Moving to Australia
If someone offers to “slip an extra shrimp on the barbie” for you, do not rush to call the police. It is just friendly Australians inviting you for a fun social gathering on a warm, crisp and clear Australian December. Sounds a bit confusing, but you will get used to living upside down If you know what I mean.
Moving to Australia certainly requires thorough preparation. It is not only a new continent but a completely different ecosystem nature and culture-wise. When packing for a move to Australia, do your own research to determine whether it is YOUR dream destination.
Hercules Moving Company will not only gladly assist with your relocation and shipments, but we are also happy to share with you this guide with facts and helpful links to know what to expect when moving to Australia.
Icebreaker: Man isn’t the main habitant - Kangaroo Is
Australia, an isolated continent translated as “South Earth” from Latin, is known for its unique climate and nature. The world’s smallest continent occupies only 5% of the Earth’s landmass. The area of the continent with its islands is 7,692,024 km² and is divided into 6 states, 2 territories, and 3-time zones.
The population of Australia is 25.69 million with only 3 people per Km2. The official language is English, however, there are over 40 indigenous and immigrant languages spoken daily. Europeans make up about 82% of the population ( English, Irish, Scottish, Italians, Germans etc.), 12% are Asian ( Chinese, Indians, Vietnamese, Philippino), 3% are Indigenous people and 3% of other minority groups.
More than half of the population are Christians, 2,6% are Muslims, 2,4% are Buddhists, 1.9% are Hindus, and 30% identify as irreligious. Australia is a federal Commonwealth nation headed, formally, by Queen Elizabeth II. The official currency is the Australian Dollar, visit XE for live currency exchange rates.
Interesting fact: There are seasons in Australia when you can be attached by magpies. It does sound funny in the beginning, until one does attack you. Save this Magpie Alert just in case. Otherwise, Australia is one of the safest countries in the world due to its stable political system and low crime rate.
How to Immigrate to Australia
Unless you are a New Zealand citizen, the only legal way to cross a border in Australia is to have a visa. Any immigration process starts with determining the suitable visa to apply for, depending on your circumstances.
The most frequent immigration option is through a professional visa. It is also possible to immigrate to Australia for business, as a family, for student study programs and refugee status.
To go to Australia on a student visa, you need to enroll at an institution and then, when you apply for a visa, provide an acceptance letter and proof of enrolment. You will need proof of English, health insurance, as well as the availability of sufficient financial resources for the duration of your studies. If you want to stay, you will have to apply for permanent residency or a work visa as a Temporary Graduate visa. Explore Study visa options here.
First Steps upon arrival in Australia
Once you have landed, there are quite a few things better to be done during your thirst week. Write down these steps to ensure you do not forget anything.
- Get Tax Identification Number.
You will be able to apply for the TIN only being present in Australia. You must apply for it through Individual Auto Registration. There are 3 main requirements:
- You are a holder of a foreign passport, a permanent migrant or a temporary visitor
- Your visa type: a permanent resident visa, a visa allowing you to work, an overseas student, a visa or a visa that allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely.
- You are present in Australia
- Open a Bank Account.
To open a bank account in Australia you need to provide documents that will total 100 points. You can learn about the points-based system on the Queensland Government website.
Simply speaking, each of your documents is equal to a certain value of points, an Australian visa, for example, is 40 points, driver’s license equals 60 points. You can apply to open a bank account outside of Australia, providing that you will be coming in the next 12 months.
- Buy a Sim Card.
Getting an Australian sim card will not cause you too many troubles. You can buy a sim card in any post office, supermarket, gas station and electronic store. There is also an option to purchase it online, but you need to have an Australian address and can take up to a week to be delivered.
- Driving License & Auto Insurance.
This country is so big that you would definitely need a car to move around. Luckily, you can use your international driving license in Australia for up to 3 months (6 in Victoria) and then apply for a temporary or permanent driving license. If it is not in English, it must be translated by the authorized translator. However, there are different regulations depending on a state or territory.
Note: In Australia, people drive on the left side of the road. Australians have a reputation as bad drivers. Not because of kangaroos jumping on the road from nowhere, but it is just the way they drive.
Healthcare in Australia
Australia has a mixed healthcare system with public and private healthcare facilities. A variety of mechanisms are used to finance and regulate their activities. Despite the best free public health care, some Australians choose to have private insurance. Let’s find out why.
Medicare or public healthcare system is available to Australian and New Zealand citizens, permanent residents of Australia and temporary residents of foreign countries with which there is a reciprocal health care agreement. Eligible expats can apply for Medicare by filling up this form and submitting it to the closes Medicare office.
Medical care is mostly free, and services are generally unlimited. Treatment in public hospitals is free, as is treatment by general practitioners, and life-saving drugs from the benefits list is sold at a discount. Retirees are eligible for significant discounts or free treatment. Public health care does not cover vision, dental and retirement facilities services.
The biggest cons of public healthcare in Australia are long waiting periods, ambulance services are not covered and a lack of insurance policies.
There are several different private health insurance programs in Australia.Private insurance schemes usually cover inpatient/outpatient treatment, additional medical expenses as well as the cost of emergency medical services. The private insurance plan enables one to choose a medical institution and a doctor to visit independently.
Additional medical expenses include a dentist, ophthalmologist, cost of hearing aids, glasses and other medical equipment. The cost of the insurance will depend on the level of coverage, territory of residence and personal characteristics.
Earning and Spending in Australia
As of today, the minimum wage in Australia is $20.33 AUD per hour or $772.60 AUD per week (38h), which is considered to be the highest amount in the world after taxes. The average salary in Australia is about $90,000 AUD.
Here is the list of professions and their earnings: Surgeons are the highest paid, at almost $400,000 AUD, financial dealers at about $385,000 AUD, Chief executive officers at $165,000 AUD, Teachers about $89,800 AUD.
Renting vs. Housing in Australia
The variety of housing and renting options in Australia is overwhelming and rather expensive. Studios, apartments, duplexes, semi-detached houses, farmhouses… how to choose the right one?
Whether you are planning to rent or buy a home you need to know the regulations and laws. Hiring an international moving company will assure safe relocation to Australia. If you are wondering how much it will cost you to move house to Australia, Get a Free Estimate Now.
Renting in Australia. The average rent in Australia will depend on the city you reside in. Expect to pay weekly the following amounts: Sydney $600-$410 AUD, Melbourne $440 - $360 AUD, Canberra $650 - $490 AUD, and Perth $460 - $380 AUD.
To rent long-term in Australia, you must prepare tons of documents and look trustworthy. You must provide proof of identity, proof of income (last 3 months), references ( best if Australian), prior rental agreements, and down payment.
Once you have gathered everything, start browsing the neighbourhoods. After finding a decent choice, arrange a viewing and bring all the documents with you to secure the deal on the spot if it is good. The renting market is pretty competitive. Double-check the contract before signing and talk through with the agent or the landlord about all the necessities.
Housing in Australia. No wonder why so many tend to purchase a house in Australia, the prices of real estate have been only rising, making it a great investment.
Here are the some prices on properties:
- Sydney $925,000 AUD house
- Melbourne $720,000 AUD house
- Perth $484,000 AUD house
The farther from the coast, the cheaper the price.
If you are a citizen or hold a permanent readership buying a property in Australia would not be a problem. However, as a foreign, you must follow a precise procedure to become an owner. The purchasing property must be categorized as an investment, you can not buy any housing on a secondary market directly or indirectly. As a buyer, you must obtain government approval.