Recent figures show that the number of Australians in the UK is less than in previous years. Indeed, the number of Australian working visas and similar issued has also declined in recent years. The Home Office has issued less than 15, 000 working holiday visas to Australians since 2006, a decline of nearly 50%. Between 2011 and 2012, the Office of National Statistics reported a drop of almost 10, 000 Australians living in the UK.
Not only are there now fewer Australians in the UK to exchange sporting banter with, their unique cultural and social input is also being lost. Several Australian themed or centred bars and similar are closing due to declining numbers of Australians. Many Australian high flyers and professionals have also emigrated to the UK (either temporarily or permanently) over the years; many are now returning home, or not coming to the UK in the numbers that they used to. That economic contribution will be missed.
On the economy, given the current strong Australian dollar, Australians in the UK no longer have to work so hard to make the money necessary to support their lifestyle or travels in the UK or EU. The financial incentive to live and work in the UK is no longer there, as they can benefit from a strong Australian dollar in their travels.
Whilst many Australians are returning home, and many not even leaving Australia, it is worth realising and remembering that paralegals can do the same. If the current flooding, gloomy weather, gloomy career prospects, lifestyle and cost of living in the UK no longer seem comforting, bear in mind that experienced paralegals- especially those with qualifications-can emigrate with comparative ease.
The experience and skills of a paralegal- and, being realistic, many paralegals now have advanced academic or legal qualifications- makes it relatively easy for them to find a similar role in different jurisdictions. After all, the skill set is very much the same across the world. Many firms, for example, might specialise in personal injury law and litigation, such as the No Win No Fee Claim Co. Although the nature of personal injury law will vary between jurisdictions, administrative tasks, and duties such as starting, filing and processing a personal injury claim, and seeing the claim go to court (or successfully arbitrated) are very similar around the world. Once the procedures around personal injury law are familiar to a paralegal who handles many such cases regularly, then that knowledge and ability can be applied and used in most other jurisdictions. Given the global reach and scope of the legal profession in 2014, such a move abroad is not uncommon for legal administrators and similar roles.
An experienced paralegal will find that their knowledge and insight of the industry makes it relatively easy for them to move to different countries; however, this will take a lot of time and planning. However, financial and legal professionals are often highly valued and sought after abroad, and the journey through immigration is often easier for such professionals. As such, paralegals will often always be welcome abroad. It is essential, though to check to see whether there are any prerequisites or qualifications that are needed. It might be necessary to be part of a specific regulatory body or association, or to sit a certain exam. With that successfully completed, many legal offices abroad will be very interested in what a foreign trained paralegal can offer. Indeed, in a non-English speaking country, your knowledge of English could itself be a great asset to the firm, and make you very employable abroad. Research is essential, and the key to starting as a paralegal in a new jurisdiction.
With research and planning, and a lot of time and effort, a new life abroad beckons for experienced paralegals. In most cases, the time and effort put into making a new life abroad happen is absolutely worth it. With time and effort, you the experienced paralegal can join those Australians returning Down Under- or can travel to many exotic places, on the strength of your experiences and skill set as a paralegal.