Moving Guide – Australia

Moving to Sydney

You might remember fawning over Tom’s Cruise epic action sequences in Mission Impossible 2 where Sydney’s Central Business District, featuring twin 90s high-rise buildings, gained fame as the location in which the scenes were shot. That might have been the beginning of an infatuation with beautiful Sydney and here you find yourself in the midst of transporting your whole life to this entirely new city.

Jaden Foo

Melbourne expert

Jaden Foo

Melbourne expert

How To Emigrate To Australia

Overview

Sydney is Australia’s oldest and largest city that is built around a huge harbour. Receiving over ten million international and domestic visitors for each year, Sydney is busy all year-round. Its landmark the Sydney Opera House is one of the most internationally recognized icons. Tourists and locals alike flock to its globally famous Bondi beach each year. This cosmopolitan city also has a thriving arts and cultural scene that adds to Sydney’s charm. Most importantly, Sydneyers are known for being cool, friendly, open-minded and hospital people. If that isn’t enough, Sydney also has one of the best brunch culture in the world!

Weather

Sydney most enjoys a sunny climate with mild winters.

1. Summer (December – February)
– 18.6 – 25.8 degree celsius
– average humidity spikes to 65%

2. Autumn (March – May)
– 14.6 – 22.2 degree celsius
– Keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales, which migrate north from May to August
– Crisp, fresh air makes autumn the season for enjoying Sydney’s coastal walks

3. Winter (June – August)
– 8.8 – 17 degree celsius
– Highest rainfall in June
– July is the coolest month when average daytime temperatures reach just 13 degree celsius

4. Spring (September – November)
– 11 – 23 degree celsius
– little rainfall

We love
  • The food and cafes
  • Beaches
  • Excellent year round climate
  • Cultural Entertainment
  • The Bars
We’re not a fan of
  • The traffic
  • High transport costs
  • No spatial awareness
Cost of living

Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia. Numbeo estimates the monthly expenses of a four-person family to be A$4,972.16 without rent. Check out these two pages to compare the daily expenses in Sydney: Click here and here.

Housing

Housing Rental

A$2,781 per month

Average Rental

An estimated monthly rent for a 900 sqft fully furnished apartment in an expensive area costs A$3,410, and a house in a normal area with the same specification would cost A$2,781.
An estimated monthly rent for a 480 sqft fully furnished apartment in an expensive area costs A$2,611, and a house in a normal area with the same specification would cost A$1,633.

You will have to submit the following documents for a tenancy application in order to meet the 100 point identification check:
• Bank statements for the last 3 months
• A reference from your previous landlord
• The contact information for the previous landlord
• Proof that you do not owe any money
• Identification document (passport, birth certificate, driver’s license)
• Document proving your current residence

The internet is the best place to look for a rented property:
• RealEstate.com.au
• Domain
• allhomes.com.au

Buying Property

A$552,000

MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE

Good news for you – property prices in Sydney have fallen. The median house prices have fallen to an estimate of A$552,000.

If you are planning to purchase a property, check out this comprehensive guide for expats.

Here is a listing of all the properties on the market.

Utilities & Connectivity

A$163-232 per month

Average Utilities Bill

A$57 per month

Average Internet Bill (Net 8mbps)

A$57 per month

Average Mobile Phone Bill (Net 8 mbps)

The average monthly utilities bill for electricity, heating, cooling, water and garbage for a 85m2 apartment for 2 person is estimated A$176 – A$232.

The residential electricity providers in Sydney are:

Red Energy
Alinta Energy
Click Energy
ActewAGL
Origin Energy
Dodo Power & Gas
Energy Australia

Compare the brands here and here.

Sydney gets a solid mobile coverage across the three main Australian mobile networks Telstra, Optus and Vodafone. Each service provider offers a variety of plans depending on your needs. The contract plans start from 6 to 24 months and you can get them for as low as $20 to A$180. Visit this website to compare the plans.

There are 134 internet plans available in Gold Coast with NBN, Optus, Telstra and Belong being some of the main providers. Depending on your monthly data need, the plans begin from A$35 to A$120 per month. Compare the different plans and prices here.

Mobile service providers we recommend:
Telstra
Optus
Vodafone

Internet service providers we recommend:
TPG
Dodo
Telstra
Optus

Tax Rates

From the moment you move to Australia on a permanent basis you are liable for tax. You will also be a fiscal resident if you preside in the country for more than six months, holding the same job and lived at the same address over that period.

The tax rates for Australian residents are as follows:

A$0 to A$18,200 — nil
A$18,201 – A$37,000 — 19c for each A$1 over A$18,200
A$37,001 – A$90,000 — A$3,572 plus 32.5c for each A$1 over A$37,000
A$90,001 – A$180,000 — A$20,797 plus 37c for each A$1 over A$90,000
$180,001 and over — A$54,097 plus 45c for each A$1 over A$180,000

Employment

Job Opportunities

AU$68,140

Average Salary

Property and construction, Information and Technology Services, Financial services

Top Industries

With its growth in population, infrastructure and innovation, Sydney has one of the lowest unemployment rate at 2.46%. The four industries that are set to grow over the next few years are:

1. Property and construction
2. Information and Technology Services
3. Financial services
4. Manufacturing
5. Sales

Employment Permits

Having a work permit in Sydney is vital. Every foreigner, except for those moving from New Zealand, will need a work permit. A work permit/visa will give you the freedom to work legally without hassle. The process involves the following:

Finding an employer to nominate you: To get a working visa, you will need an employer to submit a nomination form on your behalf.
Visa application: This process involves filling out a lot of forms correctly without error. Do take your time when filling up the paperwork.
Visa appointment: You will get called for an appointment, after which, you will be informed if it was accepted or not.
You can then apply for a professional visa to live and work for up to four years.

Job Seeker Sites

There are many places to look for work and many employers advertise in newspapers, at private employment agencies and on online job sites. Try the following websites:

1. LinkedIn
2. Glassdoor
3. SEEK
4. Indeed
5. CareerOne
6. ApplyDirect
7. Jora

Professional and trade associations

Being a part of the trade and professional associations has its advantages, one of which is, providing networking programmes. These corporations look out for the well being of their members, and thus, can help with employment. Some of these associations advertise jobs that might not be on newspapers or job seeker websites.

Australian American Association of Victoria
Australian American Chamber of Commerce
Australian British Chamber of Commerce
Australia China Business Council (ACBC)
Australia India Business Council (AIBC)
Australia-Malaysia Business Council 

Getting Around

Public Transport System

Sydney’s public transport system features a comprehensive network of train, bus and ferry services.

Trains
– main train station is Central Station located between Chinatown and Surry Hills
– train services that will take you into regional NSW and beyond to Melbourne, Brisbane and even Perth also pass through this station
– City Circle: a loop of stations that form a ring around the CBD or central business district. These stations include Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and Museum.

Sydney Light Rail
– servicing the city and inner west
– travels through the south of the CBD from Central Station to the Star Casino before heading to the inner west.
– passes the Sydney Casino, Sydney Fish Market and the Tram Sheds

Buses
– buses are the only option in much of the Eastern and Northern suburbs
– all bus services start in the CBD and require prepaid tickets.
– can be purchased at convenience stores, and bus stands at Circular Quay, QVB and Wynyard.

Ferries
– eight public ferry routes in Sydney covering
– Manly, the eastern suburbs of Watson’s Bay and Rose Bay, harbour foreshore suburbs of Mosman, Cremorne and inner west and western suburbs ferries to Balmain and Parramatta.

Fares
– Opal: You can get a free smartcard ticket to load funds for use on trains, buses, ferries and light rail.
– to find out more about Opal card, visit this website.

Driving

Due to the population, Sydney has one of the most congested roads in Australia, especially during peak hour and weekends. And unlike other Australian cities, it is much more complicated to get your license in Sydney. 5 steps to getting your license:

– Pass the Driver Knowledge Test to get your learner licence
– Attempt the Hazard Perception Test (HPT). This is a computer-based touch screen test that measures your ability to recognise potentially dangerous situations on the road and respond appropriately.
– Book and pass the driving test to get your provisional P1 (red) licence. You will need to hold your P1 licence for at least 12 months
– Apply to upgrade to a provisional P2 (green) licence. You need to hold your P2 licence for at least 24 months
– Apply to progress to a full, unrestricted licence

For more information on driving license, visit this website https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/licence/driver/get-driver-licence.html

Car Prices:

Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) is estimated A$24,200.
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) is estimated at A$26,000 – A$27,597

Booking an appointment

Getting your driving license in Sydney is super easy, as long as you follow these steps:

Eligibility

The first thing you need to know is if you are qualified to apply for a driver’s license. If you do not possess permanent Australian residency but will be in NSW for more than 3 months, you will have to apply for a Temporary Overseas Visitor licence.

The age requirements for the issuing of a NSW license would be the minimum age of 16 years old for a learner driver license, 16 years and 9 months for a learner rider licence and 17 years for a provisional driver or rider licence.

For those with overseas license, you may be required to pass medical and driving tests. Licences issued in line with the NSW Graduated Licensing Scheme will need to progress through each stage as required.

Booking an appointment

In order to apply for a NSW license, you will have to personally attend a service centre or registry.

Here’s what you should bring on the day of your appointment:

Once all of this is done, you will receive a temporary paper license until your new NSW license card is posted to you.

Savings Plans in Australia Banks in Australia

Banking

The five major banks in Sydney are:

1. National Australia Bank (NAB)
2. Commonwealth Bank (CBA)
3. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
4. Westpac

Steps to opening a bank account:
– score 100 points of identity
– three approved identities in Australia required to be able to open a new bank account. Your passport, drivers license and medical card can be considered as 100 points identity check.

Do Note:
– Banks in Sydney prefer that customers use ATM machines and online banking to complete their baning transactions.
– Banks in Sydney charge monthly maintenance fees to keep your account. A charge of A$5 on monthly basis is applicable if your account balance is below a certain limit

Healthcare

Healthcare systems

Generally, Sydney has great health care systems that are fit to cater to the needs of everyone. Medicare is a free service that is offered to Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent visa holders. This actually largely covers or largely subsides treatment by general practitioners and hospitals.

The trend for permanent resident expats is that they rather possess private health insurance to cover the cost of private medical treatment. In response to this, it is possible to transfer their health insurance from back home to an Australian insurance fund.

Also it is important to note that pharmacies are commonly known as chemists in Australia. They are convenient and easy to locate in Sydney and are usually open to 10pm or even midnight, with a few 24-hour pharmacies.

Australia has a healthcare system called Medicare which sponsors nearly all costs related to your health. Getting approved for Medicare is usually dependent on your country or your residence status. Your family and you are eligible to get Medicare if you have a permanent visa or if you are visiting from affiliated countries like Finland, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Slovenia, Sweden, Belgium, and Norway. However, it is advised to take out additional health insurance from private copmanies because Medicare does not cover some costs such as dental care and ambulance servicest.

Go to this page to find a public hospital in your district.

Medical Benefits

Medicare benefits

Everyone in Australia needs to have government- sponsored or private health insurance. Medicare is the government-sponsored health care system and anyone with a permanent visa and their dependents will have automatic access to the scheme. The scheme covers hospitalization and emergency department visits if you are a public patient in a public hospital. Until you can be covered by Medicare it is best to have private health insurance. Medicare does not cover dental care and glasses and these can be covered with additional private insurance.

Medicare covers:
1. seeing a GP or specialist
2. tests and scans, like x-rays
3. most surgery and procedures performed by doctors
4. eye tests by optometrists

Medicare doesn’t cover:
1. ambulance services
2. dental services
3. glasses, contact lens and hearing aids
4. cosmetic surgery

Documents required to register for Medicare:
1. Passport
2. Travel documents
3. Permanent visa

The registeration should be done one week after your arrival. Do note that the process takes between three weeks and a month.

Medical Insurance

Prices vary depending on if you will just have a hospital plan or an all inclusive medical plan. It is very difficult to price insurance because there are many factors that will affect the cost: family members, age etc. These are some of the main health insurance providers in Sydney:

• HCF
• Medibank
• nib
• Bupa

Visit this page to find out more about the different insurance plans.

Education

Pre-school

NSW government primary schools educate children from kindergarten to year 6, and the school year begins late-January/early-February. You can enrol your child in kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn 5 on or before 31 July of that year. They must be enrolled by their sixth birthday. Public schools are free to attend for Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Steps to Enrol:
1. Check eligibility requirements.
2. Find your nearest local government public school here https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/find-nsw-public-school
3. Contact the school for a discussion and/or an appointment.
4. Complete the Application to enrol in a NSW Government school – PDF and bring it with you to the appointment or, if you’ve already had a discussion, to the school office to process the application.

Documents Required (the child’s):
1. birth certificate or identity documents
2. parent/carer’s details
3. residency status or visa number (if applicable)
4. passport, travel documents or current visa (if applicable)
5. Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) immunisation history statement.
6. personal details
7. proof of residential address such as a council rates notice, electricity bill
8. Medicare number
9. medical details and health conditions
10. doctor’s details
11. emergency contact details
12. family law or court orders (if applicable)
13. disability or other support needs, including any learning and support plans (if applicable)

High School Enrolment
Every child is entitled to be enrolled at the government school that is designated for the intake area within which the child’s home is situated and that the child is eligible to attend. High schools can assist with enrolment inquiries throughout the year. For more information on public high schools in Sydney, visit this page.

Steps to Enrol:
1. Complete the expression of interest form available in Moving into Year 7 in a NSW government school in 2020. Download here.
2. Submit the expression of interest to your current public primary school – they will send it to your chosen high school, or submit the expression of interest to your chosen high school.
3. Selective high school key dates to assist parents/carers making application for their children into selective high schools.
4. The high school may conduct a risk assessment and will contact you with further information.

Public School System

NSW government primary schools educate children from kindergarten to year 6, and the school year begins late-January/early-February. You can enrol your child in kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn 5 on or before 31 July of that year. They must be enrolled by their sixth birthday. Public schools are free to attend for Australian citizens and permanent residents.

Steps to Enrol:
1. Check eligibility requirements.
2. Find your nearest local government public school here.
3. Contact the school for a discussion and/or an appointment.
4. Complete the Application to enrol in a NSW Government school – PDF and bring it with you to the appointment or, if you’ve already had a discussion, to the school office to process the application.

Documents Required (the child’s):
1. birth certificate or identity documents
2. parent/carer’s details
3. residency status or visa number (if applicable)
4. passport, travel documents or current visa (if applicable)
5. Australian Childhood Immunisation Register (ACIR) immunisation history statement.
6. personal details
7. proof of residential address such as a council rates notice, electricity bill
8. Medicare number
9. medical details and health conditions
10. doctor’s details
11. emergency contact details
12. family law or court orders (if applicable)
13. disability or other support needs, including any learning and support plans (if applicable)

High School Enrolment
Every child is entitled to be enrolled at the government school that is designated for the intake area within which the child’s home is situated and that the child is eligible to attend. High schools can assist with enrolment inquiries throughout the year. For more information on public high schools in Sydney, visit this page.

Steps to Enrol:
1. Complete the expression of interest form available in Moving into Year 7 in a NSW government school in 2020. Download here.
2. Submit the expression of interest to your current public primary school – they will send it to your chosen high school, or submit the expression of interest to your chosen high school.
3. Selective high school key dates to assist parents/carers making application for their children into selective high schools.
4. The high school may conduct a risk assessment and will contact you with further information.

Private school system

The entire NSW area has around 1,000 private schools to choose from. Visit this website for private school listing https://privateschoolsguide.com/nsw-private-schools. The cost of private school varies depending on the school so you should contact the school directly to get an accurate figure. But here is the range of private school fees:

Private Primary School fees
1. Kinder
~A$1,165 – A$25,725
2. Year 2
~A$1,165 – A$29,250
3. Year 4
~A$1,185 – A$30,666
4. Year 6
~A$1,290 – A$32,274

Private Secondary School fees
1. Year 8
~A$1,780 – A$36,120
2. Year 10
~A$1,780 – A$36,120
2. Year 12
~A$1,780 – A$38,100

Tertiary education

Sydney is home to some of Australia’s most coveted universities and technical institutions. They are reputed especially for their achievements in scientific sectors:

1. University of Sydney
2. University of Technology, Sydney
3. University of New South Wales
4. Macquarie University
5. Western Sydney University
6. Australian Catholic University
7. University of Notre Dame Australia
8. University of Wollongong

Check out the university’s website for entry requirements.

moovaz-melbourne-grocer

Food & Culture

Food & Grocery

Major grocery brands like Woolworths, IGA and Coles are easily found in Sydney. Here is a list of some of the grocers specialising in different products

1. Maloneys Grocer
68 Moncur St, Woollahra NSW, Australia
Maloneys houses an array of fresh produce, organic products, cheese and deli products that are of excellent quality. Their top notch standards have earned them a near perfect 5 stars on google review!

2. Maruyu
537-539 Kent St, Sydney NSW, Australia
Maruyu is where you wanna go when you want authentic Japanese groceries! From Japanese rice, ingredients, ramen to snacks… Maruyu is a hit with the Sydney crowd!

3. The Health Emporium
263/265 Bondi Rd, Bondi NSW, Australia
Are you all about that organic lifestyle? Then you will love The Health Emporium. Carrying an extensive range of quality organic products and even a smoothie snack stand, their loyal customers can’t get enough of the delicious items here!

Dining

If all the entertainment and places above aren’t enough to satisfy you, Sydney’s thriving restaurant scene will do the trick. Here is a list of the crème de la crème of fine dining restaurants in Sydney:

1. Quay
Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, 2000, Australia
Overlooking the Opera House from the Habour Bridge, this contemporary restaurant serves innovative dishes that are cooked with precision. From oysters, caviars, razor calms to snow peas, Quay reminds you of the oceans, gardens and farms

2. The Bridge Room
44 Bridge St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
This luxury restaurant dishes up some of the most elegent and refined dishes that you will ever come across. Infusing Asian flavours with Australian produce, you will taste flavours from every corner of the world.

3. Rockpool Bar & Grill
66 Hunter St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Headed by celebrity chef Neil Perry, Rockpool offers some of the best steak you will ever eat in Australia. The opulent setting of the restaurant complements the exquisite dishes ranging from tortellinis, crabs, pork bellys to tartares.

Entertainment

Voted as one of the most liveable cities in the world, Sydney is no short of entertainment options for its residents and visitors alike. Here are some of the spots that locals love to hangout at:

1. Bourke Street Bakery
– A favourite spot with the locals, this timeless bakery provides its guests with comfort foods such as hearty beef pie, sausage rolls and their highly raved GInger Brulee Tart.

2. The Baxter Inn
The locals are completely enamoured with Baxter Inn’s impressive collection of whiskeys. Grab a glass of whiskey and sink into the stylish and mysterious atmosphere of this bar – that is, if you can get in!

3. Hunter Valley
The locals love this paradise of wineries and eateries that are amongst the stunning nature of Sydney. Drive down to Hunter Valley and unwind for the weekend with other locals and tourists alike!

Safety

Sydney is relatively safe. However, this major city does experience its share of crimes. Be wary of higher-crime neighborhoods including Kings Cross, Redfern, Cabramatta, Fairfield, Campbelltown, Blacktown, Fairfield, Liverpool, Parramatta, and Penrith. Instead, stay in Sydney’s safer areas, such as Bondi Beach, City Center, and Lavender Bay. If you visit Kings Cross which is Sydney’s red light district, don’t travel alone, avoid alleyways and other non-main streets. Be very alert. and beware of bar and nightclub scams as well as pickpockets.

All things Sydney

1. Sydney Opera House 2. Sydney Harbour Bridge 3. Darling Harbour 4. Beaches 5. Food & wine 6. New Year Fireworks

Fun facts

1. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is 5th longest spanning-arch bridge according to Guinness World Records

2. The Sydney Fish Market is world’s third largest fish market

3. George Street is the oldest street in the whole of Australia.

4. Cricket is the most popular summer sport in Sydney

5. Bondi Beach was the set for the Guinness World Record for the largest swimsuit photo shoot with 1,010 women wearing bikinis in 2007.

Do’s and don’ts

Dos:
– Do wear sunscreen
– Do explore the nature
– Do wear comfortable shoes
– Do immerse yourself in the coffee culture
– Do be careful of the wildlife

Don’ts:
– Don’t swim in undesignated or restricted areas
– Don’t drink in public places
– Don’t smoke without checking for designated smoke zones
– Don’t just stay in Sydney city

How can we help?

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