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Moving across the world to a new country is a daunting prospect. Finding your occupation on the skilled occupation list and getting your Australian visa is just the start of the process. There are so many aspects of your new life to think about from cost of living and private health insurance to the housing market, tax and employment opportunities. 

I asked some members of the Move to Australia Directory to contribute their top three tips for moving to Australia. Read on to learn their professional advice.

Don’t forget to check out the Move to Australia Directory where you’ll find a wide range of migration and relocation services all in one place!

This blog post contains tips provided by various companies. The advice given is general in nature, and we strongly recommend conducting your own due diligence before making any decisions based on this information.

Secure your visa [by True Blue Migration]

The True Blue Migration Services team

Moving to another country isn’t easy. There’s an awful lot to consider but most important of all is your visa. Without the right visa, you can’t live and work in Australia. True Blue Migration Services share their top three tips for moving to Australia. 

1 Get a visa assessment

Before you can move to Australia, you need to check you’re eligible to live and work here. The best place to start is by speaking to a Registered Migration Agent who can recommend visa pathways for you. There are dozens of Australian visa subclasses and you may be surprised at which visa types you’re eligible for. It’s not always the obvious ones!

Although you’ll find lots of helpful information online and in Facebook groups, it isn’t always up to date. Australian immigration rules and policies change frequently. It can be incredibly hard to keep up.

Registered Migration Agents are bound by a Code of Conduct and stay on top of changes. Being assessed by an agent is really the only way to ensure you’re getting the best advice for your current situation.

If you’re eligible for more than one visa type, an agent can also explain the pros and cons of each.

Here at True Blue Migration Services, we offer free eligibility checks. If you complete our assessment form or contact one of our offices, we will recommend a visa pathway for you, if you’re eligible. This is a free, no-obligation assessment.

2 Give yourself enough time

Depending on the visa type you’re applying for, you may have to wait months or even years for approval. It’s crucial that you factor in both visa preparation steps and visa processing times to your moving timeline.

If you’re applying for a skilled independent visa, for example, you will need to obtain a positive skill assessment. You may also need to sit an English test to boost your points. All of this takes time, so even if you’re planning to move to Australia in a year or two, it’s not too early to start arming yourself with information and learning what’s involved in securing your visa.

If you’re being sponsored by an Aussie employer, they might be obligated to first advertise the role locally. Again, this process takes time.

Age might also be a factor. Currently, an age limit of 44 applies to some Australian permanent residency visas, so this is also something to consider.

Time is also one of the reasons you may wish to lodge your visa application using a Registered Migration Agent rather than doing it yourself. If you make an error in your application or apply for an incorrect visa type, it could cost you years as you re-lodge, and that’s if you’re still even eligible at that point.

Using an Agent is a little like using an Accountant for a tax return or Estate Agent to sell your home. It’s not essential but you’re likely to have a smoother, less stressful experience with one on your side. 

3 Plan for the costs involved

Unfortunately, there are costs associated with visas, over and above the application fees.

Depending on the subclass you’re going for, you may need to have your skills assessed, pay for a state nomination, sit an English test, obtain police checks from countries you’ve lived in and undergo a medical examination. All these added extras cost money. That’s not to mention the unexpected little expenses like getting documents certified, postage costs (if necessary) and credit card surcharges.

If you use a Registered Migration Agent to manage your application, you’ll also need to pay for their services.

Some agents will let you split the professional management fee to spread the cost and in most cases you won’t pay the Government until the end, so expenses can be staggered to some extent.

So yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also potentially life-changing and something you’re probably only going to do once. Our advice is plan for it, save for it, and get it right first time.

For a free assessment with an Agent, contact True Blue Migration Services today.

You can find True Blue Migration Services in the Move to Australia Directory here

Get your finances in order [by bdhSterling]

A selection of Australian money to show the best way to bring money into Australia

There’s a lot to think about when it comes to moving your finances to Australia. bdhSterling provides their top three financial tips about moving to Australia from the UK.  

1. Get friendly with your future self – pension planning  

Retirement might seem light-years away, especially when you’re just diving into a new adventure in Australia. But giving some thought to your golden years is a savvy move. 

In Australia, pensions are commonly known as “supers”. Super arrangements are normally arranged through your employer, although it is possible to make contributions through your own fund if you’re self-employed. Unlike in the UK, super contributions are subject to tax as they are paid into the scheme. However, when you’re eligible, you can draw income from your fund tax-free.

Eyeing up a sun-soaked retirement on Aussie soil? Subject to eligibility criteria and the type of scheme, you may be able to transfer your UK pension fund over to Australia. As you’ll have built up your UK pension fund tax-free, being able to then draw this in Australia free of tax could put you in a very advantageous tax position! 

Curious to find out more? Check out: Looking to transfer your pension to Australia? 

2. Carefully plan the disposal of your UK assets 

Non-UK residents are not usually subject to UK Capital Gains Tax (CGT). This means that, once you stop being a UK resident, you may be able to sell most of your UK-based assets and not be liable for CGT on any profit you make from the sale. However, because your worldwide capital gains will be assessable for Australian tax once you become a resident in Australia, it’s important to plan the disposal of your assets carefully.

It may be wise to consider cashing in your UK ISAs before the big move too, as UK ISAs will typically be subject to Australian tax. You could then reinvest the value in Australian assets once you’re a tax resident there.

Don’t forget about other investments you hold in the UK, such as shares and investment trusts. For each, you will need to consider the tax situation if you hold them in Australia and when’s the best time to dispose of them. Plus, also bear in mind that the transfer of assets between yourself and your spouse is liable for tax in Australia, unlike in the UK. So, it may be best to sort out asset transfers between spouses prior to jetting off! 

3. Maximize the value of your money 

When moving to Australia, it’s likely that you could have a large sum of UK currency to transfer. When transferring this money, it’s advisable to use a specialist currency trading service as the rates offered can often be much better than a bank-to-bank transfer. You can also use forward contracts to lock in a currency transfer rate up to a year in advance, giving you peace of mind on your transfer’s worth.

And about that pension transfer – even if you can transfer your pension (as you read in a previous section) you can’t do this until you hit age 55 (rising to 57 in 2028). However, some specialist UK-based pension schemes will allow you to transfer your current pensions into investment portfolios denominated in Australian dollars (AUD). The switch can take place at an exchange rate that is likely to be favourable for you and, as a result, helps remove currency risk.

Want to find out more? Please visit our website bdhSterling.com or download our free guide: The top 10 financial planning tips if you’re moving to Australia

You can find bdhSterling in the Move to Australia Directory here

Plan your relocation [by E-Sterling Services]

Somebody typing on a keyboard

There is so much involved in moving to a new country, and you may not know the city you’re moving to well (or maybe you’ve never even been before!). You’ll need to organise somewhere to live (in a competitive rental market), you may need a school for your kids and you want to make sure the suburb you choose suits the lifestyle you want to lead – no pressure! E-Sterling Services shares three tips based on their experience helping clients relocate to Perth. 

1. Research and plan

One of the biggest hurdles I’ve seen clients face is forgetting to make time for planning. I get it – planning is a hassle and takes time when you’re already busy. But trust me, if you don’t make time to plan, unexpected problems can crop up, turning an already significant move into a much heavier burden.

Start by exploring what Australia has to offer in your chosen state. In Perth for example, each neighbourhood has its own vibe, so find one that matches your lifestyle. Subiaco is great for families with its parks and schools, Fremantle has a cool artsy scene, and Cottesloe is perfect if you love the beach. Use local forums, real estate websites, and social media groups to get a feel for each area. We have a blog that might help with your search in Perth WA, especially if you’re unsure whether to live North or South of the river (known as NOR or SOR locally). Check it out here.

Once you’ve decided on a location, or if you’ve contacted a relocation agent like us to help with that bit (this is the part we love), you can create a timeline. It doesn’t have to be written down (though I would, but that’s just me being overly organised). Think about your end date (when you want or need to move by) and work backwards, considering things like visas, jobs, money, moving arrangements, a home to live in, and documentation. Don’t forget to set a budget. How much will this all cost? Then add some extra for unexpected delays or additional requirements.

Now that you’ve done your research and have a bit of a plan, my next top tip is to think about what you want your life to look like when you move.

2. What do I want from my new life in Australia?

This tip might take a bit of soul-searching and family discussions. Many people move to Australia for the perceived lifestyle – outdoor living, BBQs every weekend, sun, sea, and sand. All of that is great and achievable but think about what is important for your new life.

Do you want to live near the beach so you can learn to surf? Are good schools for your children a top priority? Is having a dog park nearby essential for your family pooch? Take some time to really think about and understand your needs. Write them down, discuss them as a family, and get opinions from friends or family members who know you well and will be honest.

Once you have some ideas you will find it so much easier to think about locations that would work for you. I always say to my clients there is no point us helping you move to Perth if we find you a home that is in the city centre when your lifestyle ambition does not match that. So, knowing what you want for the future will help ensure that you end up in the right place for you. OK, so now you have some thoughts on what you want from your new life in Australia. What’s next?

3. Hire a relocation agent

You might think I’m biased because this is my business.,, but hear me out. Some people don’t need a relocation agent. If you’re organised, have time to research and plan before your move, then go for it! However, if you’re time-constrained, unsure where to start, feeling overwhelmed, or just need someone on the other side to talk to and get advice from, a relocation agent can be a huge help. They absolutely can take the stress and pain out of relocating. Good relocation agents will make time to understand where you are in the relocation journey (the research and planning bit) and what your needs and desires are for your move (the understanding your new life bit). They will help tie it all together while supporting you in finding a home that works for you and your family.

Relocating to a new country is a big step, but with careful planning and the right support, it can be an exciting and smooth transition. By researching thoroughly, understanding what you want from your new life, and considering professional help, you’ll be well on your way to a successful move to Australia. Embrace the adventure and enjoy the journey to your new home down under!

Oh, I nearly forgot – if you’re thinking of moving to Perth in Western Australia get in touch – we would love to help!

You can find E-Sterling Services in the Move to Australia Directory here

Buying your first home in Australia [by Buyers Collective]

A rental home in Australia

Figuring out how to buy your first home when you arrive in Australia feels very daunting. You don’t know what you don’t know, and the process moves so quickly in Australia! 

Dianne from Buyer’s Collective – a Queensland-based buyer’s agency – shares these tips around finding the perfect Australian residence and explains some of the reasons why having the support of a buyer’s agent is invaluable. 

1. Understand local real estate dynamics 

The real estate market across Australia can vary widely between regions, both in terms of prices and regulations. Take the time to research the local market trends, property values, and popular neighbourhoods. Using a buyer’s agent that is a specialist in the areas where you’re moving provides invaluable insights into these dynamics, helping you make informed decisions. 

2. Leverage buyer’s agent expertise

In engaging a Buyers Agent they will use their extensive experience and expertise to find you a home in the local property market. They can offer personalised guidance tailored to your preferences and budget. A buyer’s agent will help you navigate the buying process and will negotiate on your behalf to secure the best possible deal. They will lead you through it which can be particularly helpful when you are new to the country and are buying your first home in Australia. 

3. Prioritise legal and financial

Due diligence: Buying a home involves various legal and financial considerations, especially for first-time buyers and newcomers to Australia. Work closely with your buyer’s agent to ensure all necessary due diligence is conducted, including property inspections, title searches, and contract reviews. Additionally, seek advice from legal and financial professionals to understand your rights and obligations as a homebuyer in that state or territory. This comprehensive approach will minimise risks and ensure a smooth purchasing experience.

By following these tips and leveraging the expertise of an experienced buyer’s agent, you can buy your first home in Australia with confidence and peace of mind. 

Looking to buy a home on the Gold Coast or in Brisbane? Reach out to Dianne and Jack at the Buyers Collective to discuss your property search. We’re here to walk you through the whole process and help you navigate the buying process every step of the way. You can check out what past customers thought of our service here

Find the Buyers Collective in the Move to Australia Directory here

Tips for moving to Australia – find your people [by SmartStepstoAustralia]

A group of friends running towards the ocean

I hope you found the above tips useful. As we finish off the article, I wanted to share my own top three tips for moving to Australia. 

1. Find your people

Moving to a new country is terrifying, exciting and challenging. Your friends and family won’t understand what you’re going through (and some of them may not support your decision). It’s important to surround yourself with other people who get it – people who know what you’re going through and who you can share the journey with.

Join my free Move to Australia Facebook community and join the conversations over there. It’s a great place to meet some new people and begin creating your support network. The group is made up of people who are planning their move as well as people who have already moved, so you can benefit from the experience of people who’ve already done it! 

2. Find services to help you 

Invest in services that make the experience easier. Moving to Australia is emotional and there is a lot of admin, paperwork and research involved – do what you can to lighten the load wherever you can.

Sometimes these services will save you money in the long run and help you do things you wouldn’t otherwise have been able to do. Services such as migration agents, relocation agencies, buyers agents, financial advisors, career coaches…they are there to take that pressure off your shoulders. They have expertise that you don’t have and that expertise can save you time, money or stress (or even all three!). Your dream is worth the investment.

You’ll find a range of services listed in the Move to Australia Directory

3. Don’t just talk about it – start now

My final tip is if you want to move to Australia, start the process NOW. Don’t just talk about it, or say you’re going to do it next year. The best time to get started is right away. Rules change all the time, and as you get older you lose points for your age. If you’re eligible now, start the process now. If you wait, you may find you’re no longer eligible or your circumstances could change making it difficult. 

Tips for moving to Australia

Thanks for reading! I hope you found these tips for moving to Australia useful! if you did, please give it a share.