The decision to move to Australia is an important one to make and there are a lot of things to consider before you make the move. Ensure it goes smoothly by following our checklist and you can enjoy a new life Down Under.
Start planning now with our moving to Australia check list
Getting the right visa
You can’t start a new life in Australia if you don’t have the right visa, and there are many different visas for different circumstances. Australia’s work visas include the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457), valid from one day to four years; the Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (subclass 186), which enable workers to stay permanently in Australia on employer sponsorship; and the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189), for which you must submit an Expression of Interest and be invited to apply. Make sure you apply for the visa you need to live and work in Australia legally.
Finding work in Australia
Australia’s economy is healthy and there are plenty of job opportunities on offer in a range of industries. Recruitment, healthcare, trades and IT are always looking for skilled professionals with sponsorship on offer. Since the recent changes to the 457 Visa program were announced to come into effect in 2018, there are more people apply for general skilled migration, and looking at Government Sponsored pathways as these come with Australian Permanent Residency which you can then apply for a citizenship after two years in Australia, if you qualify. Skilled and experienced workers are always in high demand in Australia and this is very much a necessary part of your Australian visa application.To find out if your occupation is one of those that will help you secure an work visa you can check the Skills Occupation List or speak with a MARA approved Migration Agent.
Find more information on Registered Migration Agents in the UK and Australia
Shipping your stuff to Australia
Moving yourself halfway around the world is difficult enough, but moving your belongings is a whole other kettle of fish. Decide what you need to take with you, what you can sell and what you can chuck. You may find it hard to throw things away, but consider the cost of shipping compared to the cost of just replacing it once you arrive – you may find the latter is cheaper. For the belongings you choose to take with you, make sure they are packed well. Finally, the best thing you can possibly do is find a shipping company that works for you – look at rates, speed and convenience.
Find out more about international shipping to Australia and secure a 5% discount
When exchanging your money from UK to Australia, you want to get the best rate possible while also receiving a smooth transaction. Banks may seem like the easiest way to go, but they may not give you the best exchange rate and you could end up paying huge transfer fees to move money abroad. Shop around for the best deal and check out foreign exchange specialist companies. You can view some recommended companies and get additional tips on international currency exchange in our expat finance section.
Setting up an Australian bank account
When you do move money from the UK to Australia, you’ll need an Australian bank account. When choosing your bank, consider any application or account fees, as well as how many branches and ATMs there are in your new location. There are a number of major banks in Australia, with the biggest being Westpac, ANZ, NAB, HSBC and Commonwealth Bank. Choosing the right bank for you will depend on your situation, finance and personal requirements. Also consider if you’re current bank has a partnership with an Australian bank as this could save you money on international transfers.
Find out about starting an Australian bank account on the following websites:
Westpac – Moving to Australia
NAB – Migrant Banking
HSBC – Moving to Australia – Premier
Commonwealth Bank of Australia – Moving To Australia
ANZ – Migrant Banking Package
Australia and the UK have a reciprocal healthcare agreement in which UK residents can enrol in Medicare (Australia’s healthcare service) and Australian residents can use the NHS. However, Medicare isn’t exactly the same as the NHS and it’s worth getting separate health insurance if you’re moving to Australia. Medicare does not cover ambulance services, so if you don’t have health insurance and you need an ambulance, you have to pay for it. Visit the Medicare website for a full list of what Medicare does and doesn’t cover. For personal medical and health insurance for Australia you may wish to seek private care. Companies like Bupa, Alliance or Cigna are all very reputable and will offer reliable cover for most people. It’s also worth considering that having private medical insurance is necessary for some Australian visas. It’s worth consulting your MARA approved migration agent about this when you make your visa application.
Here’s some more information about Migrant Health Insurance:
Bupa – Australian Health Insurance – www.bupa.com.au
Cigna – Global Health Cover – www.anz.co.nz/personal/accounts/migrant-banking-package
Alliance Migration Insurance – www.bupa.com.au