Moving to Australia
How to Move to Australia from the USA

Ready to start life in the Land Down Under? Moving to Australia will be an incredible adventure, but it’s one that requires a lot of research. To make your moving experience as smooth as can be, we created this expat relocation guide covering moving costs, costs of living, life in Australia and more. Read on!

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Moving to Australia from the USA: How Much Does It Cost?

Let’s talk money! The first thing that comes to mind when moving to Australia is how much it is going to cost. The average cost for a move to Australia comes in around $10,500. Be warned, though, that there are many reasons to fall above or below the average.

Several factors will influence the cost of your move to Australia, but those that hold the most weight are size of your move, distance, and container-related costs.

SireloTip! Having trouble estimating the size of your move? Our handy Moving Space Calculator will help bring you to an approximate figure in just a few clicks!

Moving to Australia from the East Coast

To give you an idea of what you can expect, below you can find the average cost of moving different household sizes to Sydney via sea-freight from the East Coast.

Property SizeTimeAverage Cost
1-bedroom8 – 11 weeks$3,500 – $4,800
2-bedrooms6 – 8 weeks$4,600 – $6,300
3-bedrooms6 – 8 weeks$8,100 – $11,000
4-bedrooms6 – 8 weeks$8,600 – $11,800

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the rates shown above are just estimates and thus will vary depending on your actual point of departure.

Moving to Australia from the West Coast

If you’re considering moving to Australia from the West Coast, we’ve got your back! Below you can find the average cost of moving different household sizes to Sydney via sea-freight from the West Coast.

Property SizeTimeAverage Cost
1-bedroom7 – 10 weeks$3,100 – $4,400
2-bedrooms5 – 7 weeks$4,300 – $5,800
3-bedrooms5 – 7 weeks$7,300 – $9,900
4-bedrooms5 – 7 weeks$7,900 – $10,600

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the rates shown above are just estimates and thus will vary depending on your actual point of departure.

Finding the Right Movers for Your Move to Australia

If you have concluded that determining the costs of moving to Australia is not an exact science, you would be right on the money! In fact, you will never know how much your moving costs will be until you receive a quote from a moving company.

Because we believe in shopping around for the right mover for you, we recommend comparing as many quotes as possible. To make things easy, by completing the form below you will receive up to five no-strings-attached moving quotes absolutely free of charge!

Moving to Australia?
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How to Move to Australia: Checklist

To help you remember everything that needs to be done before moving to Australia, we have noted the most important points below.

  • Request quotes and choose an international mover
  • Gather all important documents (e.g.: passports, birth certificates, visas, etc.)
  • Notify government agencies (e.g.: tax, post-service) about your move to Australia
  • Cancel your subscriptions, utilities and ongoing transactions
  • Open a bank account once you arrive
  • Organize your healthcare in Australia as soon as you arrive

Need a full moving abroad checklist? We thought you might! Check out the following page. 😎

Americans Moving to Australia: Visas & Residencies

As an American moving to Australia, you’ll need a little ticket to ride called a visa. If you plan on working in Australia, you will need to apply for a work visa. If you’re planning on making Australia your forever home, you can start down the path of earning a permanent residency!

✅ Work Visas in Australia

When it comes to work-related permits, Australia offers expats a wide variety of visas to choose from. Among those, the most common ones include:

Visa TypeDescription
Business Talent VisaPermanent visa for establishing a new or develop an existing business.
Distinguished Talent VisaPermanent visa for those with an internationally recognized record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in an eligible field.
Employer Nomination Scheme VisaPermanent visa for skilled workers nominated by their employer.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme VisaPermanet visafor skilled workers nominated by their employer in regional Australia.
Skilled Independent VisaPermanent visa for invited workers with skills needed in Australia.
Skill Nominated VisaPermanent visa for nominated skilled workers live and work in Australia as permanent residents.

The requirements for these work permits will vary depending on which visa you apply for. However, the general requirements include:

  • A valid passport
  • A valid birth certificate
  • A set of required skills (if applicable)
  • At least a competent level of English
  • You must be under 45 years of age;
  • Police clearance (applicable when applying for a permanent residence visa)
  • You must meet the Australian health and character requirements

Moving to Australia: Depiction of Sydney's Opera House

✅ Residency

To become a permanent resident in Australia you would need to apply for a permanent visa, which allows you to remain in Australia indefinitely. The following visas will grant you permanent residency after moving to Australia:

  • Business Talent Visa
  • Distinguished Talent Visa
  • Employer Nomination Scheme Visa
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa
  • Skilled Independent Visa
  • Skilled Nominated Visa

Besides being able to reside in the country indefinitely, obtaining a permanent residency brings along a great deal of perks, including:

  • Enroll in the country’s national healthcare scheme
  • Become a true Aussie by applying for a citizenship
  • Work and study in Australia
  • Work in New Zealand
  • Sponsor eligible family members for permanent residency

Taxes in Australia

Now onto everyone’s favorite topic…taxes! The Australian tax system is a mix of both direct and indirect taxes imposed by both the Commonwealth and State governments. The taxes you can expect include:

  • Goods and service tax (sales tax) of around 10%
  • Excise tax (e.g.: fuel, tobacco, etc.)
  • Property tax
  • Income tax

SireloTip! Does a US citizen living in Australia have to play US taxes? Yes! Because the US applies global taxation, Uncle Sam still gets his cut. Learn more about the implications this might have for you.

Moving to Australia: Melbourne Beach

Arranging Finances

Opening a bank account after moving to Australia is a first order of business. Luckily the process is quite simple for expats to open accounts in Australia. You don’t even need to be in the country! Commonly required documents include:

  • 100 points worth of documentation — forms of identification (e.g.: driver’s license, passport, etc.) are worth points
  • Passport number
  • Australian address
  • Planned date of arrival
  • Employment and salary details
  • Australian visa

Healthcare in Australia

The healthcare system in Australia is a combination of both public and private services. Permanent residents are eligible for Medicare, which provides free care in public hospitals and covers the costs of certain medicines. To register for Medicare, you will be asked to provide:

  • A valid passport
  • Travel documents
  • Permanent visa

If you would prefer to take out a private health insurance in Australia, this is of course possible. Many Americans feel more comfortable taking out international health insurance in the United States, which will provide you with coverage for medical emergencies and routine healthcare.

Work in Australia

When it comes to working in Australia, there are a few industries that seem to be enjoying of the largest level of growth and which are popular among expats. Such include:

  • Healthcare and social assistance
  • Retail trade
  • Construction
  • Professional, scientific and technical services
  • Education and training

We recommend the use of the following platforms when scouting for a job in Australia:

Moving to Australia with Pets

Wondering how to move to Australia with pets? Don’t worry, we got you! To ensure your furry friend can move to Australia with you, complete the following steps:

We recommend that you check out the Australian Government step-by-step guide for further details.

Costs of Living in Australia

We have talked a lot about how to move to Australia, but what about after moving? Understanding what the costs of living in Australia should be a critical area of your move planning.

In fact, Australia is the 14th most expensive country to live in, requiring $2,835 per month for a single person to live comfortably. This makes the cost of living in Australia vs USA a sharp jump.

However, the cost of living in Australia will differ greatly depending on your area, just like back home. To help you along in your financial planning, we dive into common expense areas below.

Housing

As you might imagine, housing will be the biggest part of your living expenses. Australian rents will vary per city and property size, but on you can expect to pay on average AU$1,692 for a one bedroom apartment in Australia. Below we list more common prices:

CityAverage Rent (AU$)Average Rent (US$)
SydneyAU$2,320US$1,614
MelbourneAU$1,820US$1,266
BrisbaneAU$1,760US$1,224
PerthAU$1,540US$1,071
AdelaideAU$1,560US$1,085
CanberraAU$2,240US$1,558

Please keep in mind that the prices reflected above are just estimates. The rent can vary depending on location, characteristics of the property and your city of choice.

Food and Groceries

Whether you will try out some new Aussie recipes or chef up some classic comfort food, your grocery budget will factor big into your life after moving to Australia. To give you an idea of what to expect, we compiled a list of common grocery items and their typical prices.

Grocery ItemAverage Price
A loaf of breadAU$2.53
1 gallon of milkAU$6.11
1 lb. of local cheeseAU$4.76
1 lb. chicken filetsAU$4.85
1 lb. of beef roundAU$7.79
1 lb. of potatoesAU$1.51
1 head of lettuceAU$2.67
A bottle of wineAU$15

What Is It Like Living in Australia?

With all the thought and planning into moving to Australia, remember to stop and think what living in Australia will actually be like! Being a continent unto itself, you can expect Australia to be a pretty diverse place, and it is! To give you insight into the various regions, we detail some highlights below:

Sydney

Australia’s major capital, being the hub of culture and economics. Here salaries are the highest, as are the living costs. However, year-round pristine weather and unbeatable harbor views keep more and more expats flocking into Sydney’s borders.

Melbourne

Dubbed one of the most livable cities in the world, Melbourne is a hub of culture, sports, and, most importantly, coffee culture!

Perth

Residents believe that Perth is one of the world’s best kept secrets. With a population of 2 million, it is a bona fide metro area. However, it is so isolated that you can note a sense of island culture in how laid back everyone seems to be.

Gold Coast

The region south of Brisbane, the Gold Coast is famed for its pristine beaches, attracting surfers and vacationers from all over the world.

Outback

A vast area of rugged terrain, the outback is a paradise for explorers. However, apart from being hot, dry and isolated, the world’s most poisonous critters live out there!

Depiction of Brisbane when moving to Australia

Benefits of Living in Australia

While we are sure that you are already convinced of the benefits of living in Australia, why not celebrate some of the main points with us? And because into every life some rain must fall, we also list a few of the very few cons below:

Pros:

  • ✅ High minimum wages and salary standard
  • ✅ Paradise for outdoor enthusiasts
  • ✅ Unique wildlife
  • ✅ Diverse and welcoming population

Cons:

  • ❎ Expensive housing market
  • ❎ Isolation from other countries
  • ❎ Cultural hubs limited to big cities
  • ❎ Vast distances between cities

Moving to Australia, Sydney Opera House

Americans Moving to Australia

Did you know that Australia is home to the sixth largest American expat population? Given that there are no American military bases in Australia, like in Germany and Japan, this is even more impressive!

This means that after moving to Australia from the US, it will not be challenging to connect with the more than 90,000 American expats living in the Land Down Under.

How to get connected? Get online! By joining online expat forums and attending expat meetups, you will reconnect with your fellow Americans and broaden your social circle in no time.

Things to Do in Australia

If one thing is certain, it is that you are unlikely to be bored after moving to Australia. Whether it is diving in the Great Barrier Reef or attending a show at the Sydney Opera House, you will always find something to do in the Land Down Under.

So you know what to expect, we list common leisure activities in their typical prices.

ActivityAverage Price
One ticket to Sydney’s Opera HouseAU$56.8
Two movie ticketsAU$35
Dinner for two at an Italian restaurantAU$110
Monthly gym membershipAU$68
One ticket to SEA LIFE, Sydney’s AquariumAU$48
A cappuccino at a local caféAU$4.69

Did You Know…?

  • An Australian resident once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.
  • It would take you 27 years to visit every beach in Australia, if you visit one new beach every day.
  • Australia is home to 10 of the world’s 15 most poisonous snakes as well as a huge number of venomous spiders… lovely.
  • More than 80% of Australians live within 100 kilometers of the coast.
  • In the mid-1960s, Australian athlete Reg Spiers posted himself from London to Australia because he had no money to buy a plane ticket homecrazy, right?!

Moving to Australia Made Easy at Sirelo!

We hope that by now you feel more than ready to embrace the Aussie culture and become a resident of the Land Down Under. Need further assistance for your move? Then check out the useful articles linked below for further reading. Good luck! 🙂