How much money do you need to move to Australia? How much is a visa to Australia? How much is shipping to Australia? How much does it cost to move to Australia? What do I need to save to move to Australia? I know finance is a huge topic of interest when it comes to migrating to Australia as I get sent these questions (and more!) all the time. I thought I’d write a few posts to answer as many of them as possible!
There are lots of things to budget for when relocating to Australia, and it’s almost impossible for me to tell you how much it will cost you to move to Australia as everyone’s moving expenses will be different. Here are the main things you’ll need to budget for your move to Australia though…
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How much does it cost to move to Australia?
There are lots of costs involved in moving to Australia. Some visas also make stipulations about how much money you need to move to Australia so that’s another thing to be aware of.
For our skilled independent visa, we didn’t need to show proof of assets but it makes sense to be in a steady financial position when you make the move so you can cover your relocation expenses and not have to worry about running out of money. My aim is about helping you enjoy a joyful moving experience (or at least as stress-free as possible!) and being in a strong financial position really does make everything a lot easier.
Here are the main things you’ll need to account for if you’ve been wondering how much money do you need to move to Australia.
It can be really useful to open a Wise Account before you move as it’s a great way to manage your money in transit as well as to send and receive money when you live in Australia. You can find out about a Wise multi-currency account here.
Visas: How much is a visa to Australia?
If you’re wondering how much is a visa to Australia, the best place to get the most up-to-date Australian visa prices is on the Home Affairs site. Lots of other emigration sites will tell you the cost of a visa to Australia but they may be out of date already so make sure you check at the source. You will need to pay for visas for family members too, so the cost of visas to Australia can quickly add up (we paid £4500 for our Australian visas our family of five back when we moved! Visas costs differ so check them out on the Home Affairs site.)
There are other expenses to getting your visa to Australia too…
Using a migration agent isn’t an essential expense but we felt it was an important one. You can read this post about why use a migration agent (and how to choose a good one) here. It doesn’t cost as much as you might think and given your visa is the most important aspect of your move, I think it’s worth the investment.
As part of your visa expenses, you’ll need to allow for the cost of your skills assessment (which varies between occupations), police checks, medicals and the English language test (if needed) too. At the time, our police checks were £90, medicals for our family were £770 and the IELTS test was £150.
All in, our total visa expenses (visas, skills assessment, agent, medicals, police checks, English test came in at just over £8000 (for our family of five).
Removals to Australia: How much is the cost of international removals to Australia?
When you move, you’ll need to find a shipping company to appoint to do your removals to Australia in a shipping container (unless you’re just thinking of shipping a few boxes or bags in which case you could use a baggage sending service like Send My Bag. You can get 5% off Send My Bag services by using this link).
To get the best price for removals to Australia, it’s a good idea to get multiple quotes. You can complete this shipping inquiry form from one of my website partners and receive up to five shipping quotes that suit your requirements for free. It saves you time and means you get to compare a number of local services so you can choose the international removals company that is going to give you the best removal service.
Shipping a container to Australia cost us around £4k but prices really vary at different times and it also depends how much you include in your container and any special packing materials you might need. You’ll also need to budget for shipping insurance. I always recommend shopping around for this (rather than taking it out with your shipping agent as it can be a great way to save money.
One way emigration insurance: What insurance do you need to move to Australia?
I recommend taking out one-way travel insurance as soon as you begin investing in your move and booking things like flights and arrival accommodation. Moving to Australia is a big expense and this will offer you some protection if something happens that makes you need to postpone your trip, you get injured in transit or you have something stolen. You can get 5% off one-way insurance with Go Walkabout when moving from the UK to Australia when you use this link and apply the code: SMART5 in the discount box. (Unfortunately, at the time of publishing, Go Walkabout isn’t able to provide quotes but check back soon as they’re working hard to resolve the issue).
We bought a longer policy when we moved as we weren’t sure how long it might take us to get settled. It cost us £200.
Still wondering if the move is right for you? Check out this post about reasons NOT to move to Australia here.
Flights: How much are flights to Australia?
At the time of writing this, shopping around for flights isn’t an easy experience but hopefully next year things will be easier (I’m keeping everything crossed)! I recommend shopping around for flights and booking as early as you can (just make sure you choose flights that can be moved just in case you need to switch dates later). We ended up booking our flights quite close to travelling as we were navigating our house sale and I felt like I was tempting fate to book them too early! It cost us £3000 for the five of us to fly one way to Australia from London.
We had the option to travel just before our daughter turned two so she could sit on our laps to save some money but we decided to buy her a seat instead as we felt it was too long a journey otherwise. (This was the best decision ever! She wasn’t fun on the flight and that extra seat was worth its weight in gold. If you want to learn more about flying with kids, check out this post about travelling long haul with kids).
We didn’t bring our pet with us but if you intend on bringing yours, get some quotes and allow for the cost of pet shipping and pet shipping insurance.
Transport costs: What transport costs do I need to allow for my move to Australia?
We took a taxi to the airport in the UK, and a taxi from the airport when we landed in Australia. Plus we then hired a car for two weeks while we got set up and bought our own. Taxi costs were £150 and car hire £350. You can check out car hire quotes with my partner, DriveAway.
Arrival accommodation: How much is short-term accommodation in Australia?
When you arrive, you need to book yourself some short-term accommodation or a short stay apartment. I usually recommend people aim to book this for about a month as that gives you just enough time to decide where you want to live and to find a rental (and if you need a little more you can extend it or look for a new apartment for another week).
I highly recommend Booking.com for temporary accommodation. Air BnB and Stayz are also great sites worth checking out. The price you pay will vary depending on how large an apartment/unit/house you are looking for, what the location is and whether it falls during school holidays here. We paid £2000 for four weeks in a basic three-bedroom beach-front place during school holidays when we moved.
How much money do you need to move to Australia? The moving costs are just the start…
The thing to remember is your moving costs to Australia are only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to how much money you need to make the move. You need to have money to set up your new life in Australia, to cover you in case of an emergency and to provide a cushion in case the world goes bonkers (as has happened over the last 18 months!) What happens if it takes you a long time to find a job? Or if you have a job but lose it and can’t find another? Or if you have to have emergency dental surgery? Or any number of things you can’t predict!
Our actual moving costs above totaled over £18k but our full overall migration costs were much higher. When we arrived, we had to budget for:
x 2 used cars
x 6 child car seats (so we didn’t have to switch them between cars all the time) – UK car seats aren’t legal in Australia so don’t bother bringing them!
New furniture and replacing things we hadn’t brought
Rental bond and first month’s rent
Pantry staples and big first food shops
Household gear like bins, toilet brushes, cleaning products
Queensland driving licenses
Living costs til you find a job
Setting up life insurance and health insurance
and so much more!
Plus there were costs from eating out a lot more than usual as we were driving around setting up Medicare, looking at rentals and schools etc.
For a family of 4 – 6 people moving from the UK to Australia, I think allowing £20k for visas and actual moving expenses is a fair amount (and more if bringing a pet). Your arrival expenses could be anywhere from £5k to £30k (or more!) depending mainly on your car choices (how many cars you need? New or second-hand? Small run around or large 4WD for sand driving?) If you can get a job quickly then you’ll also eat into less of your savings as you’ll be spending what you’re earning rather than draining away your savings.
When you’ve accounted for the costs to move to Australia and getting settled, you need to ensure you have a solid emergency fund in place to cover you for any eventualities and, if buying a house in Australia is on your agenda, you’ll need to budget for those costs too (although I usually recommend people live in Australia for at least a few months first so you can get to know places and see where you might want to settle. I partner with a great mortgage broker and I’ve negotiated a deal for you to get $100 visa gift card when you complete on a mortgage through him. Find out more and check out the t&cs here.)
Get your finances in order and figuring out how much does it cost to move to Australia
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to the cost of moving to Australia. Here are some more posts you might find useful to help you get the most out of your money:
Phew! Nobody ever said moving to Australia was cheap but thankfully (we think at least) it is totally worth it for the lifestyle benefits, sunshine, beaches, the wildlife and open spaces! It’s important to go into it understanding the costs of moving to Australia though so you can be fully prepared and it takes a lot of stress off your shoulders.
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