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One Year in Australia: Highs, Lows and Homesickness

It’s more than 12 months since I moved from London to Melbourne, so I gave myself an end-of-year appraisal.

Bureaucratic navigation: 6/10


The mountain of paperwork to secure my Australian visa was only the first hurdle. Next came proving to bureaucrats that I’m a real human (and earning real, human money). Unluckily for me, it turns out I’m a ghost – even worse, I’m a self-employed person with no credit history in Australia. The kind of spectre that doesn’t so much send estate agents and banks screaming, they simply can’t see that I exist.

‘Just wait two years until you have two years of Australian tax returns,’ trilled a voice from a credit card call centre. Only two years, eh?

In fairness, I’ve also lived in France, perhaps the world leader in turgid bureaucracy. Back in the day, I waited most of a year to get my carte de séjour (official residency card). In that light, being able to get set up with Australian bank accounts, healthcare, a local driving licence and a proper accountan…

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