More and more people are heading Down Under in search of a sunnier lifestyle in Australia. With its stunning beaches, buzzing cities, hot summers and mild winters, Oz has always been a major attraction for Brits moving abroad.
Whether it’s buying a house in Australia to retire to or moving for a new job, there is a fair amount of preparation needed before you pack your bags and jet off.
Do you need a visa to live in Australia?
British citizens require a visa to enter Australia, with a specific visa for those who wish to emigrate there.
Retirement visas are available for those over the age of 55. In addition, you must have more than $500,000 in assets and an income of $65,000 (this can include a pension) to qualify for one.
Many younger people that move to Australia apply for a Skilled Migration Visa, which allows them to live and work within the country. This visa is awarded on a points-based system, and the entire process can take up to a year to complete.
Which visa do you need?
The General Skilled Migration Visa includes 5 subsets. These are:
- Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)
- Skilled - Nominated (subclass 190) Visa
- Graduate Temporary (subclass 485) Visa
- Skilled - Nominated or Sponsored Provisional (subclass 489) Visa
- Skilled Regional (subclass 887) Visa
The most common visa is the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189), which allows you to live and work in Australia without requiring sponsorship from a relative, region or the state.
How can I apply for my Australian visa?
You can apply for your visa online via the Australian government website, where a more detailed breakdown of each visa is provided. A helpful questionnaire will also help you to identify which visa you require.
How does the points system work?
Points are awarded on the basis of age, education, proficiency in the English language and experience gained within skilled employment. Applicants will need to score at least 60 points to qualify for a Skilled Migration Visa.
Employment experience must have been gained in one of the occupations on the Australian Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) or Skilled Occupations List (SOL), depending on the visa you apply for.
Points can also be earned based on the criteria of any spouse/partner included on your visa application.
Opening a bank account
Fortunately, setting up your bank account in Australia is quite a simple process. There are a few ways you can do this, including the option to set up your account online or over the phone before moving to Australia.
Australia has a number of well-trusted banks in the country which include Commonwealth Bank.
What currency is used?
The currency used in Australia is the Australian dollar (AUD). Also known as the “Aussie”, the Australian dollar is used by the entirety of mainland Australia, as well as Tasmania, Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, Norfolk Islands. In addition, the independent Pacific Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu, also use the same currency used in Australia. Australian dollars are available in denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 and every dollar is comprised of 100 cents.
If you are moving to Australia from UK, you can track the GBP to AUD rate with our currency chart. In addition, you can even set up a rate alert so we inform you by SMS or email if the rate reaches your desired level before you make an international payment.
Foreign currency exchange for moving to Australia
If you move to Australia from the UK on a permanent basis, you’ll most likely need to transfer money between your Australian and UK bank accounts on more than a few occasions.
Whether buying a house or transferring your pension over to yourself, sending money to Australia from the UK is an essential part of emigrating to Oz. And, with some high-street banks charging as much as £30 in transaction fees per transfer, making these international payments regularly could cost a considerable amount.
That’s why, as a team of foreign currency exchange specialists, we are dedicated to saving you time and money on every overseas payment you make. We offer low transfer fees and competitive exchange rates when you exchange GBP to AUD.