Australia is the top destination for emigrating British citizens, with over 28,000 of us moving there in 2010. If you want to make the best of your new home, however, you’ll need to be on top of the key details.
The process of applying for and obtaining an appropriate visa can be onerous, but is absolutely vital when organising your move. Unless you know that you can stay in Australia for as long as required, your plans will always be subject to sudden change. Don’t be tempted to put off the process or attempt to apply once you have emigrated.
There are many different Australian visas available, all of which depend on your particular status. If you are moving to Australia to retire or simply to stay for a brief period without working, then a retirement or visitor visa should be relatively easy to arrange. In contrast, moving to Australia whilst still of working age is more challenging, and you will probably require a so-called ‘skilled visa’ in order to find employment.
Choosing Your Region
Whether you are able to obtain a visa can sometimes depend on which region of Australia you choose as your new home. In fact, this choice will condition much of your experience, as the different states and cities have their own unique identities. For example, Sydney boasts a reputation as one of the centres of cultural life in the country, whilst Perth revels in its beautiful beaches and the magnificent isolation of Western Australia. If the heat of mainland Australia proves too much, then the island of Tasmania might be more suitable for you. Whatever you are looking for, it can be found in Australia after a little research.
The average expatriate has already built up significant savings and assets in their country of origin, and all of that cash needs to be transferred. Fortunately, you can set up an Australian bank account whilst still in the UK, thus avoiding any difficulty over logistics such as proof of address. When transferring your money, though, it is best to avoid using your bank. Instead, considering using a currency exchange broker, thus taking advantage of the better rates offered. This can save you thousands, and is well worth the effort.
Looking After Your Health
Wherever you are living, adequate healthcare is vital. Whilst anyone holding a permanent visa is able to enrol in the publicly funded Medicare scheme, 25 per cent of any private healthcare costs must be funded personally. This is on top of the various medical procedures which Medicare does not cover. For this reason, it is vital to take out a comprehensive expatriate health insurance plan. After all, the last thing that anyone wants when struggling with illness or injury is a battle to obtain proper medical treatment.
Jessica Saxon is an expatriate herself who writes for a hobby. She has lived and worked in Dubai, Australia and around Europe and hopes her articles will help those who are considering a move abroad.