More than 7.5 million people have immigrated to Australia since 1945. While their motivations prove diverse, life in Australia comes with many benefits from some of the lowest air pollution levels in the world to more than 500 national parks.
Australia also enjoys a low population density and mild weather year-round in many places. Its health care system is one of the most efficient in the world. What’s more, you’ll love the laid-back Aussie way of life.
But what if relocating to another country feels too daunting to you? Think again. Moving to Australia gets much easier once you understand the process and know what to plan for.
1. Apply for the Right Australian Visa
Australia’s immigration policy proves strict, but if you give yourself plenty of time and knowledge to make sure that all of your I’s get dotted and your T’s crossed, you’ll do fine.
If you don’t hold Australian Citizenship, then you’ll need to apply for a valid Australian Visa in order to legally live and work in the country. But which visa should you apply for?
Base your choice of Visa on your reason for entering and staying in Australia. For example, if you plan on working in Australia, then you’ll need to get the 457 Temporary Work visa or a 187 regional work visa.
Learn more about the different types of Australian visas. While you’re at it, don’t forget to explore the visas available exclusively to American nationals. Consider working with a migration agent to streamline the process.
2. Figure Out Where You Want to Live
You’ve got a wealth of information at your fingertips when it comes to exploring which cities in Australia might look right for you. So, do some online research to gain a better perspective on living in Australia.
While Sydney’s iconic opera house stands out in everyone’s mind, living in this city comes with both pros and cons. The pace can prove very hectic and winters get downright chilly. But if you travel regularly, it boasts Australia’s busiest airport.
Melbourne represents another iconic city that you may wish to explore. But weather can prove fickle year-round. In fact, it’s known for “four seasons in one day,” which doesn’t prove everybody’s cup of tea.
The third largest city in Australia, Brisbane boasts a subtropic climate, which translates into lots of gorgeous weather.
Australia’s small-town capital, its laid-back atmosphere proves charming, and areas such as the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast sit nearby.
Other cities to consider include Hobart, Adelaide, Canberra, Darwin, and Perth. Do your research now so that you know where to concentrate your employment and house-hunting activities once you arrive.
3. Start Job Hunting
Because of the convenience of the internet, you can start your job hunt before even departing for Australia. That way, you’ll enjoy the security and assurance of knowing employment is waiting for you.
Sites such as SEEK, Indeed, and job search.gov.au provide excellent resources.
But if you prefer exploring Australia’s many beautiful cities in person before making an employment decision, that’s fine, too. Just make sure you come prepared with a stash of cash to get by until you’re ready to settle in.
4. Find Short-Term Accommodations
After you’ve made the commitment to move to Australia, have started the visa process, and are packing up your physical belongings, you may experience some panic. All of a sudden, it’ll hit you: where am I going to stay when I get there?
Fortunately, you’ve got almost endless options. First, decide whether or not you want to opt for short-term housing at the beginning of your stay or dive straight into property ownership.
Purchasing a home sight unseen might feel daunting to you, and so many new transplants to Australia start out in a hotel or Airbnb.
You might also wish to consider other short-term rental options. That said, prepare to sign a six to 12-month lease agreement as well as pay a rental bond, which is regulated by the Residential Tenancies Bond Authority.
5. Check Out Long-Term Real Estate Options
Once you’ve settled in a bit, you’ll feel more prepared to pull the trigger on Australian real estate. That said, you may also wish to jump over the short-term property hoop and dive right into ownership.
Either way, Australia boasts stunning properties in beautiful locations such as Brisbane that’ll make you want to discover more about your real estate options in Australia.
6. Prepare for a Lengthy House-Hunt
Just know going in that the real estate market can prove highly competitive, especially in Australia’s major cities. Prepare for a lengthy house-hunting experience.
Here are some other things to keep in mind as you prepare to purchase real estate in Australia.
The best part of buying before you go? You have a physical address to ship your belongings to. Now, how’s that for efficiency and convenience?
Anyway, more about shipping in a little bit.
7. Sort Your Belongings
One of the most eye-opening parts of moving to a foreign country remains the realization of what you can and can’t travel with, either due to cost or other restrictions. Now’s the time to start sorting through your belongings.
You’ll need to decide:
- What you absolutely need to bring with you
- What is precious but could be stored in your country of origin
- What you can purchase in Australia and don’t need to keep or bring
Dispose of everything that you possibly can. No matter what, you’ll still probably end up with more than you want to transport.
8. Look into Long-Term Storage Options
For certain items that you cherish but don’t feel a need to bring during your move, consider long-term storage. Safe deposit boxes, storage cages, and small storage units prove affordable.
Do some online research and shop around to find the best deals in a convenient and safe location.
What do we mean by convenient? Decide on a person stateside whom you feel comfortable having access to your valuables. Then, make sure your storage facility is close to them for ease of item-fetching.
9. Figure Out What You’re Shipping and How
When it comes to international shipping, you’ve got a wide variety of companies to choose from. What’s more, you can ship large quantities of items in shipping containers or just pay to have a few boxes or bags sent overseas.
To get the best price for your shipping needs, shop around looking for companies that specialize in international relocation (such as Seven Seas Worldwide and World Baggage). Check out their online reviews to see what customers say about them.
If you’ve already chosen to work with a migration agent to make your transition to Australia go more smoothly, ask them for shipping advice, too.
10. Pay Attention to Customs Taxes & Prohibited Items
When shipping personal effects to Australia, keep track of any items that you have owned for less than 12 months. Under Australian law, these items are subject to customs duties or taxes.
Besides customs taxes, you’ll also want to steer clear of shipping anything restricted or prohibited in Australia. These items include:
- Items from the natural environment that could harbor disease (e.g. food, plants, and wood)
If you find yourself in possession of any contraband or restricted items upon entering Australia, you must immediately report these to customs officers to avoid hassles, detention, and more.
Moving to Australia?
Moving to Australia comes with many changes and lots of adventure. But with the right knowledge and preparation, it doesn’t have to come with lots of hassles.
Interested in learning more about international travel and relocation? Check out our travel and entertainment blog.