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Moving to Australia from the UK

Property Saviour » Moving » Moving to Australia from the UK

Thinking of making the move to Australia? We totally understand why – with its spectacular beaches, abundant sunshine and relaxed atmosphere, it’s easy to see why it’s so appealing!

In fact, over one million UK citizens have already made the switch, aiming to take advantage of the opportunities Australia provides.

Considering that the population of Australia is only 25.6 million, there’s a good chance you may come across a fellow Brit while you’re there.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy to move to Australia these days so, we’ve put together this guide to give you all the info you need.

Table of Contents

Moving to Australia from the UK:

Who can emigrate?

Many people are unaware that the size of Australia’s landmass is comparable to that of the entire continent of Europe. Despite this, the population remains relatively small, numbering only 26 million compared to the UK’s 67 million.

Britons make up the majority of foreign-born Australians, making a move to Australia from the UK a popular choice.

Can anyone from the UK emigrate to Australia?

British citizens can still emigrate to Australia, but the process is now more complex than it used to be. The government has enacted a points-based system to assess applicants’ eligibility for permanent settlement.

The system evaluates candidates on the criteria of age, educational background, work experience, the demand for their particular skillset in Australia, English proficiency, sponsorships, and any relatives they have in Australia.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs will then award points based on these criteria, with those with higher point totals having a better chance of receiving a visa.

For the majority of adults, the only realistic way to move to Australia is to have a skilled job that is in demand by the government or to have an Australian partner or child.

moving to Australia from UK
Considering that the population of Australia is only 25.6 million, there's a good chance you may come across a fellow Brit while you're there.

Is there an age limit?

If you’re under 45, you have the best chances of getting an Australian visa. There’s no set age limit for emigration to Australia, but certain permanent visas become unavailable to you when you turn 45 – these are mainly skill-based visas.

If you already have a valid skill-based visa and you turn 45, your visa stays valid.

For those over 45, your options are limited. There are still visa routes open to you, but they may require a large sum of money, a long waiting list or something more specialised.

How much money do you need?

You’ll need a good amount of money to migrate to Australia, both prior to arriving and once you’re there. In addition to covering the normal costs associated with a move, some visas require you to have a specific amount of funds in the bank.

For instance, if someone is looking to move to Australia on a skilled migrant visa and work in digital marketing, the expected costs would be:

Item

Cost (GBP)

Migration skills assessment

£350

Notary fees

£80

Medical check

£340

Police certificate application

£55

Visa application fee (paid to Australian government)

£2,300

Visa application preparation fee

£4,500

Total (visa application only)

£7,625

One way flight

£800

Shipping personal belongings

£5,000

Rental property deposit (bond)

£1,200

Rent in advance

£600

Health insurance (monthly)

£90

Total (relocation costs)

£7,690

Grand total

£15,315

The figures given above are accurate as of April 2023. In addition, certain visas also require a minimum closing balance of AUD 5000 (£2,700). Meeting this requirement will demonstrate that the Australian Government is confident you can support yourself financially upon arrival.

It is important to note that these costs are for an individual migrating to Australia from the UK. If you are travelling with your family, you can expect the costs to double.

Types of Australian Visas

Obtaining a visa is essential when traveling or moving to Australia. Depending on the purpose of your move, there are several different types of visas you can choose from. The most popular ones are:

  • Visit & Tourism,
  • Study, Work,
  • Working Holiday,
  • Temporary Skill Shortage,
  • Permanent Residency,
  • Joining a Partner or Family,
  • Long Stays.

To emigrate to the country permanently, you will need to apply for a Permanent Residency Visa. Four visa options can help you with this:

  1. Family-stream,
  2. Work-stream, Business
  3. Investment-stream,
  4. Retirement Visa Pathway.

The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs provides more details on each visa and its requirements. In addition to a visa, you must fill out an Incoming Passenger Card (IPC). The IPC is provided during your flight/ship to Australia and must be filled out when you arrive.

How to Apply for an Australian Permanent Residency Visa?

To obtain a permanent residency visa, you must apply through the Department of Home Affairs website. The entire process can take up to 9 months, so it’s important to submit the forms as soon as you can.

The cost of the visa application will depend on the type of visa you’re looking to apply for. You can use the Home Affairs Visa pricing estimator to figure out how much it will cost.

You’ll need several documents, such as a valid passport, visa application form, identification photo, health insurance, and an employer permission letter (if you’re applying for work purposes).

In the case of most visas, particularly skilled occupation visas, Australia operates on a points system. To be accepted, you need to have at least 65 points.

The criteria include items such as work experience, qualifications, age, and good English proficiency. The Education and Migration Services Australia website offers more information on this.

How to get Australian Citizenship
As long as you meet the requirements, you can apply for Australian citizenship through the government website.

Australian Citizenship

To become an Australian citizen, you must have lived in the country for at least four years and have at least one year of permanent residency before applying through the Department of Home Affairs website.

Unlike some countries, Australia does not prevent its citizens from having dual citizenship and still being British.

As long as you meet the requirements, you can apply for Australian citizenship through the government website.

Cost of Removals to Australia from the UK

Given that Australia is on the other side of the world from the UK, you can expect international removal costs to be much higher than moving to other countries. Research shows that shipping a 40ft container to Australia costs about £5,258.

If you need services like packing, this can add another £250 to the total. The cost of international removals will depend on factors like the type of shipping, the weight and volume of items and the distance travelled.

Property Prices

The average price per square meter for properties in an Australian city is $11,107.41 (£5,891.87). In the UK, the average is £8,275.97.

Properties outside of Australian city centres cost, on average, $8,283.10 (£4,393.73) per square meter, whereas the same type of property in the UK is £3,291.35 per square meter.

Even though property prices in Australia are cheaper, renting costs are higher than in the UK. A 1-bedroom home in Australia is $2,284.71 (£1,207.67) per month and £906.99 in the UK. A 3-bedroom home will cost around $3,738.52 (£1,976.13) in Australia and £1,607.79 in the UK. Brisbane, Canberra and Perth are some of the best places to live in Australia.

The most expensive areas are Sydney and Melbourne, whereas more affordable places include Adelaide, Cairns and Perth. *Data taken from Numbeo statistics.

Is it cheaper to live in Australia or UK
Overall, working in Australia is better than in the UK. Salaries are higher, workplaces are more relaxed, and there is plenty of work.

Work and Salary

The average wage in Australia is $90,800 (£47,998.70), according to Time Doctor. This is nearly double the UK average of £25,971, giving people more disposable income.

Jobs in Australia are similar to those in the UK, so if you have a particular profession, you can likely keep doing it when you move. Yahoo has listed the top occupations in Australia as:

  • Retail,
  • Healthcare,
  • Teaching,
  • Driving,
  • Accounting

Overall, working in Australia is better than in the UK. Salaries are higher, workplaces are more relaxed, and there is plenty of work.

Australia is short on skilled professionals, such as doctors, childcare workers, carers, builders, and programmers, as reported by Western Union.

Hence, British citizens moving to Australia will likely find employment quickly and easily, especially if they fit any of these roles.

The 2021 census in the UK has identified the most popular jobs as:

  1. Wholesale,
  2. Retail and motor trade,
  3. Health and social work,
  4. Education,
  5. Construction,
  6. Manufacturing.

Cost of Living

Surprisingly, Australia’s overall cost of living is 16% higher than in the UK. Utility bills, however, are cheaper. Most goods and services, however, are more expensive.

It is important to note that, while the cost of living might be higher in Australia, wages are significantly greater than those paid in the UK, which helps to offset the increased costs and even them out.

Healthcare

Australia has a public health system similar to the UK’s. It’s called Medicare and is funded through taxes. Most services are completely covered by Medicare, but sometimes people are required to pay for part of the costs, such as GP visits.

Many Australians also choose to buy private medical insurance. Healthcare in Australia is of a high quality and standard.

How much money do you need to emigrate to Australia from UK
Importing a vehicle to Australia from the UK can be a lengthy process. To start, you'll need to check if your car is eligible to drive in Australia. Then, submit an application through the Road Vehicle.

Importing a Vehicle

Importing a vehicle to Australia from the UK can be a lengthy process. To start, you’ll need to check if your car is eligible to drive in Australia. Then, submit an application through the Road Vehicle.

Regulator (ROVER) website. The forms and application can be completed online, and you can track the progress via the ROVER site.

Once the car is accepted, you must arrange for shipment and declare the car import. You’ll need to pay Customs duty, Luxury car tax (if applicable) and Goods & Service tax. Upon arrival, the vehicle must meet the requirements of the country before it can be driven.

This includes being placed on the Register of Approval Vehicles (RAV) and passing compliance tests.

When it’s approved, you must register the car in the state or territory you’re moving to. Then, you’ll receive Australian license plates. Once you’ve moved, you can only drive using your UK driving license for 3 months.

After this period, you must apply for an Australian driving license. Additionally, Australians drive on the left-hand side of the road, which makes driving easier if you’re coming from the UK.

Culture

The culture in Australia is varied, interesting, and diverse. It’s important to remember that the atmosphere in small towns in rural areas of Australia is quite different from the culture in the big cities. Australia is a big country, so there is a wide range of different lifestyles.

Living in the Outback is very different from living on the Golden Coast, with all the beaches. Australian culture has been influenced by many different sources. Equality and diversity are highly valued, and Australia is known for its open-mindedness and acceptance.

People here tend to prioritise work/life balance and enjoy a more relaxed, slower pace of life than what is typical in the UK.

Is it Worth Moving to Australia from the UK

Moving to Australia from the UK is a big decision to make, and it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons before you decide. Here are a few points to think about:

Pros

  • Good job opportunities – English is the first language, and there is a job skill shortage, making it easier to find a job if you have the right qualifications.
  • Wages are much higher, and the work/life balance is great.
  • Plus, healthcare is of a high standard.

Cons

  • Removal costs are expensive, and the distance from the UK is quite far.
  • Living costs are higher, including rent, and taxes are generally higher too.

It’s important to look at all the positives and negatives before you make your decision.

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