Moving to Sydney

Sydney is one of the most popular destinations for expats to migrate to. The cities architecture really is amazing and if the Sydney opera house isn’t enough to impress you then the stunning beaches will. But Sydney is not just nice to look at, it has one of the highest quality of life’s in the world.

Before moving to the city it is important to know the requirements when moving to Sydney. For example you must have a valid visa in order to enter the country. Aside from the short stay visas, the most popular work visas are the Temporary work Visa and the Skill independent Visa. Visit our visas for Australia page to find more information about visas intended for a long-term residency in Australia. Finding houses and work is very different in Sydney in comparison to the UK and we will discuss the variables on this page. Below is an overview of what information you should know before moving to Sydney:

Moving to Sydney

 What are the relocation costs?

Australia’s far distance can make locating a long process. The cost of moving to Sydney is dependant on a variety of factors, a door to door removal service will obviously be more expensive than simply shipping a container from a port in the UK to Sydney’s port. To ship a 20 ft container it will cost on average around £2,500, this size container on average can fit a 1 or 2 bedroom house. In contrast a 40 ft container will cost around £3,700 and can usually fit a 4 bedroom house.

Other factors that affect the cost of the move include:

  • Household size
  • Insurance type
  • Transportation type
  • Additional services

A lot of these additional costs can be optional; however we advise to not cut costs when moving to Sydney because of the far distance. Certain features such as insurance is very important. In order to make your move less stressful insurance is a must, if items are lost or broken in the long travels to down under you will be covered. Additional services can also make your move easier but of course incur a higher cost. The most common method of transportation to Australia is by sea, this can take on average 29-34 days. Below is the average costs associated with moving different size households by sea transportation.

Household sizeTimeCost
1 bed flat29-34 days£8,626 – £8,798
3 bed house29-34 days£9,502 – £9,766
5 bed house29-34 days£10,753 – £11,149

If you’re not yet sure exactly where in Australia you intend to relocate, visit our more general moving to Australia article.

Top tips before your move

Before moving the most important priority is to make sure you have your visa! It is important to plan this in advance as can take a few months until you have it. After this is complete there are a number of other important features you need to arrange:

  • Health insurance – Medicare is the health system in Australia which includes Sydney. A health card must be applied for and is free for residents. But private health care is also recommended as Medicare does not cover everything. For more information about healthcare in Australia, click here
  • Diplomas – Certain jobs in Sydney require you to exchange your current diplomas. Websites that can help you with this include:
  • Finance – It is important to open a local bank in Sydney as using your UK account abroad will cost. transferring money abroad is also possible, visit our page on how to transfer money to Australia. The main banks in Sydney include:
  • Papers in order – flghts must be arranged and make sure you make copies of all important documents and that they are in date.
  • Pet vaccinations – Pets must have vaccinations up to date in order to enter Australia.
  • Cancellations – Make sure all subscriptions are cancelled.
  • Redirect mail – Mail should be redirected in order to receive important letters.

How do you find a house

Inhabitants of Sydney enjoy a fairly high quality of life, however, the high quality of life comes at a price. Sydney is widely considered to be one of the most expensive places to live in the world. In other words: it is a challenge to rent a place in Sydney for less than 700 AUD per week (404 pounds per week).

Due to high rent prices, young expats and students often share accommodation with other people. Sharing accommodation is occurs often in Australia, hence Ads for house-sharing can be found in most newspapers and magazines. Lodging or boarding with a host family is also quite common among young people in Australia, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.

Expats moving to Sydney may find it wise to look for a short-term accommodation before permanently settling in. Even with the high cost of living, Expats and people moving to Sydney still think it is worth it due to the high quality of life.

According to many immigrants, moving to Sydney is all about the experience, some even call it a ‘lifestyle choice’. It’s true that only in but a few other big cities will one find such great climate and ‘outdoorsy’ atmosphere.

What job will you get?

In general, Unemployment is low in Australia and the need for skilled workers is prominent. As a result the government has taken steps to make it easier for people to obtain work in Australia. However the low unemployment is compensated by the high living costs. Below you can find the average shopping prices in Sydney, also be aware that the sizes in Australia are different and a size US 8 is in fact a 10-12 but don’t worry it doesn’t mean you have gained weight.

Clothing and ShoesAverage price
Pair of Levi jeans$103
Summer dress$68
Running Nike shoes$137
Pair of men leather shoes$150

A great way for expats to job hunt is by uploading their CV information into the Skillselect Database. This database allows employers in Australia to find qualified and skilled workers from all over the world.

In order to enhance your chances of getting a job in Sydney, you need to have your qualifications recognised by an official Assessing Authority. This will also enable you to access to the Australian JobSearch which is a free online service for job seekers and employers.

Expats and immigrants can also register on portals online dedicated to finding skilled workers from overseas for the Australian market.

Expats moving to Sydney need to keep in mind that a proficiency in English and an official skills assessment are requirements for most Australian working visas. Check our visas for Australia page to read more about Visas.

Moving to Sydney

How good is the transport in Sydney?

The public transport in Sydney is pretty good and is quite cheap, especially if you purchase and opal card which allows you to travel around Sydney for less. The public transport allows you to get around the city quicker while avoiding the busy Sydney traffic. An Opal card is actually free but needs a minimum top up of $10 for adults and $5 for children. After you obtain the card the fare costs for a train is shown below in the table.

Opal Card Train FaresAdultChild/Youth
Up to 10km$3.38$1.69
over 65km$8.30$4.15

Request free removal quote

If Australia’s beauty is encouraging you to move there we compare the best services for your move. You can save up to 40% extra on your moving costs. All you have to do here is to fill in the quote form. This will only take a few minutes and you can receive up to 5 quotes from moving companies that specialise in removals to Sydney.