Ever since I moved to Melbourne in March, I’ve been inundated by emails and comments asking how to move to Australia for a year. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but wanted to make sure that I’d experienced enough of Australia to give you the best information first.
Once I started writing this post I realised that it was going to be a long one. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming your way soon.
if you are thinking of moving to Australia for a year, then here’s part 1 of the definitive guide on how to make it possible.
Before you go:
Obviously the most important thing! Brits aged 18-30 can apply for a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417).
The visa costs around £220 and is generally granted within 72 hours, although it pays to be organised and apply for the visa at least 28 days prior just in case there is any issues.
One of the prerequisites of the visa is that you enter the country with at least £2500 to your name. From my experience, this isn’t enforced.
Of course it would be nice to start your year in Oz with a healthy bank balance, but if you don’t have that much cash don’t fret. They are unlikely to ever check.
For more information about the Working Holiday Visa, visit the government website here.
Get yourself some decent travel insurance. Health care isn’t always free in Oz so make sure you are covered as you would be for your normal travels.
Make sure you have got all your tax back from your job in the UK. As you are leaving the UK you need to fill in the P85 form. Get this organised and completed as early as possible. This cash injection will be so needed when you get to Oz and I’m still waiting on mine more than 6 months after applying…
Find out more here.
It’s all well and good doing the boring admin stuff but now for the fun bit! You will need to choose where to live.
Do you want the beaches of Perth? The glamour of Sydney? To live in culture-capital Melbourne? Or join a commune in Byron Bay?
Google, Google, Google. See where the job opportunities are, check out the cost of living and make sure the lifestyle suits you.
I’d tell anyone to make the move to Melbourne, but hey I’m biased…
Save the fees on your British bank card and set up an Australian bank account before you leave. You want to choose a bank that is used nationwide, otherwise you will incur charges for withdrawing money from another bank’s ATM.
I’d recommend Commonwealth Bank as you can set up an account and collect your card from a local branch the very first day you arrive.
Sign up here.
Do you have any family, friends or friends of friends living in Australia? Get their numbers, add them on Facebook and get chin-wagging.
Any contact is valuable and I’ve noticed that everyone is happy to help when you’re stranded on the other side of the globe. Contacts can be great for general Oz knowledge, work opportunities or to help show you around.
Always book accommodation before you arrive in Australia. Whether it be an Air BnB, hostel or hotel, you will want somewhere to crash as soon as you step off the plane.
If you are arriving to an Australian summer make sure you book at least a couple of weeks in advance. Good hostels can get booked up fast so make sure you are prepared.
Don’t worry too much about long term accommodation, we will get to that in part 2.
So that’s what you will need to do before you reach Australia. Part 2, What you have to do once you arrive, will be up shortly.
Have you done the working holiday visa? Anything you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below or via my social media pages.