Moving from UK to Australia – Everything You Need to Know
Are you excited to move to the land down under? Sure, Australia has massive sharks prowling its coastlines. It has venomous snakes, gargantuan spiders and countless other critters lurking in the wilderness. But the country also has great beer, amazing barbecues, and incredible weather. There, you can surf and ski all in the same day. Best of all, you can finally get away from the cold and dreary weather in the UK. Before you get too excited, there are a few things you need to know about this country.
Here’s a little guide to help you learn all the essentials before the big move.
Applying for a Visa
All the brave souls moving to Australia on a permanent basis will have to apply for one of two types of visas— retirement or skilled worker. Get to know each type, and select the one that’s most appropriate for your unique circumstances.
- Retirement Visa
You have to be at least 55 years old to qualify for this. You must have no dependents, but a partner is acceptable. You should have as much as $500,000 in assets, and you must be earning at least $65,000.
- Skilled Work Visa
You can apply for several kinds of skilled worker visas. For instance, you can get an independent visa if your occupation is highly in demand in Australia. You can use SkillSelect, a government calculator, to determine your eligibility. If that doesn’t work out, you can be sponsored by a family member in Australia or by the government itself.
Managing Your Finances
- Open an overseas bank account
Start a new bank account if you plan on migrating. It will make things a whole lot easier for you when you settle in. It’s mostly easy to set up a new bank account from the UK in certain countries, but at times, banks won’t allow you to do it unless you have a residential address.
The best thing for you to do is to ask your bank if they have a banking presence in Australia. This way, they can help you open a new account from the UK without any hassle.
- Transfer money overseas
Now that you’ve set up a new account, you should be able to transfer your money. Note that transferring money using your UK bank account is going to be expensive, and the process will take a while. But there’s a cheaper and faster alternative that you should look into— a specialist money transfer company.
Each company offers different services and rates, so be sure to assess various platforms before selecting one.
- Don’t forget about your taxes
Moving away from the UK doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be exempted from paying taxes. Let’s say you continue to receive income from renting out property in the UK even when you’ve already moved to Australia. You would still have to pay income tax if it’s greater than your personal allowance.
Remember to inform the HM Revenue and Customs if you plan on living abroad permanently or you intend to work overseas full-time for at least one full tax year.
- Sort out your pension
You can still claim your State Pension if you retire overseas. Of course, you need to have paid enough UK National Insurance to qualify for it. Hence, don’t forget to keep paying your National Insurance if you want to claim your State Pension in the future.
- Determine the cost of healthcare
If you plan on living abroad permanently, you will no longer qualify for healthcare paid for by the UK. That’s because the NHS healthcare system is residence-based. You also have to notify your GP so that you can be removed from the NHS register.
- Rebuild your credit history
Unfortunately, you can’t take the credit history you’ve built with you when you move abroad. You need to start all over again. You most likely will have to survive on your income and savings for the first few months. It would be wise to start an emergency fund if you’ve got enough time left before the big move.
Cost of Living
Australia isn’t cheap. But you don’t have to be scared if you are to be employed in the country. Their strong wages will help you start a new and, hopefully, comfortable life in the land down under.
Here’s a comparison between the cost of living in London and Sydney:
- Consumer prices in Sydney are 6.94% lower than in London
- Rent prices are 14.58% lower than in London
- Groceries are 10.19% higher than in London
- Local purchasing power in Sydney is 30.89% higher than in London
Home Away From Home
Perth is the go-to city for British expats. This young and bustling city is popular with Brits mainly for its lush beaches and sub-tropical climate. They make the perfect getaway from UK’s usually dull and damp weather.
Sydney is home to the world’s largest natural harbor, and it’s arguably one of the most famous attractions for expats from around the world, Brits included. It has many appeals to tourists and residents alike. It offers a perfect combination of nature and city.
Brits are drawn to this multi-cultural city for a variety of reasons. It’s either the food, festivals, wineries, fashion or the music scene. There’s never a dull moment in Melbourne. Here, you can sunbathe at the beach or ski down one of its slopes.
This bustling metropolis has breathtaking views of natural sceneries and world-famous wine regions you definitely have to visit. Compared to other cities in Australia, Adelaide offers the same urban living experience, but at a lower cost.
British expats move to Hobart to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. You can go there to embrace a slower pace of life, where you can sit back and enjoy the culturally diverse and scenic city.
Now that you know all the essentials, you can start preparing for your big move. And if you’re taking your family with you, don’t worry. Australia’s outstanding education system, the welcoming culture, and their love for the outdoors make it a great place to raise a family.
This article was written by Jessica, the head of content for Hire A Box – her father’s company dealing with packing and moving boxes. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling around the world to different surf spots and tasting the local cuisine.