How to Move to Australia

How I moved to Australia

movingOne of the most common questions I am asked is “I want to move to Australia, where do I start?” And I suppose the answer for everyone is slightly different.

But I do know what the answer was for me was and I have documented the process that we went through to move to Australia, from the initial idea right the way through to finally arriving in Australia with permanent residency status.

But I have realised of late that most of these articles have disappeared into the archives and if you can find them, the titles aren’t very descriptive. Titles like Moving to Australia Part Three and Moving to Australia Part Four.

Yes, very helpful…..

So I have now created this dedicated page called “How to Move to Australia” describing each step I went through along the way to secure my move. Hopefully the short descriptions under each title will make it easier for you to navigate around this category and find what you are looking for more easily.

To read any of the articles in full, just click on the title/link above it. So, let’s start at the beginning……..

Moving to Australia – An Idea

The Idea

This is where it has to start for everyone, with an idea. That idea is simply “I think I’d like to move to Australia”.

6 Ways to Emigrate to Australia

Types of Visa

Here I take a look at six of the most popular kinds of visas to get you into Australia.

Moving to Australia – Part Three

The Application Form

Now it’s time to take a look at the dreaded paperwork and some of the costs involved in moving to Australia.

Moving to Australia – Part Four

The Points System

Deciding on which kind of visa you will apply for and a look at the Australian Skilled Immigration points calculator.

Moving to Australia – Part Five

Backing Up Your Application

More dreaded paperwork. Gathering together the proofs you will need for your Australian migration assessment depending upon the type of visa you are going for.

Moving to Australia – Part Six

Bringing Your Dog or Cat

You’ll probably want to read this if you are hoping to bring your dog (or cat).

Moving to Australia – Part Seven

Finalising the Application

Now it’s time to fill in the application form and provide even more proofs.

Moving to Australia – Part Eight


Finally your application is complete and it is in the post. What next? I’ll tell you, waiting! Is there anything you can do?

Moving to Australia – Part Nine

And More Waiting

This is waiting part two if you like. Here I explain stasis and exactly what you are waiting for.

Moving to Australia – Part Ten

The Medical

Nudging ever closer, it’s time to take your medical examination.

Moving to Australia – Part Eleven

Nervous Waiting

The results of your medical examination have now been sent off but you really don’t know if you have passed or failed. More nervous waiting.

Moving to Australia – Part Twelve

Selling Up and Planning Your Move

With your visa now granted, how do you validate it? Also, selling your house and planning your departure. And here’s more help with planning…

The countdown to your move

Moving house is, apparently, one of the more stressful things you will do in your life. It certainly takes a fair bit of reparation and planning, and if you are like me, you will want to make a list of things to do.

If you want help with that, I now have such a list. Please visit…

Moving to Australia – Part Thirteen

The Removal Company

With the house now sold, it’s time to call in the removal company. It’s also time to start saying goodbye to people and places and book your flight to Australia. But where are you going to live when you get there?

Moving to Australia – Part Fourteen

The One-Way Flight

Finally, it’s time to board the plane on a one-way ticket to Australia! This is when your visa gets validated.

Moving to Australia – Part Fifteen

Where’s My Furniture?

More waiting, this time for your furniture to show up. Also, what’s it like settling in?

Talking of furniture, you might like to read my post about what to bring with you. It’s called, rather excitingly…

The End. Almost…..

And that does conclude our story of how we moved to Australia.

But there are many more posts in the Moving to Australia category, please do check them out. Clicking that link you will see the most recent posts at the top of the page. But I just want to bring your attention to a few more articles that may be very relevant to you if you are seriously considering moving to Australia.

Moving to Australia: Baggy’s Story

Collecting your dog (or cat) if you brought one. What can possibly go wrong!

What About My Friends?

And finally I have three articles about missing your family and friends and making new ones……

Goodbye Sam, Goodbye Samantha

First I look at who out of your friends and family are likely to come and visit you in Australia.

Leaving All Your Friends Behind

Second, making new friends, a radical new approach.

The Rules of Making New Friends

And third, the simple rules of making new friends.

And Finally….

It’s a long process, I know. Sometimes you will get frustrated with it, I know we did. But I can assure you that from our experience it is well worth the effort. The time it takes is not so important as the “Yes” at the end. As long as you get in, it’s all worth it.

If you are beginning or going through this process now, I wish you well. Maybe I’ll see you here in Australia soon.

Important: Please read before commenting…

And for those looking for professional assistance…

Visa Assessment Service
{ 964 comments… add one }
  • James Thomas January 15, 2023, 3:27 am |

    Hi Bob
    I am James from African but i base in UAE with my family..i have BSC in Information and Communication technology but here in UAE i am working as Health and Safety Officer in a constitution industry while my wife is working as chef in an hotel…we are planning to migrate to Australia…
    Please what is your advise..

    • BobinOz January 17, 2023, 9:32 pm |

      My advice is speak to a MARA registered migration agent.

  • Ezaan May 24, 2022, 4:36 am |

    Good day Bob,

    My husband and I want to immigrate to Australia from South Africa. We know the living cost in South Africa is cheaper then that of Australia. I am a qualified teacher and my husband a qualified Earth Moving Diesel Machine. We do not know what our salaries will be in Australia for we are only busy with the immigration process now. We just want to know will we be financially okay with our qualifications when going over to Australia.

    Thank you.

    • BobinOz May 25, 2022, 6:29 pm |

      Gooday Ezaan
      Well, I think both of the occupations you mention are pretty well paid here, but I’m sure you need a more definitive answer than that. May I suggest you check out my page about Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, and check out the links to the various employment agencies on there?

      You can then research those occupations to see, firstly, how many vacancies there are for you both and of course secondly, the kind of salaries being paid.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • samantha September 14, 2019, 9:31 am |

    iv had a read and im completely clueless. We have been thinking fir a while now me my partner and 3 kids.
    im just clueless on where to begin. some articles say getting a job offer firstly is the best way others are to apply for a visa. completely confused with all of this

    • BobinOz September 16, 2019, 6:55 pm |

      Yes, it is all very confusing. If you want to bypass all of this confusion, then I suggest you go through my Visa Assessment Service as offered by my MARA migration agent.

      He would be able to tell you if you and your family might qualify for any kind of visa and if so, which one or ones. This process usually also answers the question of whether you need a job offer first or whether you would be able to come here with the visa and then look for work.

      You’ll get a lot of information for the small fee we charge for the service, so it’s a great place to start. If you want to look into it yourself though, the best place to start is on my page about Visas.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Barbara Robinson October 17, 2018, 10:59 pm |

    Hi Bob

    I have only just recently subscribed to your blog but must say it is 1) wonderfully informative 2) Beautifully written 3) amazingly comprehensive. I could add more accolades but just want to add my “two pennies’ worth”, from our own experience.

    We emigrated to Australia in 2005; we waited nearly 3 years for our visas to come through. We started our application in 2001 and managed to submit the initial paperwork just 72 hours before my 45th birthday (which in 2001 was the cut off age). It was accepted (!) My husband had already passed the cut off age but, strangely, when the visas were finally issued in 2004, they came through with Husband as the lead applicant – he had to enter the country first!. I could write reams on the very tight deadlines imposed for submission of medicals etc and at times I was nearly in tears asking “Is it worth it?”
    So, we arrived in Brisbane to activate the visas in July 2004 (tight deadline for activation when you have jobs and children at school), and made the Big Move in April 2005.

    We moved primarily for the children’s education. It has not just met our expectations, it has exceeded them, by a long shot. We put them into a school on the Sunshine Coast and were blown away by the standards, the dedication of the staff, the diversity of opportunities. The children moved on to universities in Brisbane (QUT, UQ), both did double degrees (far cheaper than the UK), and have moved into the workforce in Brisbane and Sydney. Both are successful and happy; one is applying for a doctorate (they are funded by the Govt – can you imagine the UK doing that?).

    What of us? We have become “Ping Pong Poms”. We did not sell up in London (buyers fell through – very stressful, we ended up renting out the house for 11 years). We took back the house and now divide our time between the UK and Australia, intent on settling there again for good when we become too old/feeble to manage on our own.

    Meanwhile I read all your blogs, thinking “that rings so true”, “I had for gotten about that” and learning much that is new: the cost of calling out an ambulance in the various states was a very good read! A real wake up call…

    So Thank You for all the time and energy you put into creating this blog, this website and all the links and pages. “More power to your elbow!” (and pen, and keyboard).

    Barbara R

    • BobinOz October 18, 2018, 8:55 pm |

      Hi Barbara

      Firstly, thank you so much for the kind words, I really do appreciate it. I’m glad you stopped at three accolades, you’ve already broken the record 🙂

      Your story sounds so similar to ours, we didn’t wait three years for the visa, but it felt like it. I was long past my 45th birthday, so it was down to my wife, but at 43, she was getting close. In the end though, we made it and we’re very glad about that.

      I thought we had left it to the last minute, but crikey, you cut it really fine with just 72 hours to go. Glad you made it, because as you now know, it really is worth it.

      We moved here to hopefully give our daughter a better lifestyle, and without doubt, we have achieved that, and it sounds as though you have had the same result with your children.

      Thanks for taking the time to make your comment, and enjoy your ping-pong-ing back and forth; me, I’m staying here.

      All the best, Bob

  • Dragan August 14, 2018, 12:49 am |

    Hi Bob,

    First I have to say that I love this site and especially this page. I read it like a novel, enjoying each part.

    I am a software developer(programmer) 19 years of experience, age 43. I have a master degree in electronics, the IT course.

    My wife is 44 and has a master in molecular biology, finishing 2 year specialization in microbiology next month.

    We have a beautiful nine year old daughter, and I have to brag that she is the best pupil in her class, having very good English for her age.
    We passed the idea stage, so we really, really want to emigrate, and we really, really want to emigrate to Australia for good. Dreaming about Brisbane 🙂

    Now when I finished long introduction to give you better understanding of our situation there goes the part with the questions 🙂

    1. It seems very tough to get the permanent Visa for the family so we have second thoughts about Canada if we cannot make it with Australia. What is your opinion about moving to Australia vs Canada? It seems to be easier to get Canadian visa? How you compare those two?
    2. Do you think we have a fair chance to get the Australian permanent Visa, with so little that you know about us or we should give up and focus on Canada?
    3. After the idea stage, now our plan is to gather the material and start preparing for the IELTS next week. I believe that in 2 months time we will get our certificates, me aiming at 8 points, wife aiming at 6 or 7. Then in a couple of months we would contact your MARA agent. Do you think this is good way to go, or you have some suggestions?

    Thank you very much for creating this site and reading this very long comment.
    I am looking for your answers and suggestions but be aware that I already read many of your articles and am asking these questions in order to start the stage two in te proper manner 🙂

    Best regards, Dragan

    • BobinOz August 14, 2018, 9:06 pm |

      Hi Dragan

      Thanks, glad you like my website, I appreciate that 🙂

      Okay, so to your questions. I don’t know much about living in Canada, but I know that Canada = cold and Australia = warm/hot, and I know which I prefer. Obviously it’s Australia, that’s why I’m here. I’d pick Australia all day long.

      Secondly, do you have a chance? By the sounds of it, yes, and it also sounds to me as though you probably prefer Australia to Canada, so I think you should at least give it a shot. And that brings me to your third question.

      I think what you propose is very sensible, you don’t necessarily need to do the IELTS first, but perhaps for your own peace of mind (in order to know what points you have achieved) you might prefer to do that. You can also get an assessment done through my MARA agent without taking IELTS, and he will just let you know what scores to aim for for you and your wife.

      Whichever way you prefer to go is the way to go.

      What I will say though is at least go through the assessment, it’s only $100, because doing that will give you a very accurate answer to your second question and if you do have a good chance of making it to Australia, I think you would probably like to take it.

      Good luck either way, whatever you decide and I think Australia and Canada are both very good countries.

      • Dragan August 15, 2018, 12:13 am |

        Thanks Bob.

        I have just read the answers and I have a feeling that we are on the same page.
        My choice is Australia of course and I am kind of hedging with the Canada which is also ok.
        Anyway I will give myself 2-3 months for definite decision while preparing for the IELTS. It is a big decision and I want it to be as less impulsive as possible.
        If everything goes well I will contact you back to start the assessment process with your agent.

        Thanks again.
        Best regards, Dragan

  • Piotr July 23, 2018, 8:53 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    First of all I would really like to thank you very much for your website and all the hard work you do. I would be literally left in darkness without all the information that you so kindly provided.

    I have been on an international exchange at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane for a year. My wife visited me during that time and we both fell in love with Australia – especially with Brisbane (where we now plan to move).

    I have read most of your articles (but still have few more to go through) and I know that my next move is to contact your MARA agent to help me with my application.

    Before I do that I have few questions that I hope you will be able to answer:

    1. Me and my wife we are both professionals with higher education, do we need to apply for visas separately or can I apply for both of us, or will your agent help with this? (Asking as my wife doesn’t want to be a ‘dependent’ and she would like to work in later time as a professional. As for now she is professionally looking after our 6 weeks baby while I try to figure out how to get us to Oz ;)).

    2. The costs that you summarized are just overwhelming and I was wondering if maybe I should try and find a sponsored employment first (I realize it maybe extremely difficult to find one but I am willing to use the tools that you mentioned in one of your articles) and then apply for a visa to see if a potential employer can help with the costs? Or having a visa secured is a must have before even considering applying for work in Australia? (I also assume it would be a bit easier to find a job if I was already in Oz?) I am kinda confused here and I hope your answer will help me plan my next moves.

    Best wishes,

    • BobinOz July 24, 2018, 7:24 pm |

      Hi Piotr

      Thank you for your kind words, glad to have shone some light 🙂 and it’s easy to fall in love with Brisbane, I have.

      So, to your questions. Your first question is easy, only one out of you and your wife need apply as the main applicant, and the other can be included as a dependent. Don’t be disturbed by the word ‘dependent’ though, because whoever is the dependent will have the right to work here and have full independence.

      It’s just the terminology, that is main applicant and the main applicants dependents, which can include children.

      Which of you you choose to be the main applicant depends on your personal circumstances and usually the one chosen to be the main applicant is the person who has the greater chance of successfully getting a visa based on their skills, qualifications and work experience.

      The second question is more difficult, certainly for me, because I’m not a MARA agent. You’ll be pleased to hear though that my MARA agent will be able to help with all of that as part of the assessment. He will also detail all the costs for the options he might suggest to you and the pros and cons of each can be discussed in the follow-up.

      These days it is unlikely an employer will help out with the costs, but of course, that depends on what you do and how much they want you to join them. For sure though, it’s infinitely easier to get a job in Australia when you already have the visa sorted out.

      Hope that helps and good luck, Bob

  • funmi June 6, 2018, 1:19 am |

    hello. i live in nigeria, i will like to migrate to australia with my children. i am a graduate of business administration and also finishing postgraduate Master in manageria psycology soon. i really want to i eligible?

  • mr welsh April 22, 2018, 3:00 am |

    please help me prepare for my move to Sydney new south wales australia

    • BobinOz April 23, 2018, 6:26 pm |

      I’m pretty sure you will find all the advice you need on this website, there are over 1500 pages in all. Have a good look around.

  • Brendah Kagezi April 17, 2018, 8:45 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Can relocate to Australia with my family through you. Am frm Uganda,a female with six children.

    • BobinOz April 18, 2018, 6:28 pm |

      No, I cannot help anyone directly, please read my important notices at the foot of the above article.

  • Brendah Kagezi April 17, 2018, 8:38 pm |

    hi Bob
    Am a ugandan single mother who wishes to relocate to Australia as soon as the chance comes. I have six children, a social worker by profession but currently working with a kindergarten in the capital Kampala. I badly need your help

  • Awakan Eyitayo Adewale April 12, 2018, 6:01 pm |

    Will like to move to australia and work. I am a graduate of International Business Management from the American College, Dublin. I returned to Nigeria immediately after my first degree programme. Am married. How can i relocate to Australia? Thanks

  • Estelle March 29, 2018, 5:58 am |

    Am Adekunle Esther. Tanx for our word of advise and all the details outlined.
    My family and I wanna relocate to Australia due to the fight going on in Nigeria how can we do this.

  • Abdiaziz mohamed March 25, 2018, 8:06 pm |

    Am abdiaziz from Africa,kenya my dream is to migrate to Australia for the purpose of peace and better life

  • Niall McGoldrick March 23, 2018, 1:53 am |

    Hi Bob

    Firstly, let me thank you for your commitment with this website/blog. It’s fantastic.

    I have read each step of your blogs from having the big idea of emigrating to making the big move. Myself and partner have the ‘bug’ now too, especially with my older sibling singing its praises, who is lucky enough to be getting permanent residency soon. I am hoping you can clarify one thing before I pay for an initial assessment from your recommended MARA agent:

    I am due to be getting married to my partner in Mar 2019, which we want to do before kicking off this process. We have 1 child who will be ~ 2 and half yrs old when we start the process. I am hoping, eventually, to be granted a skilled workers visa. And if this is the case, Will my wife and my child automatically qualify to emigrate with me defacto, or will she have to submit her own visa application and present her own case for emigrating?

    Strangely enough, we are having trouble finding anybody to provide us with info/advice for emigrating to Australia face to face where we are. When we research emigration officers/advisors they seem to mainly provide a service for foreign nationals entering the country rather than leaving it.

    I will patiently await any feedback from a rainy miserable afternoon in Northern Ireland, and thanks in advance. 🙂

    • BobinOz March 23, 2018, 7:34 pm |

      Hi Niall

      Thanks for the kind words about my website, glad to hear you have found it helpful.

      Usually I’m not able to answer these kinds of questions, but with this one, I can. The partner and children of the main applicant are included in the same application, so under these circumstances your dependent wife and child will be included in your application.

      If you get in, they do.

      To qualify as a partner, marriage isn’t necessary, as long as you can prove you have lived together for more than 12 months and are in a relationship. I suspect having a child who will be about two and half would suffice, but getting married really does confirm it.

      Funnily enough, there’s no real need for face-to-face contact, it’s mostly done online and over Skype these days. My agent is very good, you won’t go far wrong with him.

      Good luck with your plans and hopefully it will stop raining there soon 🙂

  • Victor March 4, 2018, 2:58 am |

    I am an African according to bad situation and conditions i live, I wish to move in Australia. I need someone to help me for that. Thanks

  • Tina March 3, 2018, 7:57 am |

    I’m Valentina from Macedonia.Born in Australia and for couple of months moving to Melbourne Australia.The first month we will stay at my sister house with her and her husband after that we have to rent a house find jobs…..I’m scared.We also have to buy a car.Will we manage to do that for one month???and also I want to ask I have panic disorder and anxiety and I’m taking medicine for that.Can my pills (the same of them) be prescribed in Melbourne?what if they are not available there what I’m gonna do with out them???

    • Trevor March 3, 2018, 11:07 am |

      Tell your doctor at home what you are doing. He will give you extra medication for your trip, usually 2 months’ worth, until you can register with an Australian doctor. 100% sure Australia will have them too! Also take your paper prescription and/or a note from your doctor, in English, stating your condition. Read the article below for natural alternatives to medication. Be sure to register and then read the comments section below the article. Print and read thoroughly on your journey.

      • Tina March 3, 2018, 10:20 pm |

        Will we be able to find from the start jobs with my husband???How long do we have to work there so we can rent a house????I have two brothers one sister over there but to be honest they would not help more then a month to stay at their homes,and the bad thing is we don’t have that much many for a good start by our selfes.

        • BobinOz March 5, 2018, 5:11 pm |

          It’s hard to know what to say to you Tina, because there are no guarantees of finding immediate work here for your husband. So, if you don’t have much money, and you don’t think your relatives will help you out for more than a month or two, you are taking quite a risk.

          Have a look at my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship, it will help you research job vacancies here in this country.

          To rent a house, you will need to be able to prove your income, have enough money to pay the bond payment (usually equivalent to 4 weeks rent) and have your application accepted by the landlord. To get an idea of rental costs, see Cost of Buying or Renting a House in Australia.

      • Tina March 10, 2018, 1:56 am |

        I did a little research and found out that the medicine that I’m taking here in Macedonia is in schedule 8 drugs(I’m 10 years on alprazolam on and off) in Australia.Is this gonna be a problem for me to get this medicine prescribed by a doctor over there.

        • BobinOz March 12, 2018, 8:12 pm |

          I don’t know the answer to that, but I have done a quick Google and it appears that the drug you’re taking, commonly known as Xanax if my searching was correct, appears to be strictly regulated here in Australia and intended for short-term use only.

          I think you need to be careful, if you bring in a two month supply, you need to make sure that you’re not breaking the law by doing that. I would suggest getting in touch with the health department of whichever state or states you intend to visit in Australia to find out what you can and cannot do in respect of this drug.

          Get something in writing if you can, better to be safe than sorry.

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