Moving To Australia Checklist: Tips For A Stress Free Move

Researching your move to Australia? Read Crown Relocations’ tips for a seamless move Downunder.

Written exclusively for Expat Network by Crown Relocations


Gaining a visa

Visa documentation can be a key cause of stress when planning an international move. Immigration to Australia is calculated on a points system, based on factors such as if your occupation is in high demand. Visa types include:

  • Skilled: Independent Visa – skilled workers under 50
  • Skilled: Nominated Visa – nominated by an Australian state or territory and have lived there for two years
  • 482 Visa – working on a temporary basis for up to 4 years and have a sponsoring employer (it does enable you to bring your family with you)

The biggest challenge is getting the necessary sponsorship for your visa. This therefore needs to be your priority at the begin of planning your move to Australia.


Financial considerations

Travellers can carry an unlimited amount of cash into and out of Australia. However, amounts of AU$10,000 or more of foreign currency equivalent must be declared.

Alternatively, if you plan on transferring money, you will not be taxed at the time of transferring but taxed on the interest earned once it is in your Australian bank account. If you transfer money into your bank account later from savings that also will not be taxed. However, if that money is income earned back home and you qualify at tax time as a resident you will have to declare it on your Australian tax return. This goes for income from rental properties back home too as that is foreign income earned according to the Australian Tax Office (ATO).


Housing advice

Real estate agents in Australia do not do multi-listing so can only show properties that they manage themselves, and there is no commission charged by landlords or agents. Most properties for rent or purchase are advertised on sites such as  or There are some upfront costs for renting a property, which include;

  1. Deposit paid when a rental application has been accepted to hold the property. This is usually equivalent to one or two weeks rent.
  2. Bond, usually equivalent to four weeks rent. This money is held in trust until the end of the lease. This will be refunded in full, subject to there being no rent outstanding or damage to the property, other than fair wear and tear.
  3. Rent in advance, which can be one week or one calendar month, depending on whether the rent is advertised as weekly or monthly.


Shipping and transit

Once you’ve finalised where you’ll be living it will be time to organise how to get your household and vehicles shipped over.

The type of transit you choose will depend on your timescales and budget:

  • Air is shortest at about 14 working days but also the most expensive
  • Shipping a sole use container takes approximately 9 -10 weeks dependent on location in Australia
  • Groupage, i.e. a shared container, is the most cost-effective option and can take approximately 14 weeks

Consignments will be trucked or railed from the closest Australian port dependent on your chosen shipping method. If its groupage for example, it doesn’t go to the closest port, it goes to the closest port based on the whole container.


Customs considerations

Australian customs control is highly rigorous. They are particularly concerned with anything agricultural or organic so everything has to be cleaned or disinfected before transit. Pay particular attention to tools, wood, barbecues and golf clubs. Make sure there is no soil attached. We recommend using Jeyes fluid as it has a pungent smell that customs officials will recognise immediately and know that the goods have been cleaned.

If you’re shipping a car, you need to have been the registered owner for 12 months prior. Also make sure the name on the V5 registration document is exactly the same as the person on the visa, i.e not your spouse’s name.


Crown Relocations provides transportation, destination and immigration services, as well as family support, to assist people relocating internationally or domestically.

With experts working in 54 countries, Crown is an enthusiastic champion of the benefits of relocation. We provide support, guidance, care and the personal attention needed to ensure success.

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