A high number of immigrants are moving to Gold Coast annually, for a better job, a better life or a better education. Located at the south of Brisbane in Australia’s east coast, Gold coast is known mostly for its sandy beaches (perhaps a reason for its name) and its unique birds and forests that have a way of endearing you to nature. It is also a surfers’ paradise, home to surfers and individuals who relish in riding the waves of serenity as steady as the ocean.
Although living in Gold coast paints itself as a dreamy destination with its beautiful scenery, good schools and affordable cost of living, it is important to know all about this beautiful city before you dive into the idea of moving over. Below is a detailed city guide on how you can find your feet if you decide to move.
The first thing you should consider before taking a leap and changing your living location is to search for a job. Fret not, for Gold Coast offers a plethora of job opportunities for individuals in different sectors.
Research shows that the employment rate in Gold Coast is approximately 94.7%. While unemployment rate is kept low, there is admittedly competition out there and you have to stand out from the crowd to land yourself a job. You can do this by making sure your CV and cover letters are top-notch before applying for jobs directly on various job search websites like Seek.com.au, au.indeed.com, simplyhired.com.au. Alternatively, you may employ the services of recruitment agencies at no charge, since companies already pay them for their work.
Work permit process for foreigners
The search for a job in Gold Coast would require a work permit especially if you are a foreigner. A work permit allows you to work in Australia for a couple of years until your permit can be renewed. To get a work permit, you have to apply for the Australian Temporary Skill Shortage visa – this visa allows employers to sponsor immigrants for 4 years. You can be sponsored either via a standard business sponsor or a labour agreement. It is also important that the employer who decides to sponsor you is eligible for this and that you meet the specific needs required for your visa to be approved. You can find all the requirements for an Australian work permit here.
Housing and cost of living
There have been speculations about how the cost of living in Gold Coast is expensive. Housing in Gold Coast did increase substantially this year but you can definitely find a suitable area that falls within your budget.
- An estimated monthly rent for a 900 sqft fully furnished apartment in an expensive area costs A$2,153, and a house in a normal area with the same specification would cost A$2,052.
- An estimated monthly rent for a 480 sqft fully furnished apartment in an expensive area costs A$1,986, and a house in a normal area with the same specification would cost A$1,633.
Here is a rough gauge of the daily expenses that you may incur. For instance, a meal out at a neighbourhood restaurant would cost about A$20, monthly public transportation ticket costs A$124 and 1 litre of gas costs A$1.43.
Schools and education system
When relocating, the major concern of expats with kids is finding a good school in the neighbourhood. Expats are usually concerned with the affordability and standard of the educational institution. Rest assure that your needs would be met, as the Gold Coast government is serious in enforcing a good education system, evident by how they consistently pump in money to the educational system to ensure that it is up to standard.
The Gold Coast educational system caters to every phase of your child’s life from primary to high schools to universities and even TAFE (Technical and Further Education).
Higher institutions and TAFE
There is a plethora of notable universities with lots of registered international students in Gold Coast: Griffith University and Bond University are just a couple of them.
With the TAFE institutions, you are ensured of a notable vocational education and training providers.
Driving licenses and its requirements
Getting a driver’s license is important especially if you intend to travel around by yourself. They are various ways to go about this:
- You can apply by visiting a transport and motoring customer service center. You can visit this link for more detailed information. A list of centers with their opening hours and the kind of services they offer is displayed.
- Queensland Government agent programme (QGAP) office. This offers remote services and this link would take you to the page that consists of various regional remote service centers with their opening hours and services.
- You can also decide to visit any licence issuing police station around your area. You can find a detailed list here.
Before a driver’s licence can be issued to you, it is necessary that you complete a driver’s licence application form CF3000 at police stations and various QGAP offices. You can view a PDF format of this form here.
Healthcare is an important factor to think about when deciding to relocate. In Gold Coast, you can be assured of a well instituted healthcare system. Their healthcare system tends to both kids and adults alike, with well trained personnel to attend to you when needed.
With a Medicare card you are granted free access to health support but you have to meet the criteria for eligibility. To become eligible, you have to register and get a referral from your general practitioner. Although Medicare is free, you still need to pay for your medication. The only catch here is that some of the drugs may be subsidised in alliance with the Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits scheme.
Food and culture
You are in for a treat when it comes to food and culture in Gold Coast. There is a variety of cuisines at reasonable prices in this beautiful city – shop for ingredients at the local market to prepare a meal yourself or visit any of the numerous restaurants in the city.
Gold coast boasts a deeply rooted culture which is evident in their way of life. Its heritage is also apparent in the city structures. Places like the Burleigh Heads, Mt Cougal, Valleys of Springbrook, Nightcap National Park are constant reminders of how important the people of Gold Coast hold their cultural values.
Overall, Gold Coast is a peaceful and safe community. With various implementations still ongoing by the government, the city promises to ensure that citizens and expats alike get the best from the city. If you are looking to relocate to Australia, you should consider moving to Gold Coast which is considered as a tourist mecca and most importantly, a massive social and economic hub.