Things to Know Before Moving to Australia




Considering a move to the land down under? If so, you can expect your entire life to change for the better! There are a few things, some important and others just fun facts, that every person moving to Australia needs to know. Moving to Australia can be time consuming and you should never be in a rush to get moved. Be sure that you have plenty of patience as this move will take you some time to accomplish. Waiting an average of up to six months or longer is not unheard of, although for most, it won’t take quite so long. Here’s a little list to help you along the way.

The Important Facts of an Australian Relocation

 Applying for Your Australian Visa

Before you can move to Australia, you must have a Passport and also apply for a visa. You can get great information about getting an Australian Visa by visiting the Australian Department of Immigration website. Some visas will require you to have an Australian bank account prior to obtaining the visa, but in general you will need the following:

  • A Police Background Check
  • Be Able to Speak English
  • Health Insurance
  • Banking Information Showing You Have Funding
  • Skills and Qualifications Assessment (For Work Purposes)

Once you have your visa, you will need to follow the rules that are set for the type of visa you have. Some visas will allow the holder to work or study, but not all will do that. You can check with the Australian Department of Immigration to find out which visa you need and what you will be allowed to do once you obtain it. If you want to become an Australian citizen, it is always best to speak to an immigration attorney before you obtain your visa so that you will get the correct one for citizenship. Once you apply for your visa, you will then need to wait on clearance which can take up to 8 months before traveling to the country.


Moving Your Belongings

One of the most important things you will have to consider is how to move your home furnishings, personal property or your motor vehicle to Australia. When you are searching for a reliable company to transport your personal belongings you need to check around and get quotes from at least 3-5 companies in order to get a good idea of who offers the best services as well as the most competitive rates for shipping everything.

Some things you will want to consider, especially if you plan to have your car shipped over so you can drive will be:

  • How long will overseas shipping take? You may need to plan the shipment before you leave so your possessions will arrive when you are already in the country.
  • Are you insured? All shipping companies, whether by see or land, are required to have insurance coverage for the property they transport. It is always best to check with the company agent to get all details of coverage and what amount the insurance goes up to. Ask to see the insurance certificate and verify that the rate is going to be sufficient to cover your property.

Before you make plans to pack everything that you own, you may want to check around and see what it would cost to replace items once you are in Australia rather than pay to have things shipped. Many items, especially home goods, may cost less to purchase once you arrive than it will cost to ship them overseas. Also, you need to consider your electrical goods. Australian electronics use 230v power and if you plan to bring electronics from the United States, you will need to use an adapter or a transformer to use them in Australia. For minor electronics such as alarm clocks or radios, buying them when you get to Australia may be cheaper than replacing cords or buying adapters. Keep in mind that selling your furniture or other personal items before you leave on your journey will help you raise money for purchases once you arrive.

Importing Your Car

Motor vehicles can be imported to Australia fairly easily. You will need to apply for a Vehicle Import Permit from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and it must be approved before the car will be allowed to be shipped into the country. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will not be able to clear the car unless it has been approved beforehand. The approval process can take up to 20 days or longer depending on whether you have the paperwork filled out correctly and have completed all steps for vehicle importation. To import your personal motor vehicle, you must:

  1. Locate a quality auto transport company to handle the overseas car shipment to Australia for you. This needs to be done by carefully researching companies online and checking rates as well as services offered. You will also want to see what time frame you will be looking at and what the specific requirements will be from the government as well as the motor vehicle department for vehicle standards that you must comply with.
  2. You must have the vehicle import approval.
  3. Customs duties must be paid. Customs duties are 5% of the car value while the GST is 10%. GST is a tax that must be paid on all imported goods unless the item is exempt. If you are disabled, the GST would be exempt on a motor vehicle.  Luxury cars usually pay around 33% in taxes during import.
  4. The car must be registered once it arrives in Australia.

If you are not planning to live in Australia indefinitely and plan to stay up to one year only, you may be exempt from paying any duty taxes when you bring your car into the country. You may however, need to pay a security deposit when you bring the car in and if you do not leave by the time the year is up, you will most likely have to forfeit the deposit and will then, have to pay a duty and tax on the car.

A Few Fun Facts About Australia 

Now that you know the really important facts about moving to Australia, let’s take a quick moment to glance at a few fun facts as well:

  1. You will actually see Kangaroos in the middle of the street at some point during your Australian life. Many times, cars and pedestrians must wait on the kangaroos before they can drive or walk across the street.
  1. Contrary to popular belief, Dingo’s will not steal your infant or small child. They tend to keep to themselves and strive to stay away from humans.
  1. Australian slang may sound odd, but in reality, if you just add an “O” to the end of any word, you will soon be able to understand the world around you. For instance, if you hear someone say the word, “Righto” they are just saying. “right.” Bizzo translates to business and well, you get it. Add an “o” to most words and you should be fine when you are trying to blend in with the locals.
  1. If you enjoy a good game of poker or blackjack you are in for s surprise. Australia is known as the gambling capital of the world and the country spends more than 13 billion dollars annually on poker machines!
  1. Vegemite is more popular than jelly on your toast in the mornings and although the taste will take some time to get used to, you will eventually find that you love it once you spend enough time in Australia.

Now that you know a few things about moving to Australia, you can start working on obtaining your visa and figuring out what to pack for your move. It may also help to start learning the language, the slang language that is, so you will be able to communicate without looking like a tourist once you arrive.  You may also want to start studying the different areas of the country so you will know whether you want to live in the brush, the outback or out in the whoop-whoop! Until then, cheers mate and have a good one!

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