Our complete guide on moving to and living in Australia offers essential how-to steps: tips on visas, lifestyle, and how to settle in and be accepted.
Do Do you wish you were living in Australia? This guide to moving to and living in Australia will show you how to emigrate.
From discussing the practical aspects of applying for a visa to speaking openly about the employment and economic situation in Australia right now, we’ll cover all the bases so that if you are contemplating moving to and living in Australia, it could become a reality for you and your family.
Why expats love the idea of living in Australia
Australia is definitely one of the best places to live for expats, and its reputation is totally deserved.
It seems to offer almost everything you could want – a better climate, a stronger economy, a better work/life balance, good education and healthcare systems and much more.
Australia has all the things we’re seemingly seeking such as a great climate, an outdoors lifestyle, decent food, jobs, opportunities, quality housing, a high standard of western-style living, it’s English speaking and totally accessible.
In other words, it’s not at all foreign in all the ways we want it to be familiar, yet all the things we want to lose from our old life are certainly lost when we move to Australia – like the winter, long commutes and drab urban landscapes.
However, emigration to Australia is not as easy as packing your bags and booking a plane ticket as anyone who has already made the move will tell you.
Australia traditionally ranks high as one of the best expat destinations in the world
In Australia, there genuinely is more emphasis placed on enjoying outdoor, active life. There genuinely are more opportunities to get more out of life than simply sitting in front of the TV night after night.
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The days are long, the nights are mild, people socialise outside together for longer throughout the year, and later into the evening. Impromptu get-togethers are the norm, therefore you don’t really risk being a stranger in a strange land for long.
The better weather makes getting up and going to work easier. Lunchtimes and breaks can be spent outside soaking up the sunshine – great for the feel-good factor.
At the weekend yes, you can go to the mall and shop, but that’s not your only choice. You can swim, surf, hike or bike, you can enjoy your own pool or garden, get out and meet people at the events that go on all the time in Australian towns and cities.
Basically, there is more, much more that you can do and enjoy in Australia – which is why it is SUCH a popular choice with so many expats.
Australian visas and residency
Australia places a very strict limit on the number of immigrants it can and will accept each year. People usually have to apply for a visa based on the skills they can bring to the nation.
You should refer to the Skilled Occupation List which is regularly updated to determine whether you have the qualifications, talent or experience in demand in Australia that will help you find work, and secure a residency visa to boot.
If however, you’re aware that perhaps your skills are not the most sought after, or you’re concerned that your age will count against you perhaps, there may be better ways for you to secure your visa.
If you can get a job in Australia before applying for a visa to relocate Down Under, so much the better. Many who already have a job find that they can be fast-tracked through the system, so you could contemplate remotely looking for work, or travelling to Australia on a holiday visa and working very hard to get in front of recruiters and really selling yourself.
You will have to leave the country to correctly apply for relocation and residency, but if you have a firm offer of a job waiting for you when you arrive, your application may be viewed far more favourably.
Other ways you can get a visa include if you already have close family living in Australia who can sponsor you, or if you’re an employer who wants to move their business to Australia and create jobs.
Alternatively, if you have money to invest and you’re prepared to put it into Australia for a fixed term, you could get a dedicated visa under the Business Skills migration programme.
The very best place to begin your search for which visa type you should apply for is the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.
Here you will find everything from a visa wizard that will help you work out which class of visa you should apply for, to the latest updates on the Skilled Occupation list and even background information about living, working and even applying for citizenship in Australia. It really is a fantastic resource.
Get to know Australia well enough
The next most important thing while considering moving to and living in Australia is making sure you know the country well enough to be confident in your decision.
As stated, the dream of a life Down Under encompasses everything from a perfect climate to a dream nation where there are jobs and opportunities aplenty.
However, Australia has not been immune to the global financial crisis, it has political arguments ongoing within its government, and the economy is nowhere near as strong as it was.
This should not necessarily put you off emigration by any means, but we draw it to your attention to show you that nowhere in the world is perfect, every nation has inbuilt and ingrained issues.
Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise
If you are keen on moving to and living in Australia, you need to be very realistic about what the new country will offer you in terms of opportunities, lifestyle, quality of life and happiness.
Do not move with rose coloured glasses on, assuming that everything will be perfect! And if you’ve never been to Australia before, we Brits have such a false idea of the nation that can only be rectified with a visit.
We urge anyone contemplating moving to and living in Australia to take at least a short break (ideally an extended holiday) there. Spend time travelling around and getting to know the different regions and the people. Look away from the tourist sights and sounds to see what real life is like, whether it really appeals and where you would like to live in Australia.
Get online, get on forums where other expats who have already made the move hang out, and get tips for filling in your application. There are companies who will help you to fill in the many complexities of your visa form to the very best of your ability so you stand the best chance of acceptance, but they all charge a high fee.