For Craig Stickling and his family, the dream of becoming Australian citizens has become a reality.
The Stickling family’s journey to Australian citizenship began in 2017. After visiting family and friends in Australia in 2016, Craig Stickling and his wife, Geraldine decided that Australia provided many opportunities not available to them and their children in their native homeland of South Africa.
In 2017, Craig started looking for employment in Australia. As a golfer, he had many acquaintances in the Australian golfing industry that he was able to reach out to. In November 2017, he was offered a position at Yarrawonga Golf Club. Craig and Geraldine started packing up their life in South Africa so Craig could start his new job in Australia in March 2018.
Recognising that Australia offered a lifestyle and many opportunities that were not available to them in South Africa, Craig, and Geraldine’s goal was to work towards eventually becoming Australian citizens. In 2019, Craig and his family were granted permanent residence.
Since being granted permanent residence, Craig has continued working in the golf industry and was offered a position at a golf club in Forster. All the while working on their Australian citizenship application.
Finally, in August this year, Craig and his family received the news they had been waiting so long to hear – they’re Australian citizenship had been approved.
How Does Australian Citizenship Change Things for the Stickling Family?
While permanent residence was something the Stickling family was extremely grateful for, citizenship means Australia is their true home and this is where they will settle. While citizenship will allow the Stickling family to truly establish themselves as Australian citizens in the community, it also means more stability for their children and gives them greater freedom that they would not have had in South Africa.
It Wasn’t All Smooth Sailing
While the Stickling’s dream of citizenship has been realised, Craig and his family also came up against challenges.
One of the biggest challenges was moving to a foreign country where they didn’t have any family and friends. They missed the support of the people back home and while the people they met in Yarrawonga and Forster were great and very welcoming, it wasn’t the same as the bonds they shared with family and friends in South Africa.
There was also the financial strain. On top of everyday living expenses, there were other expenses such as fees for visas, permanent residence applications, citizenship applications, medical exams, English language tests, etc — all of which cost money.
Perhaps one of the greater sacrifices of all was the time Craig had to spend away from his wife and children. Every move they’ve made has meant Craig has had to travel ahead and get things ready for when Geraldine and the children would arrive. Whether it was Yarrawonga, Forster or more recently Sydney, Craig has had to sacrifice time with his family to ensure all was in order.
Advice For Anyone Considering Making Australia Their Home
Craig emphasises that Australian citizenship was always the goal, however, there were days when it seemed too hard, and he and Geraldine had to refocus on why they were doing it. For them, it was ultimately to have a better life and to give their children a future that may not have been possible in South Africa.
His advice to anyone considering Australian citizenship is to think about their ‘why’. ‘The number one thing is you must have your ‘why’. Why do you want to become an Australian citizen or move to Australia? You must have a big ‘why’ and that ‘why’ must be bigger than anything that can pull you down.’ – Craig Stickling.
What Happens Now?
In the midst of applying for Australian citizenship, Craig was offered a job in Sydney at one of the biggest golf clubs in Australia which also happens to be one of the top 50 golf clubs globally.
Another opportunity too great to pass up, Craig and Geraldine started to make plans for the family’s move to Sydney. Craig relocated a month prior to the rest of the family so he could find a place for them to live and look into schools for the children. The move back to a big city was exciting for the family.
With the challenges the pathway to Australian citizenship presented, Craig can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have a support network. In a country where they have no family and they’ve had to forge new friendships, Craig can’t thank enough the members of the golfing community who gave him the employment opportunity and for the friends they made in the communities of Yarrawonga and Forster.
Thanks to Visa Solutions Australia
Craig and his family are extremely grateful for the help and support they received from Visa Solutions Australia. Craig reiterates that it eased the application burden 100%. Having someone looking after the visa application process in a professional manner meant that not only was the paperwork accurately completed and lodged but it also meant that he and Geraldine could focus on the hundreds of other things they needed to sort out.
Now the Stickling family looks forward to making their citizenship official at the citizenship ceremony where they will pledge their loyalty to Australia and accept the responsibility and privileges of Australian citizenship before receiving their Australian citizenship certificate.
If you would like to learn more about any aspect of migration, contact the experienced team of registered migration agents at Visa Solutions Australia. Book a consultation.