Your hairdressing scissors are certainly going to help you cut through some of the red tape surrounding your visa application so, in theory, you could be setting off to your new life down under in less than six months time. Hey, but hang on a minute sport, you still need to ask yourself, is Australia really the place for me?

Let's start with the statistics. The number of Britons hoping to emigrate has doubled in the past three years according to a survey published in 2006. And, Australia is still the first choice destination followed by Spain, Canada, New Zealand, USA and then France.

Australia certainly ticks all the 'reasons to emigrate' boxes¦ great quality of life, year round sun and a better standard of living than the UK. In fact, according to the Worldwide Quality-Of-Life Index (2006) the world's largest island ranks at number eight compared to the UK which comes in at twenty- six.

You'll enjoy less traffic congestion, fantastic sports and leisure facilities and a clean, natural environment plus of course, 23,000 miles of beach coastline.

The cost of living is far lower there too. Most Aussies live in more luxurious homes at a relatively low cost, with around 70% of the people owning their own home. For those who don't own, renting is on average cheaper than in the UK.

Jenny, who lived near Chester before emigrating to Oz, sent back this message;

"We have settled in Perth, WA. and are living close to our friends who emigrated from the UK a year ago. Life is really good on every level and although I do miss my folks back home, the chance to live in this great country is one I would not have missed. Initially, I must admit, being a self-employed mobile hairdresser I did not think I could prove my trade skills to the Australian Government as the basis of the visa application but it came down to sourcing and providing the necessary evidence and I was able to do so."

Of course, making the biggest move of your life won't necessarily be all plain sailing, it can be stressful so make sure you do your homework up front and seek guidance from the experts. They'll advise you on the right type of visa to suit you and can help you with the documentation you'll need to submit with your application form. Some cases are very complex and using an experienced migration agent can help you get your application right first time meaning that you'll be on your way to your new life in the quickest possible time.

For more information and advice on all types of visa applications call David Roberts at emigration experts, Four Corners Emigration on 0161 608 1617 or, as your first step, you may like to check out your eligibility on-line by visit www.fourcorners.net.