Moving to Australia
How to Move to Australia from the USA

Ready to start a life in the Land Down Under? If yes, then you’ve come to the right place! Moving to Australia will most likely be an incredible adventure, but it’s unfortunately one that requires much research. Because we know this, we compiled all the information you need to make sure your relocation is as smooth and stress-free as possible. Read on!

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But wait! We recommend accompanying this light reading with some good ol’ Australian acoustic classics! 😉

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

Listen to our Spotify playlist
and get ready to move!

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

Let’s talk money: probably one of the first things that will come to mind when wondering how to move to Australia is how much the move will cost. There are a few factors can largely influence the costs of your move to Australia, but generally the ones that hold the most weight are the size of your move, distance between points A and B, and container-related costs.

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, Australia via sea-freight from the East Coast of the United States.

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

Don’t worry, if you’re considering moving to Australia from the West Coast, we also got your back. Below you can find the average cost of moving different household sizes to Sydney, Australia via sea-freight from the West Coast of the United States.

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.

At the end of the day, you will only know how much your move will cost by requesting quotes. By filling out the form below, you will be able to receive up to 5 free moving quotes, which will ultimately help you save money on your move to Australia!

Moving to Australia?
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How to Move to Australia: Checklist

In case you might need an extra hand remembering all the things that must get done before your move, we have compiled a small list of important points to keep in mind below. In case you’re interested in a full moving abroad checklist instead, we got your back! Check out the following page. 😎

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

Americans Moving to Australia: Visas & Residencies

As an American moving to Australia, you’ll unfortunately need to go through a series of application procedures first. You’ll most likely need to apply for a work visa, which will allow you at one point to be eligible for permanent residency if you’re planning on making Australia your forever home.

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 which allows you to establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia.
Distinguished Talent VisaPermanent visa for people who have an internationally recognized record of exceptional and outstanding achievement in an eligible field.
Employer Nomination Scheme VisaVisa which allows skilled workers nominated by their employer to live and work in Australia permanently.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme VisaVisa which allows skilled workers nominated by their employer in regional Australia, live and work in Australia permanently.
Skilled Independent VisaVisa for invited workers with skills needed in Australia, to live and work permanently anywhere in the country.
Skill Nominated VisaVisa which allows 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 and be granted a permanent visa that allows you to remain in Australia indefinitely. The following visas will grant you permanent residency (for further details on these visas refer to the section above):

  • 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

Unfortunately, taxes will follow you no matter where you move to in this world. The tax system in Australia is a mix of both direct and indirect taxes imposed by both the Commonwealth and State governments. The type of taxes you can expect to find in the country include:

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

Do keep in mind that as an American citizen, your tax duty doesn’t stop once you move out of the United States –your income is still subject to U.S. income tax regardless of where you reside. So it’s important that you carefully check what the tax implications are when moving abroad.

Moving to Australia: Melbourne Beach

Banking in Australia

When moving to Australia you will most likely need to open a bank account at one point or another. Luckily, it’s actually quite simple for foreigners to open a bank account in Australia –you don’t even need to be in the country to do such. The documents that are required to open a bank account include:

  • 100 points worth of documentation when you arrive in Australia — the different types of ID you can provide (e.g.: driver’s license, passport, etc.) are worth a certain number of points;
  • Passport number;
  • Address at which you will be living in the country;
  • Date you plan on arriving in Australia (if you’re opening the account from outside the country);
  • Employment and salary details;
  • Visa with which you will be entering Australia.

Healthcare in Australia

The healthcare system in Australia is a combination of both public and private services. Everyone who is a permanent resident in Australia is eligible to sign up 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.

In case you’re interested, it’s also possible for you to take out a private health insurance in Australia. However, if you feel more comfortable, you can also take out an international health insurance in the United States. With such, you’ll enjoy a coverage for medical emergencies and routine healthcare work.

Costs of Living in Australia

The beautiful coasts, great weather and chill lifestyle might have you ready to drop it all and take the first plane to Australia. And although we understand this, we believe that it’s important that you first carefully evaluate the living expenses in Australia. To make this easier for you, we’ve broken down the living costs for you into three main categories below.

Housing

As you might imagine, the biggest part of your living expenses will come from housing-related costs. The average rent in Australia will vary per city and property size, but on average you can expect to pay around AU$1,692 for a one bedroom apartment in Australia.

Below you can find an overview of Australia’s average rent prices per month across its main cities.

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

Although we’re all fans of eating out, and the famous Aussie chicken parmigiana you can get at any local restaurant is a real tease, we all need to cook for ourselves at one point or another. 😉

Whether it’s to learn how to make typical Aussie dishes, or just to prep any meal that reminds you of home, you’ll certainly need to purchase some groceries. To give you an idea of what you can expect, we compiled a list of common grocery items and their respective average prices below.

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

Depiction of Brisbane when moving to Australia

Leisure

If there’s one thing that’s certain, is that it will be extremely hard for you to get bored in Australia. Whether it’s diving in the Great Barrier Reef or attending a show at the Sydney Opera House, you will most definitely always find something to do in the Land Down Under.

Although a lot of fun activities come at no cost, there are others that unfortunately do. But hey, any investment that you make on having a good time is always worth it! So you know what to expect, below you can find a list of common leisure activities in Australia and their respective average 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

Moving to Australia for Work

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. The steps that you need to follow to make sure your furry friend can joy you on your big move to Australia include:

We recommend that you check out the Australian Government step-by-step guide for further details on how to bring your pet into the country safely.

Moving to Australia, Sydney Opera House

Did You Know…?

  • An Australian resident once tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.
  • It would take you 27 years to visit every single 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 home –crazy, right?!

We hope that after reading this article you feel more than ready to embrace the Aussie culture and become a resident of the Land Down Under. In case you need extra help finding an international mover, allow us to help you through the articles linked below. 🙂