it is not free. You may want to do a little more research in that regard. Nevertheless, Australia has quiet, peaceful, city and beach suburbs, and countryside. I live in the bush, 28 km from the Sydney-Newcastle freeway: very pure air, the only hooligans are the native animals who eat my seedlings, and I can see the Milky Way in all its glory every night. But, broadband, and a tarred road will not be available in my lifetime at that location (and let's not talk about the electricity supply)! Plus, 15-20 hours train commuting per week. If you want to emigrate, I advise living and working here for 3-6 months on a temporary basis before you make the move.
Wendy, Sydney, Australia
Like many, I've grown tired of this country. It is so dirty, compared to others. Yob culture, nothing works properly and wages are so low, taxes so high, so many social problems. For decades governments have operated a low wage economy, which is why they depend on a steady flow of cheap immigrant labour. We are planning to move to a society that is organised around the people that live in it and not the interests of its government, i.e. Sweden or one of the other Scandinavian countries. I won't regret leaving the UK. So many people do.
I moved to Australia two and a half years ago. It's a wonderful place to live but don't expect to get anything approaching the salaries on that Salary Expert website, take at least forty percent off their quote. Also be prepared to pay far more direct tax than in the UK. The weather's a lot better mind.
Nick Waddell, Brisbane, Australia
I cannot understand many of the comments here. The UK is a fantastic place to live, we have four seasons, a great economy, and a decent welfare system. I have travelled through Australia and the weather is vile as far as I am concerned. The wages are also hopeless, the hours are long and I could not stand to be a 24-hour flight away from my family. I will never the leave the UK - I love it!
Andy F, London, UK
I lived in Hong Kong for two years and had the opportunity to move to Australia. I visited it a couple of times and found that it is not the utopia many people believe it to be. It has higher taxes, lower pay, many ethnic problems and it is a very isolated country. It has a fraction of the things to do in the UK and the rest of Europe, which on our doorstep. The latter is the reason why many Australians leave their country.
Graham Ridler, Leeds, UK
Why the obsession with Sydney? Sure, it's an amazing city to visit, but to live in it's just another big, expensive city with all the associated problems. Australia is a big country with lots of wonderful places. I have no regrets moving here, apart from the distance from my family, as the lifestyle is far better.
Karen, Rockhampton, Australia
I'm a doctor, already thinking of leaving this country before it gets any worse. I'll be looking into this immediately, before the NHS and the irresponsibility of the British population drains any more of my will to live.
Dave, Nottingham, UK
Australia, great to visit but my God it's boring. Nothing ever happens and it has no culture at all. With regard to the comments of escaping the yobs over here, there seemed just as many in Oz, there's just more room to avoid them. The Gold Coast was like a big hot chav convention!
My family and I would love to go Australia to live. However as I am 45 I would not be accepted unless the age limit was raised. I have a job on the MODL as a registered nurse but cannot apply for a permanent visa because of my age. Shame really when nurses are in short supply down under.
C Arthurs, Greater Manchester, UK
Young Aussies come to the UK for fun and opportunity. Old whingeing Brits go to Australia to retire.
Zak, London, UK
I must admit that the idea of wide open spaces, healthier living conditions, better weather and a whole new country to explore does sound appealing. However, I am not sure if I am too keen on moving to a country where the only thing that is not dangerous are the sheep.
Niall, Edinburgh, Scotland
We have our permanent visas and move out in just over a week. We had a holiday in Perth last year, absolutely loved it, came home and assessed all we had here. Done deal! Manufacturing nearly extinct, education system getting worse, health service in tatters, I could go on. Perth here we come! I am in engineering and see more long term prospects there than here, I'm afraid.
Martin Dryburgh, Fife, Scotland
I moved from Australia to the UK over 10 years ago and haven't looked back. Sure, the weather, food and house prices are better in Australia but you don't get the social life, educational or job opportunities that you get here - regardless of what the immigration officials tell you!
Molly, London, UK
My wife and I are emigrating to Australia next month. The UK has a wonderful history, great leaders, great inventors, explorers and travellers. Why are those people absent in today's UK society? My unfortunate impression of the UK is that the phrase "whinging" could be applied to a large part of the population.
I emigrated to Australia in 1967, hold dual UK and Australian and British citizenship and have returned to Australia three or four times on a long(ish) term basis in the last three decades, but I live and work in the UK and always will. Australia is, as someone has pointed out, a stunningly beautiful country with a gorgeous climate, and if either of those characteristics will provide you with a job to go to then go ahead and migrate. As I did, many of the 'Ten Pound Poms' now lining up for the entry permits will find that you cannot eat scenery.
Dr Reece Walker Ph.D, London, UK
One factor that has actively encouraged people to emigrate is the right of pan-European residence that membership of the European Union confers. This has prompted many retirees as well as younger people to get on their international bikes. Gordon Brown's various tax hikes and in particular - Inheritance Tax, have also acted as a strong stimulus. It would be interesting to learn how much wealth and spending capacity has left the UK in recent years.
Australia is a great place to live. I moved here 20 years ago and love it. We need many skills: anyone with top batting or bowling skills should apply!
Philip Ragan, Perth, Australia
I came to Perth nearly 40 years ago from the UK. My edict to the family at the time was we will give it a five year go and if it doesn't work out we go back, but we must give it a fair go (I had been attached to the Australian Army whilst in the British Army so I was familiar with the vernacular). We had some ups and downs like anywhere else but all in all there is no place else like Perth to bring up children. We are now all confirmed West Aussies and we are just as parochial as all the rest. We never went back to the UK for 30 years and when we did we were further confirmed in our opinion that we'd made the right decision all those years ago.
Len, Mandurah, Australia
In the process right now awaiting DIMIA decision after submitting medicals and police checks. It's a long process and not cheap. Family emigrated 30 years ago for 10 pound a head.
I came here from the UK in 1989. Australia is a great country to live in and bring up kids. The weather is great and the scenery is superb. The people are very friendly and if you can hack the stick you will get whenever they beat us at cricket or rugby..........
Tony Pothecary, Sydney, Australia
Have just had my partner's skills accepted - he is an electronics and electrical engineer and we're at present awaiting the result of our application to DIMIA (Australian Immigration). According to the research I have done, this can take anywhere between 4 months and 2 years so waiting patiently!!
Marlyn Robertson, Stirlingshire, Scotland
Just don't expect it to be one long holiday. Sydney seems to be a city of workaholics. Average day for me in IT is 12 hours plus weekends and the cost of living is very high here as well. Taxes are very high, private health cover is virtually compulsory and the transport system is a joke. Apart from that it's great.
John, Sydney (ex-UK)
I made the move to Perth nearly two years ago. It is fantastic but not financially. Only housing is relatively cheaper out here. It is more expensive to drink and eat and $1 here is like 1 pound in England. However, the lifestyle is great, especially if you love the outdoors. We have a pool and get at least 7 months use out of it each year.
Tony, Perth, Australia
It's little wonder that Australia needs more people as they're all working over here!! Still given the state of the cricket at least we might have a crack at their expense for a change!
Paul, London, UK
My husband and I LOVE Australia! We have travelled around and have been talking about moving over there for good. It is a huge step, and I admire anyone who has the nerve to pack up everything and go! Good on yer!!
I emigrated to Australia nearly two years ago with my wife and step-daughter. Its not a process for the faint hearted - I had a job to come to which made it easier. I was 46 at the time and had only been abroad a few times for holidays, so it was a gamble. But people here are very friendly, the children are polite and keen to learn and of course the weather is superb.
There is crime, but nothing on the scale of UK. We left because we wanted the experience, and also because we were worried about the crime, asylum policy, road rage, weather, and the future generally. We miss friends and family most, but it's a chance for them to come and see what we left for. I recommend the annual Emigrate shows at the Sandown Racecourse complex - good way to find out if its for you before you take the plunge. Don't come out based on any dreamy ideas that all will be better - some things won't be. Get solid advice and some trips out first.
Harry, Brisbane, Australia
The major problem with emigrating to Australia, and to the same extent New Zealand, is the points system. It seems that unless you have a Harvard or Cambridge degree you can't get in. The problem is that these aren't the people we need. In NZ we need builders, badly, but none can get here unless they are married to a former Kiwi.
Alan Burnett, Christchurch, New Zealand
I'm very glad I left London for good last year to Live in Sydney. Over here it's a totally different lifestyle, and you actually see the sun all year round here. The standard of your environment far outstrips that of London which is quite frankly grim. Anyhow I must be off, I'm going for a surf before I go to work.
I can tell from personal experience grass is not always greener on the other side. I moved from the hectic life of New York City for the Miami, FL. It may go down as one of the worst decisions I have ever made. The minute I get a job up north - it will (as they say in Miami) be adios.
Dalo, Coral Gables, FL - US
Even if you have your Permanent Residence, it doesn't mean that you have a job easily in Oz. I see the unemployed rate in Oz is pretty high. The market in Oz is conservative and not active enough. Many people are feeling bored to live and work there. Most Australians are looking for an opportunity to work in overseas, such as UK, China, HK and Japan etc. I personally is interested in working in London instead of Oz.
Rachel Ng, Hong Kong
I spent 4 weeks in Australia and had a great time. Sydney is a first class city and the country as a whole is friendly. However, being an East Coast American - I could never live there and was quite happy to back in the US. If anyone from England (or anyone thinking of emigrating to Australia) has visited Southern California and didn't like it - odds are you wouldn't care for the land down under. You couldn't tell the difference between anywhere in Queensland and San Diego County - and that's not a bad thing. Another irony is every Aussie I met was looking to get out of there and emigrate to the US and UK because of limited professional opportunities.
Michael Daly, Miami, FL - USA
Australia is an absolutely stunning country, and some of my best memories are of the beauty and diversity of the outback and the attitude of the people. If I were in a better position, I would love to get out of this country and head down under.
James McEnaney, Glasgow, Scotland
I emigrated to Australia in June last year from Scotland. If we hadn't emigrated we would have definitely continued to live in the St Andrews area. The history of our country and with Europe in your doorstep is not something that is considered until you no longer have it. I was fortunate enough to be offered a job, with a removals package that I could not refuse. The Australian way of life is so much more relaxed and the weather is obviously a huge bonus. However, there are certain things about the UK that we miss greatly and would consider moving back for at the end of my contract. Yes, Australia does have just as many problems as the UK, so any immigrants should take off there rose coloured specks and consider all of the options before taking this momentous step.
Phil Parker, Perth, WA
We moved here 11 months ago. My husband is motor mechanic; there is loads of work for him but pay is very poor $16 - $20 an hour and if you have a mortgage it is almost impossible to survive. They don't tell you this when you apply to move. However, we are happy here and can get by on the money.
Diane Pritchard, Perth
If there's one thing there's more nonsense talked about than anything else, its the British climate. Sure, it rains a bit, but it's mild in winter and summer. You can live/work/eat outside a lot of the year, especially when compared to the rest of the world, and especially when you consider London is 52 degrees north. Stop whining for God's sake. It's been over 30 celsius for a daily high here for the last 4 weeks. And in the winter, it will be under -10 celsius rather a lot.
Steve Foley, Boston, USA
I made the jump to Australia in April 2005 after spending time living and working in Cumbria, Manchester and Belfast. My main piece of advice for anyone thinking of emigrating to Australia is DO IT! The ridiculous house prices and spiralling cost of living in the UK, have made the UK one of the most expensive places in the world to live. The standard of living that I now have in Australia is so much better than the life that my wife and I had in the UK. Australia is most certainly a fantastic place to live, at the end of the day the UK is only a day's travel if you feel the need to go back!
Malcolm Eccles, Melbourne, Australia (originally UK)
I have lived and worked in India, Oman, UK and Singapore. I believe UK is the best. People are very open. They respect you and listen to you. You can practice whatever religion you want. I haven't gone to Australia but I believe UK is best.
Dr Pradeep, Singapore
I'm in the land of opportunity, and I fancy Australia enough that it is my goal to retire there. Would I make the move? You better believe it!
Joshua Splinter, USA
I to left England at the start of 2003 to travel and eventually settle in Australia. When I left England it was for no other reason than to explore a new country. There are many things I miss about the UK and will continue to miss, despite what is happening there at the moment the culture is rich and diverse with a history we should be proud of. At the same time there is less crime in Australia, the weather is fantastic and you generally lead a healthier lifestyle than you ever would in the UK. If I weigh both those up, Australia wins each time. So it looks like I am here to stay!
Emma Parker, Sydney, Australia
Just a word of warning from an expat Brit - the grass is not always greener on the other side. You are promised lots of things to tempt you to leave the UK. Yes you get better weather and houses are cheaper, food choice is fantastic ,but not sure about OZ but in NZ you have to pay 50%deposit if you want to buy a house if you are a new migrant, you pay to see a doctor $50 a visit and any medication you need is expensive. If you have kids at school you have to pay for all their books etc. There's lots of things they don't tell you. So just ask a lot of questions before you do anything.
Julie, Auckland NZ
Aren't we short of doctors, nurses, teachers etc too? I think our country needs to be competitive to keep our skilled professionals here because it's tempting to go isn't it?
Laura, Kent, UK
I'm a GP in north Wales, and I think I live in the most beautiful place in the world. I've watched the sun set over many a palm tree and seen sun rise over many a Himalayan peak, but nothing beats the Vale of Clwyd. Besides, your friends are more important than any tax breaks or hot summers.
Sion, Ruthin, Wales
No but all the whiners should!
I'm amazed at Chris' snobbish comments as to what constitutes an Engineer. I can confirm that the "man driving the white BT van" can be a multi-skilled Engineer able to deliver both narrowband and wideband data infrastructure. He can be found to be trained to the highest level on the most recent LAN technologies and generally keeps the UK network from falling over. Given that Australia launched its national strategy in 12/04 to massively upgrade Her Data network, I think these "white van men" should be in quite high demand...
James, BT, Bristol
Yes, I would like to take my skills outside of the US. As a 50 year old woman with a broad and eclectic background I find it hard to find employers in the US (I have worked in 4 states) who appreciate my background and skills. I have worked in tourism, large and small business as well as non-profits. I also have family in Sydney.
Lisa Shaw, Saint Petersburg Florida USA
I would like to emigrate but not to Australia as they have giant spiders the size of sheds there and almost every animal is poisonous. If they want to attract people from other nations, they should do something about all the deadly creatures (i.e. catch them and lock them safely away). Many people are scared to live there because of them.
Adam, Brighton, UK
Moving to Nova Scotia next year - can't wait - call me a fleeing rat if you like, but I want a safe, secure and overall better quality of life. Something the UK can no longer offer me and my partner. When Britain starts to treat gay people with the dignity and equality that Canada does, maybe we'll come back - but I doubt it.
Adrian de Montfort, Leeds, UK
Everybody wants to come to England, and all the English want to move away. Says a lot about our multicultural society doesn't it!
David Walker, Leicester
I'm 58 so job prospects are irrelevant, and I'm obviously too old to consider Australia! I wouldn't live outside Europe and would go tomorrow (Scandinavia perhaps, or Austria) if I had someone to go with, to escape from yob culture, binge drinking, lousy public transport, suburban sprawl, health and safety fascism, and a Government that wants to make the UK a US puppet state.
Geoff Kerr, Todmorden, UK
I've just recently graduated with a computer science degree and I would dearly love to move abroad (to an English speaking country though). Not because I have any problems with living in the UK as David Hodge suggests, but because I want to see more of the world. Once I learn another modern language adequately, then I'll consider somewhere else. I'll always return to the UK though.
Craig, Newcastle, UK
I moved over here to work coming from Oz over 5 years ago just to see what working life is like in a different country, and see Europe. I love it here and last year bought a flat. I don't know where I'll be living in a few years time, but then again, I came to the UK with an open mind and no plans other than get work ASAP over 5 years ago, and I'm still here. As of last week I now have permanent UK residency.
Patrick Conroy, Newmarket, UK
I'm a teacher and I left a London comprehensive to come to a British independent school twenty years ago. Nothing would persuade me to return to the UK. Being paid a decent salary to teach wonderful kids who appreciate their education would be enough. When you throw in the climate and a quality of life which would have been beyond my wildest dreams in London, I'm afraid there is no contest.
Colin, Lima, Peru
I agree with Lee from Cheshire. I moved, not to Oz but away from the UK in 1991 and although I love everything it stands for and our people, I could not return. So much so my next contract is in San Salvador, the wild west of Central America, not London. I have visited Australia many times and have family in a Sydney suburb, go, enjoy, it's a great place to live and bring up kids.
David Martin, Boston, MA USA
My husband and I left the UK about 5 years ago and came to live and work in the US. We thought long and hard about the pros and cons of moving stateside and eventually made the plunge because we wanted new experiences and opportunities, which we couldn't have in the UK. During the first year in America, there were hard times and good times while we were settling in, but as long as we kept reminding ourselves why we made the move, it kept us going. We are now very happy and are already planning where our next move will be. We are hoping it will be Australia.
Jane Dixon, Kennett Square, PA, USA
I've been desperate to live in New York since I was a little girl and I'm determined that one day I will! Even if not forever. My boyfriend wants to emigrate to Oz (he's training to be a nurse). Much as I'd love it I think it's just too far away from my family. Dilemma is that he hates the US so wouldn't move there. Shops in New York or boyfriend? tough decision.....
I have moved over here from Aus and found that in Aus we are very lucky to have what we have, we do lack doctors, mechanics and other professional jobs but these jobs are not in the big cities or towns, these jobs are in rural areas where most Aussies don't really want to move out to. Australia is great and we are very multicultural but we make sure that this opportunity is not abused.
Terry, Fulham, London
I recently applied for and have been granted permanent residency status in Australia. I decided at the end of my last visit that I wanted to live there and I am literally counting the days until I go. Interestingly however, I know several Australians in Glasgow who are in the process of applying 'in the other direction' and really love the life over here. Is the grass always greener?
Chris, Glasgow, Scotland
My husband and I really wanted to work in Sydney for a few years after we came back from a holiday in 2001. As IT professionals with a degree it appears Oz were eager but when we looked in to it; we'd have to spend thousands on the application process alone. Now we've had a baby I realise that I would hate to be so far away from our families even if it is for 2 or 3 years. I could not live there forever, the weather is nice and it would be a great base from which to visit Asia and the Pacific but the lack of rich culture that we have all across Europe is something we would greatly miss. I guess we are too British and European after all. Having said all that, I still fancy a stint abroad somewhere: could not do US (could not live on 2 weeks annual leave a year!) but Dubai might be fun especially as it's tax free living.
RM, Windsor, UK
I am about to head off for France to live. In a different twist to most people here, I am lucky that I work for a global company and my customer base is global - give me a phone line and internet connection and I am working. What this whole discussion really says is that most of us are sick of the way this country is going, tied to US coat-tails, an almost republican form of government and that is before you add in the general yob culture pervading the UK. But rather than moan about it, do something about it as most people here seem to have done. The grass may not be totally greener but it is better than the scorched apology we have at the moment.
David Hodge, Ashford, Kent, UK
I lived out in Sydney for 6 years. The property prices are so expensive I could never have afforded a reasonable roof over my head. They still have hooligans out there - they are worldwide. I returned to Great Britain and am so happy I did so - I have no regrets. I am so proud to be British and have a wonderful leader like Tony Blair looking after us and this wonderful country. He has true grit just like Maggie Thatcher and it's so nice to see.
Mera, St Albans
I left the UK exactly a year ago to take up a new job here in Melbourne. The company I was working for collapsed and I took the enforced opportunity to have a look here on the other side of the world. How life has changed, the work/life balance is very much encouraged over here and with easy access to cultural and sporting activities, my new life is fantastic! With modern communications, family in the UK is just a mouse click, or video chat away - It doesn't always feel 12,500 miles away.
Tim, Melbourne, Australia
Yes, Australia needs professionals but as a lawyer who lived already there I will give you an advice not to file an application if you are older than 46 years. An architect from Dallas, Texas (I was with him in the Immigration Office in Melbourne) was rejected (even though he had a job offer) just because he was 58-years-old. Australia wants young people because the Social Welfare is very good. Every permanent citizen receives A$180 weekly and the Health Care is free. Otherwise it is a wonderful country and I have been already six times there.
Ruska Deus von Homeyer, Berlin, Germany
On a recent trip to Oz a taxi driver said "you poms got it wrong you should have left the convicts in the UK and everyone else move over here". After visiting and seeing a completely different and happier way of life I have to agree!
Iain Spirit, Portsmouth
Whilst travelling around the world, I visited Australia for 9 months. The day I arrived I instantly loved it and told myself 'this is the country I want to live in' and the day I left to continue my travels I felt I was leaving a very beautiful country, but one day I would return. Now I'm back in the UK and I have a good job. I'm always thinking about how much I would love to live in Oz, but now I don't have the desire to travel such a long way from home. Plus I'm not sure if I would earn less in Oz and how good the job opportunities are (I work in IT). It's fantastic that they're trying to entice skilled workers into the country, but it's a long way from the UK and Europe, in fact it's a long way from anywhere! The decision to relocate is a very difficult one!
Stu, London, UK
I have considered the option of emigration a number of times, but I have always dismissed it. Now, with the number of jobs being "off-shored" from the UK, perhaps there is no better time to re-consider! It is just a shame I'm not in one of the groups they need more of - nobody (UK or Australia) seems to value IT professionals any more!
I have to say that I would go tomorrow, if I could only find the right job to go to. Having seen the standard of living, and the quality of life, deteriorate here over the last 10 years, I cannot understand why we choose to stay!
I am off to Sydney on 3rd September and have no thoughts of ever coming back. I am going with my wife and 3 children and we can't wait to get there. I work as a computer consultant and I have been offered, and accepted, a fantastic 12 month contract from IBM. My visa is for 4 years and I'll be looking to make the move permanent in that time. The UK used to be a truly great nation but the European Union has basically ruined it. We are now governed by faceless bureaucrats who we did not vote in nor can vote out of power. I feel so sad and fearful for the future of this great country which can only get worse. It doesn't help that we've got a Prime Minister who hangs onto every word that comes out of the mouth of George Bush. The UK is in even more peril because of us hanging onto the coat-tails of the USA. Pull out of the EU and distance ourselves from America and just watch the people flock back to this country!
Lee, Cheshire, UK
Absolutely I would. As a degree-qualified (and nearly chartered) Design Engineer I feel utterly under-valued by this country. To the British, an 'engineer' is the man driving the white BT van, or who comes round to fix the vending machine. The amount of semi-skilled jobs that now have '-engineer' tacked on the end of then is unbelievable to me. It's like calling someone a doctor because they have a basic first aid certificate. On the continent engineers are recognised as the highly qualified professionals that we are.
I'm already planning on moving abroad to St Lucia, West Indies. Doing a job that is completely different from the IT job that I have here in the UK. Just a few more weeks to go before I jet off!
Lottie, Oxford, UK
I moved to Holland in 1999 following three years working in London where I had to work a bar job as well as my 9 to 5 office job just to pay the rent. I've found my lack of degree to be an asset here, where my experience counts for more than the textbook answers the local graduates can come up with. However, life isn't all great here and we are currently in the process of applying to emigrate to Canada. Our first choice was New Zealand but it's just not possible when you don't have a degree, and Australia is even worse, even for the accountants they say they are looking for such as myself! Canada on the other hand is a lot closer for family to visit, and is a lot more accommodating to those of us who have a lot more to offer than letters after our name.
Jennifer, Netherlands, ex-UK
I am a serial immigrant, having worked in South Africa, Brunei, Indonesia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, the UK, Switzerland and Canada, and would move again tomorrow. Australia would be nice, though Japan appeals more, it's just that little bit more exotic. I can't imagine spending the rest of my life in the same place doing the same old thing.
Mike, London, UK
I've already left. Like a rat leaving a sinking ship. I could have stayed in Glasgow, which has a wonderful call-centre industry, but I chose France where there are social benefits and people are looked after. I know in 20 years France will be like Britain is now. My children will have moved on by then.
I emigrated to the UK from South Africa over ten years ago. At the time I was unhappy at work and there were few prospects for white males in the area I was living in. I got the emigration information from Australia, New Zealand and Canada and the criteria for all three. I had to make a decision. In the end it was made for me because South Africa re-entered the Commonwealth and I was able to return to my ancestral home. I am now a very happy citizen, I feel that I have assimilated well into society and do my civic duty such as jury service. I could not imagine living anywhere else now, yet it is not all a bed of roses, when I visit South Africa, I feel the dull ache of some unknown loss, all my extended family are far away and I feel guilty of contributing to the brain drain there. Yet I no longer 'fit' there either, I am thoroughly 'British' now. The only thing that I can say about my application to go to Australia, is thank goodness I did not. I visited about three years ago and I believe that I could not have been happy there, for all the much touted advantages. So if you want to emigrate for a better quality of life, try to take a long visit to your eventual home, the grass may be much greener in some respects, but that is usually tempered by disadvantages that are glossed over or only appear in longer-term timeframes.
Justin Robinson, Norwich, England
I'm going there for a 12 month working holiday and if I like the country and the lifestyle then I'll certainly think about emigrating. As an accountant it looks like I'll be able to find a job fairly easily.
Rhys Jones, Maidenhead, UK
After 2 years for the application, I leave for Sydney on 20th September. UK industry is in decline and job prospects in Australia seem better. Plus they have nicer weather, no hooligans, etc.
Dominic, Plymouth, UK
Interestingly I moved from Singapore to UK, adopting it as my country. Despite lousy services from the council, the NHS, the transport system, I still fall in love with Britain. It is easy wanting to emigrate but one must also be open-minded to blend into different cultures and fit into the system. No matter where we emigrate to, we will always remember our homeland fondly.
Christina Spybey, London, UK
Brilliant - I'm a PhD qualified medical researcher - do they need those? Sign me up! It's got to be better than the pitifully paid jobs in research here in the UK, you can't make ends meet living here! And they wonder why the numbers of people wanting to do science subjects are dropping!
Unfortunately I do not have the skills that Australia seem to be looking for and perhaps my age is also against me or else I would be off like a shot to get away from what is no longer the country I was born in and love. I shall be encouraging my children to look very seriously at any possibility that they may find a better life away from the increasing violence and the decreasing in the rights of the hardworking honest non terrorist in this country which is not being addressed by this government.
J Burdall, Matlock, England
This will be great for me. I'm starting a teaching course next month and would love the chance to teach in Oz. Here I come!
Australia should advertise in overpopulated countries such as Indonesia and China. It should also increase its connection with Asia and the Pacific and should encourage Japanese, Malaysians, Filipinos, Thais, Vietnamese, and Pacific Islanders to emigrate.
James Wild, London, UK
I returned to Ireland from abroad last year, having worked in Japan for 4 years. I toured Oz during that time and found I could slot right in there. Everything is cheap there and the weather is much, much better than in Ireland. Wages aren't too bad either. I will move out to either Canada or Oz as soon as I can and advise all other young people to do the same sooner rather than later. Whatever you do, don't buy a house in Ireland, then they have you trapped. It's simple, really: Ireland doesn't want you. Australia does. If Ireland wants to keep us here they need to reduce the restrictions on building and let house prices settle.
Michael Martin, Roscommon, Ireland
We'd go tomorrow if they'd take us, though we'd prefer New Zealand. My wife has paper qualifications but I don't. That's where it all falls down of course. Proving you can do the job.
Steve Brereton, York, UK
Migrating abroad will depend on the condition of employment. Although I have been nursing the thought of working in another country but I haven't made a conscious effort yet. If I am going to give up what I am doing right now, the next job should be extremely good in terms of salary and benefits. I don't mind giving it a shot. It will be a good experience. After all, travelling is a part of education. I would suggest that the recruiters look into the continent of Africa. There are a lot skilled workers who would like to takee their skills abroad and improve on what they have already learnt.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA
We've seriously investigated it after travelling to the country but although my wife is a physio and in demand the cost to register and pass Australian exams is £5,000!
I have been considering emigrating for a while now but as yet have not started the paperwork. There are many reasons apart from the work opportunities that you need to consider.
Claire Brown, Nottingham, UK