Thousands of people choose to move to Australia each and every year, and it’s easy to see why. A country that defined by its golden coastlines, clear blue skies and laidback lifestyle are just some of the attractions Australia poses, particularly for Irish people. Moving so far from home can be a daunting prospect, not to mention a financial risk. However, with enough thorough research ahead of the big move, it can be smooth sailing. To get you started, we’re detailing some of the most important points to consider when planning a move to Australia.
If you are intending to work, study, set up business or even just live permanently in Australia, you need to ensure you acquire the correct visa to suit your circumstances. There are dozens of options, and a set of requirements for each. For example, a working holiday visa (417) allows 18-30 year olds to study, travel and work in Australia for up to one year. There are also a number of permanent visas. The good news is that the Australian visa application process is much more concise in comparison to many countries across the world.
The Australian Department of Immigration has an excellent website to help you find the correct visa, and also helps to walk you step by step through the entire process. Do keep in mind that visa regulations are subject to change, so you should refer to the Australian Department of Immigration website for the most up to date information. Don’t delay in getting this process started, depending on your circumstances your visa could take up to 6-8 months to process.
- Choosing your destination
When it comes to relocating to a country as vast as Australia, it can be difficult to choose which city to live in. Australia certainly isn’t a country short of vibrant and cultural cities. From Sydney, to Melbourne and Perth, to name but a few, each city has their own unique draws.
Australia’s largest and perhaps most iconic city, Sydney, boasts a vibrant cultural and social lifestyle. It is home to many of the country’s famous landmarks, and has so much to offer in terms of history, culture and quality of life. It’s an ideal location for young professionals hoping to start the next chapter of their adult life. On the other hand, Perth, although slightly more remote, is home to a large Irish community and offers a famously relaxed way of life.
- Health insurance options
Medicare is the basis of Australia’s health care system, and covers many health care costs. It is publicly funded and operated by the Department of Human Services, and is actually regarded as one of the most efficient healthcare systems in the world. If you become a permanent Australian resident, you will be entitled to Medicare services in the public system, and will be entitled to purchase the same private health insurance policies as any citizen.
If you are moving to Australia on a temporary visa, such as a working holiday visa or study visa, you will not be entitled to Medicare services. However, due to a reciprocal agreement between Ireland and Australia, if you require emergency assistance for any urgent health issue, you will be entitled to receive immediate treatment in the public health system. You should note, however, that for this you will still need to take out overseas visitors cover.
- Transporting your belongings
Regardless of your reason for relocating to Australia, whether it be to work, study, set up business or otherwise, you’ll likely have some amount of personal belongings to bring with you. Relocating to Australia from Ireland is an expensive process in itself, before considering the costs involved in transporting your belongings such a distance. The best first step to take is to get rid of some of your unwanted belongings. You’ll be thankful for the declutter when it comes to transporting everything, and especially when it comes to unpacking in your new home. The good news is that luggage shipping companies offer a convenient and affordable way for transporting your possessions on the long-haul journey. Ultimately, it erases the worry of adhering to your airline’s strict allowances, and is often a much more cost-effective option for those on a tight relocation budget than hiring an international removals company.
- Finding a job
Australia has long been a dream destination for Irish workers seeking new opportunities abroad. Although the employment market in Australia has changed dramatically in recent years, there are certainly still plenty of opportunities to be found, so long as you ensure to take the time to do thorough research beforehand. The market has, inevitably, become increasingly competitive and employers expect candidates to be a significant asset to the business. The best way to get ahead is to have a job offer lined up in advance of relocating, and international recruitment agencies such as Hays and Adecco can help you with this.
- Support groups
Relocating to a destination such as Australia is as scary as it is exciting. Thankfully, there are plenty of Irish organisations based in Australia that you can seek out for support. Whilst it’s important to integrate into your new community and immerse yourself in Australian life and culture, no one is immune to bouts of homesickness. Having an Irish community in Australia can help to keep your homesickness at bay, as well as help you to find like-minded people.