In December 2017, Australia recorded its highest ever immigration rate. But what makes Australia such a sought-after destination for people looking to move to a new country? Australia’s multicultural society, stable economy, standard of living, fresh air, low population density, and healthcare system draws thousands of migrants to this fascinating country every year.
If you are thinking about moving to Australia, here’s a list of things to keep in mind.
Secure your Visa
Securing a valid visa will be the first thing on your checklist before planning your move to Australia. There are various visas available, depending on your country of origin, duration of stay, and purpose of visit. Do your research and visit the Department of Immigration website to know which visa suits you best. You should also be aware of the rights and conditions of each visa category. For example, some visas will give you a permit to work while some won’t. Having an immigration consultant or lawyer can also be useful.
Once you have your visa in place, it’s time to look for cheap flight tickets. Australia is called down under for a reason; flying to Australia from Europe, South Africa, North America and even most parts of Asia takes really long. There are numerous airlines that fly to Australia’s major cities and an extensive network of domestic and regional airlines connecting cities within Australia. Start looking for air tickets in advance and keep a lookout for airline promotions and discounts. Once booked, get mentally prepared for the long flight.
Moving your belongings
If you’re planning to move some of your belongings to Australia with you, there are various movers who will do it for you. Take quotes from various movers and remember that the cheapest option is not necessarily the best option. Make sure that the company can help you with customs documents and read the insurance policy documents carefully. Think twice before moving your stuff as it could be cheaper to simply replace them with new items in Australia.
Opening a bank account
Opening a bank account in Australia is a fairly simple process. You can open a bank account online or by visiting a branch. Some banks also allow you to open an account before you move to Australia. To open an account, you need to provide specific identification documents for verification. Opening a bank account is a contractual agreement between you and the bank; so, read the terms and conditions carefully. If you’ve opened the bank account before moving, you can transfer funds into your Australian bank account so that you have access to money when you arrive.
Getting a job
Of course, this is probably the biggest thing on your mind; but before you start looking for a job in Australia, make sure that you have the right kind of visa. Two of the most common visas available are the ‘temporary work visa’ and the ‘skilled independent visa’. There are various websites that show job listings in Australia, such as www.seek.com.au and www.mycareer.com.au . You can also find job listings in national and local newspapers.
Tax File Numbers
If you are planning on working in Australia, you will need a tax file number (TFN). Your TFN is a reference number in Australia’s tax system. Although it isn’t compulsory, people who do not have a TFN end up paying more in taxes. Applying for your TFN is free and you can apply as soon as you have your work visa.
Finding a place to live
OK! Australia is an expensive place to rent a house; expensive and confusing. Rental prices that are mentioned on the listings are weekly prices, and not per month. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Sidney is around $480 per week, while you would pay around $340 per week in Melbourne. Renting a temporary accommodation like a hotel apartment or a lodge before arriving is a good idea. While renting an apartment consider a few important things – access to public transport, local schools, employment prospects, shops, and reputation of the area.
Medicare is Australia’s government-run healthcare system and applies to all states. Medicare is available to permanent visa holders and Australian citizens; and usually covers free or subsidized treatments and medicines. It is recommended that you apply for Medicare as soon as you arrive in Australia. All you need to do is visit any Medicare Center with your Passport and other documents. You may also be required to get a private health insurance depending on the type of Visa; and there are various providers. It is recommended that you carry your previous medical records while making the move.
Remitting Money from Australia
Once you’ve settled in your new job and house, you may need to send money back to your country of origin; either for family back home or a loan. There are many ways to remit money out of Australia. Using reliable money transfer operators such as Xpress Money, you can conveniently send money back home. Online options such as www.money2anywhere.com are also available to remit money at your convenience.
Australia is a multilingual country and English is the primary language; Australian English that is. Full of slangs, colloquialisms and abbreviations, Australian English is difficult to understand even for regular English speakers. Australia often called Straya and barbeque is often called a barbie. But don’t’ worry! All it takes to adjust to the Australian accent is time and patience.
Moving to any new country a challenging and exciting experience. You never know what to expect! You need to stay equipped with as much information as you can gather and keep your paper work in place for a smooth transition. Once you’re settled, Australia offers a unique experience with breathtaking scenic landscapes such as its beaches and the outback areas. With friendly folk and great vibes, Australia welcomes you with open arms.