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I have a dream to relocate to Australia in the next 5 to 10 years. My wife and I are planning to do this together with another married couple.

Right now, we're gathering as much information we can about the migration process, and the requirements for Australia. One thing I haven't really come across is migrating together with people who are not your relatives (children / spouse).

One the key ingredients of my dream to move to Australia is that this particular couple is there as well. I can't imagine that I (or my wife) will be happy if we are isolated completely from everyone we know. So, to combat depression I only want to migrate if the other couple can migrate.

But I doubt Australia recognises the four of us as a single 'family' wanting to migrate. I expect them to treat us as two married couples and each of us has to obtain visas individually. We'll most likely apply for Skilled Independent visas, but depending on the demand in 5 to 10 years, we might be able to apply for sponsored visas. It's likely to change in the future so I can't really provide more information regarding visas at the moment.

What can we do to 'synchronise' our migration as much as possible? Once we enter the migration process, are there ways to keep the progress of all applications going at the same pace?

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I have a related issue where I am trying to time a visa to the end of an academic year and not leave before (my wife is a teacher). So assuming that you are all applying for 189 visas these are the areas where you can time it or delay

  1. Applying for skills assessments. These can take a while or be really quick. ACS (computers) was almost immediate. The teaching one took months. But you can wait it out till everyone has their's
  2. English test. I would take this as soon as you can. There are often wait times of a month or two for slots - i found. Also someone might struggle to get the grades and require retakes. Although it is a hassle do it at the same time as the skills assessment
  3. Expression of Interest. The great unknown. One cannot tell how long it will take to be picked from the pool. A migration agent might have insights but it will be an estimate.
  4. But once you have an Invitation to Apply you get 60 days to file it. It's an opportunity to delay to allow others to catch up.
  5. Medicals/Police checks. This sets the clock ticking. You have a year to enter the country from the earliest day of all of these.

The happy news is that even if it all goes horribly wrong and one couple gets the visa and the other is delayed by a long time it's recoverable. As long as you visit Australia in that year it will activate the visa. You then have 4 years to enter (i think - a long time anyway). Extreme delays could cause issues with resident return visas. But that would be long delays.

Also as an aside - if you know where you want to live you could apply for skilled regional (489) or skilled nominated (190). Once you have been selected by the state then you would be selected straight away from the EOI pool. Bit of an extreme way to time it.

Regarding the number of applications required - it would be two applications one for each couple. On each application you have the main application plus spouse (or long term partner) plus children that you have a legal guardianship for (your own plus adopted in effect). Pick your main applicant from whichever will score most points/be the easiest applicant.

My migration agent was very helpful with timings. Anyway I'm sure it will work out and good luck.

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