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Relocation/breaking into industry

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Hey I''m an IT grad, worked in an I-bank for a year and am currently in the painful process of trying to relocate to Australia where my partner is from. I don''t know if anyone here has ever applied for a permanent residency visa, but it''s a long and hard process, or at least I''m finding it so... Anyway, when I get to Australia I want to break into the games industry - a fairly big career change I know, but I''m 100% sure it''s what I want to do. I''ve looked at some recruitment sites over there and noticed that many of them mention they''ll cover relocation costs and, more interesting, sponsor successful applicants for a work visa. I figure it''s probably a waste of time for someone with my experience to hope that this would happen - I''d think that local applicants would get preference over someone with my experience? But at the moment, I''m seriously beginning to look into alternatives to the visa I''m applying for at the moment, which has so far been one of the most painful and depressing times of my life. Go on, I can take it - tell me nobody would bother with me! Any suggestions would be most welcome though, I''m in a bit of a rut at the moment and could use some friendly advice as to what the hell to do. If I can''t get the visa I''m applying for at the moment, are my chances slim to none of ever getting to where I want to be, or would the Aussie games industry give me a chance if I was dedicated and persistant enough?

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The Australian immigration process is known to be one of the toughest ever! I really don''t envy you in that respect, although having said that I have a friend who got his marriage based visa in Australia about four years ago now and it didn''t seem that long for him, even though it was rather painful.

I personally have just this year been approved for my US greencard, my grueling process took three years and rather than hire a lawyer, I did all the filing myself which just escalated the stress, so I understand what you''re going through.

Obtaining an employment visa is definitely doable but you''re going to have to work amazingly hard for it. If your heart isn''t in game development, then I suggest you go the marriage based visa route instead.

Do you know what you want to do? Programmer? Artist? Designer? Producer?

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First of all thanks for replying - it seems a little better that it's not just me and I'm not imagining it to be so hard.

I'm definitely passionate about breaking in - I've been very firmly decided on this over the past year while I've been working temporary-ish jobs to pay for the Visa/migration costs etc. I've been into games programming since I had a computer, first learned on BASIC, taught myself C, went to Uni and did Comp Sci, learned Java and C++, and so on - I definitely have a long history with games, one way or another, just not the professional experience.

In a perfect world, I'd like to design my own games. Having done Comp Sci and worked professionally in IT, I think that although I obviously couldn't do this straight away, I do have what it takes and the basic ideas on how to go about game design - i.e. the methodology/planning side and the creative side. (One thing I'd have to work on if I decide to do this is people skills, in a leadership respect).

Because I don't think I'm ready for this yet, I'd like to break in as a programmer. My coding skills have always been good, and I've picked up a good range of languages over the years.

Alternatively, I'm also not bad at creative writing, interface and level design.

Anyway, if anyone else has any thoughts or experiences to share, I'd love to hear them. Thanks again for your feedback.

[edited by - davedx on April 14, 2004 7:47:46 AM]

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