Moving to Australia for long-term work and travel: what to expect

Career Advice
15 May 2018 | Career Advice | Guest Author

Being listed in the “The World’s Top 10 Best Countries to Live In,” Australia has naturally become an even more desirable place for people itching to holiday or live overseas. Blessed with abundant spaces, beautiful land and seascapes as well as exotic flora and fauna, the Land Down Under remains a magnet for adventure and thrill-seekers, backpacking tourists, and migrants seeking stability in foreign shores.

If you have been successful in getting an Australia skilled immigration visa, congratulations! You’re on your way to starting a new career and life in the land of roos and wombats. You can now start preparing for your big move and exciting journey ahead.

 Getting Ready for Your Move

Part of preparing well for your new life in Australia is knowing what you can look forward to and what to watch out for once you arrive in the country. Here are some of the things you can expect once you move to the Land Down Under:

1. Living costs vary from one city to another

According to an article published in The Conversation, Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane have the highest cost of living standards in Australia. As such, the cost of rent, basic utilities, medical insurance, and other services are higher here. The upside is that salaries and minimum wages are also higher in these cities.

Knowing the cost of living in the city you are headed for is important so that you can come up with a tentative budget for your accommodation.

After all, the first thing you need to have once you arrive in Australia is a place where you can stay. Unless you will be staying with a relative or friend or your housing will be arranged by your employer, you will need to include payment for your temporary or permanent accommodation in your budget or pocket money.

The good news is there is always a variety of property options you can choose from and, as such, you will definitely find one that will suit your budget.

2. The country has an excellent public transport system 

Australia has an impressive, extensive, and reliable bus network which is affordable and serves as a convenient way to travel in and out of a city. In most cities, the local bus service operates continuously throughout the day.

In terms of railways, the main rail network in the country is the Great Southern Railway. This rail work system covers nearly the entire country and is primarily used for traveling long distances.

For in-city railways, each city has its own rail system. Sydney, for instance, has the City Circle located in the city’s central business area.

Taxis also abound in all cities across Australia. You can also use Uber and other ride-booking services in certain cities there. 

3. You will have to get a Tax File Number (TFN)

If you will be working in Australia, apply for a TFN. The TFN is a reference number in Australia’s tax system.

Although this isn’t mandatory, people who do not have a TFN tend to pay more in taxes. It is best to get a TFN since applying for one is free and you can apply as soon as you have your work visa.

4. Access to quality healthcare

If you hold a visa allowing you to work in Australia, you can apply for a Medicare card. This is Australia’s publicly funded universal healthcare system. Once you have your card, you can avail of free medical treatments.

However, this healthcare system does not cover everything and is restricted to treatments that are deemed “medically necessary” as stated in the agreement. If you want more coverage, you can get private health insurance.

5. You will have to get used to Australian English

English is the primary language in Australia. As such, moving here means you won’t have to learn a new language if you already know English.

But you will have to get used to a different accent — that well-known Australian twang. You will need to be familiar with the various slangs, colloquialisms, and short forms you will hear and use in the country. 

6. A well-balanced lifestyle

With its warm climate, beaches, and excellent terrain, Australia is the perfect place to find a balance between having an easygoing lifestyle and enjoying various outdoor activities and adventures.

Wherever you will be staying, you will find a place where you can relax. You can commune with nature in various parks and forests as well.

Australia’s beaches will also allow you to enjoy some “me” time while getting a tan or simply just lying on the seaside. If you want to try some exciting water sport or activity, you will find them at any one of the local beaches as well.

7. A multicultural experience 

Lastly, Australia is a multiracial and multicultural country and as such, you can learn about and immerse yourself in different cultures. You will experience this in the country's food and lifestyle.

 You won’t have a hard time feeling at home even if you are in a foreign land since you will find something familiar and someone friendly in this country. And this is one of the most important reasons why Australia is the top destination for a lot of immigrants. 


Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years. 

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