6 Questions to ask yourself before moving to Australia

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Immigrating is not as easy as deciding to do it and hopping on a plane. It’s a massive undertaking that demands your full attention and commitment.

You can ensure that you’re ready as can be before doing any of the admin by asking yourself the right questions. The answers will reveal if you’re ready to move and if you’re making the best decision for you and your family.

1. Why do I want to move to Australia?

You might already know the answer to this question. Perhaps it’s to further your career or to give your children more opportunities in life.

Whether you know the answer or not, it’ll still be worth your while to pause for a bit and think about why you want to move.

When you’re clear on your reasons for moving, you’ll be able to make choices along the way that support your goals and dreams.

You’ll also quickly realise if you’re moving for the wrong reasons. Don’t move to run away from something. You’ll find that problems tend to follow you wherever you go, and they’re more difficult to manage with the added stress of a adapting to a new country.

2. What are my visa options?

It’s best to explore your visa options as early on in the process as possible. You definitely want to do it before making any financial commitments to your move!

You’ll find that Australia offers many visa options once you start doing research, ranging from work visas to visas that allow you to set up a business in Australia.

Furthermore, each visa category has its own restrictions and eligibility requirements, while offering either temporary or permanent residency.

If you struggle to makes sense of all the visas on offer, speak with a licensed immigration advisor.

Advisors are experts who can assess your visa eligibility, assist with your visa application, and give advice on the immigration process.

3. Can I afford to move to Australia?

Moving abroad is expensive! You’ll have to make sure that you have enough money to move to Australia or give yourself enough time to save up before getting the ball rolling.

The typical costs to budget for are flights, visas, and insurance. You’ll also have to pay for international movers if you’re moving your furniture, as well as storage if you’re planning on keeping some things in your home country. Remember that if you have pets, you’ll also have to include international pet movers in your costs.

It’s more than just the cost of the move, though.

You’ll also have to be able to afford Australia’s cost of living on what you earn in Australia. Start by looking at typical wages in your industry and occupation. Also compare salaries between states and territories – perhaps even between cities.

Once you have an idea of how much you could earn, look at the cost of everyday living expenses, such as:

  • Groceries
  • Rent or house prices
  • Schools
  • Daycare or aftercare
  • Clothing
  • Car prices
  • Public transport
  • Entertainment

You can also expect surprise costs, whether it’s while organizing your move or settling into Australia.

Make sure you can navigate these unexpected expenses by having an emergency savings account. It’s up to you how much money you keep in this account, but it’s advisable to keep the equivalent of up to three months’ salary.

4. Will I qualify for Medicare?

Medicare is Australia’s national healthcare insurance. You’ll qualify for Medicare if you’re on of the following:

You can also enrol for Medicare if you’re a citizen or permanent resident of any of these islands:

  • Norfolk Island
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  • Christmas Island
  • Lord Howe Island

Should none of these categories cover your personal circumstances, and you want to be covered for medical expenses, you’ll have to consider taking out private health insurance.

Even if you qualify for Medicare, you might want to get private health insurance. Your private health insurance can help pay for healthcare costs that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as physiotherapy.

What medical costs do Medicare cover?

Medicare helps with the following medical costs:

  • Seeing a doctor:
    • GP visits
    • Seeing specialists
    • Tests and scans
    • Most surgeries and procedures performed by doctors
    • Eye tests performed by optometrists
  • Getting medicines:
    • Over-the-counter medicines
    • Prescription medicines
  • Accessing mental health care:
    • Seeing doctors or mental health professionals
    • Seeing a social worker
    • Getting support when you’re pregnant
    • Support for people caring for someone with a mental health disorder

5. Where will I live?

Knowing where you’ll live is a big part of moving overseas, and it’s important to find somewhere to settle before you relocate.

The first step is pinpointing two or three cities you’re eager to move to.

The second step is exploring neighbourhoods in each city, taking into consideration factors such as location, cost, available amenities, proximity to schools, and access to public transport.

Finally, it’s time to decide if you want to own or rent a home.

You might find that it’s easier to start out with a rental home. Many people also stay in AirBnB accommodation when they arrive in a new country, and then find a more permanent home.

Renting on AirBnB gives you more freedom and flexibility, and it’s easier to organize from abroad.

6. When do I want to move?

It’s important to have a plan in place when you’re moving countries; it makes life so much easier!

What you want to know is look at the most important dates around which you’ll have to plan your immigration. For instance, the start of a new job or a new school year. These are both factors that affect most singles or families when moving overseas.

Once these dates are on a piece of paper, you can start planning your move backwards. The aim is to be realistic with timelines to allow yourself as much time as possible at each step of your immigration.

It’s crucial to take visa timelines into consideration when doing your planning. You won’t be able to enter Australia without a valid visa, in fact. That includes not being able to work without a work visa or sending your children to school without the appropriate study visas.

In summary

It’s important to ask yourself some tough questions to ensure that you’re moving to Australia for the right reasons – and that you can afford to immigrate. You’ll have to consider a host of everyday costs, ranging from housing to school fees and private health insurance.

Just as important is considering where you’ll live, down to the suburb, and putting together a timeline that’ll enable you to make the move to Australia successfully and without too much unnecessary stress.

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