10 September 2007

Scots choosing Australian immigration for financial reasons

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Scots make up a significant proportion of Britons leaving to start a new life abroad, with 32,000 leaving in 2005 and 163,000 since 2000. One of the most popular destination countries is Australia. As well as the weather, better jobs and large numbers of ex-pats in Australia, the most significant reason for Australian immigration is the opportunity to have a better quality of life at a lower cost.

Jason Hemmings, a director at Albannach FM, an independent financial advice (IFA) firm, told the Scotsman newspaper: "In Scotland, in most cases, both parents have to work and therefore need childcare. The growing cost of living is undermining what people want to achieve out of life. When the cost of living is less, it gives people choice about whether or not both parents work and where the children go to school."

The latest house prices research from Halifax indicates the average house price in Edinburgh is now £288,000. In Melbourne you can buy a three-bedroom detached house with parkland views for £130,000. Another financial benefit in favour of Australian immigration is that if you become domiciled abroad for tax purposes, you will not be subject to UK inheritance tax (40 per cent when your estate is valued at more than £300,000).

Add this to the new Australian immigration rules, which make it easier than ever to obtain an Australian visa, it is no wonder Scots are flocking to Australia. Under the revamped skilled migrant points test for an Australian visa, native English speakers will get an extra five points.

Australia welcomes skilled workers from the UK: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.


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