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WOULD YOU MOVE DOWN UNDER? Thousands of fed-up Britons are escaping the recession - and the miserable weather - for a new life abroad.. but what does it take?

Byline: KAREN ROCKETT

BRITAIN'S grim economic outlook has led to a doubling in the number of people looking to buy a property Down Under.

The warm climate and strong links with Britain have always made Australia a favourite destination among expats.

But increase has snowballed in the last year as Australia has weathered the global economic crisis better than most, while unemployment in Britain has climbed by 117,000 to a 17-year high of 2.57million.

Britons dreaming of a new life have also led to searches for property in New Zealand rising by 91 per cent and in Canada by 80 per cent.

But the biggest rise, according to property website Rightmove Overseas and currency exchange company Moneycorp, was for property in Australia, which increased by a huge 114 per cent.

And 23,000 Brits actually made the move to Australia last year, while 8,641 went to New Zealand.

Samantha Baden, of www.findaproperty.com, says: "Our figures show that from October 2010 to the end of January 2011, searches increased by 98 per cent and continue to rise."

Samantha adds: "Unlike the UK, Australia and New Zealand haven't been in recession and they have a buoyant property market and shortage of skilled workers.

"As well as economic reasons, people are seduced by the sun and sea lifestyle. And cities in Australia tend to be on the coast.

"Whereas we often see a huge increase of people looking at homes in Australia and New Zealand in January because of it being winter, we found this year there was a big rise in July and August too, possibly because we didn't have a great summer here."

But if you are planning to go because of work, or simply in search of a better life for your family, there are a lot of things you need to think about before you make the move of a lifetime.

CONSIDERATIONS

Getting the right visa is essential - top of the list are the "skilled migrant", "business" or "family" visas.

Both Australia and New Zealand offer business or entrepreneur visas to those who are planning to move or set up a business and have a proven track record.

Family visas are for those who already have relatives in Australia - anyone applying will need to be sponsored by their resident relative.

Visas for skilled migrants are a little more complicated - you may be sponsored by a company within the country itself or you can apply independently.

In the latter case, applicants must meet a set of requirements relating to age, language, occupation, skills and qualifications which is based on a points system.

Those in jobs that are in high demand (tradespeople such as plumbers and builders, medical staff and engineers, for example) are almost always welcome but the list does change. Migrants will also need to undergo a health check.

Visit www.immi.gov.au (Australia) or www.newzealandnow.govt.nz (new Zealand) for more.

Both these websites have a wealth of information designed to help migrants with the requirements and legalities of settling in abroad.

But if you are looking for advice from others who have already made the move, there are plenty of forums where expats are only too happy to help.

Check out www.pomsinoz.com, www.britishexpats.com and www.expatforum.com

What to ask before you go

ASK yourself why you want to emigrate. For a better lifestyle? Better weather? To give your kids a better education? To escape the rut you are in? Be honest - if the reason is something that will travel with you (marriage in trouble, bored with job, debts) the stress of emigrating could make things worse.

If it is to improve your lifestyle ensure your new situation will actually provide the desired change. You might plan to live by the beach in Australia, but if you are working long hours to pay the mortgage, the time you get to spend there will be limited.

CONSIDER the impact on your family - those moving with you and those left behind. Will your partner and children thrive in your new country or are they reluctant to leave the UK? Do you have elderly or ill parents you will be leaving behind?

WORK out the best time to emigrate. Should you go before the kids start school or uni? Consider all the factors in your life.

WHICH country would suit you best? Aside from the obvious work opportunities you need to consider climate, lifestyle, culture, cost of living and social life and work out what will suit you best.

It's just like Cornwall.. with better weather

Duncan cale and his wife Sarah have put their home and their hardware and holiday shop in cornwall on the market and plan to emigrate to australia.

Duncan, 41, has managed to get a training visa and a place on a college course next July to retrain as a plasterer, as there is a shortage in australia.

Sarah, 50, and their nine-year-old son Jamie will accompany him to perth, where the couple already have relatives who have emigrated there.

Duncan says: "We've completely fallen in love with australia after spending new Year with family out there. to us, it's just like cornwall but with better weather. Sarah is hoping to get a job helping out in a school."

THE Cales' three-bed bungalow in Mawnan Smith, near Falmouth, is up for sale for pounds 330,000. For information call Stratton Creber on 01326 389361. Their hardware and holiday shop business is for sale for pounds 15,000. Call 01872 277794.

We all fell in love with the laid-back lifestyle

STEPHANIE and Steve perry-thorne would love to emigrate to new Zealand but it's proving more difficult than they expected. Despite achieving more than the required points on their application to enter the "pool of interest", such is the huge demand the couple, from Seaton, Devon, weren't selected.

the required skills are regularly changed and updated, and builder Steve's profession "fell off" the list.

Stephanie, 39, is a qualified nursery nurse but she couldn't find an equivalent professional qualification in new Zealand.

She says: "i am retraining to become a paramedic because medical jobs are always a good bet when applying for a visa." Steve, 36, Stephanie and their daughters arusha, 16, and eden, 13, first went out there at christmas 2008 to visit friends. Stephanie says: "Within days we had fallen in love with the laid-back lifestyle."

Paraparaumu Beach, nr Wellington, New Zealand, pounds 202,622 Quiet 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom detached house. Only steps from the ocean and a short stroll to the popular Paraparaumu Beach shops, cafes, market and bowling club. Go to www.rightmove.co.uk

Brinsmead, n r Cairns, North Australia, pounds 255,874 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, balconies with views and a swimming pool . Go to www.ljhooker.com.au

Kirwan, Townsville, Queensland, Australia pounds 319,254 Air-conditioned four-bedroom house with kitchen, dining and family space, covered terrace and pool. Near The Strand, a tropical beach and garden strip. Go to www.ljhooker.com.au/MSNF4Z

CAPTION(S):

Hard sell... snowy Devon For sale... the Cales' house in Cornwall Harbouring a dream... Sydney's attractions have led many Britons to try a new life
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Oct 16, 2011
Words:1203
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