Moving to Australia

Table of Contents

Moving to a new area is challenging but moving to another country is an entirely different story. There are a large number of factors to consider before deciding. Leaving for Australia to stay there and work is no different. It requires a substantial amount of prior knowledge and a whole lot of information to be gathered. A new country comes with new laws and other information you want to know beforehand. Leaving for a new country with just money and a visa in hand could prove to be troublesome in the future.

Be sure you’re aware of the procedure that follows with the decision to move to another country. While Australia has relaxed policies and welcomes thousands of people from around the world every year, there may still be a chance that your application might get rejected over any negligence. Therefore, it is essential to do your research and prepare adequately.

Immigration Policies & Points

The first step towards your move to Australia is knowing your eligibility. If you are not eligible enough to apply for immigration, there is no point wasting time and money. So how would you know whether you fit the criteria or not?

Australian Immigration Department has allocated points to different criteria. These points are based on English proficiency, age, education, work experience, and similar things[i]. The points add up and are considered collectively. According to the latest immigration policy, a minimum of 65 points is required before applying for Australia. Following are the major categories and the points each one holds:


Since Australia is always looking forward to immigrants who can contribute to the country’s economy, people between 25 and 32 get the most points.

Age Points
18-24 25
25-32 30
33-39 25
40-44 15
45-49 0

Education Qualifications

Like other factors, points are allotted to the highest qualification that a person holds. By this pattern, a post-doctorate holder gets the highest points while a skill-based diploma gets the lowest. Qualifications must be recognized by the Australian system, which later skill-based assessments can verify.

Qualification Points
Doctorate 20
Bachelor’s or Master’s 15
Australian Diploma or trade 10
Award or qualification recognized by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation 10

Apart from education from one’s own country, if someone has studied from an institute in Australia and would like to apply for a permanent visa while living in Australia, an additional 5 points are awarded.

Regional Studies

If a person has lived in one or more regional areas of Australia before applying, they can be awarded five additional points. The only condition is they must have spent two years studying in any institute from the same region[ii].

Community Language Skills

Another 5 points for people who have skills of interpretation/translation in any of the Australian community languages. Suppose National Accreditation Authority accredits them for Translation & Interpreters (NAATI) at a professional level of 3; they are more likely to get hired as official translators and interpreters in the future.

English Proficiency

Australia does not have an official language; however, English has been considered the national language since the colonies. It is also the language that most people widely speak, and it is similar to British English in terms of pronunciation and lexicon. Therefore, it is evident that one should have a good grip on English if they want to move to an English-speaking country.

Native English speakers who have secured a degree equivalent to an Australian bachelor’s are not required to take any language test. On the other hand, non-native people need to achieve adequate points in English language tests that are usually acceptable worldwide. These tests include IELTS, TOEFL, Cambridge Assessment Test, and many others. Among these tests, IELTS is the most preferred one.

IELTS Score Points
Superior (Score of 8.0 or more) 20
Proficient (Score of 7.0 or more) 10
Competent (Score of 6.0 or more) 0

Spouse/Partner Skills & Qualifications

Suppose the applicant has added their spouse or partner in their application and they are eligible according to all the other skills-based educational requirements. In that case, an additional 5 points are awarded to the applicant.

Types of Visas

Types of Visas

Undoubtedly, Australia is a welcoming country. Due to this reason, Australia’s population is estimated it will reach 40 million by 2050[iii]. All this may sound reassuring, but the fact is that Australian visa policies are more complicated than you think. Not only does a visa require a hefty amount of money, but it can be tricky to fulfill the conditions that come with the visa. People who get a visa that can lead to permanent residency are considered lucky.


Getting the right kind of visa can be a challenge, but in the long run, it can make or break your stay in Australia. As mentioned earlier, it takes a lot of time and money to get an application approved, so it is necessary to know what kind of visa to apply for and its requirements.

1. Skilled Independent Visa, Subclass 189

This visa lets you live and work anywhere in Australia if you are eligible by all standards. It is by far the best visa to apply for, and also the one most people choose. The only requirements for this visa are to be eligible by all legal standards, have a minimum of 65 immigration points, and have their occupation present in the official list[iv].

With this visa, you can apply for medical care provided by the government. You can also apply for your relatives who are dependent on you with your application or after you get your approval. If everything goes well, you can also apply for Australian citizenship.

Skilled Independent Visa
Visa Duration Indefinite (renewed after five years)
Processing Time Up to 25 months
Cost AUD 4,045

2. Partner Visa, Subclass 820 and 801

There are two categories of this type of visa – subclass 820 is temporary, while subclass 801 is permanent. Partners can stay with the applicants until their permanent visa gets approved[v]. Before applying for Australia, those who have been in a long-term relationship may get a permanent visa right away. The partner visa comes with all the other perks like medical care and a work permit. Partners do not have to show their eligibility under the SkillSelect[vi].

Partner Visa
Visa Duration 15 to 24 months (temporary)
Processing Time Up to 26 months
Cost AUD 7,715

3. Investor Visa, Subclass 188

This type of visa is best for people who have a business plan in mind. Applicants are bound to invest in a venture worth AUD 1.5 million[vii]. The investor can stay indefinitely with no travel restrictions. They also must have a provisional investor visa (subclass 162), and they must have lived two years in Australia in the past four years. The applicant can include their family members with additional costs. While the business should be running, its net worth cannot be less than AUD 1.5 million.

Investor Visa
Visa Duration Indefinite
Processing Time Not Applicable
Cost AUD 2,450

4. Student Visa, Subclass 500

With a student visa, anyone from the age of six and above can study in Australia. This temporary visa permits you to stay in Australia for as long as your course of studies requires. Usually, the period is about five years which can be extended via other visas like Temporary Graduate Visa and Skilled Recognition Graduate Visa[viii]. Students can also bring their guardians if they are not old enough, and their partners and unmarried children.

Student Visa
Visa Duration 3 to 5 years
Processing Time Variable, up to 10 months
Cost AUD 620

5. Skilled Regional Visa, Subclass 887

This visa is valid for those willing to work and study in any of the regional parts of Australia. The visa could be nominated or sponsored based on the skills that a person has. It is similar to a Skilled Independent Visa, except it requires work full-time for at least one year while living in Australia for two years.

Skilled Regional Visa
Visa Duration Indefinite
Processing Time Up to 14 months
Cost AUD 415

Skill Sets

Australian Immigration Department has made a comprehensive list of occupations that can get you a skill-based visa. The list includes occupations like humble boat repairers to more professional biochemists and doctors. Among this complete list of professions, some are in high demand in some regions due to the high population influx. Therefore, you are likely to get a visa faster if you belong to any of those professions.

Some popular domains are as follows[ix]:

1. Economics, Finance, and Law

  • Accountant
  • Management Accountant
  • Taxation Accountant

2. IT, Communication Network

  • Systems Analyst
  • Analyst Programmer
  • Software Engineer
  • Telecommunications Engineer

3. Construction and Architecture

  • Project Builder
  • Architect
  • Civil Engineering Draftsperson

4. Education & Training Jobs

  • Physicist (Medical Physicist only)
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher
  • Secondary School Teacher
  • Special Needs Teacher

5. Healthcare & Social Assistance Job

  • Audiologist
  • Medical Administrator
  • Primary Health Organization Manager
  • Veterinarian
  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer

6. Public and Household Services

  • Chef
  • Welder (First Class)
  • Roof plumber

The pay rate depends upon each skill set and the level of expertise a person has. Professions such as Technology, Science, Mathematics, and Engineering are in high demand worldwide. Australia is not any different in this regard, and it pays exceptionally well for these jobs. For example, a data scientist can earn more than AUD 70,000 a year, while general physicians can make around AUD 80,000. Similarly, teaching and engineering jobs are considered well-paid jobs as well.

Top Cities to Stay In

Top Australian cities to live in

Now that the legalities and other essential things are behind you, it is time to decide where to land in Australia. There are five major cities in Australia that have a population of more than a million. They are also metropolitan cities with a luxury lifestyle and an abundance of job opportunities.

Choosing a suitable base for your stay is wise because each city has a unique setting to offer. Every city has a different lifestyle and approach towards life. Therefore, it is best to do your homework beforehand and decide which city suits you best.

1. Sydney

Sydney is an inviting and welcoming city with numerous student exchange programs attracting students worldwide. Even non-students will find many opportunities to make life comfortable without trouble in this city. The weather is also remarkable. The beaches are full of sun-lovers throughout the summer months, and you can take time to learn to surf.

Sydney is famous for being a diverse city with tall metropolitan buildings, many parks, and exquisite beaches. This way, you can enjoy nature while living in an urban area. Although it may seem that Australia gets only summer heat all year long, it might come as a surprise that the temperature in Sydney can drop between 8.8 – 17°C (47.8 – 62.6°F) in winters[x]. Most accommodations do not come with centrally heated systems, so it is better to pack warm clothes with you.

Sydney has the advantage of being the most populated city in the country. Each year it is filled with intelligent minds through scholarships and student exchange programs. Most big companies and economic powerhouses have offices in Sydney. The employment industry constantly provides various opportunities in diverse sectors, such as technology, communication, business, etc.

The only downside of Australia is perhaps its cost of living. Rent and other accommodation are relatively expensive compared to other cities. Similarly, a week’s grocery shopping may shock you as it can cost you from AUD 80 to AUD 100.

The most important aspect of living in Sydney is the sense of security that one feels everywhere. Even at night, you do not have to worry about stalkers and criminals, thanks to the strict laws implemented by the local police.

2. Brisbane


In the past, Brisbane used to be a big, cosmopolitan city that was a little behind other major cities. It is Australia’s third most populated city, and the reasons are as clear as day. Brisbane has now transformed into a contemporary multicultural city in the past few years. You can now see sky-high buildings and apartments popping out with cute cafés and eateries in the surrounding.

Brisbane, with 2.5 million people, makes a perfect economical hub for foreigners. Brisbane lies on the east coastline of Australia. You might think that being so near to the coastline would mean an abundance of beaches. Well, that is not the case with Brisbane. Moreton Bay, which lies in the eastern suburbs, has mudflats and mangroves instead of white sand like other beaches. Many people who visit Moreton Island love to see the sunset as the view there is enchanting and peaceful. Feeding the wild bottlenose dolphins is also one of the most entertaining activities you get to do there. If you are longing to stay at a luxurious place on the island, Tangalooma Island Resort is there to provide you with all the luxuries you need.

Rent and property in Brisbane are considerably less costly compared to other big cities[xi]. You have the choice of living in apartment buildings beside the riverfront or the spacious Queenslander-style houses. The price to income ratio for Brisbane is 5.3 times compared to 10.8 in Sydney[xii]. There has been a drastic drop in property prices in all big cities, so you might want to check that out before making a final decision.

3. Adelaide


Adelaide is the capital of South Australia. It has the fifth highest population in Australia. It is located north of the Fleurieu Peninsula on the Adelaide Plains and is between the Gulf of St. Vincent and the Mount Lofty Ranges to the west and the Mount lofty ranges to the east. The area covers 96 kilometers from Gawler in the north to Sellicks Beach in the south. It stretches 20 kilometers from the coast to the start of the Mount Lofty Ranges.

Consistently voted as one of the most livable cities, Adelaide provides a luxury lifestyle, job opportunities, and tons of entertainment to its citizens. In addition, it boasts about its origins because it is the only city not founded by the British colonizers.

You will find a variety of events to enjoy all year round in Adelaide. In Adelaide, the cost of living is less than in Sydney or Melbourne, but the city does not hold back on anything. Given its Aboriginal history, you will find an amalgam of cultures in Adelaide.

You will find a perfect balance of modern architecture as well as a close encounter with nature. Adelaide is the world’s only “town within a park,” according to the city council. Colonel William Light, South Australia’s first surveyor-general, planned a grid plan for the city in 1837, surrounded by approximately 930 hectares of parkland.

4. Newcastle


Situated along the New South Wales east coast, Newcastle is an all-rounder city. It is a mixture of glitz and glam with a touch of urban culture. It also has the world’s largest coal exporting port. Moreover, Newcastle is also one of those regional areas that can get you a Skilled Regional Visa.

One perk of living in New Castle is the vast number of beautiful beaches lined at the city’s coastline. They may not be as busy as Sydney, but they are a sight for sore eyes, especially on a lonely weekend. The great city of Sydney is only a 2.5-hour drive from Newcastle. You can find work and accommodation related to regional visas in the Hunter Region.

The only downside of Newcastle is the difficulty of getting a decent job[xiii]. Around 15 people apply for a vacancy which is relatively higher than in other cities. If you don’t mind a five-hour commute every day, you can get a job in Sydney while keeping your residence in Newcastle. It can be a hassle, but things are not that bleak – with a bit of struggle, you are sure to get an excellent job and a place to stay.

On the plus side, Newcastle always has pleasant weather. The maximum temperature it gets is 26 degrees, while 7 degrees is the lowest. It is a perfect place to crash if you love a moderate climate.

5. Perth


The capital city of Western Australia is the perfect combination of natural beauty and urban style, making it very popular among tourists worldwide. Perth has constantly fantastic weather, refreshing beaches on the Indian Ocean, and the beautiful Swan River. It is an excellent place for water enthusiasts to participate in several activities like cruising, surfing, boating, fishing, swimming, snorkeling, etc.

Perth prides itself on being a complete educational hub[xiv]. Five world-class universities are located there, including the University of Western Australia. There are also several training centers for diplomas and certifications. This is why Perth is also known as a ‘student city.’ Since it offers such great opportunities for studies, you will find many international students making the city quite diverse in terms of culture.

Perth has the second-lowest unemployment rate in Australia. Owing to its small size, Perth allows people to apply for vacancies without much competition. Fun fact: Perth is one of the regional areas where working and studying can lead to permanent residency. As mentioned earlier, regional areas have visas that allow people to work and study.

The sunniest city in Australia, Perth, enjoys approximately 139 days of summer every year. It can get as cold as 2°C (35°F) at night during winter, but the overall weather remains pleasant and sunny. The beautiful white sand beaches help in fighting the heat.

[i] “Australian Skilled Immigration Points Requirements.” Retrieved from

[ii] “Regional Australia – Low Population Growth Metropolitan Areas.” Retrieved from

[iii] Daisy Dumas (March 27, 2018), “The best visa to come to Australia.” Retrieved from

[iv] “Skilled Immigration visa (subclass 189) Points-tested Stream.” Retrieved from

[v] “Subclass 820: Partner visa (temporary).” Retrieved from

[vi] “Skillselect.” Retrieved from

[vii] “Subclass 891: Investor visa.” Retrieved from

[viii] “Subclass 500: Student visa.” Retrieved from

[ix]  Barbara Ell, “The most popular and needed professions in Australia in 2019.” Retrieved from

[x] “WEATHER IN SYDNEY.” Retrieved from

[xi] “Lisa Bull (April 19, 2019), Living in Brisbane: Lifestyle in Australia’s River City.” Retrieved from

[xii] “Three big things happening in Brisbane | Property market in 2021?” Retrieved from

[xiii] “Moving to Newcastle: Pros and Cons,” (September 9, 2018). Retrieved from

[xiv] Teneal Zuvela (February 8, 2021),”10 Awesome Reasons to Live in Perth.” Retrieved from