Health and Lifestyle Travel Blog

10 Things to Consider When Moving to Australia

So, you are thinking of moving to Australia? Perhaps you enjoyed a post-lockdown dream holiday Down Under. Or maybe you have been seduced by the Aussie lifestyle, as portrayed on television shows like Bondi Rescue and Home & Away. Whatever your reasons for wanting to leave Blighty, you are not alone: According to the Australian Department of Home Affairs, approx. 1.2 million Brits resided in Australia at the end of June 2020.

But before you jump on a plane and head to the Lucky Country, there are several things you need to consider, to ensure your move goes smoothly. Let’s take a look at some of the most important:

10 things to know if you are planning to relocate to Oz

Westpac recently wrote a useful guide on moving to Australia. In our article, we will highlight some of the points they mentioned to give you a better understanding of what you need to know before you move and successfully settle in the country.

1. Securing the relevant Australian visa

The first thing you will need to do if you plan to move to Oz permanently is to gain permission from the Australian government. This comes in the form of a visa that will enable you to live, work and/or study in the country.

There is a raft of visa options for permanent migration that fall under categories like family and partner visas, working and skilled visas and studying and training visas. To find out more about them, check out the visa options for Australia on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs for moving to Australia

2. Ensuring your passport is up to date

It is imperative that your passport is in date. It goes without saying that you won’t be able to travel without it. Make sure its expiry date also meets your visa requirements. Similarly, you should have an original copy of your birth certificate and driver’s licence on hand in case you need to provide a new employer or financial institution with valid means of identification.British passport

3. Getting your financial affairs in order

Prior to your move, it is advisable to check that you can access and manage your bank accounts in the UK from abroad as you will need access to funds until you have settled and opened an Australian bank account. Make sure you have internet banking set up and are able to use it, so that you can manage your account from abroad with ease.

Once you know your moving date, be sure to submit meter readings, notify utility companies, cancel memberships and subscriptions, credit cards with fees attached to them, and settle any outstanding bills. There are a number of useful websites that help you manage this online ensuring you do not miss anything. Last but not least, cancel any standing orders and direct debit payments that you no longer require.

4. Setting up a bank account in Australia

It is a good idea to set up an Australian bank account prior to moving to the country permanently.

Typically, this might be a ‘transaction’ or ‘day-to-day’ account and any of the four main banks in Australia – Westpac, Commonwealth, NAB & ANZ – should be able to do that. Some of these don’t even require you to be in Australia at the time of opening your account. Any bank you attempt to open a new account with will require valid and often multiple forms of identification.

Once you have set up your Australian bank account you will be able to organise the transfer of funds you have in the UK. This will ensure you will have access to cash once you arrive in Australia.saving money for retirement

5. Finding somewhere to live in Oz

You will probably already have a fair idea of where you want to live, especially if you have been exploring the country on a road trip in Australia or singles holidays in your younger years. You could initially stay at a friend’s place, an Airbnb, or a hotel, whilst you find your bearings, are checking out the exact area you wish to live in or even finding a job. Either way, it makes sense to find somewhere short term before you rent or buy long term.

Doing your due diligence by researching the local housing market will pay off. Talk to the local real estate agents to gain a good understanding of average rent and house prices whilst doing a thorough investigation of the local transport links, shops, schools, and employment opportunities in any given area.key in door

6. Setting up your utilities and other essentials

As soon as you find somewhere to live, you will need to get electricity, gas, water, internet, and phone service connected. There are several online comparison sites that can help make this process less cumbersome.

Furthermore, establishing your new life in Australia means considering how you’ll navigate the bustling city streets or find convenient parking near your new home or workplace. Exploring secure parking areas can significantly ease the transition, allowing you to enjoy the vibrant city life without the hassle of searching for a safe spot for your vehicle. Whether it’s finding a reliable spot for your daily commute or ensuring your car is safely parked during weekend outings, understanding your options for parking space rentals can make all the difference.

7. Finding employment

Most people who relocate permanently to Australia will need to find employment. Australia has a very buoyant and varied job market, which offers a range of opportunities to find new work in such diverse industries as teaching, IT, construction, financial services, mining, hospitality, medicine, and tourism to name but a few.

You will be able to find plenty of job opportunities online. and LinkedIn are good sites to start searching on. There are also several employment agencies you can join, including Adecco, which is one of the largest recruitment companies in Australia. If you want to start your own business, you will need the relevant visa and comply with the legal and government requirements for Australian businesses.

8. Taxation in Australia

In order to work, and for tax purposes, most employers in Australia will need you to have a tax file number (TFN). This is a unique 9-digit identification number that is issued by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and is similar to the social security number issued in European countries. You can apply for one directly through their website but only after entering Australia. This number is a must-have to work and pay tax in Australia.

9. Healthcare in Australia

Never underestimate the important of health insurance. If your visa grants you permanent residency status, be sure to sign up to Medicare as soon as you arrive in Australia. This will give you access to Australia’s public healthcare system. You will receive a Medicare card with which you will be entitled to subsidised medications and treatment, should you require them.

As well as this public system, Australia also has several private healthcare providers that you may wish to join too. These include Bupa, HCF, HBF, Medibank, and Westfund.

It is also worth asking your current UK-based health insurance provider how they can support you in Australia either long term or for the short term until you have explored other options.

10. Checking your retirement options

If you are leaving employment in the UK, it is wise to find out if you have paid into your UK state pension for long enough to access it. Any privately paid pension pot can, of course, be access from abroad, but there may be fees associated, so it is also advisable to find out what impact your move will have on your existing pension arrangement.

Once in Australia, you will be able to save for your pension through a system called superannuation. Any employer you work for is instructed by law, to make payments of a minimum of 10.5% of your total gross salary, into your super fund on your behalf. You can choose to adopt the superannuation fund that is offered by your employer or pick your own fund. Some of the most popular funds include Australian Super, CBus and UniSuper. When you retire, you will be able to access the money you have saved. Depending on your residency status, you might also be able to access it when you permanently choose to leave Australia.

Final thoughts

Everyone’s circumstances but whether you are moving with family or without, these are the 10 most important things to consider when moving to Australia. The prospect of emigrating to this beautiful country is one that no doubt fills you with excitement and anticipation, but the planning and preparation process involved in facilitating your move can be very stressful. Hopefully, we were able to give you a better understanding of the things you need to know before you relocate to Oz and thus make the transition less stressful.

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