Immigrating to Australia as an Information Security/IT Professional

Dear readers,

At last, after a couple of months (2 actually) with no time for anything other than starting a new life once again (finding a place to live, getting a job, getting acquainted with the location and everything else you might dream of to give us the same level of comfort we had before), I finally managed to spare some time and share my saga with you.

Since I’ve received countless e-mails about every aspect of migrating to a different country, I’ll try to break the story in a few separate, organized (manageable and repeatable 🙂 ) parts to ease my writing and your reading experience:

1 – Migrating to Australia – Background(this article)

2 – Migrating to Australia – Planning (Plan)

3 – Migrating to Australia – Preparation Phase

4 – Migrating to Australia – Finding a Job

This article covers the first topic.

Background

People are different. Some like spending their whole lives among family and friends, in a known and predictable environment. Others would rather face the unknown and somehow unstable life style of an adventurer. There is no right or wrong here, it’s just a matter of preference. I definitely fall under the second category. And so do some of you (that’s why you’re reading this article! :)).

My story starts a couple of years ago, when after 26 years living in Brazil and keen to know the world outside its borders, I was fortunate enough to be offered a position at a global organization based of the Czech Republic, a land where I haven’t been before but certainly offered me the possibilities I always had longed for. The job offer was decent, although I had to sacrifice around 10% of my salary (at that time I was a consultant earning per hour). Nevertheless, the opportunity presented by this choice came out to be the one of the best things ever happening in my life, giving me the opportunity to work my way through the organizational ladder and also travel all over the world. Big changes require a few big sacrifices (or several small ones too) that not everyone is emotionally or burocratically ready to commit to.

Anyways, after a few years living in Europe and enjoying life to its fullest (which includes meeting my wife and having our first kid), we’ve wandered about moving to a place where we could have a more relaxed and warm lifestyle, and a few options popped in our minds. Being a citizen of Brazil myself, that was our first thought, but several things made me reconsider my choice: Although the economy is growing by leaps and bounds, some issues like safety and the fact that my wife doesn’t speak the local language helped us discarding the option.

Canada was another choice, but the idea of facing long winters again was out of consideration for us. Since we liked the idea of living in an english speaking country, our options were restricted to the USA (California/Florida) or Australia. Then the Global Financial Crisis came devastating US economy, and from chaos we saw the light: Australia it would be!

Luckily enough, one of my best friends had gone to Australia around that time and his feedback was more than favorable. The weather was great, Sydney (where he chose to stay) was relatively safe, and job offers in my area of expertise abound.  After a bit of research, I discovered that Australia holds (according to some sources, held) a Skilled Migration Program, where experienced people from different trades were welcome to immigrate in case they fulfilled a certain set of requirements. By the time I applied, you had to undergo a point system that would qualify you as eligible or not.

The Skilled Migration Program at that time had CISSP certification as one of its options, and being a CISSP professional for several years, that was my choice to start the whole Permanent Residence application. According to the Australian immigration website (www.immi.gov.au) I was eligible since I’ve got all points required for the program. That was the beggining of a long journey…

To be continued. 🙂

PS: If you have gone through a similar process, I’d be happy to hear your story! Please use the comments field below to share it us!

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  1. Moeen Qaemi Mahmoodzadeh says:

    Hi,

    I am a security professional looking to migrate to Australia with my wife who is also a doctor. I would appreciate some guidance on the following

    – Market Demand for security professionals in the Australian market

    – IELTS requirements, should I go for Academic or General IELTS.

    I currently hold a Masters degree in Information Security with a bachelors in computer sciences. I also hold the following certifications
    – CISSP
    – CISM
    – CISA
    – ISO27001 LA
    – ISO2000 LA
    – ITILV3 Foundation
    – COBIT 4.1

    Appreciate any feedback in this regards

  2. Hey could I use some of the material here in this entry if I link back to you?

  3. […] or anywhere else you might plan to migrate. But before we move forward, make sure you’re prepared for the moving, planned everything in advance and saved enough cash to pay for your expenditures during your […]

  4. […] we already talked about the Background and Planning for this adventure, now it’s time to go through the preparation phase, which can […]

  5. Renzo says:

    Hi, according to the new SOL (Skilled Occupation List), published recently by the Australian Immigration Department, it seems Information Security professionals “are not welcome any more”. According to the ANZSCO classification, Information Sec Professionals are classified in a group which is not in the list.

    I am interested in immigrate to Australia as you did, I am 27, got a CISM certification and I am preparing to take CISSP. But, according to the new list it seems these skills are not on demand 🙁

    Any ideas or advice? I really do not know what to do, since I feel a little disappointed because it seems Information Sec professionals are not needed in Australia 🙁

    Thanks

  6. Steve says:

    I thought I had heard if you could prove a sufficient retirement fund and would not be a drain on Australian resources, they could waive the age restriction, but I could be wrong. I’d like to hear if that is really true or not.

    Steve

  7. GreenSquirrel says:

    Very intersting.

    Although not directly related, if anyone reading this has experience of migrating to other places it would make an interesting counterpoint. As an example, I would wonder how your experience of trying to move to Florida would have compared.

    Based on my (admittedly trivial) understanding, it is a lot easier to move to Aus/NZ than it is to move to the US, but I would love to know what others think.

  8. […] now we know why I’ve chosen Australia, so the next step was to further investigate the possibilities and also, as a Risk Manager […]

  9. Susan F says:

    Hello Adriano,

    You should let your readers know that in order to be eligible for Australia’s Skilled Migration Program, they must be under the age of 45. I had some interest in emmigrating to Australia myself – I hold CISSP and CISA certificates, and have specialized in Unix Security for top US scientific and financial firms for 20 years, and also have dual citizenship in another commonwealth country (Canada) – but alas, I am 46, so all of the professional qualifications in the world will not get me in the door. I hear corporate sponsorship is a possibility, but I find being at the mercy of a sponsoring company implies too much in the way of personal risk – you break your ties with the US, emmigrate 15k miles… and then if it all turns to custard how does one cope? I suppose I could look for an eligible Aussie bachelor, but there’s risk in that too. 😉

    Best,

    Susan

  10. klgan says:

    Hi, I read your post on immigration to Aus with great interest. After a few searches, guess what, I still belong to the organization that you left in Europe, although in the other part of the world. Keep the postings coming, great stuff. Thanks!

  11. Gotcha says:

    Hi,
    i’m a security professional about to migrate in 2 months time in Sydney.
    Looking forward to read the rest of your story.

    thanks