Did you know? Australia is the second most popular country among Britons after the United States. That could be due to the balmy weather, excellent quality of life, low pollution, or fascinating flora and fauna amid staggering sceneries.
Whether you’re still toying with moving to Australia or are determined to leave your homeland – here are tips and tricks you need to know before flying to the sunburnt country.
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Figure Out the Cost of Living
Developing a budget estimate is critical before moving abroad. Without knowing the average cost of living, you have no clue whether you can sustain yourself.
Numbeo can be useful for doing your research, as can Facebook, Reddit, or Quora, where people share their individual experiences. These websites are also helpful for locating areas that meet your budget and preferences for entertainment, safety, and other factors.
Once you have some recommendations from expats, you can use websites like RealEstate or Domain.com to find virtually every house for sale or rent. These are excellent sites to see what you get for your money, but ensure you choose ‘latest listings’ at the top of the screen, or else you may be looking at offers no longer available.
Once you’ve determined your monthly expenses, fill in a spreadsheet and compare them to your monthly wages or scheduled savings withdrawal. If you find that your finances are dwindling, the most accessible areas to trim costs are usually food and accommodation.
Apply for the Proper Visa
Australia has its own visa regulations that can vary according to your citizenship. There might be two or three visa options, yet one may limit your eligibility for work, while another could be your only choice for permanent residency. Even digital nomads may not just work from anywhere. If you come to Australia on a visitor visa, you’re not allowed to work. Border agents might interrogate you, and if they sense you’re coming for business purposes, they will likely ban you from entering Down Under again.
You must do your homework and apply for the visa appropriate for your situation. You don’t want to take the plunge only to find out your visa doesn’t entitle you to permanent residency.
Before applying for an Australian visa, ask yourself:
Am I eligible for citizenship or permanent residency with this visa?
Are there any limitations work-wise?
Can I get benefits like maternity leave, healthcare, or unemployment?
When will this visa expire?
How often can I renew it?
Find a Decent International Health Insurance
Many expats want international health insurance even in countries with universal healthcare, and rightfully so. The most prominent health insurance companies are Cigna, Aetna, and GeoBlue. But considering those varying deductibles and coverage zones, finding the best plan can be challenging.
Insurance agents can help you find the best plan for your needs and will compare plans and evaluate alternatives for you. A good broker will save you a lot of time at no expense to you. They’ll go through the terms and coverage with you and make adjustments where necessary to have a plan and premium appropriate for you.
Buy Health Insurance, Too
Whether you’ve planned your move meticulously or not, Murphy’s Law is nothing new – anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Your baggage may go astray, entry dates could be pushed back, and then there’s that dreaded jet lag. These troubles can add up to thousands of dollars spent on booking new flights, seeing physicians, or buying replacement goods.
To cover these mishaps, we can recommend World Nomads. Their low-cost insurance covers anything from lost and broken luggage to medical emergencies, and the guys offer customer support around the clock, seven days a week.
Check Your Tax Obligations and Retirement Goals
As Australia has its own investment regulations and tax laws, it pays to do your homework. Before moving to Australia, make sure you grasp the following points to avoid problems with the taxman:
What taxes (if any) are you accountable for?
What income is taxable? (Interests, capital gains, etc.)
Will you be asked to pay taxes in your homeland?
Do your home country and adopted homeland have a tax treaty or totalization agreement?
Are you eligible for a pension fund in Australia? Is it possible to opt out of contributions?
What consequences come with investing money overseas, particularly in tax-deferred accounts?
Choose How to Manage Your Money in Australia
Without a local bank account, you can end up in trouble, like being unable to pay utility invoices. Fortunately, opening a bank account in Australia as a foreigner is straightforward. You can even open one on the Internet or via phone call before you arrive, and it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.
Apart from getting a local bank account, setting up a Wise account is wise indeed. It makes international transfers easy and doesn’t come without horrendous transaction or exchange fees. It’s also cheaper and faster than banks or PayPal!
Decide Wisely What to Pack
Do you think packing and shipping stuff overseas is cheap? It isn’t. Unless you’re a billionaire or your employer bears the expenses (which can easily cost a five-figure sum if you include furnishings), we strongly advise ditching unnecessary items and travelling with baggage only.
Reducing your possessions will save you international shipping and customs fees, not to mention the pesky bureaucracy of registering your import.
Still, you don’t want to rid yourself of everything. Here’s a checklist of what you’d better not throw away:
Items you hold dear
Travel adapters and power banks
Clothes and toiletries for a week
Do you need help with visa matters? ask the Australian migration experts!
You can register with UIS Australia. Our immigration experts will answer any questions you may have.