After some thorough thinking, moving to Sydney turned out to be the right choice for you. And why wouldn’t it be? This marvelous metropolis has so much to offer even to those who’re just visiting, let alone to those that decide to settle down here. From mostly beautiful, sunny days all year round, stunning beaches, rich arts scene, to all kinds of amenities, there is a wide range of things that make the capital of New South Wales an excellent destination.
Now, every relocation, let alone an international one, brings a long list of questions and concerns. So, just like many other people planning to move, you, too, feel overwhelmed by what comes next. What should you do first when moving to Australia? Are there any special requirements to keep in mind when relocating internationally? Where do you find a job as an expat living in Australia’s largest city? And a house? How are you going to get around a place with over 5 million residents once you get there? What about the cost of living? And the list goes on and on.
What’s crucial at this point is that you don’t start panicking. Sure, it seems a lot, but you can handle it all, one matter at a time. We are here to guide you through this process smoothly. So, without further ado, let’s move on to some helpful tips on what you should do to organize your international move and get to your chosen destination without any major hiccups along the way. Let us start with the essential step – gathering all the necessary documents.
Prepare All Important Documentation for International Moving to Sydney, Australia
Before you can move on to actually planning your international relocation, you need to be sure you can, in fact, legally enter and reside in Australia when the time comes. In other words, it is necessary that you take care of all the required documents needed to travel abroad and gather everything on time. Only after that can you start packing or let experts do that for you if you’re planning to hire packing services.
And speaking of packing, when you do come to this point, it’s always a good reminder to pack these documents of yours first. It might seem obvious, but with all the relocation turmoil, it can easily happen that you forget about something this significant.
To be able to enter Australia and stay there as an expat, you are required to get a visa first. Naturally, each country has some specific requirements, which leads you to your first step – find out everything you need to know about getting an Australian visa.
Step One: Learn About Special Requirements When Moving to Sydney, Australia
When it comes to this step, there is no single answer to what kind of requirements you’re supposed to meet. This is because there are various types of visas and work permits that you can apply for. Therefore, your first task would be to find out what visa you are eligible for when relocating to Sydney.
However, these are a few universal requirements that you’ll have to meet regardless of the type of visa you are applying for:
- English proficiency test– for non-English speakers
- Official recognition of skills and qualifications– carried out by the relevant Assessing Authority
- Health check– depends on the country of origin, visa category, etc.
- Character requirements and Australian Value Statement– proof of a clean criminal record or good conduct
Probably the most popular among Americans is the temporary work visa, suitable for skilled workers whose skills and qualifications are officially recognized by the relevant assessing authority. For this type, it is also necessary to provide proof of sufficient healthcare arrangements.
There are also various work and holiday visas. There is one designed for those aged 18 to 31 with a desire to study and work in Australia. In this case, you can stay there for up to one year.
Speaking of education, those who want to go for higher education studies can apply for the Higher Education sector visa. You can get one after you’ve been accepted into an approved educational institution.
Explore the Job Market
In addition to the required documents, it is also crucial to check what job opportunities are there for you before you decide to make this city your home. Given the prosperous economy in Sydney, it is highly likely that you will find several excellent options to choose from, no matter your qualifications. Another reason why job-hunting shouldn’t be much of a problem for you is that the labor force lacks skilled workers, so all qualified applicants are more than welcome.
Some of the thriving sectors that you should consider first include finance, education, healthcare, and information technology. Over the past few years, some other sectors have developed significantly, too, including mechanical engineering and the legal sector. Here are some of the top employers, according to Business News Australia:
- Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
- Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC)
- Woolworths Limited (WOW)
- Goodman Group (GMG)
- Brambles (BXB)
There are plenty of options, that’s quite clear already. But you still might not be entirely sure when you should start looking for your dream position. Let’s answer this question, too.
Start Looking for a Job at Least Two to Three Months in Advance
Even though it probably won’t take you long to land a job in Sydney, that doesn’t mean that you should wait until the last minute to start looking for one. No matter where you’re relocating, it is always advisable to start exploring the options well in advance, at least two months earlier.
This is a huge step to take, so you should be completely certain that you’ve found the right option according to your qualifications. You shouldn’t reach such a decision in a rush, as whatever you pick will affect your entire life once you relocate. It would also be advisable to avoid the high risk of relocating without a secure position waiting for you and start looking for one once you’re already there. That kind of pressure will only make the entire process more stressful. So, before you start looking for international moving services and picturing your future life, you should know for sure that you have a job waiting for you there.
Decide Which Part of the City You’re Going to Live In
Once you know you have a secure position waiting for you, it’s time to find the right part of the city to move to. Ideally, you will relocate to a neighborhood close to your office so that you don’t waste precious time commuting every day. But even if that’s not possible, you can find one that has a good connection whether you decide to drive or use public transport.
In addition to proximity to your office, your choice will also depend on what you expect from the surroundings you’re relocating to and what your top priorities are. There are different neighborhoods suitable for young professionals and families. So, if you’re having trouble deciding, let your priorities decide for you.
Do you dream of living in a neighborhood with vibrant nightlife or one where you can enjoy peace and quiet? Are you relocating for work? Or you’re looking for high-quality schools for your children? Think about these and similar questions, and you’ll get your answer.
Best Neighborhoods in Sydney
When you determine your priorities, you will be able to narrow your choice down and come one step closer to finding the neighborhood that is a perfect fit for you. Even at this point, it can be tricky to reach your final decision. To help you do it, let’s take a look at some of the top-rated neighborhoods and suburbs that you should consider first:
- Paddington– one of the most elegant neighborhoods where streets are lined with Victorian architecture houses and buildings. Full of upscale boutiques, cozy cafés, trendy bars, and many art galleries worth visiting.
- Balmain– Balmain has become one of the most popular suburbs after recent gentrification that has made it an excellent place to move to. It is particularly popular among young professionals.
- Kirribilli – an affluent suburb only 14-minute drive away from the downtown area. It is rather convenient for those relocating with kids, as there are numerous schools nearby, as well as plenty of parks where you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities.
When you find the right area, it’s time to set the budget for your future housing costs. Let’s see how much you should plan to spend on accommodation when you move across the world.
Explore Housing Options or Find Someone to Guide You Through the Housing Market
Adjusting to a new country after moving can be tricky, so it is essential to find a cozy place that fits you, for starters. You want to feel comfortable and really feel at home when you come back from work. So, where should you start looking?
First of all, you should be prepared for relatively high costs, whether you choose to rent or buy a place. In addition to this, keep in mind that utilities are not included in the rent, so add an additional $150 per month for essential utilities and the internet.
If you’re having trouble finding an affordable place that meets all your needs and expectations, don’t forget that you can always turn to a real estate agent to help you with your quest and guide you through the process.
Rough Out a Plan for the Housing Costs
Whether you eventually go for renting or buying, you should have at least a rough plan of how much you’re going to spend on your house per month. If you go for the somewhat more affordable option, which is renting, you should stick to the outskirts if you want to save a few bucks. According to Numbeo, the rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the center is about $1700, while a residence of the same size somewhere outside of the central area will cost you about $1,200 per month. For those looking for a bigger place, the rent for a three-bedroom apartment can be close to $2,000 outside of the center.
For those of you who have saved enough money to buy an apartment, the price per square feet is about $800 in the center and about $500 outside of the center.
Be Sure You Find the Most Convenient Method of Transport
There are many fantastic things about this metropolis, but truth be told, public transport may not be one of them. Namely, there is a well-developed network of buses, trains, light rail, and even ferries, all serving the area and connecting the Central Business District with the surrounding neighborhoods and suburbs. However, public transport is not that reliable, so even though in theory, there are various lines that can get you from point A to point B, it can easily happen that a bus is late, or a train breaks down.
The more reliable option is to go for Taxi or Uber. If you’re not that thrilled about spending money on these every day, you should think about overseas vehicle shipping, as it will be much more convenient to use your own car to get around the city. Now, regardless of the method of transport you eventually choose, do keep in mind that one thing remains the same – congested traffic.
Beware of Traffic Jams
The main problem with getting around the Harbor City is that, wherever you head, you are likely to get stuck in traffic at some point of your route. Like everywhere else, the rush hours are the worst part of the day to find yourself in traffic. So, wherever you’re going, be sure to plan potential delays due to traffic jams. If you decide to move to a suburb, this will become an integral part of every day, so you should simply make peace with it and prepare for it in advance.
An excellent way to avoid the stress caused by congested traffic is to go by bicycle. Cycling is encouraged here, so you might as well join an increasing number of Sydneysiders who choose this healthier and less stressful mode of transport. Not only will you avoid congested traffic and get some exercise, but you’ll also save some money, as cycling is more affordable than any other mode of transport.
You Can Rely on High-Quality Healthcare
One of the major reasons why people from all around the world decide to relocate to Australia is, without a doubt, its world-class healthcare system. With top-notch Australian healthcare, you’ve got no reason to worry about a thing when you relocate to the Harbor City.
There are about 50 public hospitals and clinics in the entire metropolitan area. Public healthcare is tax-financed, and it covers most medical services, except for prescription drugs, for instance. However, that shouldn’t concern you because these are cheaper than in many other countries due to government subsidies.
In addition to public healthcare, there is also a private healthcare system. In case you only get a temporary visa, for instance, you will need to get private health insurance because you will not be eligible for the public one.
Get Your Health Insurance on Time and Keep It Up to Date
Even though the entire healthcare system is well-developed, you shouldn’t relax too much and expect to get everything done in a day. Just like with any other procedure, obtaining your health insurance takes some time, so be sure you apply for one early enough and keep in mind that there might be certain restrictions. Thus, don’t sign anything before you’ve read the policy carefully. Check which services are covered by the insurance and which are not, and then talk with the insurer about the cost of adding some extras.
When you get everything straightened out, and you seal the deal, it’s up to you to keep the policy up to date from that moment on. When you miss a single payment, you risk having your membership canceled, and you shouldn’t take such risks.
Rest Assured That the Quality of Education Is High
In addition to top-notch healthcare, Australia is also known for just as high quality of education. Some of the best universities in the Land Down Under are located here, such as the University of Sydney, the University of New South Wales and Macquarie University. Besides, if you’re considering taking your kids to this metropolis, you could hardly choose a better place for their education. Your little ones can also go to a preschool here (at the age of four).
Given that some of the most prestigious educational institutions are located here, you’re probably wondering about the fees. The good news is that schooling is free for all permanent residents. However, those who manage to stay there only temporarily may be required to pay some administration fees.
You’ll be happy to hear that all schools here are held in high esteem, so no matter what your kids are interested in, you can be sure there is a top-notch school for them, from artistic to the scientific and technical fields of study.
Find the Best Type of School for Your Kid
Depending on individual preferences, there are several types of schools that children can attend: public, private, faith-based, or international. It is also somewhat common for students to pick single-sex schools here.
When it comes to public schools, students are usually chosen depending on zones or catchment areas. That’s why many families choose their neighborhood according to their preferred school. Some private schools are quite popular, so in that case, you should apply as early as possible.
Faith-based schools are often considered some kind of a middle ground between private and public ones. Catholic primary and high schools are the most popular, as they have a rather good reputation. As for international schools, these are, naturally, most popular among expats. While there are many benefits of sending a child to an international school, you should also know that the fee for this type of school is the highest.
Enjoy a Variety of Entertainment Options
If there’s one thing for sure when relocating to the Harbor City, then it’s the sheer number of entertainment options regardless of your preferences. You can never get bored here. From various festivals all year long to concerts and art fairs, there are all kinds of options when it comes to entertainment. With the world-famous opera house located here, you can be sure that there is always some major music event worth checking out. When you want to go out, there will be plenty of restaurants, bars, and pubs to explore. And, of course, don’t forget about the long, movie-like beaches where you can relax and leave all your troubles behind.
The Most Popular Attractions in Sydney
When you pick such a fantastic place with so much to offer to be your new home, it really is difficult to decide where to go first once you relocate. Here you can find some of the most popular attractions to check out:
- Harbor Bridge
- Harbor Cruises
- The Royal Botanic Garden
- The Tower Eye
- Barangaroo Reserve
- Hyde Park
- Palm Beach
What’s the Best Thing About Living in Australia’s Largest City?
As you can see, there are quite a few things that make Australia’s largest city a desirable place to call home. So, you might be wondering if there’s anything that singles out and makes this metropolis special in some way. One thing is interesting to note – when you’re here, you are practically forced to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
If you’re wondering what to pack when relocating abroad, remember that this depends on the weather conditions, as well as your lifestyle. So, in your case, summer clothes and sportswear are a must. The thing is, with so many health-conscious people living there, you’re going to become one of them in no time, whether you like it or not. Even if you’ve never done it before, don’t be surprised if you suddenly include a morning exercise in your schedule before work, and then do some workout during your lunch hour, too. Over time, it might evolve into a healthy habit.
Are You Ready for the Land Down Under?
Naturally, you feel a bit overwhelmed, and you’re wondering about how to live in another country, to begin with. However, getting used to something better has never been much of a problem, so you will probably get accustomed to the new surroundings much sooner than you think. There are always ways to keep in touch with your friends after moving abroad, so there’s no need to despair. Plus, people here are so open and friendly that you’ll be able to find a pleasant company without much trouble.
Apart from fantastic people who can very soon become your new close friends, you get to rely on excellent healthcare and education, choose from a variety of charming and cozy neighborhoods to live in and enjoy a wide range of outdoor activities at sandy beaches. So, there doesn’t seem to be any clear reason why you wouldn’t want to live in Sydney. Just be sure to prepare all the necessary documents in advance and obtain a proper visa. In case you’re planning to take your furry friend, too, remember that there are some special requirements when moving with your pets overseas.
Considering the cost of living here, it is advisable to find some ways to save money when moving internationally, but don’t forget that it will be worth every penny. Are you ready to pack your bags, head to this fantastic country, and become a true Sydneysider soon?