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Second Time Round

It’s always easier the second time round. It was words to that effect made casually over a barbecue (that’s braaivleis to our South African readers) by a good friend of mine that was the catalyst for today’s blog...

Myer

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Second Time Round

It’s always easier the second time round. It was words to that effect made casually over a barbecue (that’s braaivleis to our South African readers) by a good friend of mine that was the catalyst for today’s blog...

Myer

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Second Time Round

Posted by Myer on May 7, 2021, 10:20 a.m. in Immigration

It’s always easier the second time round.

It was words to that effect made casually over a barbecue (that’s braaivleis to our South African readers) by a good friend of mine that was the catalyst for today’s blog. He said to me that he found migrating to Australia a “breeze” compared to his previous experience regarding migration to the United States and, whilst I do think that Australia is an easier cultural fit for many of our clients than the United States, he said that a lot had to do with the fact that he had a much better mindset and attitude for his second migration.

I think that many of our clients who have immigrated previously to Singapore, Hong Kong or the Middle East will confirm that it is often easier the second time round.

Barbecuing duties and the distraction of too much good Aussie red wine prevented me from questioning him further over this casual comment but he elaborated subsequently.

When I look back on my migration to New Zealand as a twentysomething year old South African lawyer I recognise that I too made similar mistakes and found my migration to Australia (20 years later) substantially easier.

So what are the lessons learnt of prior migrations that can be passed on to new migrants?

1.      Your new country, whether it be New Zealand or Australia is not perfect so don’t migrate expecting paradise. My partner Iain and I often tell migrants that we don’t live in paradise, we live in Melbourne and Auckland respectively. We have our problems as well but when you consider the lifestyle that we enjoy in both Australia and New Zealand and the type of issues that our clients have to deal with whether it be crime and violence in South Africa, lack of work life balance in Singapore or political instability in Hong Kong, we thank God for our lives in New Zealand and Australia. The point is however it’s not all good and it’s not all bad.

2.       You need to create a life for yourself whichever country you immigrate to before you can make comparisons with the life that you have left. It’s unfair to make judgements about your new life until such time as you have lived in your new country for at least a year and can make a fair comparison between the sacrifices you have made to the gains you have achieved. I don’t suggest that anyone travels back home until such time as you have been living in the new country for at least a year.

3.       My more motivated clients often tell me that they are prepared to “start at the bottom” if needs be but in actual fact one never starts at the bottom. Unless you are the managing director of Woolworths or some other “big wig” you will invariably start in the middle but be prepared to take up a position of employment that isn’t necessarily a step up the corporate ladder but might be commensurate with the type of position you occupied prior to migration.

4.       Do as much research as you can prior to migration. Having family and friends can often be invaluable and listen to the settlement advice they give as they have often gained this advice from making mistakes themselves. Just don’t take visa advice from them. It’s far better to learn from the errors of others if possible.

5.       Choose a good migration agent that can help you not only with the visa application process but also provide input into post visa grant issues.

6.       It’s a team approach and if you have a spouse or partner they have to be completely on board with the decision to migrate. We find migration tends to make relationships stronger or breaks already weakened ones.

7.       Children are more resilient than parents. So often parents tell me that they would like to immigrate within a particular timeframe to coincide with the commencement of the school year in order to reduce trauma for children. Young children are far more adaptable than we give them credit for. They will make new friends and adapt to a new environment far more easily than you, their parents will.

8.       Be flexible about your destination. Whilst you might have a preference in terms of migrating to areas where you have friends or family often the visa process will select the migrant. For example it might be easier to obtain permanent residence in either Australia or New Zealand, not necessarily both and you may have to make compromises as to which state in Australia or city in New Zealand you migrate to because of issues relating to state sponsorship in Australia or perhaps points for migration out of Auckland in New Zealand.

9.      When you first migrate realise that you are on a honeymoon. The honeymoon period tends to last three months, thereafter it’s almost as if the in-laws have moved in when reality sets in.

10.   Remember the reasons why you migrated and have a big picture attitude to coping with minor irritations after the honeymoon period passes. I had a South African client of mine tell me that he wrote the reasons why he migrated on the back of a matchbox (in the days when smoking was far more popular and people used pens ) to help him stay motivated on the days that he felt despondent.

11.   You cannot expect the same recognition that you enjoyed in your home country when you first immigrate. The fact that you may have owned a company that employs 30 people or your former station in life will have little bearing on the amount of recognition that you receive when emigrating. My friend told me that it was difficult to obtain his first credit card because of lack of credit history but as soon as he had one credit card he had 100.

12.   I don’t think that the expression “blood is thicker than water” necessarily is true to migrants. Often the friends that you make whether they be fellow migrants or New Zealanders or Australians are far stronger than friendships that you had in your home country because they are forged in a cauldron of stress and upheaval. The fact that you might be going through similar difficult conditions and able to draw upon each other’s strengths tends to forge friendships that are as deep if not deeper than family ties. Some of my most enduring relationships were formed in the early days of my migration.

13.   Be kind to yourself. I know that this sounds like an Ellen DeGeneres line but don’t have unrealistic expectations as to what can be achieved within a short period of time. I remember expressing admiration to a client of mine who managed to buy a house within his first year of migration only to have to listen to how much he had sacrificed in South Africa. It’s difficult to be happy when you are beating yourself on your back as opposed to patting yourself on the back for a milestone that should be a joyous occasion.

14.   It’s not all about the job. We do understand that jobs are important but many have the misguided impression that if one secures employment one qualifies for residence. I recently consulted with someone who said that she was scared “shitless” about the prospect of immigrating without finding employment and that’s usually the aspect that concerns me least. Australia and New Zealand have very low rates of unemployment and nearly all of our clients find employment within three months. It’s far more important however to be concentrating on what are the steps to qualify for appropriate visas than focus on employment.

We have been working in the migration industry for more than 30 years and assisted thousands of migrants from all sorts of countries and backgrounds and can identify those that have the “right stuff” from those with what would be described as having a “sucky attitude” in Australia and New Zealand who may have to make some attitude adjustments in order to make a successful migration and are happy to share our wealth of knowledge with those thinking of making the move.

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14 comments on this post
May 7, 2021, 6:23 p.m. by Clinton Warrington

Great article!

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 7:09 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Many thanks Clinton.
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May 7, 2021, 6:31 p.m. by Tushar

Thank you for your post , interesting read

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 7:09 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Thanks Tushar, this blog seems to have touched a chord with many people.
Reply to this comment
May 7, 2021, 6:41 p.m. by Twinny Chong

Bloody oath Myer, you guys definitely know what you are doing! Very thankful I've decided to have my consultation with Iain and Kane has been nothing but awesome. I believe I'm gonna make my way back to Straya...it's been a hell of a ride, but they say it's how bad you want it eh? ????

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 7:08 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
You are absolutely correct Twinny, it's a tough process and not for the fainthearted. I do appreciate the positive comments and also glad to see that you have picked up the local expressions beautifully :-). Good on ya!
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May 7, 2021, 7:53 p.m. by Vera Delos Santos

love it!

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May 10, 2021, 7:05 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Thumbs up emoticon Vera :-)
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May 8, 2021, 9:23 a.m. by Ilonke

Great article!! On point with every aspect you mentioned! My partner and I are so grateful for the help Esther gave us with the whole process and reaching residency! This was our first migration, but with your help it took SO MUCH anxiety out of an otherwise stressful process! Can’t thank you enough.

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 7:04 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Thanks for sharing Ilonke, I'm pleased found it on point. It's always good to learn from one's mistakes but better to learn from the mistakes of others :-)
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May 8, 2021, 11:05 a.m. by Dhairya

That's a very comprehensive checklist Myer! I remember you covered all of this in your session in the Prince Hotel in Hong Kong (when in-person was still the thing). I like the fact that you teach your clients to be realistic rather than just selling a dream that some others do.

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 7:02 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Many thanks Dhairya, as my children would say we "like to keep it real" :-). I miss doing in person seminars and meeting people face-to-face and hopefully, as soon as borders reopen we will be back presenting seminars in person.
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May 8, 2021, 11:53 a.m. by Julie Richardson

This is a great article Myer, thank you for sharing.

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 7 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Thanks Julie, we tend to mix the posts between policy related and human interest but given the number of kind comments I received for this post perhaps we are guilty of too many policy related blogs. Perhaps it is only the policy nerds like us that find them of interest :-)
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May 8, 2021, 11:14 p.m. by Albert

I want to thank Kane, Myer and the rest of the team - we arrived in Sydney on a 189 visa today that we got by working with Immagine.

Looking forward living in Australia. Thanks again gents!

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 6:57 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Thanks Albert, I'll pass on your kind comments to Kane and the rest of the team.
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May 9, 2021, 3:22 a.m. by Tendai nyawo

Very interesting

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 6:56 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
I'm pleased you enjoyed the post Tendai
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May 10, 2021, 6:52 p.m. by Linley

Yip you guys make the journey really easier. Paul in our case is superb. ..pity INZ brings on the pain. Their issues keeps us behind.

Replies to this comment

May 10, 2021, 6:55 p.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Thanks for the kind comments Linley.
May 10, 2021, 7:25 p.m. by Paul Janssen
Hi Linley, thanks for the kind comments, always nice hear and makes the job (and all that pain) well worth it.
May 10, 2021, 7:25 p.m. by Paul Janssen
Hi Linley, thanks for the kind comments, always nice hear and makes the job (and all that pain) well worth it.
Reply to this comment
May 11, 2021, 9:42 a.m. by Cathy

Excellent article with great advice!
I definitely found my second migration a breeze compared to the first one, and I think that's largely due to what your friend expressed too: having a different mindset.
I first moved to Ireland at the end of 99 with a partner, and in spite of having a partner and friends there, I was absolutely miserable and hated it. It took 2,5 years to feel settled but even after living there for nearly 7 years, I don't miss it at all.
However, the day I landed in Wellington in 2018 (on my own this time and not knowing anyone), I felt like it was home and I have been blissfully happy ever since.

I think it's also easier when you are leaving your home country for a good reason... when I first left for Ireland, I was just intending to do some travelling, I was not escaping South Africa. The second time around, I really was desperate to get out of SA and knew I was making the right decision. Totally different mindset :)

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May 11, 2021, 4:54 p.m. by Adrian Schultz

Great perspectives shared here Myer.
Hoping we can be around the bbq again soon. And the red wine of course.

Replies to this comment

May 13, 2021, 11:12 a.m. by Myer Lipschitz
Thanks Adrian, looking forward to the day when we can have braaivleis, red wine and lots of laughs.
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May 18, 2021, 4:09 p.m. by Natasha Morris

Great article & so true especially no 2! 18 months down the line in NZ & we haven’t looked back, count ourselves so fortunate to be here, but also lucky first time round - largely have Paul to thank for that! Best advice, don’t expect it to be anything like home, it isn’t but embrace it for everything that it is!

Replies to this comment

May 18, 2021, 4:16 p.m. by Paul Janssen
Hi Natasha, great to hear from you and good to know that you are well and truly settled here. Thanks also for the kind words, always nice to hear.
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June 4, 2021, 1:54 p.m. by Jericho H.

Indeed. That was an interesting read.

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