Rotem Hexter – Australia

In August 2007, I began my big post army trip. I always wanted to explore Australia since I was 14 years of age… and of course wasn’t disappointed. Australia is truly fabulous and recommended for all. There is so much to see and it is so very different…from what we are accustomed to in Israel.

Shortly after arriving in Australia I embarked on one of the most breathtaking trips that I have ever taken along the Great Ocean Road. During my travels, I met a nice Australian girl named Annalise and we became romantically involved.

During our months of travelling together our relationship developed and we became very serious.  A “real-double love” story: a phenomenal girl and a phenomenal continent!”.  Following much thought and knowing that it wouldn’t be easy- however, my feelings for Annalise and Australia were so strong that I decided to take the plunge- and move to Australia and most probably on a permanent basis.

The difficulties in immigration to a foreign country are clear to everyone.  The distance from family and friends, a foreign language, different food, different mentality, and everything exactly opposite to what I have known to date. However, I know that different isn’t always a bad thing and I found myself enjoying everything and meeting new challenges daily.

I must state that in my opinion Australia is very welcoming to immigrants from all over the world. I have not encountered any discrimination or racism whatsoever. Everyone smiles and is curious to hear where you come from and what your story is.

Together with the support of Annalise and my family who slowly became accustomed to the idea, I returned to Israel and began investigating the immigration process.

In Israel, I met Advocate Lisa Segelov whom I had heard about from a satisfied Israeli living in Australia who underwent the process. Lisa met and sat with me and explained exactly what was required of me, how, how much and why and she answered all of my questions. I left the meeting with her knowing that it wouldn’t be easy but that it was possible.

I used my European passport to return to Australia a second time. During the year I was there, I gathered all the required documentation in order to prove that our relationship was genuine incorporating every single detail that Lisa indicated I would need in the future. In January 2009, Annalise and I were married in Australia. My family came from Israel and there was a big celebration. Of course after the family had visited Australia and seen how I lived and that everything was fine, their support for my move to Australia only increased.

I contacted Lisa who helped me immensely and made everything seem easy, telling me exactly what to bring and do and even where to sign!

We knew we could phone Lisa at any time when necessary without feeling uncomfortable. We felt we weren’t alone in the process and that everything was going smoothly.

The Immigration Department in Australia told us that the waiting period until you receive the decision about your spouse visa is between 6-8 months but the agency that checked our case was so impressed by our application that they said that there was no reason to delay the decision in our case because we came 100% ready. The case officer authorised my visa on the spot and thus we were spared much of time and anxiety. Thanks to Lisa and all the preparation, we could now move forward and concentrate on building our lives in Australia in peace and quiet!

In summary, in a process that can be complex and difficult, it is a good idea to use the services of someone with experience that knows everything. It will give you a lot of confidence and peace of mind especially if you use Lisa Segelov who always does everything with a real desire to help and with a smile!

Today I am really happily settled in Australia, working, and I have made new friends. It’s very easy to become accustomed to life here and I would say …….I even find myself missing Australia when I visit Israel every year.

Good luck to you all

Rotem Hexter