Australia is a country that attracts a lot of visitors each year and has a reputation for being a sunny, friendly, open, positive place with a healthy outdoor life. Many people choose to move nearer to the sun and to relocate to Australia. Although there are many success stories, it is of course necessary to make your life easier by planning the event properly so that you minimise any unexpected and unwanted hiccups.
You’ll need to find out how to open a bank account. In the UK you can use a price comparison site like MoneySupermarket to find the best bank accounts, while in Australia you can find the best bank accounts on offer for your circumstances by doing a little research.
You will have to make sure that you have the appropriate paperwork to stay in the country. Will you be working under an employer-sponsored 457 visa, for instance? Check the formalities out carefully and any restrictions and obligations which accompany any visas.
This is probably one of the most important aspects to help you to feel at home quickly. It is worth researching where you might want to live and possibly having a trip dedicated to that purpose before you incur the costs of relocating.
As with choosing property in England, it’s worth spending time to get a feel for the merits of different neighbourhoods, their proximity to work, schools, amenities and so on. If you have children, the school issue is obviously a big one. You will need to call in advance to make sure that you can arrange a visit and that there are places available and suitable for your child.
To Buy or to Rent?
Some people who relocate to Australia decide to do everything at once and buy their new home. Of course, this involves a lot of upfront research as to locations and market prices. Overseas buyers can make the purchasing process longer than it is for an Australian buyer as there are additional steps which need to be taken.
A 10% deposit is usually paid on acceptance of an offer, which means you’ll have to organise an Australian bank account. You’ll need a local lawyer and FIBR approval (which can take around 10-15 days) and also to organise your mortgage if necessary. Taking into account any time differences, this process will need organising carefully.
If you want to take your time, it may be an idea to rent initially, with a view to researching and assessing the place at a more leisurely pace and buying later on.
You must think about how to get around in Australia. You might at first just rely on public transport. If you want to buy a car, though, there are a few things to bear in mind. You’ll need to get a licence and expats have reported that it’s easier to do that in person by visiting the RTA office. Those with a European licence will have to take an eye test and you must have some evidence of your address (for instance, bank statements, etc). Remember that you might also need to obtain a loan and will definitely have to take out insurance.