For many people around the world, the land down under has always held an air of mystery and adventure. With diverse ecosystems, incredible wildlife, and amazing cities, this unique continent and country have something for everyone. In 2021, it was rated the 12th happiest country in the world, increasing that appeal even more.
If you dream of moving to Australia, it’s entirely possible. However, there’s lots to consider before you pack your bags. Here are seven practical tips for moving to this incredible part of the world.
Determine Your Desired Location
Many people who dream of moving to Australia are shocked to discover how vast this country is. Australia has distinct regions with different job markets, subcultures, and climates. Additionally, Australian real estate prices and the cost of living vary dramatically from one place to another. The first step in planning your move is narrowing down your desired location.
Some of the best places to live for newcomers to Australia include:
Start by choosing one of the bigger cities listed here, then explore the surrounding areas as you desire.
Understand the Visa Requirements
Like any country, foreigners require a visa to get in. Visa requirements are much more restrictive for those who plan to move to Australia versus those who are just visiting. There are also several visa options based on your age, job status, etc.
If your goal is to become a permanent resident, you’ll require one of the following:
- A family-stream permanent resident visa
- A work-stream permanent resident visa
- An investor-stream permanent resident visa
You can read more about the visa options on Australia’s Immigration and Citizenship page.
Consider Your Health Coverage
One of the great appeals of moving to Australia is universal healthcare (known as Medicare). However, while this is available to permanent residents, you may not be covered when you first move there. Australia’s Medicare system doesn’t cover some things, so it’s worth looking into private health coverage before moving.
Consider Your Job Search
Having a job lined up before you move will help with the immigration process and simplify your application for permanent residency. Researching the job market should be a part of your initial destination research, but it’s also important to look at the bigger picture.
Take the time to determine whether your schooling and licensing are recognized in Australia. You may be required to take an exam or apply for recognition before you move.
Learn About the Roads
Australian roads are similar to Europe; you drive on the left. This experience can be a culture shock for people from North America. While the cities have public transit options, you’ll need a vehicle to explore rural areas and eventually require an Australian driver’s license.
It’s also important to note that you walk with traffic as a pedestrian rather than against it, and jaywalking is a punishable offense.
Brush Up on the Lingo
Australians speak English, but it’s a unique take on the language that’s rich with slang and local jargon. Before you take off for the land down under, take some time to brush up on the lingo so that you understand what people are saying.
If the only Aussie catchphrase you know is “throw some shrimp on the barbie,” you’ve got some reading to do before you go. Consider watching a few Australian shows on Netflix to get a better idea of the cadence and slang your new neighbors might use.
Hire Experienced International Movers
Finally, consult with experienced international movers to handle your belongings. You’ll want an insured and bonded company that can provide guidance on customs and import laws. It’s also worth investing in extra insurance to cover your belongings for the move.
Moving to Australia is an exciting adventure, but there’s lots of work to be done before you go. Use this list as a starting point as your plot out your big move.