Your Guide on Moving to Australia
Cost of Living & Taxes
Visa & Employment
Housing & Banking
Plan Your Move
Moving to Australia? The world’s sixth largest country by total area, is surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Boasting an extensive coastline of over 34,000 kilometres and home to some of the most amazing beaches in the world. If you love the sun and the sand, this is the perfect place for you!
People from over 100 countries have moved to Australia over the years, making Australia one of the most culturally diverse places in the world. Many Singaporeans have settled in quaint neighbourhoods and communities, making Australia a permanent home.
Weather & Climate
Unlike Singapore, Australia is an arid country with tropical northern and temperate southern coasts. It experiences all four seasons throughout the year with summers occurring with a maximum average of 29°C and winters with 13°C. The maximum rainfall is experienced between March and June with an average of 25-100 mm every three months.
National Public Holidays include:
- New Year’s Day
- Australia Day
- Good Friday
- Easter Monday
- Anzac Day
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
All other public holidays such as Queen’s Birthday and Labour Day are declared by the territory and state governments. For more information, please visit the Australian Government website.
Do’s and Don’ts
Australia is known to have one of the tightest quarantine laws globally to protect their ecosystem. Check out Australia’s most entertaining factual TV show titled Border Security: Australia’s Front Line, which shows the extent of their strict laws.
Food, plants and animal materials, in particular, are highly controlled. Familiarise yourself with the various regulations in place before moving to Australia and click here for more information on customs and quarantine.
Cost of Living & Taxes
The cost of living in Australia varies depending on a number of factors including the location, the individual’s lifestyle & personal circumstances and the current economic conditions.
Australia is considered to have a relatively high cost of living compared to many other countries. This is due to a number of factors, including high salaries, a strong economy, and a high standard of living.
Cost of Living
The cost of living in Australia varies depending on the city. Some cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne, tend to have higher living expenses due to their popularity and larger populations. Other cities, such as Perth and Adelaide, may have lower living expenses.
Some specific examples of the estimated cost of living in different cities in Australia include:
Sydney: Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can range from $1,800 to $2,500 per month. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $20-30.
Melbourne: Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can range from $1,500 to $2,000 per month. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $20-25.
Brisbane: Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can range from $1,400 to $1,800 per month. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $20-25.
Perth: Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can range from $1,200 to $1,500 per month. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $20-25.
Adelaide: Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre can range from $1,200 to $1,500 per month. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $20-25.
The average cost of living is AU$3,724 per month as of 2021 this average includes housing rent, utility costs, food, transportation, mobile bills, and many others. Costs may vary depending on the number of members in a family, specific locations and forms of accommodation within the city and the time of year.
Income Tax (2020-2021)
- $18,201 to $45,000 – 19 cents for each $1 over $18,200
- $45,001 t0 $120,000 -$5,092 plus 32.5 cents for each $1 over $45,000
- $120,001 to $180,000 – $29,467 plus 37 cents for each $1 over $120,000
- $180,001 and over – $51,667 plus 45 cents for each $1 over $180,000
Goods & Services Tax – set at a value of 10% by the Australian government, which is the main source of income of the government. Find out more about the types of taxes in Australia. Some of the key factors that can affect the cost of living in Australia include the following:
- Housing: The cost of housing in Australia can vary depending on the location and type of property. However, the cost of renting or buying a home in Australia is relatively high. The average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is around AUD 2,000 per month while the average cost of buying a three-bedroom house in the suburbs is around AUD 600,000.
- Food: Cost of food in Australia is generally higher than many other countries. Basic groceries such as milk, bread, and eggs can be relatively inexpensive, but more specialised or imported items can be quite expensive. The average cost of a meal at a mid-range restaurant is around AUD 20-30 per person.
- Transportation: The cost of transportation in Australia can vary depending on the location and the mode of transport. Public transportation is generally relatively affordable, with the average cost of a one-way ticket on a city bus or train around AUD 3-4. The cost of owning and maintaining a car, however, can be quite high due to the high cost of fuel and car insurance.
- Healthcare: The cost of healthcare in Australia is generally high, although it is subsidized by the government for Australian citizens and permanent residents. Basic medical care is generally affordable, but more specialized treatment or procedures can be quite expensive. It is important for individuals to have adequate health insurance to cover the costs of medical treatment in Australia.
Overall, the cost of living in Australia can be relatively high. Therefore the high salaries and strong economy can help offset some of these costs. It is important for individuals to carefully research and budget for the cost of living in Australia before moving to the country. Need advice on preparation? Get in touch with us here.
Visa & Employment Passes
Visa & Citizenship
There are over 50 types of working and skilled visas in total, figuring out which one applies to you for your move can be tedious. To help you emigrate better, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs has created a great resource, Visa Finder.
You might be eligible for citizenship if you emigrate and have lived in Australia for four years without leaving the country for more than a year within that duration. Check out the Residence Calculator on how to find out if you meet the residency requirements.
Immigrants looking to migrate and work in Australia must get a work permit first. To help you better understand Australia’s work visa, you may want to check out our blog post: All you need to know about Work Visa in Australia. Depending on the duration of stay and purpose for staying, the work permit issued may differ.
Student visas come with the benefit of being able to work up to twenty hours weekly during their academic terms, and for however much they are able to during breaks in the semester. The family members of immigrant students who joined them are also able to work for up to 20 hours weekly.
Work Permit Process For Foreigners
Every person keen on moving to Australia, excluding the ones relocating from New Zealand, must obtain a valid work permit. Having a work visa or permit enables you to work in the country without legal hassles.
- Find a valid employer to submit a form nominating you so that you can obtain a work permit.
- Application of visa: Fill out the necessary forms accurately and correctly.
- Appointment for visa: Applicants will receive a date for the appointment, and will subsequently be informed if their application is successful
- Successful applicants can then start applying for a professional permit to work and live in the country for a maximum of four years
Employment Permits when moving to Australia:
Average salary: A$89,122 per annum
Top industries for employment are IT Services, Financial Services, and Retail as of Q2 2020
Explore working opportunities after relocating through business networking and increase your employment chances with businesses that you have an interest in. You may also explore professional and trade associations or online occupation portals.
Job Seeking Sites
Australia offers public, private and international schools for all ages. Australian universities are also ranked highly in global rankings.
International schools are popular among the expat community, especially since most of them offer International Baccalaureate programmes. However, the fees for international schools can be extremely high and popular schools tend to have long waiting lists, with pre-enrolment exams.
Learn more about the international schools in Melbourne here.
Australians and expats prefer enrolling their children to public schools. Should that be of interest to you, you may have to pay specific tuition fees depending on the territory or state that you are in and the type of visa you currently hold.
The catchment zone dictates which schools you can send your children to. Parents often choose accommodations in regards to their proximity to quality schools. In many cases, proof of residency will be needed before enrolment can begin.
Some states charge a levy to expats holding on to a temporary visa. This can be so high that private schools become a more affordable option.
5 out of the top 50 universities ranked by QS in 2021 are located in Australia: Australian National University (31th), University of Sydney (40th), University of Melbourne (41th), University of New South Wales (44th) and University of Queensland (46th).
In particular, Australian universities are ranked within the top 10 for subjects such as Accounting & Finance, Anatomy & Physiology, Anthropology and Law.
Housing & Banking
Generally, for bigger cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, homes for rent are not available widely.
Recent changes in home purchasing rules in Australia may make the buying process for non-residents more complex. However, well-intentioned residents have fewer barriers for property purchases except for big financial investments.
When moving to Australia on the hunt for a property, you may hear words such as “flats”, “houses” and “units”. Locals refer to apartments as flats whereas houses are larger and include outdoor space. You may buy a personal property while holding a temporary visa but not as an investment, upon leaving the country the property will be sold.
Units are usually referring to larger flats with split levels like a house but built in blocks like flats. You can search for rental prices online on realestate.com.au
. The average monthly rent is $2,141 (normal areas) and $3,192 (in expensive areas) as of 2021. The median house price is $549,918 as of February 2020.
The fee estimator on the FIRB website would give you a good gauge on how much the fees are. If you/your spouse is an Australian Citizen/Permanent Resident, you might also be eligible for the First Home Owners Grant.
Given the sheer size of Australia, there are plenty of locations where you might want to stay. In a report by realestate.com.au the top-ranked lifestyle suburbs, based on factors such as proximity to a beach/river, schools, parks and transit times to the nearest CBD, were:
- St Kilda West, Melbourne, Victoria
- Median House Price is $2,550,000 and the Median Unit Price is $651,000 (as of Dec 2020)
- South Brisbane, Brisbane, Queensland
- Median House Price is $976,250, and the Median Unit Price is $479,550 (as of Jun 2020)
- Dutton Park, Brisbane, Queensland
- Spring Hill, Brisbane, Queensland
- Median House Price is $1,070,000 and the median unit price is $416,000 (as of Dec 2020)
- Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, Queensland
- Median House Price is $999,250, and the Median Unit Price is $488,750 (as of Dec 2020)
Major Australian banks include ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac offering online services that enable you to open a bank account online. However, you are still required to head down physically to a branch to present the 100 points worth of documentation before you can start making withdrawals.
Banks in Australia use a point system. To qualify for setting up a bank account, you would need 100 points. Below is a list of documents and its accompanying points:
- Birth certificate, citizenship certificate or passport.  Valid licences include drivers’ licence, public service employee ID card, shooter’s licence or a Commonwealth or State Government financial entitlement card. 
- Land rates for homeowners. 
- A valid card with your full names on it such as credit cards. 
- A document with your name and address on it, such as a bank statement. 
The Moving Process
After settling your visa and employment, you can begin the packing and moving process.
Packing and Moving
The packing and moving process can be difficult to understand. However, with a simple breakdown you should be able to understand the position it plays in your relocation journey. Checkout the entire moving process, or look at the summarised version below.
- Exploring and deciding on your relocation company
- Submitting Important documents
- Packing of your household goods for shipping to Australia
- Shipping to Australia
- Customs Clearance
- Quarantine in Australia
- Delivery to Door
The entire process should take anywhere between 1-2 months depending on when you decide to start searching and how long you take to decide on a relocation agent.
Relocating your pet to Australia is a tedious task that requires a significant amount of time and preparation. Here’s a general breakdown of the costs needed to relocate with your furry friend. Here are some of the pet relocation companies in Australia you can engage with.
All pets are required to undergo a 10-day quarantine, which can be extended to at least 30 days. Australia’s only quarantine service is in Mickleham City, Melbourne. Therefore you are required to fly your pet into Melbourne Airport. Here are the different fees for the quarantine:
- $33 (AUD) entry per animal
- A daily rate of $29 (AUD) per animal
- $30 (AUD) document clearance per animal
- $30 (AUD) per 15 minutes of veterinary examination per animal
- $1,200 (AUD) post-entry quarantine (PEQ) charge
Animal Import Permit
$480 (AUD) for one animal and a further $240 (AUD) per additional animal.
For detailed information about pet relocation to Australia, read here.
For legal and custom matters, read here.
To make relocation with your pets easier, read here.
Australians have the 6th highest life expectancy in the world, a testament to the quality of their healthcare.
Medicare is Australia’s publicly-funded system of universal medical coverage. Under this system, Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents are covered for primary healthcare services. These include treatment in public hospitals and complete/partial coverage of doctors’ consultations.
If you’re a resident of a country that has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with Australia, you might be entitled to limited Medicare benefits. Take a look at the Medicare website to see if you are eligible.
Compulsory Private Medical Insurance For Expats
As part of the visa requirements, there is a minimum level of private medical insurance coverage you need to obtain. This is if you are not eligible for Medicare. Even if you are from a country with an RHCA with Australia, you might still need health insurance to qualify for your visa since you can only enrol for Medicare after moving to Australia.
When moving to Australia, it is important to establish a regular home maintenance schedule to ensure that your new home is well-maintained and safe.
Home to an abundance of wildlife creatures known for its larger than life reptilians and amphibians with Spiders the size of our faces, giant fruit bats hanging right outside your doors in certain areas of Australia. To ensure that your homes are ready when moving to Australia, we’d recommend some tasks that are necessary which may include tasks such as:
- Cleaning and dusting the interior and exterior of the home on a regular basis
- Pest control to prevent infestations of insects or rodents
- Yard work, such as mowing the lawn and trimming bushes and trees
- Regular maintenance of appliances and systems such as heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems
- Upkeep of any swimming pools or spa
- Scheduling regular termite inspections.
- Having an emergency plan and emergency contact list for possible natural disasters such as bushfires, storms, and floods.
- Familiarising yourself with local building codes and regulations to ensure that any home improvements or repairs comply with these guidelines.
- It is also a good idea to hire a property manager if you are not living in the property.
Need help on your maintenance checklist? Download MOOVAZ Home Maintenance Checklist here.
Moving to Australia with a long history of immigration, with people from all over the world coming to the country to start a new life.
Moving to Australia can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. Some common difficulties that immigrants may face include language barriers, cultural differences, and difficulty finding work or housing. It can also be difficult to make new friends and establish a sense of community.
To make the transition easier, it can be helpful to research the country and its culture before arriving. This can help prepare for any cultural differences and make it easier to understand the new environment. Additionally, it can be helpful to learn the local language and the interesting laws as this can make it easier to communicate and navigate everyday tasks.
Making connections with others is also important for settling into a new country. Joining clubs or groups that align with your interests or joining a religious or community organisation can help establish a sense of community.
It is also important to be patient and open-minded, as it can take time to adjust to a new country. Seek help if needed, whether that be through government agencies, community organisations, or other services that can help with finding housing, employment, or other necessities.
Australia has a well-developed transportation system that includes various modes of transportation, such as roads, railways, airports, and seaports. The most widely used mode of transportation is private cars, followed by buses and trains. Australia also has a large number of airports, with the largest being Sydney airport. There are also several major seaports, including Port Botany in Sydney and Port of Melbourne. The government is investing in upgrading and expanding the transportation infrastructure to keep up with the country’s growing population and economic growth.