Last month, I officially became an Aussie. Last week, I received my new blue passport. It has been a long journey and I would like to share every step I took to reach the peak. I'm glad I've reached this point. Is it the finish line? No, the chapter just ended. Onto the next!
The second half of 2014 felt like it all happened in an instant. It didn't hit me that I was leaving for good up until I was at the airport. Who knew?
July 18, 2014: Attended “Study in Australia” seminar by BridgeBlue Global.
July to September 2014: Collected required documents
September 3, 2014: Submitted documents, filled application for University of Western Sydney (UWS).
November 3, 2014: Received offer letter from UWS
December 19, 2014: Student visa granted
December 28, 2014: Departed the Philippines (PH)
December 29, 2014: Arrived in Australia (AU)
2015 & 2016
These two years basically was college life part 2. The good thing about this period was that it helped me get a grasp of Australian life, giving me an opportunity to learn the basics and the lingo. It felt like I started a new life and learning basic stuff like banking, getting around, etc. It was interesting to say the least.
January 5, 2015: Started Bachelor of Nursing (Graduate Entry) at UWS
June 1, 2015: Found a job as an Assistant-in-Nursing (AIN) at St. George Public Hospital
November 20, 2016: Completed my bachelor's degree
December 19, 2016: Registered with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)
The hard part of learning a degree here compared to back home in PH is that there is an emphasis to applied learning. A bulk of it is writing proper essays which gave me a bit of a hard time which led me to learn how to write them. I managed to pass which was great!
2017 is an eventful year as all these things happened. It was pretty much the start of my career as a nurse. I also turned 25 that year which is a milestone! I've highlighted 2017 in a previous post.
January 6, 2017: Applied for Post Study Work Visa; Applied for International Graduate Modified Skills Assessment with the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)
January 20, 2017: Attended health assessment at Bupa Medical Visa Services
March 8, 2017: Received post study work visa grant
March 9, 2017: Received notification from ANMAC requesting for additional documents
March 13, 2017: Posted requested documents to ANMAC
March 16, 2017: Completed ANMAC assessment, received certificate. Applied for Expression of Interest for skilled migration visa (visa 189 and 190)
March 24, 2017: Received invitation to apply for NSW nomination (visa 190)
March 29, 2017: Received invitation to apply for skilled migration (visa 189)
March 30, 2017: Chose to go the skilled migration route, lodged visa 189
April 7, 2017: Graduated from UWS (now officially called Western Sydney University, WSU)
May 23, 2017: Started working as a Registered Nurse at an Residential Aged Care Facility (RACF)
August 4, 2017: Passed Driving Test at Rockdale RTA and acquired a full driving license with no restrictions
August 8, 2017: Started working as an Immunology/Allergy Nurse in a public hospital
September 8, 2017: Received visa 189 grant (Permanent residency)
September 14, 2017: Applied for Medicare
December 22, 2017: Started working as a Practice Nurse at a private GP's practice
I couldn't believe that life started to become stable. I could at that time see the light. I was enjoying my job as an immunology / allergy nurse which is my main role now.
All I needed for citizenship was to wait one more year as one of the requirements to apply for it was to have set foot in Australia for 4 years. I had everything else ready to be lodged as I was waiting. It wasn't long as I was busy with my career.
December 28, 2018: Eligibility for citizenship met
2019 & 2020
The end was nigh. Finally, we get that blue passport! The sad thing about it is that I can't even use it because of COVID-19. What a bummer. It's not all too bad, my girlfriend was able to visit me here in AU from the US. I proposed and am now engaged. Yay!
January 8, 2019: Lodged citizenship application
September 15, 2019: Received notification for citizenship interview and test
March 23, 2020: Attended Australian citizenship ceremony at
April 16, 2020: Submitted passport application
April 28, 2020: Received approval of passport application
April 29, 2020: Received Australian passport
What happens next?
I guess there's nothing else for me. My next steps are to get my fiancee to Australian shores again, but this time, permanently. It's an exciting road ahead and I'll share everything soon once it all happens.
If you have any questions on my journey, my life here, or anything else, please don't be afraid to ask! Leave a comment and I will be happy to help!
Edit: Fixed typo, thanks Sam!