The path to permanent
residency isn’t always an easy one, but there is no greater joy than receiving
the phone call announcing your permanent residency has been approved. For Craig
Stickling, his wife Geraldine, and their two children, that joyous phone call
came earlier this week.
However, as is often the
case in these matters, there were plenty of twists and turns in the Stickling’s
road to permanent residency.
journey began three and a half years ago when Craig and his family were living in South
Africa. As much as they loved their country, Craig, a professional golfer, and
his wife Geraldine wanted a better future for their children; one they felt
wouldn’t be possible if they stayed in South Africa.
The Stickling's visited
family and friends in Australia and New Zealand in June 2016. They saw this as
an opportunity to experience what life in Australia and New Zealand was all
about. Liking what they saw, they decided to consider giving life in Australia a
Through family that
had immigrated to Perth 10 years earlier, they met Dan Engles of Visa Solutions
Australia who offered valuable advice on the path to starting a life in Australia.
Back in South Africa,
Craig started looking for employment in Australia. Having travelled as a
golfer, he had many acquaintances in the golfing industry in Sydney. After
numerous conversations, in November 2017 he finally received a phone call advising
of an opportunity at Yarrawonga Mulwala Golf Club Resort in Victoria. After a successful
interview process and guarantee of employment, Craig and his wife decided
that this opportunity was too good to pass up.
With Craig due to start his new
job in March 2018, the Stickling's started dismantling their life in South
Africa. Due to such a short timeframe before he was starting his new job, it
was inevitable that Craig would have to venture to Australia ahead of his wife
and children. His wife completed packing up their life in
South Africa before joining Craig the following month.
With the help of Visa
Solutions, Craig applied for a temporary work visa. Given the short timeframe, this was the quickest visa to obtain and allowed Craig and his family
to stay in Australia for up to three months.
He then applied for a permanent work visa. His family
could not be in Australia when applying for this visa so Geraldine and the
children had to leave Craig once again and go to New Zealand, where they
had family and friends to stay with.
When the visa was
finally granted, Craig and his family were reunited. However, while everything
started to work itself out, there were still times when Craig and Geraldine
second-guessed their decision to make Australia their new home.
In September 2018, Craig and his family had to return to South Africa for his mother’s
funeral. While his family had always been supportive of his family’s move to Australia,
he couldn’t help but feel he neglected his duties to his parents. But the ongoing
support and strength of Craig and Geraldine’s family in South Africa, coupled with the
need to provide a better future for their children meant that they decided to
make their quest for a life in Australia a priority.
Earlier this year they
were able to apply for permanent residency, and their dreams of making Australia
their home became a reality this week.
While the Stickling’s
path was a long road with a lot of stress along the way, they don’t regret their
decision to move to Australia and acknowledge they couldn’t have done it without the support of Visa Solutions
Australia. Craig says, "I don’t think this whole process would have been
possible without Dan and the Visa Solutions team. You can do all the planning
and budgeting required, but there is always going to be bumps in the road that
you didn’t plan on. Having an immigration agent to assist with the legalities
of visas and the immigration process just helped alleviate a lot of the stress".
While it took some
effort to get to this point, it was all worthwhile. Craig and his family have
settled in well and embraced life in Australia. They have been welcomed by
their community and are overwhelmed by the generosity of the fellow residents
in their hometown. They now look forward to applying for Australian citizenship
in a few years time.
For more information
on any other aspect of migration contact the Visa Solutions Australia team. It is a complex subject so it is important to speak with someone in the know.