Frequently Asked Questions

Question:

I am moving to Australia from Canada and I need some help with visa and/or immigration requirements. Can you help?

Answer:

Sorry, we are essentially a social club and can't really help you with your visa or immigration process. However we can suggest you contact your nearest Australian consulate in Canada (www.ahc-ottawa.org) or visit the Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs website  (www.dimia.gov.au/) which has excellent information and downloadable forms.

There are many type of visas allowing you to stay in Australia and to work as well.  The most common are...

1. Working Holiday Visa (WHV) Eligibility: You must be aged between 18 and 30 years-old. Condition: It allows you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months. If you work, you are not allowed to work for more than 6 months for the same employer. Comments/Tips: It is a very easy and unexpensive visa to obtain. If you wish to stay in Australia for more than a year, I recommend you start off with this visa and, while in the country, try to get sponsored by an employer. It gives you the opportunity to ascertain you wish to live in Australia and simplifies finding a job as well (not easy to set up interviews from overseas and employers would rather prefer having face-to-face interviews with the candidates). First things to do when you arrive in the country are: * Go to Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to get a Tax File Number (TFN) - the equivalent of the Social Insurance Number in Canada. Every time you will change job, you will be asked to fill-in a new TFN form. As a person holding a WHV, you can say you are not Australian resident for tax purposes so it gives you more money now instead of having to wait to have completed your tax return and claim the taxes paid.

2. Skilled Migration Visa Eligibility: You must be aged between 18 and 44 years-old. You must earn enough points (see form on the immigration's website to assess if you are eligible or not). We have a shortage of certain professionals here (e.g. Childcarer, Accountant, IT, Dentist, certain Engineer, Graphic Designer, Medical Practitioner, Teacher, manual jobs, etc) so more points are allowed for these. Condition: It allows you to stay indefinitely in Australia. This visa applies for permanent moves.

3. Sponsored Visa Eligibility: You must find an employer willing to sponsor you. This might happens if there is a shortage of your profession here or if you are really qualified. Condition: You are tied to your the sponsoree employer. You are not allowed to work in Australia in general, just for this specific employer so it is hard if you don't like the job... Unless you try to get sponsored somewhere else later.

4.Australian residency visa generally takes approx. two years to be granted or denied permanent residency in Australia.



Question:

I am a Canadian living in or visiting Australia and I need help with my passport, or I need some other travel assistance. Can you help?

Answer:

Again, we can not help with passport or travel assistance. However for this kind of assistance we suggest you contact the Canadian Consulate in Sydney or visit the Canadian Passport website (www.ppt.gc.ca) for information.

Club Tip:  Be aware that Australian passport size photos done at most camera shops are not the standard size required for Canadian passports. Be sure to bring with you the details the Canadian passport office requires the size to be.



Question:

How easy is it to set up a bank account in Australia?  And can I set one up in Canada before I arrive?

Answer:

To open a bank account in Australia, you will require proof of identification such as a passport or driving license, proof of an address in Australia and as a precaution, a reference from your bank in your home country.

Some international banks will allow you to set up an account and transfer money to it, all before leaving Canada, so you have a bank account and funds available upon arrival.  Check with your preferred banking organisation to see if they offer this service.



Question:

Where can I skate or play ice hockey?

Answer:

Remember, if you say "hockey" here they'll think you are talking about field hockey and skating usually means skateboarding. In Australia we call it "ice hockey" and "figure skating" or "ice skating". 

Ice rinks around Sydney: There are approximately 9 rinks in the Sydney/NSW area and distances vary.  Neat site showing rink locations, contact details and sizes: www.synchronizedskating.org/synchro/oz/rinks.htm

NSW Ice Hockey: New South Wales has six Ice Hockey Clubs that between them, run teams for all ages, genders and levels. If you are interested in joining a club and would like further information, please visit the NSW Ice Hockey Association website: www.nswicehockey.com.au

Australian League: The AIHL (Australian Ice Hockey League) is the highest standard of hockey in Australia (and possibly in the Southern Hemisphere. It is open age and full contact for more information visit IHA website



Question:

Where can I watch Canadian sports games like hockey, baseball or football (known as gridiron in Australia) in Sydney?

Answer:

There are a couple of sports bars within Sydney that have been known to show North American sports. One is in Darling Harbour next to the Imax theatre. Otherwise you can catch a game or two (very rarely live) if you get satellite TV such as Austar or Foxtel in your home. Please contact us at the club if anyone knows of another place.

Club Tip: Try looking up the sport online. Many sites now show video clips or live broadcasts of events or you can listen to live Cdn. radio broadcasts online as well.



Question:

Where can I get Canadian food?

Answer:

The club has two excellent sponsors who deal exclusively in Canadian and North American food supplies....O Canada and USA Foods.  For more details, see their sponsorship pages.  If you really miss something from home, there is a very good chance that you can get it through these stores.

Otherwise, Coles and Woolworths carry a few Canadian imported goods such as maple syrup, Bicks Pickles and Et Tu Caesar Salad kits.

Club Tip
: if you search hard enough you can sometimes find reasonable Aussie substitutes. Bologna here is called Devon. Smiths Crisps does make Ketchup flavoured chips called Big Red. And many Coles Supermarkets carry powder ice tea packets in their tea/coffee section. For decent tasting doughnuts try Krispy Kreme Donuts.



Question:

We had children born in Australia to Canadian parents, what is the process to get Canadian citizenship for the children??

Answer:

A person may be eligible for Canadian citizenship, having been born outside Canada to a Canadian parent(s) holding a Canadian Birth Certificate or Canadian Certificate of citizenship. You can apply for your/your child’s Proof of Canadian Citizenship through your parent/yourselves as Canadian parents quite simply. These forms can be sent to you to complete, but you will need to provide full name and address of whom/where you want them sent to and date of birth of the applicant/child.

Contact the nearest Canadian Consulate in your area and ask for an Application to Register for Canadian Citizenship.  They will send you out a form.When completed send the application to the Canadian Consulate office to process. They do the initial paperwork here and return any original documents that are sent with the application to the applicant within 10-15 working days. The application is then sent via diplomatic bag to Nova Scotia for final processing and production of the citizenship card. The processing time in Canada takes approximately 6 months. People should note that this card, once issued, is good for life.

When it is processed it is returned to the High Commission where it is checked for any possible errors and then send it out to you by registered mail to the address you provide on the application form. When you have received the citizenship certificate you can then apply for a Canadian passport. It takes approximately 15 working days for a passport to be issued once the completed applications have been received, your original documents are returned at this time.

You can also go to the Canadian Citizenship website and download the forms etc from there.

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