Step-By-Step Guide on How to Move to Australia

If you’re thinking about moving to Australia, you’re not alone. Over 100,000 people on average arrive in Australia every year, mostly coming from regional countries like New Zealand, China, or India, or other English-speaking countries like the UK or the USA. 

Australia immigration-hotspot status is likely due to its superb weather, relatively low cost of living when compared to western nations, favorable business environment, and its multiculturalism. People move to Australia seeking an easier lifestyle, and it is quickly becoming a place for people to start new businesses and new lives.

Taxes in Australia

Tax rates in Australia are divided into two types: those for residents and those for corporations. Let’s examine each of them in more depth and determine which one will be applied in which situation.

Resident Tax Rates

Australia works on a progressive tax rate with those that earn more paying a larger share. It is also updated almost every year, so staying on top of the refreshed rates is an important part of moving to Australia. 

For residents of Australia, the tax rates are more focused. These rates are for the 2022/23 tax year.

  • For taxable incomes of up to $18,201, the tax rate is 0.
  • For taxable incomes between $18,201 and $45,000, the tax rate is 19 cents for ever dollar earned over $18,201.
  • For taxable incomes between $45,000 and $120,000, the tax rate is 32.5 cents for every dollar earned over $45,000 plus $5,092.
  • For taxable incomes between $120,000 and $180,000, the tax rate is 37 cents for every dollar earned over $120,000 plus $29,467.
  • For taxable incomes over $180,000, the tax rate is 45 cents for every dollar earned over $180,000 plus $51,667.

Foreign residents in Australia pay a much more simplified tax rate for the 2022/23 tax year.

  • For taxable incomes of up to $120,000, the tax rate is 32.5 cents for every dollar.
  • For taxable incomes between $120,001 and $180,000, the tax rate is 37 cents for every dollar over $120,000 plus $39,000.
  • For taxable incomes over $180,001, the tax rate is 45 cents for every dollar over $180,000 plus $61,200.

For those wondering how to move to Australia from the US, the exchange rate between AUD and USD is about 70%, meaning each Australian dollar is worth about 7 US dollars. Make sure to factor in exchange rates when planning your move to Australia.

Corporate Tax Rates

Australian corporate tax rates are simple on the surface, but when adding in breaks for specific companies or non-profits, it can get rather complicated. Still, corporate tax rates for most companies in the land down under are going down to attract new businesses to the island, so now may be the time to consider moving your business to Sydney

  • Base rate entities are what most companies are classified as and pay a rate of 25%. All other standard companies pay a rate of 30%.
  • Life insurance companies pay between 15% and 32%. 
  • Credit Unions pay rates between 25% and 45%.
  • Non-profits pay 55% on income between $417 and $915 and 30% on income above $915. This changes to 55% between $417 and $762 and 25% above $762 if the non-profit is also a base rate entity. 

Apply For an Australian Visa

Application times and costs vary depending on which visa you want. Visa applications can cost as little as $325 and as much as $7855, though some are free of charge. Processing times vary widely, and most are designated with uncertain time limits. They can be as little as 1 day, while some can be nearly 3 months. For some visa types, the wait time can be as much as 2 years, so it is better to apply sooner than later.

Visa processing times continue to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, so expect these processing times to slowly decrease in time, but if you are planning to move to Australia, there is no downside to applying well in advance of your move date. 

Healthcare and Health Insurance in Australia

Australian citizens and permanent residents who move to Australia can access the high quality public Medicare for just 2% of their income. This subsidizes or covers general practitioner visits, hospital visits, over 80% of specialist costs, and prescription medications.

Those, not permanent residents (notably students and temp workers) will need to subscribe to private health insurance, which is also high quality. They do not need to pay into the public system, however. 

Visa Types and Work Permit Requirements

Regardless of your intentions when you move to Australia, you will likely have to apply for a visa if you intend to stay for more than a visit. 

There are over 40 types of work visas for Australian repats, so be sure to understand which one applies to you. If you want to start a business, the Business Owner Visa is likely for you. If you intend to invest in business already in Australia, there is an Investor Visa for that. If you’re invited to join a company or simply want to work in Australia, look into the Business Talent Visa or the Domestic Worker Visa. Dozens more exist, so be sure you have dedicated expat services to help with your selection.

Study Visas are also available and come in Student Visas, Student Guardian Visas, and Training Visas. All of these visas are temporary but allow you to stay in the country for between 2 and 5 years, providing you meet the requirements of enrollment, workplace training, or special guardian circumstances. 

Expats looking to move to the country permanently can apply for either a Family-Stream Visa, Work-Stream Visa, or Business or Investment-Stream Visa. Family-Stream requires relatives that are already in Australia or are Australian citizens. Work-Stream requires a company sponsorship or for the applicant to possess skills needed in Australia. Business and Investment-Stream require approval from government organizations and some ownership of a business developed in Australia. 

Finding a New Home in Australia

To find new homes for sale when you move to Australia, you should first identify where you want to live and evaluate your finances and budget. The cost of buying a new home comes with many facets, and getting financial advice is recommended. Some of the steps include

  • A Deposit – between 10 to 20% of the home loan is required in order to secure the purchase of a home. 
  • Stamp duty – This fee is dependent on where you want to live and can generally be considered a tax on the purchase of a home but can be applied to any sale or transfer of a wide variety of personal and business assets.
  • Legal/Conveyancing fees – These are the legal fees involved in securing the purchase of your new home and property.
  • Finance and insurance – Mortgage applications can cost between $200 and $600, while valuations fees run between $400 and $500, though banks will occasionally waive the latter. You may need to pay an LMI fee to protect the lender if you are borrowing more than 80% of the purchase price.
  • Inspection fees – You should make sure you do an inspection on your new home to ensure it is up to code. These inspections can cost between $500 and $700.

Property costs in Australia are on the rise as of mid-2019 and show no indication or slowing down. The average cost of a new home in Australia can be as high as $1,222,000 and as low as $509,000, depending on where you want to live. The average overall is around $941,000 with New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory being the most expensive. 

Education in Australia

Considered one of the best in the world, the Australian education system is tailored for both local and international students. Expats have access to government run schools, where over 66% of the local population sends their children. Those living on temporary visas may have to pay a fixed tuition fee that is determined by the territory government. Those with permanent residency or citizenship can use this system free of charge. 

For those interested in specialized education, private and independent schools are also available and high quality, though they are notably more expensive. 

To enroll in a public school, expats need to visit their local school and apply for enrollment. All children of schooling age are guaranteed spots if the application is accepted.

Relocating Pets to Australia

In order to move your pet to Australia, several steps are needed.

  • Visit your vet for pet immigration applications.
  • Vaccinate and test your pet against rabies and other recommended Australian diseases.
  • Check your pet for parasites.
  • Ask your veterinarian for an RNAT test declaration.
  • Apply for an import permit. Have your rabies vaccination, RNAT test declaration and results on hand. 
  • Prepare in advance for the 10 day quarantine all pets must go through on entry to Australia.
  • Budget your finances. Pet importation can cost thousands of dollars due to strict import conditions and transportation fees. 

Once these factors are met, it’s a matter of waiting. If you’ve, you can introduce your pet to your new home.