How To Emigrate To Australia
We shall guide you on how to emigrate. Australia is considered to be one of the world’s major ‘immigration nations'. Since 1945, to manage the demand from those who wanted to emigrate to Australia, the Australian federal immigration programme was created (The £10 Poms), over 7.5 million people have settled in Australia. UK nationals account for the largest group of migrants to Australia and remain a leading influence.
Today Australian immigration law is complex with strict qualifying criteria. We suggest you secure professional advice to prepare your case to emigrate. Often professional assistance makes the difference between a winning case and a refusal.
Permanent Migration To Australia
Permanent migrants enter Australia via one of two distinct programs—the Migration Program for skilled and family migrants or the Humanitarian Program for refugees and those in refugee-like situations. Each year, the Australian Government allocates places, or quotas, for people wanting to migrate permanently to Australia under these two programs.
UK Is A Main Source Of Skilled Migration
Until recently, the United Kingdom (UK) had always been the primary source country for permanent migration to Australia. However, for the first time in the history of Australia, China surpassed the UK as Australia’s primary source of permanent migrants in 2010–11. Since then, China and India have continued to provide the highest number of permanent migrants. New Zealand (NZ) citizens also feature highly in the number of settler arrivals, but they are not counted under Australia’s Migration Program unless they apply for (and are granted) a permanent visa.
History of Immigration To Australia
Over the decades, migration program planning numbers have fluctuated according to the priorities and economic and political considerations of the government of the day. However, it is important to note that the Australian Government’s immigration policy focus has changed markedly since 1945, when attracting general migrants (primarily from the UK) was the priority, to focussing on attracting economic migrants and temporary (predominantly skilled) migrants. Currently, the planning figure for the Migration Program is 190,000 places (it has remained at this record high level since 2012–13), with skilled migrants comprising the majority.
Current Immigration Trends To Australia
One of the most significant developments in the dynamics of migration to Australia in recent years has been the growth in temporary migration—in 2000–01 temporary migrants outnumbered permanent arrivals for the first time. Many of these entrants arrived on either student or Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa. Unlike the permanent Migration Program, the level of temporary migration to Australia is not determined or subject to quotas or caps by Government but is demand driven. In 2017 Malcolm Turnbull the Australian Prime Minister abolished the 457 visa, claiming it was bringing in too many unrequired workers. In recent years the 457 visa was used by over 95,000 per year to gain entry and employment in Australia. Today the 189 and 190 visas are the most popular visa classes available for permanent residency in Australia.
The largest contribution to net overseas migration (NOM) in recent years has been from people on temporary visas—mostly comprised of overseas students and temporary skilled migrants and the rate of Australia’s population growth has increased significantly over the few years largely driven by an increase in NOM.
Emigrate To Australia - Since 1958
The Australia Immigration Act came into law in 1958. Since then the Immigration Act has been updated almost annually and today is a complex system of immigration control managing over 600 various visas managing how people emigrate to Australia for employment, to be with their family, investors or those who wish to study.
It's no wonder Australia is such a popular destination, offering more than 21,000 miles of incredible coastline, sub-topical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef is a popular choice for expat Britons.
Its history – Australia was claimed as a British territory in 1829 following Captain James Cook's arrival in 1770 – means the established link between Brits and Aussies remains strong, albeit with a healthy dose of banter.
While Sydney may seem the obvious choice for Brits, a surprising number head to Perth in western Australia where a mining boom has led to speedy economic expansion and the need for a larger workforce. Brisbane in Queensland is now the most popular choice, as it offers all the benefits of the city plus the stunning Gold Coast.
Australia's population of just 22 million ensures there is plenty of open space to pursue a healthy outdoors lifestyle in the sixth largest country in the world; while overseas demand for its diverse natural resources means it experienced just one-quarter of negative growth during the recent global economic meltdown. "She'll be apples," as Australians might say.
Things to know before you go:
There are a variety of visas available for people who wish to move to Australia permanently. The main categories are:
Skilled Independent Migration (for those who are not sponsored, under 50, and with qualifications relevant to occupations on Australia's "skilled occupation list". Employer Nomination Scheme (for people sponsored by an overseas employer); and Business Migration (for entrepreneurial businesspeople and investors).
Australia also offers retirement visas for people aged 55 or older, as long as they have no dependents (excluding a partner), are self-supported and are able to make "a significant long-term financial investment in Australia." This means they must have assets of at least $750,000 (£484,000), or $500,000 (£323,000) for those settling in regional Australia. They must also have access to a minimum net income of $65,000 (£42,000), which can be pension income.
The good news is you will be able to claim your UK state pension while in Australia. The bad news is there is no social security agreement between Australia and the UK, so your pension will be frozen at the value it was when you moved to Australia. The UK government has opened discussions with Australia regarding the frozen pensions policy, so this may change in the near future.
There are no requirements for vaccinations unless you're coming from a country with a risk of yellow fever, in which case you'll have to show you've been vaccinated against that, but health advice suggests standard vaccines against the following would be wise: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, tetanus.
Things you need to know when you get there:
What airport will you arrive at?
This depends on where you're heading. While most people will land at Sydney, other destinations could be Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra or under-explored Darwin. Many airlines now issue priority customs cards to economy travellers for a small additonal fee. All business and first class passengers are issued one as part of their fare. This may be worth concidering after a long flight with children as the arrival halls can get rather packed as Australian Customs Officers are extremely thorough in their work and like unpacking cases.
How do you spot a cab?
There are no iconic cabs in Australia, taxies are licenced, safe and well regulated they will be clearly marked with a TAXI sign and the driver will have a photo I.D. unless you want to try out your Uber account on arrival - which may not be possible for an airport pick up in some airports. Brisbane is an exception to the rule and still has a lot of yellow cabs – a hangover from the 1920s when Queensland imported yellow taxis from the US.
Price of a hotel room?
The four-star Holiday Inn at Potts Point, Sydney, costs about £150 a night in November; while Darwin's four-star Holiday Inn Esplanade costs £105 a night. Hotels.com put the average price at £115 in the first half of 2017. A double room in a Holiday Inn style hotel can be around the £50. To rent an apartment in Australia for a week or longer is often a much cheaper way of securing accommodation when you first arrive and much more comfortable in a better location.
Price of a house?
Houses are expensive in city centres. Even in a Sydney suburb a three-bed home can cost $1m+. According to Numbeo, the price per square metre for an apartment in Sydney city centre is $10,000, dropping to $6,000 in the suburbs.
Price of a pint of milk A litre of milk is $1.50-$2.
What language do most people speak? English, though some Brits might amusingly say that Australian is English with as many words abbreviated as possible or with "o" at the end.
What tax will you pay?
The first $18,200 of annual income is free from tax, but then rates rise quite steeply. Income between $18,201 and $37,000 is taxed at 19%, while income above $37,000 is taxed at 32.5%. Income above $80,000 up to $180,000 is taxed at 37%; and income above $180,000 is taxed at 45%.
Residents are taxed on their worldwide income, including salary and dividends. You are an Australian resident for tax purposes if you have been in the country continuously for six months or more – those who are on a temporary resident's visa are considered to be residents for tax purposes.
How long will it take to send a letter home?
About a week. Now with social media, you are never are far from the UK and can even listen to your favourite local radio shows in real time!
What to tell your friends
• Australia is home to six of the top 10 deadliest snakes in the world.
• The box jellyfish is considered the world's most venomous marine creature and has killed more people in Australia than stonefish, sharks and crocodiles combined.
• The kangaroo and the emu were chosen to feature on the Australian coat of arms because they cannot walk backwards – they represent a nation moving forward.
• The Australian kangaroo industry estimates it exports kangaroo meat to more than 55 countries, with the EU and Russia the most significant markets.
Expat factsheet: Australia case study - Tamera and Steve Eldridge, with their children Lily and Grace
Australia case study - Tamera and Steve Eldridge, with their children Lily and Grace
The Eldridge family – Tamera, Steve, Lily and Grace – moved to Sydney in 2005, mainly for the lifestyle. "We wanted to experience life in another country and we wanted an adventure," Tamera explains. With a background in marketing when she lived in London, Tamera is now senior marketing manager at the University of New South Wales, while Steve, who is originally from Manchester, is general manager of the Red Cross Blood Service in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
"We love the weather and outdoors lifestyle – and being able to go to the beach in a lunch break," Tamera says of their adopted home. "The beautiful scenery and Sydney harbour is hard to beat. Sydney is a great city too, always something to do whether sporting, cultural, social or just going on a ferry. It's also been good for both our careers, with opportunities that would not have been as available in the UK."
Expat factsheet: Australia
Tamera gives her thoughts to us on settling and making new friends, it is easy to meet other expats, but not just Brits: "A huge amount of people here aren't from Sydney. We have friends from Canada, Hong Kong, the US, Ireland, Scotland, England, India, Lebanon, New Zealand, as well as from all over Australia."
Her main advice for potential migrants to Australia is to be prepared to take time to settle in and be realistic about it. "It takes at least a year to start to feel at home. Stick with it, and be aware you will miss the oddest things about the UK. Like Tesco. And the NHS."
What Does An Immigration Officer Do?
Can I Emigrate As A Skilled Worker?
An Immigration Officer does not look at a case until your skills have been approved by the relevant skills assessing body. There are now over 25 skills assessing bodies in Australia licenced to verify a person qualification and experience. Often these skills assessing bodies for migration purposes are also the profession's governing body. They are therefore keen to not only select the best candidates but also to minimise the number of skilled workers from overseas emigrating to Australia in order to protect the resident workforce.
Once your skills have been approved an immigration officer may issue an invitation to apply for a visa. Until this time they do not involve themselves in skilled worker cases and prefer to leave it to the assessing bodies who have expertise in your field.
Does My Age Matter When I Emigrate?
Australia is supportive of people entering Australia of any age as long as they are conducive to the economy and to the public good. They are at all times protective of the public purse and therefore it is deemed a skilled worker over 50 years old will simply not have enough time to pay the necessary taxes Australia would need to support them in old age, therefore Australia sets an age limit on skilled workers. The system in designed to make it more difficult the older you become.
Most people over 50 years old enter Australia as a parent and in these cases Australia Immigration will look to secure a contribution from the parent and also a bond from the child in Australia. In short, Australia wants to protect their public purse from abuse by migrants.
Retirement investor visas are becoming more popular, however once again an investment as a bond to Australia will be required before a visa will be issued and a medical test will need to be passed.
This should not prevent a person of age entering Australia but it is an important point to note and why these rules exist.
Does My Health Matter When I Emigrate To Australia?
For those people over 15 years of age Australia will require you to complete a full medical.
The medical conditions they are checking for range from hepatitis to schizophrenia or even autism. In recent years Australia Immigration has been challenged in Court on refusing people with a number of medical conditions under control including HIV and lost their case. That has allowed more people to emigrate with long lasting or permanent medical conditions which would have been previously refused.
Can I Emigrate To Australia With A Criminal Record?
A crime in your country may not be a crime in Australia so it depends on your criminal record. There are certainly red lines the Australian Immigration Authorities will not tolerate such as violence against women or children and it will be hard to secure a visa to emigrate if one of their red lines have been crossed. Unlike the USA however, a minor offence as a teenager will not necessarily be a ban on securing a visa.
Is There An Age Limit to Emigrate To Australia?
There is no upper age limit to prevent people from migrating to Australia. There are fewer visas available because once a person reaches 50 years old they are no longer eligible for the general skilled migration routes. In fact, often these visas are out of reach once a person reaches 40 years old as they are never able to meet the 60 points required after that point.
The visas available are based on having children living in Australia or as an investor. The key issue for older people to emigrate is Australia is down to the lack of taxes they would have paid and as age increases so does the risk of the person being a burden on the public purse and particularly their medical fees.
Age is not a barrier for immigration to Australia but it does make it more difficult.