Moving to Australia: Your Ultimate Guide
So you’re thinking of moving to Australia from the UK? While we’re sure the thought of sun and surfing is enough to get you excited, it’s only natural to also have some questions and concerns. That’s why Sirelo has put together this complete how to move to Australia guide to get you to the Land Down Under before you know it.
How Much Does it Cost to Move to Australia from the UK?
We imagine, that like most people, the cost of your move to Australia from the UK is at the forefront of your concerns. While we don’t want to get off to a bad start, we feel obliged to warn you that moving to Australia costs more than a few quid. Somewhat unsurprising given the 10,000 miles you’ll be moving!
While every move is different, and therefore will come with different costs, to help give you a rough indicator of how much moving to Australia costs, the table below outlines the average costs of shipping varying sized homes from London to Perth by sea.
|1 bed flat||9-12 weeks||£3,000 – £4,200|
|3 bed house||6-9 weeks||£6,900 – £9,500|
|5 bed house||6-9 weeks||£10,700 – £14,400|
Disclaimer: the rates shown above are just estimates. Costs will vary depending on your actual point of departure and service rates of the company.
While we hope this table has answered some basic questions, unfortunately moving to Australia is not quite that simple. Multiple factors will determine the final cost of your move, the most significant being the exact distance travelled and the volume of your move. If you are unsure of the latter, use our handy furniture volume calculator to get the ball rolling.
Feeling overwhelmed? We don’t blame you. But hang on in there and let the thought of coral reefs and ocean drives keep you going. In the meantime, read our international removals costs page to answer any further questions you might have about the cost of moving to Australia from the UK.
Visas For Australia From the UK
Moving to Australia from the UK comes with a few hurdles. Not least, organising a visa. Whether you are planning on a short stay move or intend to relocate permanently, you will need a visa to enter the country. A simple tourist visa is easy to acquire, however, if you plan to work and stay more than 90 days you will need to explore other options.
Below is an outline, but by no means an exhaustive list, of some of the visa options available to you when emigrating to Australia from the UK.
- 6 or 12 Month Tourist Visa: this allows you to stay in Australia for an extended period of time, however, you will not have the right to work. You must also indicate proof of funds in your bank account. At least three months of payslips is required.
- Australia Working Holiday Visa: this is designed for 18-35-year-olds and gives you the right to travel and work for up to a year at a time. To extend this year further, you must undertake at least three months of ‘eligible employment’, which usually involves agricultural work.
- Australian Employer-Sponsored Skilled Work Visa: this allows non-Australian workers who are nominated by their employer to live and work permanently.
For more information and a complete list of the visa options available when moving to Australia from the UK, visit the government website.
Moving to Australia From the UK: A Checklist
Moving to Australia from the UK is a marathon, not a sprint. That’s why it is imperative that you start planning early. Not sure where to start? We don’t blame you. Simply following this step-by-step moving to Australia checklist is a great start.
Before You Move:
- Important documents. Hopefully now you have a better idea of what visa you need when moving to Australia. Organise this, along with other essential documents in a safe, easily accessible place.
- Organise an international moving company. Given that your entire life possessions will be in your moving company’s hands for 10,000 miles or more, it’s important that you get this right. A good start is to check out the list we have curated of the best international movers in the UK.
- Pack. If your removal company is doing this for you count your lucky stars! If not, read our expert packing tips, the sooner the better. Note: while sun cream and swimwear are Australian essentials, it does actually snow in Australia, and can often have even more snow than Switzerland!
- Taking a car? More information on this below.
- What about your pets? More information on this below.
- Tax. You must inform HMRC when you move abroad. We recommend seeking professional advice on tax payments in Australia.
Once You Get There:
- Register. In order to work in Australia, you need a Tax File Number, which is a number resembling a British National Insurance number. We recommend applying for this as soon as you have completed your move to Australia from the UK, although you will need a valid Australian address to do so.
- Bank account. We recommend setting up a local bank account, especially if you are intending to work in Australia. Not sure where to start? Here are some of the most popular Australian banks. Have a browse and choose the best option for you:
- Transfer money. Once you have your bank account open, transfer any funds from your British account over. Torfx is a great way to do this.
- Healthcare. More information on this below.
- Driving licence. Your UK driving licence is valid for the first three months after you move to Australia. After that, you will need to apply for an Australian driving licence.
At this point, you’re well on your way to ensuring a smooth move to Australia from the UK. If you still feel at a loose end, feel free to check out our more detailed moving abroad checklist, which includes a downloadable interactive PDF!
Want to Work in Australia?
First of all, take a deep breath. If you have made it this far, you are doing exceptionally well. If you have already organised employment in Australia, or intend to move to Australia for purely leisure purposes, feel free to skip past this section. If you are intending to work, and haven’t yet got a job, a good place to start is these online portals:
We do want to be honest. If you are on a temporary visa e.g. the Working Holiday Visa, finding salaried employment can be very challenging. It is often that case that some employers are reluctant to hire you, knowing that you only have the temporary right to work.
We hope you now have a clearer idea of what moving to Australia from the UK entails. However, you’re not free to go just yet. This final section outlines some Sirelo top-tips, covering any miscellaneous queries you might have. Not much longer to go until those dreams of crystal clear waters become a reality!
The Cost of Living in Australia
Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Living in Australia can burn a hole through your wallet. That being said, the cost of living varies hugely upon where exactly you choose to relocate to, and of course your personal lifestyle. Also note that the Australian minimum wage is substantially higher than in the UK, so we like to think it all levels out a little.
To give you a rough indicator on how much things cost before you complete your move to Australia, the table below compares some common cost of living metrics between the UK and Australia.
|Rent for one bedroom apartment in the city centre||£758||£946|
|Basic monthly utilities for an 85m2 apartment||£156||£123|
|1L of milk||£0.91||£0.91|
|0.5L of draught beer||£3.63||£4.41|
|1L of gasoline||£1.27||£0.81|
Please note that this table shows national averages. Below is a list in descending order of the most expensive to least expensive state capitals to live in. Consider this if you have a tight budget when moving to Australia from the UK. The average house price is written next to each city.
- Sydney, New South Wales ($1,142,212)
- Melbourne, Victoria ($901,951)
- Canberra, ACT ($788,61)
- Adelaide, South Australia ($542,947)
- Brisbane, Queensland ($540,235)
- Hobart, Tasmania ($530,570)
- Perth, Western Australia ($537,031)
- Darwin, Northern Territory ($509,452)
In brighter news, buying wine in Australia tends to be significantly cheaper than in the UK. Somewhat unsurprising given that over a trillion bottles of wine are produced every year Down Under!
Right, that’s enough about money. More importantly, it’s time to think about how to transport your pet when moving to Australia from the UK. To make sure your furry friends are not left behind, be sure to check the following import requirements:
- Your pet must have a valid passport.
- Your pet must be fully vaccinated, with the necessary documentation to prove it. This must be done at least three weeks prior to your move to Australia.
- Have the necessary information on legalization, so that it can be transported outside of the EU.
Take a look at the government website for more information on this topic. We’re sure neither Snowball nor Rover want to get stuck at the airport!
Given that the distance covered when moving to Australia from the UK is so large, and a car is certainly not small, transporting your vehicle might pose a logistical, and indeed financial, challenge. It is therefore usually recommended that you sell your car before moving to Australia and purchase a new one upon arrival.
However, if you and your car are joint at the hip, be sure to take note:
- You must have had your car for at least a year.
- You will be required to obtain an import permit.
- You can only import it once you have proof of residence.
In other words, importing your car to Australia is a complicated task and requires thorough planning, and is usually more effort that it’s worth. More information can be found on this page about shipping your car to Australia.
Last, but by no means least, organising your healthcare is a crucial step to consider when moving to Australia from the UK. Thanks to the government and private funding, Australians have access to a comprehensive range of services. However, if you have a student visa or are working there temporarily, you will not have access to their Medicare. You will instead need private medical insurance with your visa. Be sure to factor in this cost when working out how much it costs to move to Australia from the UK.
If you are living in Australia permanently, you will have to register with Medicare. However, note that Medicare does not cover all aspects of healthcare, for example dentistry is not included.
You can find out more information about healthcare in Australia by reading this page on the government website.
Phew. That was quite an ordeal, but we hope you are feeling a little more confident about your move to Australia from the UK. And remember, it will all be worth it when you are turning shrimps on the barbie.
In the meantime, we recommend you brush up on some Australian etiquette and culture. Note: How you going? is the customary way to ask how someone is getting on.
Oh! And be sure not to miss the annual cockroach racing world championship held in Brisbane…