Use this comprehensive guide to prepare your move to Australia.
24 months before moving to Australia
- Plan a visit to Australia to help decide which city you want to live in. There’s nothing quite like an in-the-flesh experience to meet the people, experience the sights and sounds, and see other factors like lifestyle, traffic, houses, recreational facilities, and culture.
- Announce your intentions to your family and friends.
- Investigate your visa options and start preparing a visa application. Remember, some visas can take up to 2 years to be granted. See: Move To Australia – Australian visas
18 months before moving to Australia
- Prepare a budget, including paying off your existing debts and arriving with Australian money in your back pocket.
- Depending on your Australian visa choice, submit the application. Collate all your documents such as birth and marriage certificates, references, qualifications etc. You will need these for your visa application. Note: each visa requires different items, so be sure to look through the ENTIRE application as there can be some hidden requirements.
12 months before moving to Australia
- Start investigating renting or buying a house in Australia, including the likelihood and processes around selling your existing home (if applicable).
- Start networking with Australian companies in your country, or investigate opportunities in Australia with your current employer.
- Check your passports to ensure their validity exceeds 2 years.
10 months before moving to Australia
- Put your house on the market (if applicable).
- Investigate what you need to do in order to move your pets (if applicable).
8 months before moving to Australia
- Research flights to Australia.
- Start applying for jobs in Australia.
6 months before moving to Australia
- If you have kids, inform their schools of your intentions to move to Australia (this has particular significance when moving to Australia from the UK, as the Australian school year runs from January to December and the 6 month difference in curriculum should be planned for).
- Research potential schools/universities for your children (if applicable).
- Contact your pension companies to assess whether to transfer your pension to pensions or superannuations funds Australia or not.
- Get quotes from freight and shipping companies to move your possessions
- Apply for any required police clearances as it can take up to 3 months (some visas require you to submit these with the application and you may require it for certain professions such as teaching).
- Research the cost of living in Australia so that you can revise your budget with greater accuracy
4 months before moving to Australia
- Get your medical/health check done (some visas require you to submit these with the application, though they only have a 1 year validity).
3 months before moving to Australia
- Book your flights to Australia.
- Apply for an Australian bank account.
- Obtain credit references from your bank.
- Commence the conversation with your employer that you intend to move to Australia (some employers require 3 months notice, but it’s just courteous to give them ample time to hire your replacement and for you to help train them).
Two months before moving to Australia
- Pack boxes and ship your possessions to Australia.
- Start looking work in Australia (sign up with Recruitment agencies in Australia).
- Book temporary accommodation for the first week or so (or ask any friends if you are able to stay with them).
- Book a hire car for your first few weeks in Australia.
- Register your kids at their chosen schools.
- Arrange for your pets to be sent to Australia.
One month before moving to Australia
- Resign from your job.
- Give notice on your rental lease and find a replacement for your room/flat/house (if applicable).
- Commence work handover.
- Remove your name from utility bills and council tax.
- Give notice on other financial obligations, such as your mobile phone and gym contract.
- Make arrangements with your bank to close accounts and pay off any debts.
- Cancel any insurance policies you might have.
- Cancel all future direct debits and stop orders.
- Sell your unwanted furniture and appliances.
- Confirm your flights to Australia bookings.
- Obtain a no claims bonus form from your insurer – this could save you hundreds of dollars a year on house and car insurance in Australia.
- List your car in the classifieds or engage with a dealer to sell it.
3 weeks before moving to Australia
- If you have one, send a forwarding address to all your contacts and arrange for a re-direction of your post.
- Prepare a list of all the companies from whom you receive mail and either cancel, forward to Australia or opt in to paperless statements.
- Plan your farewells.
2 weeks before moving to Australia
- Get work reference.
- Get a landlord reference, if renting.
- Start packing up the rest of your possessions (and disposing of those which you don’t want).
1 week before moving to Australia
- Sort out your Tax Refund and P45 if migrating from Britain.
- Farewell gatherings.
- Organise transport to the airport.
- Cancel your car insurance.
- Arrange for a money transfer to Australia.
Moving to Australia day
- Finalise packing, especially if you have kids.
- Ensure you have your tickets and passports.
See you in the Lucky Country!
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DISCLAIMER: All the above information is subject to change and intended as a guide only. Consult a migration expert and relevant government agencies for the most up to date advice.