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Moving to Australia from The USA

Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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Thinking of moving to Australia? Living among the koalas, kangaroos and playing the didgeridoo? Well, stereotyping and joking aside, the Land Down Under is a remarkable place to live in. With its warm climate, wonderful collection of wildlife, tasty beer; and super friendly people it is no wonder that millions of Americans decided to make Australia their home. You could be one of them. We will help you get there in not only advice but our service as well. Hint, hint.

But, First… Australian Visas

A woman in a black suit holding a small Australian flag out in front of her between her fingers

When it comes to immigrating, you will need an Australian visa, which is obvious. Unless you have a valid Australian passport then your moving life is already that much easier. However, those people who are not Australian passport holders would have to start applying for their visas, now. Or ASAP.  

There are different types of Australian visas that one can apply for depending on what they need or have access to. However, it is existential that you perform your own research on the requirements of the visas for moving to Australia. Or speak to a professional about them to be on the safe side. With that being said, here are the most common ones for you to check out: 

  • Subclass 309 or Subclass 100. The former is for (provisional) partners while the latter is for (migrant) partners. As in if you are a spouse or a partner of a citizen or permanent resident of Australia you can apply for either one of these types of visas. You can also apply if you are the partner of an eligible New Zealand citizen. However, you can only apply for this type of visa when you are not in the country. So do not start the process while you are visiting the island. 
  • Subclass 463. This is known as the work and holiday visa. But, it is mostly targeted by people aged between 18 and 31 years old; who want to work or/and study in Aus for a year. There are restrictions to it, and you can apply for the visa online. 
  • Subclass 573. This is one of the visas that are for higher education. You have to have been accepted into one of the educational institutions that Australia houses.
  • Subclass 457. If you are a skilled worker looking to make a move, then you may want to consider applying for the subclass 573 visa. It is a temporary work visa, and you would have to be sponsored by an approved business that is based in Australia.
  • Subclass 405. It is also known as the investor retirement visa. It means that self-funded retirees can be eligible for it if they have no dependents, and are over the age of 55 years old. Furthermore, they would also have to meet a certain income threshold while also being able to make a long-term financial investment in the country.  

But, remember to do your research before applying for any type of Australian visa. The more you know the better it will be. However…

What You Need to Apply for a Visa

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Regardless of the type of Australian visa you are aiming to get, you will need these basic items to get the process going: 

  • Current and valid passport (this also includes children, and pets)
  • An application form is completed. These official documents are found on the DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) site
  • Copies of the biographical pages of your passport/ travel document, and copies of your birth certificate where all the copies are officially certified
  • Recent passport photography, two of them
  • Money to pay the visa fee
  • Police clearance certificate if you are planning to apply for a permanent residence visa

Depending on the type of Australian visa you are going after will indicate how long it will take the Department to process it. For example, a partner visa can take an average of between 17 and 23 months. A work and holiday visa can be processed on an average of 38 days if you apply online. This is why you should apply for your visa as soon as possible, preferably, now. 

Move Long Distance Easily With Shyft

Before Your Moving to Australia Day Arrives

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Moving is a process which means that preparation is a requirement. However, this is not just about packing, booking flights, applying for visas, etc. But, also about making sure that you do the following things before you get moving to Australia…  

One of the first things that you should do is to cancel your subscriptions such as insurance, utilities, internet, etc. We would suggest that you do not cancel your streaming subscriptions but do check if there is a change in the price. Another item you should do before your moving D-day is to tell your banks and offices that you are leaving the country. This can also include telling your supervisor of election, other government offices, as well as the IRS.  

Furthermore, you would want to move to a new country with a fresh start. And, the best way to do this is to pay off all your loans. Well, as much as you can. This includes mortgages, student, and car loans. However, if you are unable to, which is understandable, then you should make a plan to continue making payments from an international account while you are living in Australia.

Plus, you would want to make sure that you have all your official paperwork on your person before you move. This includes medical records from your doctors and dentist. So, when you move to Australia you can hand over these documents to your new dentist and doctor. And, you should also forward your mail to your new address. 

You can do so by speaking to your USPS branch to see what you need to do to get your mail forwarded if need be in Australia.

Healthcare in Australia

 A group of nurses and doctors standing wearing masks and posing for a photo

While we mentioned medical documents, let’s briefly talk about the Australian healthcare system. It is a mixture of private and public programs. The latter is called Medicare and every citizen of Australia is eligible for it as well as can have either subsidized or free treatment by health professionals. 

However, if you are not yet an Australian citizen then you would want to opt to take out a private health insurance policy. This policy is designed for expats from the US.

Setting Up a Bank Account While in The US

A woman standing in front of a cash machine happy to withdraw some cash

Thanks to the fastest and the interconnection of the internet you can now set up a lot of things before you even leave your current US home. This includes opening up a bank account in Australia while still being in the United States. And, you should since it will help you establish your Wilde Brown Land roots faster when you land on the island of unusual animals. 

The first thing you would want to do is to research and find the right bank in Australia for you. There are plenty of Australian banks that offer migrant programs to help people, such as yourself, to transfer money from their US accounts into Australian ones as soon as possible. Furthermore, when you move to Australia you can go straight to the bank where your account is held and start to withdraw your money. However, you will need the requested proof of identification.  

Another great thing about using the migrant program is that it will make it easier for you to apply for other bank products such as credit cards, saving accounts, and more. Every bank can offer you something else, so it is best to research before you get to applying. Furthermore, certain banking branches such as HSBC and Citibank can help you transfer a range of their services from the US to Australia.  

Plus, you can also take the option of having a credit card in the United States that is designed to handle overseas spending. These types of cards can waive the exchange rate transaction fees, helping you save some money while you spend in Oz. However, it is best to research more intensely about it.

What to Know About Taxes in Australia

A couple sitting on a bed smiling while discussing and doing their Australian taxes

When it comes to moving to Australia or any other country (even one that is in the same language field as your own, English, outside of the slang) you would still have to know about taxes. There is the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) which is similar to the IRS. You may have the obligation to both the ATO and IRS even after you move to Aus. So, better check this information out with a professional.  

The ATO uses the taxes that are paid by Australian residents or people who are considered as such. To become a tax payer in Australia you would have to have been living in the country permanently, and in the same place, for six consecutive months while having a job. The government uses the tax money to pay for schools, roads, airports, hospitals, police services, etc.  

Furthermore, the amount of tax you pay to the ATO is dependent on how much you earn. This is in terms of your income, investments and business or government benefits. You would want to report what you have earned as well as file a tax return by applying for a TFN (tax file number) from ATO. 

The Hint We Mentioned at The Start- Long Distance Move with Shyft

Close-up of a finger pointing to Australia on a globe

When you have all your paperwork in order and are ready to move to Australia, why not contact Shyft to organize it all? Shyft is the world's first tech-driven moving platform that does all the nitty, gritty parts when it comes to moving. We are there for you every step of the way. From being on call to you seven days a week to helping you find vetted moving companies. And, making sure all your moving needs are meant and kept up. 

Just visit the Shyft Moving website to find out more, and to get in touch with the team to get your move on.  

When you contact Shyft, a Move Coach is required to give you a video call through the free-to-download mobile app: Shyft Next. You will have to install it, but it is quick and easy. It is through this app that you will be able to see and speak to your Move Coach. Furthermore, it is also during this first meeting that your Move Coach will take a virtual tour around your current home with you as the tour guide. 

Simply walk around your home to show them what you want to take with you to Australia through the app. They will not be in the same room as you, hence the app. The purpose of this virtual tour is so that your Move Coach can create your inventory list for you. This list will be 95% accurate, and it will be sent to you within half an hour from the end of the meeting.

A woman leaning against a half-wall while looking at her tablet at a map of the Australia

You get to check the list and make it 100%. When you are satisfied you simply send it back to your Move Coach with your sign or satisfaction, and they will get to work on the next step. This is when we take your list and your moving details (no personal ones) to the secure Move Board. It is here where experienced, and vetted moving companies bid on moving gigs. You will be in the bunch.  

This is where your Move Coach will gather three or more moving quotes. Each one is from a different moving company. These quotes along with information about the movers are sent your way. All the quotes are fixed and you decide which one mover is the best for you. And, the moving companies also have experience in doing international moves. Therefore, some of them, as well as Shyft, can help you with your paperwork, customs, etc. 

Moving with Shyft will save you money and time. So get your move going since the kangaroos are waiting to have a beer with you. Happy, and safe travels.

A little girl lying down on a bed holding up a koala teddy bear