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A Comprehensive Guide on Relocating to Australia
Relocating to a new country poses a lot of challenges. You need to do a lot research on subjects such as acquiring work and residence visas, housing and shipping costs for your belongings, banking and taxation, the list goes on.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with information, as stress and frustration set in. Here at APAC relocation, we provide you with all the essential services you will need to make your transition to your new home a smooth one. We have years of experience under our belt and have highly qualified staff that know the ins and out of moving abroad.
If you’re considering a move to Australia, please note that an unless you are from New Zealand, the requirements include acquiring a proper work and residence visa. Things will be relatively smoother if you already have a job offer or an employment contract.
Australia is in perpetual need of highly skilled blue-collar workers. If you have proper qualifications and significant work experience in your field, then you are very much welcome to work in the land Down Under. The same goes for foreigners who have a business that can create job opportunities for locals.
Once granted with a visa, expats can begin to enjoy the many benefits of living and working in Australia such as a good work-life balance, great education and a high quality of living.
There are certain things you will need to consider before moving to Australia. As any seasoned relocating veteran will tell you, each country has its own set of challenges. Our experts are ready to answer all of your queries and are on standby to give practical advice.
Vaccinations are also routine when traveling to Australia, particularly yellow fever vaccination. It is mandatory for people coming from high-risk countries. It is also recommended that you get vaccinations for measles, chicken-pox, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio and the annual flu shot. Medical examinations and special health requirements may be necessary and depend on your age, the type of visa you apply for, and country you are coming from.
Pets entering the country also require proper permits and are categorized according to group. Group 1 are for cats and dogs that are coming from New Zealand, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island. These pets are not required to be issued import permits. Cats and dogs that fall under groups 2 and 3 require proper documentation and import permits. These are cats and dogs that come from certified rabies-free countries and approved countries where rabies is well-controlled, respectively.
To learn more read through the relocating section of our Australia guide.
Visas & Work Permits
There are many different visa options available for expats who want to try their luck living Down Under. Applying for an Australian visa requires that you determine which visa is best suited for you and your particular employment situation. The requirements vary and are dependent on the particular type of professional work permit you are applying for. The more common prerequisites include meeting Australia’s health and character requirements, a competent command of the English language, and hold an eligible job or profession. If you are a business owner or investor holding sufficient funds or assets that reaches the required minimum net value, then you are entitled to apply for the prestigious Business Talent visa. The cost for this particular visa will set you back a total sum of 7,000 AUD (4,611 USD).
You may also apply to one of the many temporary visas offered to eligible applicants on a short-term work assignment. These include the Temporary Skill Shortage visa, Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa, Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa, or the Temporary Work (International Relations) visa.
Do further research on the Australian Government Department of Affairs website for a better overview.
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If buying a house is more to your liking, be prepared for a more complicated process involving obtaining approval from the Foreign Review Board.
Once you have secured your dwelling, you need to set up your utilities account for services such as gas, electricity and water. Do not fret, as the process is pretty straightforward and not as laborious as finding your home.
Australia’s healthcare system is a combination of both private and public schemes. Understanding how it works is essential for your smooth transition to Australian life. More than 50% of the population purchase private insurance as the public scheme (Medicare) does not cover everything.
Living in the capital or other major cities gives you better access to doctors, should the need arise. Rural areas will obviously have more challenges. If you are a public patient, you will have to be referred by your general practitioner (GP) to see a specialist.
Your child will automatically gain citizenship should you ever find yourself giving birth in Australia with at least a permanent residency status. Otherwise, your child will share the same visa status as you (e.g., temporary residence if you are on a Temporary Work visa).
Banks & Taxes
Non-residents won’t have a difficult time opening a bank account in Australia. All four of the major banks offer non-resident bank and migrant bank accounts for expats. They are: National Australia Bank, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, Westpac, and Commonwealth Bank.
Understanding and navigating a country’s tax system is an integral part of any expat’s relocation itinerary. The government has introduced many new tax laws to better help workers, the self-employed, and small to medium-sized businesses. Among them, a tax relief for singles (up to 1,080 AUD (745 USD) and dual-income families (up to 2,160 AUD (1,489 USD)).
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The education system in Australia is divided into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary (higher) education, with only primary and secondary being compulsory. There are many international schools in Australia to choose from. All of them offering the International Baccalaureate, British, or American curriculum.
Several things you need to familiarize yourself with when enrolling your kids is the school-age and grading system in Australia. Its grading system is as follows: HD (high distinction), D (distinction), C (credit), P (pass), N (fail).
There is a big demand in Australia for qualified and highly skilled expats, especially in the IT field. The average salary in the country amounts to 1,605 AUD (1,057 USD) per week for a full-time worker, but highly skilled, specialist workers earn well over this median. There is also a shortage of blue-collar workers such as builders and electricians. It is a possible gateway for workers who are considering self-employment or are wishing to start their own business in Australia.
Whichever the case, the expat will need to familiarize himself with Australian business culture.
Just how expensive is it to live in Australia? Well, in 2019, the average rent cost was 436 AUD (287 USD) per week. It’s safe to say that this amount, along with daily expenses such as groceries, education fees, and healthcare costs, significantly increase the closer you are to a major city.
If you are only staying in the country for less than three months, it is possible to drive around Australia with a foreign driver’s license. However, you may be required to obtain an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) if your license is not in English. Otherwise, you will need an Australian driver’s license.
Do not worry if you have no plans of driving. Australia has an efficient public transportation system of ferries, trams, trains, flights and trains to get you wherever you need to go.