Moving to Sydney: Relocating Business as an Expat | Expatland

Moving to Sydney

So you’re moving to Sydney; the Emerald City. It’s a big move, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here is what you need to know before relocating to Sydney.

What to Expect After Relocating to Sydney

  • Sydney is quickly becoming a hotspot for expats moving to Sydney from all around the world because of its cultural diversity, central coastal location, pro-business environment for expat entrepreneurs, temperate climate, and welcoming nature.
  • The city has high standards for education and healthcare, moderate warm weather, a thriving nightlife, and easygoing vibes.
  • Nearly 40% of the Sydney Metropolitan Area are expats of British, Chinese, or Indian origins.

Why Should You Move to Sydney?

On the surface, people move to Sydney for the practical comfort the city offers. It has very temperate weather with pleasantly warm summers and mild winters which is a balm for the soul of expats moving to Syndey. It is close to natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef, beautiful countryside of both arid and tropical climates, national parks, and crystal clear beaches. In addition to having an ‘easy outdoor lifestyle’, Sydney has a strong preference for cultural and academic pursuits.

The Australian economy experienced strong GDP growth outside of a dip during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In 2021, the Australian economy grew by 4.2 percent, while unemployment dropped to its lowest rate since 2009. Inflation is lower in Australia, and while it rose sharply when COVID hit, it has remained about half of what people in the USA, UK, and Germany are experiencing in 2022.

Sydney is a center of business and a great place for expat entrepreneurs to establish or relocate a business to Sydney.

  • Tax & Accounting
  • Relocation & Shipping
  • Visa & Immigration
  • Property & Real Estate
  • Language & Culture
  • Health & Wellness
Tax & Accounting

Tax & Accounting in Sydney

Opening a bank account as an expat in Sydney is an important part of moving to Sydney Australia. You can often open a bank account online or over the phone quickly. There are several requirements and documents expats moving their business to Sydney should have on hand when opening an Australian bank account.

  • The date of your planned arrival and departure (if applicable) in Australia.
  • The address of your residence in Sydney.
  • The type of Visa you will use to enter Australia.
  • The name and nature of your employer and your intended salary.
  • Your passport information, including your passport number.
  • At least 100 points of documentation related to the above.

There are several different types of taxes for expats in Australia which include sales, estate, property, excise, and income. Taxes are collected through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). The tax burden in Australia is considered on the lower end of western-style developed nations and represented just under 28% of the country’s GDP in 2018.

Australia is actively reconstructing its tax system, so be on the lookout for changes especially if you are considering moving your business to Sydney.

Tax & Accounting

Tax & Accounting in Sydney

Relocation & Shipping

Relocation & Shipping to Sydney

There are specific aspects to mind when approaching relocation to Sydney. Make sure to get multiple quotes from international movers in your area and have them visit your house personally for assessment, before moving to Sydney. Also, become familiar with terms like:

  • Door-to-Door – This means your mover will pick up the moving containers from your home and deliver them right to the door of your new Sydney residence.
  • LCL (Less than Container Load) – This is when you share a shipping container with other people moving to Sydney. The most important aspect of an LCL container is that you may have to wait for the container to arrive since your move times may not line up with the other movers’.
  • FCL (Full Container Load) – This is when you reserve a full container for yourself.
  • Container sizes – though this may differ in your area, international shipping containers usually come in 20 ft or 40 ft variants. 20 ft containers are adequate for a three-bedroom residence and can cost around $8,000 from New York or about $3700 from San Francisco. A 40 ft container will usually hold up to a five bedroom household’s worth of items and usually cost more.
Relocation & Shipping

Relocation & Shipping to Sydney

Visa & Immigration

Visa & Immigration for Australia

While different nationals moving to Sydney will need different resources, there are some documents and requirements that are universal for all expats in Sidney.

  • Your Skills and Qualifications are subject to official recognition by an Assessment Authority.
  • Health checks will likely be required since the outbreak of COVID-19. Regardless, depending on your country of origin, desired occupation, and category of visa, a health check may be required for relocating to Sydney. Even temporary visa applicants will require proof of healthcare.
  • Anyone entering Australia will be subject to a character assessment and must submit an Australian Value Statement.
  • Non-native English speakers will require an assessment based on international standardized tests such as the IELTS, TOEFL iBT, OET, PTE Academic, and the CAE.

Whether you are living temporarily or seeking permanent residency for moving to Sydney with your family, you will likely start your stay in Sydney with a Visa.

There are no specific visa types for expats moving to Sydney. Choose from a Student Visa, a Work Visa, or a Permanent Visa when applying for an Australian visa.

  • Student Visas start at 630 AUD and allow for up to 5 years depending on the duration of your enrollment. Processing times vary for this type of visa and require full-time enrollment in a recognized educational institution.
  • Work Visas are varied and have 42 different variants. The Australian Department of Home Affairs has an online questionnaire to help you decide which Visa fits your needs.
  • Permanent Visas include Family-Stream Visas for people related to Australian or New Zealand citizens, Work-Stream Visas for workers with sponsorship from an Australian Employer, and Business or Investor-Stream Visa for Work Visa program participants, relocating their business to Sydney.
  • Other options for Visa include people who wish to move to Sydney and retire in Australia, former residents, people who are considered global talents, and refugees.
Visa & Immigration

Visa & Immigration for Australia

Property & Real Estate

Property & Real Estate in Sydney

As of 2020, the average cost of a house in Sydney was AUD 1,122,000 while the average rent in Sydney is around AUD 2,000, with prices rising in the central districts and closer to the shore. When looking for an apartment to relocate to Sydney, be mindful that most apartments in here are advertised with weekly rent instead of monthly. Here the prices are listed monthly.

When looking for a house to relocate to Sydney, be sure to search and inspect properties that catch your interest. Note the different regions in Sydney and how each fits your desired lifestyle. They include:

  • Central and Inner Metro
  • Northern Beaches
  • North Shore
  • Gladesville-Ryde-Eastwood
  • Western Suburbs
  • Parramatta-Hills District
  • Outer Western Suburbs
  • George and Sutherland Shire
  • South Western Suburbs

You can listen to our podcast “Moving to Expatland: The Journey to Sydney” to get an overview of how to manage your finances when moving to Sydney and the many ways Expatland Global Network can be supportive in your move to Sydney.

Property & Real Estate

Property & Real Estate in Sydney

Language & Culture

Language & Culture of Sydney

The most populous languages in Sydney are English, Arabic, Chinese Mandarin, and Cantonese. English can be found anywhere in Sydney and Australia and is by far the most common language. Arabic in Sydney is primarily found in the Western Suburbs, while Chinese is common in the North Shore.

The culture of Sydney is diverse and rich as you would expect from any major city full of expats from around the globe. It has a vibrant arts scene including theater, music, art, and literature. The most iconic sight of Sydney – the Sydney Opera House – is one of the most popular concerts in the world. Expect plenty of museums, festivals, libraries, sporting events, and more.

Language & Culture

Language & Culture of Sydney

Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness in Sydney

Australia’s Universal Health Care is called Medicare and subsidizes most medical costs for residents. As a new resident or a Sydney expat, you will need either a 457 visa or work visa to be eligible for Medicare, before moving to Sydney. To enroll in Medicare, you must meet Medicare visa holder requirements.

If the country you are relocating to Sydney from has a health care agreement with Australia, you may also be covered. Those countries include:

  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Slovenia
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

For regular wellness routines, gyms are extremely popular, and can be found everywhere in the Central Business District (CBD) and suburbs. Gym memberships may be eligible for subsidies through private health insurance, which is also available for expats in Sydney. There are also yoga centers, public swimming pools, indoor sports clubs that Sydney expats can enjoy.

Health & Wellness

Health & Wellness in Sydney


Matthew Marcarian

Group Leader

CST Tax Advisors provides international tax advice and compliance services to clients with international assets and investments. Their focus is on helping expats moving to or from Sydney to optimise their tax position.

Sherman Periera

Group Leader

Established in the 1970s, Nuss Removals is truly a real pioneer in the Relocations and Removals industry. Placing very high regard on service quality, reliability and passion, they have been providing outstanding removal services for decades and are a founder member of AFRA (Australian Furniture Removers Association).

Amanda Tinner

Group Leader

Visa Executive is an Australian based immigration consultancy who employs an expert team of migration agents that have a wealth of experience in helping expats to seamlessly relocate to Australia by effectively managing their visa application processes.

Steven Narzarian

E-Team member

Nazarian Legal helps expats by understanding their client’s situation and what they want to achieve before providing legal advice. They offer realistic advice in a clear manner so that expats understand their options and how they apply to their client’s situation.

Michael McMahon

E-Team member

With all-inclusive advice delivered with a personalised, hands-on approach Gibson Insurance Brokers is a great choice for any expat in Sydney looking to achieve financial stability and security. With more than 40 years of experience in general insurance, they provide premier services to clients and their reputation is proof of that.

Lisa Miodragovic

E-Team member

If you’re looking for professional recruitment services that are tailored to suit your needs, you need to look no further than Canstaff. They offer global recruitment and staffing services in the Construction, Engineering, Civil Construction, Logistics, and Manufacturing sectors, and have offices in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, the UK, and others.

Rich Harvey

E-Team member

Propertybuyer is an independent buyers’ agency focused on searching, negotiating and buying property for clients planning to buy or invest in a property. With the ultimate goal of providing each client with the “right property, at the right price, every time” and more than 30 prestigious awards, Propertybuyer is your best choice when it comes to property in Sydney.

Scott Douglas

E-Team member

If you want peace of mind and financial freedom, IMFG can provide it with their specialist financial planning advice. They are dedicated to making sure that your goals become a reality, and with their counsel, you can do just that. They will help you make the right choices when it comes to your wealth, allowing you to create, grow and preserve it.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is the Cost of Living in Sydney?

    The average cost for a single person living in Sydney Australia is about AUD 1,500 a month while a family of four can expect an average of AUD 5,200.

  • Is Sydney a Good Place to Live?

    Sydney consistently ranks as one of the best cities worldwide to relocate to and to live in terms of livability, comfort, culture, and economic growth. It ranked in the top 15 for the 2021 GCI from Kearney, and in the top 10 for personal well-being due to its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • What Are the Best Areas to Live in Sydney?

    Before moving to Sydney choose an area that will be the best fit for you:

    • Kirribilli – affluent and home of the Australian Prime Minister, this suburb is located 3km north of the CBD. This area has schools in easy reach and 63% of residents are within walking distance of parks.
    • Woolloomooloo – just east of the CBD alongside the harbor, this is a great district for commuters. Recently gentrified, 90% of residents have nearby education institutions, and 77% are near parks.
    • Balmain East – this harborside neighborhood is on a peninsula about 5km from the CBD. It’s dense but comfortable, with 88% of residents near schools and parks.
    • Glebe – 3km south-west of the CBD, this neighborhood has numerous park areas, a view of the Anzac Bridge, and a paved shorewalk. Over 90% of residents are near schools and parkland.
    • Hunters Hill – Another peninsula neighborhood, Hunters Hill is 9km north-west of the CBD. Here you will find more homes with lawns, and 90% of residents live near parkland. 74% are close to education facilities.

  • Is Sydney Expensive?

    Sydney is in the top 20 most expensive cities as of 2021 mostly due to COVID restrictions and difficulties in the global supply chain. Sydney tied with Vienna at rank 14 in the list which is benchmarked against New York City.

  • Which Is the Best Suburb to Live in Sydney?

    Check the best suburb to live before relocating to Sydney:

    • Hornsby – active shopping scene, family-friendly areas, attractive property prices, national park proximity, and easy public transit. Hornsby is ideal for expats moving to Sydney with their families.
    • Oatley – attractive streets and clean parkland, emphasis on green energy, relatively quiet, and very family/pet friendly. If you are relocating to Sydney with your children and pets it’s the best choice for you.
    • Dulwich Hill – modern and attractive streetscape and parks, charming architecture and good location, active cafe culture, and easy public transit.
    • Jannali – peaceful but well connected to public transportation, good value amenities, attractive property prices, spacious blocks, and well maintained.
    • Waverton – easy access to the CBD while still being peaceful, stunning views of the harbor and city, low crime rates and traffic density, and well maintained.