Moving to Au
MOVING TO AUSTRALIA
Be sure to see the work in Australia available to you on our Australian Jobs page.
Once the excitement of finally having that residence visa in you passports starts wearing off, starting the steps required for moving to Australia and settling in to living in Australia, sometimes causes uncertainty and doubts. Packing up and moving the family to another country is certainly one of the most stressful and life changing challenges you'll face but with a positive attitude, research and planning you can turn this opportunity into the adventure of a lifetime for the whole family. Remember why you embarked on this journey in the first place!
Where you settle may depend on visa conditions such as State Sponsorship, Employer Sponsorship or a job offer which will take the decision out of your hands. If you are free to settle anywhere in Australia, factors to consider may include where family and friends are settled and work or business opportunities.
If you've not had the opportunity to visit Australia previously, the compulsory "stamp in" trip is an excellent time to visit the cities and areas on the top of your list of possible places to settle.
AUSTRALIA, THE LAND "DOWN UNDER"The Commonwealth of Australia consists of a large island continent of over 7.7 million sq km, half of which lies in the tropics. Slightly smaller than the USA, Australia has a population of 21 million of which approximately 25% are immigrants. Most of Australia's population lives in the cities and towns on the Eastern, Southern and Southwestern coastal areas where the climate is more temperate although extreme temperatures and heavy rainfall can occur. Most of the interior of the country is desert or scrubland with low, unreliable rainfall and is almost uninhabited.
Quick facts: English is the official language; driving on the left side of the road; Australians take their sport very seriously. Australia has strong international teams in cricket, field hockey, netball, rugby league, and rugby union and has been Olympic or world champions at least twice in each sport in the last 25 years for both men and women.
More information on:
Residential property sales and rentals:
STATES, TERRITORIES AND CITIES
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT): Canberra (pop. 358,000)
The ACT is situated between New South Wales and Victoria and an easy 3 hour drive to Sydney. Just a two hour drive takes you to the NSW south coast beaches and two and a half hours to the NSW skiing fields in the Snowy Mountains. Canberra reportedly enjoys more hours of sunshine than Sydney or the Gold Coast.
Canberra, the Capital of Australia, is a modern, well designed and planned city which offers an excellent education system and health facilities, a great public transport network, clean environment and low crime rate. Add great art exhibitions, cultural and community events, hundreds of kilometres of bike paths and mountain biking trails, sailing, skiing, top sporting facilities and you're in a city like no other.
The ACT has over 40 independent schools and 84 Government public schools. For more information about schools in Canberra, visit www.det.act.gov.au ; www.ceo.catholic.edu.au and www.ais.act.edu.au
For more information on universities, visit:
NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW): Capital: Sydney (pop 4.6 million)www.nsw.gov.au and www.business.nsw.gov.au
Exciting, colourful and vibrant with its iconic skylines, buildings, harbours and beaches, Sydney is instantly recognizable! Sydney's melting pot of cultures has produced a creative and friendly society and offers excellent health facilities, education systems, world class entertainment, arts and culture. Sydney is an ideal environment for family living.
Regional NSW (800,000 sq k) pop 2,520,000) has a varied range of geography and climates, from the humid coastal areas of the north, to semi-arid desert in the west, while the south boasts alpine peaks and the sheep and wheat belt. This diversity encourages a variety of industries to flourish which offers an abundance of business opportunities and a relaxed lifestyle.
Excluding Sydney, NSW has 13 regions:
- West: Far West; Central West; Orana
- North: Northern Rivers; Northern Inland; Mid North Coast
- South: Southern Inland; Murray; Riverina
- East: Central Coast; Hunter; Illawarra/South Coast; Western Sydney
For more information on NSW Education, visit
for Government schools
for Registered Private Schools
for Colleges and for Universities
Adult Community Education
VICTORIA (VIC): Capital: Melbourne (pop 4.1 million)www.vic.gov.au and www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au
Victoria is the smallest mainland state (227,416 sq km), about the size of Britain with the second largest population of any state in Australia. Despite its compact size, Victoria has a wealth of diverse regional areas and attractions: a dramatic, sweeping coastline with pristine beaches; national parks and forests; wineries; lakes and mountains – all easily accessible from Melbourne. Victoria has a mild, temperate climate with warm to hot summers and cool to cold winters.
Melbourne sits on the Yarra River and around the shores of Port Phillip Bay. A stylish and elegant city, Melbourne enjoys the reputation for the best shopping in Australia with gourmet food and fine wine following close behind. Carefully restored and maintained nineteenth-century architecture and beautifully tended parks and gardens add to the charm and beauty of this city. Just a few of the prestigious events hosted by Melbourne and Victoria include The Melbourne Cup, the Australian Open Tennis Championship and the Australian Grand Prix.
Regional Victoria comprises the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges; Mornington Peninsula; Dalesfor and the Macedon Ranges; Phillip Island; Great Ocean Road; Goldfields; Grampians; High Country; Gippsland and The Murray
Victoria has 1594 state schools, 484 Catholic schools, 218 independent schools (private non-denominational or religious association).
For more information on education and schools visit:
QUEENSLAND (QLD): Capital: Brisbane (pop 2 million)www.qld.gov.au and www.liveworkplay.qld.gov.au
Queensland is Australia's second largest state with a population of 3.5 million. Known as the Sunshine State, Brisbane has a growing economy, a sub-tropical climate with warm humid summers and mild winters, great food and wine and a relaxed lifestyle.
Other than Brisbane, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast are the main centres. Toowoomba is a tree lined city with parkland and sits on the edge of the Great Dividing Range. The popular Gold Coast is a 35km strip of beaches stretching from the NSW border. The Sunshine Coast, known for its golden beaches, surfing and fishing is another popular holiday destination.
Brisbane is a modern, friendly city with a relaxed lifestyle, good infrastructure, including cultural precincts, world class sporting venues, byways and river walks. The majority of people live in detached houses with gardens sprawled across the city. Although not situated on the coast, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast is a just an hour’s drive from the city.
WESTERN AUSTRALIA (WA): Capital: Perth (pop 1.7 million)www.wa.gov.au and www.migration.wa.gov.au
Western Australia is the largest of all the Australian states and diverse landscapes and environments around its nine regions. From white sandy beaches in the north, lush green vineyards and forests in the south west to the arid red dirt of the outback. The southern half of the state, which includes Perth, experiences the four seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter whereas the northern half of the state has only two seasons; “the wet” and “the dry”.
The cooler climate of the south west has given rise to the area becoming famous for its wonderful food and wine regions.
The Mediterranean climate means the people of Perth enjoy mild winters, warm to hot summers and blue skies for most of the year. The city sits by the Swan River and beneath the beautiful botanical Kings Park. With all the sunny weather, people spend a lot of time outdoors swimming, sailing, water-skiing, fishing, cycling, walking and running, especially around the Swan River. The inner city has a lot of apartment style accommodation with river views. Moving out towards the coastline, you’ll find luxury homes and in the north-eastern suburbs you’ll find a lively café lifestyle with restored homes.
Western Australia has five universities and more than 1000 schools and colleges.
For more information visit:
SOUTH AUSTRALIA (SA): Capital: Adelaide (1.2 million)www.sa.gov.au and www.southaustralia.com
South Australia is a great place to live, work and play. With long summers, stunning beaches, events and festivals. Wine lovers will enjoy exploring the sixteen wine regions all within easy travelling distance. South Australia is the gateway to the unique National Landscapes of the Flinders Ranges and iconic Kangaroo Island. Adelaide city has more than 200 cellar doors on its doorstep, all within an hour’s drive of the city.
Adelaide’s been voted Australia’s most livable city, surrounded by parklands, more than 700 restaurants, cafés and pubs, art galleries and museums. The Adelaide Hills and metropolitan beaches are just a 20 minute drive from the city and you’ll find more than 200 wine cellars only an hour’s drive away.
Over 3,800 kms long and dotted with towns, cliffs and beaches, the South Australian coastal regions offer an excellent blend of wine, fresh produce and local seafood. On the Australian National Landscapes register, the Flinders Ranges and Kangaroo Island are unique and spectacular with great cultural, natural and spiritual significance while the caves of Naracoorte on the Limestone Coast are World Heritage listed.
For more information on schools in South Australia visit:
NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT): Capital: Darwin (pop 127,000)www.nt.gov.au
The Northern Territory (1,349,129 sq km) is a federal territory of Australia, occupying much of the centre of the continent as well as the central northern regions. It shares borders with Western Australia to the west, South Australia to the south and Queensland to the east. Despite its size the Northern Territory has the lowest population (229,675) of Australia’s states and territories.
There are many very small settlements scattered across the territory, but the larger population centres are located on the Stuart Highway that links Darwin to Southern Australia.
Sacred to the local Aboriginal people, the Northern Territory is famous for two spectacular natural rock formations, Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).
Darwin is situated on the Timor Sea and grew from a pioneer outpost and port to one of Australia’s most modern and multicultural cities. Built on a low bluff overlooking the harbor, the suburbs stretch out from Lee Point in the north to Berrimah in the east. From there the Stuart Highway goes to Darwin’s satellite city, Palmerston and its suburbs.
Northern Territory has 151 public schools, 15 Catholic schools and 21 independent schools and one university.
For more information on schools visit:
Charles Darwin University
TASMANIA (TAS): Capital: Hobart (pop 220,000)www.migration.tas.gov.au and www.development.tas.gov.au/liveintasmaniawww.tas.gov.au
Tasmania is an archipelago of 334 islands of which the main island area is 62,409 sq km with the minor islands totaling around 5,600 sq km. Separated from the continent by the Bass Straight, just 240 kms south-east of the mainland and the most northerly part of the island just 55 km from Victoria. More than 42% of the island is World Heritage Areas, national park and marine or forest reserves with diverse vegetation and unique wildlife like the Tasmanian devil.
Most of Tasmania enjoys a temperate climate, influenced by the surrounding oceans. The west coast and highlands are generally cool, wet and cloudy while the east coast and lowlands are milder, drier and sunnier.
Tasmania offers a world class urban environment, open spaces and a friendly community. A place where children can safely play outdoors and arts, sport and culture flourish. Clean living with hydro-electric and wind generated power, place to grow your own and buy locally grown food, winelands and fresh seafood – one could hardly ask for more.
For more on education in Tasmania
The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA)
The University of Tasmania
PACKING UP AND MAKING THE MOVEOnce you’ve decided on the city and state to relocate to, it’s time to set a date and plan the move.
FAQ:Should we take our household effects?
Very much a personal choice but a few things to consider:
Starting from scratch by having to buy furniture and appliances can be very expensive and stressful. Besides the comfort of having familiar furnishings in your new unfamiliar surroundings, it’s generally cheaper to put your furniture in a container and rent a furnished apartment or house until you’ve had time to decide on the suburb you’d like to settle in.
What can we take with us?Australia has very strict rules of what may and may not be brought into Australia. Be sure to read the rules and regulations before you start packing
It is important to use an international removal company experienced in moving to Australia experience as they will be able to advise you on every aspect of customs regulation and take care of cleaning and certification needed.
Failure to have the correct certification can result in a shipment being rejected and returned to its destination or alternatively being cleaned by the authorities, either of which will be at your cost.
You can take:You are entitled to bring with you to Australia, duty and GST free, all your personal and household effects that you have owned and used for a minimum period of 12 months immediately preceding your departure for Australia.
Items expressly excluded from the definition of "personal and household effects" and are subject to other requirements. These include:
- motor vehicles or motor vehicle parts
- caravans, boats and trailers
- machinery, plant and equipment
- fur coats, animal skins, certain tusks and animal products (for more information visit imports are available from the Wildlife Protection Authority websites:
www.biodiversity.environment.gov.au/wildlife and www.ea.gov.au/biodiversity/tradeuse
Items of interest to Quarantine include all items that may have come into contact with soil and vegetation such as gardening equipment, bicycles, scooters etc, sporting equipment e.g. golf clubs and buggies, cleaning equipment, brooms, mops, vacuum cleaner waste bags and the like. Your removal company will be able to clean and certify such items and advise on taxes payable in taking your motor vehicles with you.
Be sure to check the list of prohibited and restricted items on www.customs.gov.au
Can we take our pets?Not all pets do well under quarantine conditions. Sad as it may be to leave them behind, older pets, pets with health issues and highly strung animals may be better off and happier living with a new family.
Cats and dogs being imported to Australia from South Africa must spend a total period of 210 days in quarantine: a minimum of 90 days pre-export quarantine in South Africa and a minimum of 30 days in Australian quarantine. The remaining 90 days quarantine can be spent in quarantine stations on either side.
If you decide you need pet transport to Australia, contact a reputable kennel with experience in international travel, quarantine and Australian import regulations.
Not all cat and dog breeds are allowed into Australia, check with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service at www.customs.gov.au
No other pets can be imported to Australia. These include such animals as: chinchillas, fish, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamster, lizards, mice, snakes, spiders and turtles. More information available from the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry at www.daff.gov.au.
Hitchcock + AssociatesExcellence in Visa Solutions for 25 Years
Hitchcock and Associates was founded in 1987 by Neil Hitchcock, formerly a senior policy official with the Australian Department of Immigration in Canberra. The company has grown and developed over the years to become a landmark firm in the immigration advice industry in Australia.
Hitchcock and Associates is a wholly owned independent Australian company based in Chatswood in Sydney, Australia. We have offices and representation in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban in South Africa and our Australian Registered Migration Agents regularly travel to South Africa and other international locations to consult with clients.
Our consultants advise and assist clients in all aspects of Australian immigration law and visas. From start to finish i.e. initial assessments, skills assessments and state sponsorship through to the processing and lodgement of migration applications, our professional staff is on hand to ensure the visa application process is a smooth one.
Our clients include well-known multinational corporations, small to medium-sized business as well as families and individuals. Hitchcock and Associates is part of a large referral network for legal, financial and recruitment matters. Should you require further information or assistance in this regard, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected]
For information on our consulting visits to South Africa and details on how appointments can be made, visit our website at www.hitchcock.com.au
THE IMPORTANCE OF USING AN AUSTRALIAN REGISTERED MIGRATION AGENTIn Australia, it is illegal for a person to provide immigration assistance unless they are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (Office of the MARA).
Registered Migration Agents are highly skilled professionals. They must meet competency standards, abide by a Code of Conduct and keep their knowledge of migration law and procedure up to date.
For more information visit www.mara.gov.au
It is particularly important to check that Migration Agents operating outside Australia are registered with the MARA to ensure you receive competent and up to date advice.
All migration agents at Hitchcock & Associates are registered and bound by the Migration Agents Registration Authority (“MARA”) Code of Conduct.