Going Down Under – The Financial Costs of Moving to Australia

Australia is the land of opportunity and can offer a great lifestyle for people old and young. The United Nations voted Australia the second-best place to live in the world. It is also the second happiest country in the world and has a good economy, an excellent standard of education; and is also one of the safest places in the world in which to live as crime rates are relatively low and police forces, efficient. If you are one of the lucky ones who has the opportunity to move Down under, here are some of the financial costs you may incur on your journey. 

Visas and Passport

Before you do anything, you should ensure that you have a valid passport that will not expire within six months of you entering Australia. Once you have a passport, you will be able to apply for the appropriate visas to allow you to enter and live Down Under. A passport can cost up to $200, whereas visas can cost between $5000 and $12000 US.

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Before you move, you will probably have to have a medical examination to check that you are free from disease and fit and healthy enough to make your trip to Australia. Your doctor will ensure that you are up to date with vaccinations and will give you any boosters you need. A private medical and vaccinations will cost a substantial fee.

It is advisable to get medical insurance such as a GeoBlue Xplorer health plan before you travel to cover you for any medical emergencies during your trip and when you first arrive in the country. Once you are settled in your new homeland, you can apply for Medicare.


Flights to Australia are pretty expensive, so it makes sense to shop around for the best deals. However, don’t be tempted to plump for very cheap flights with an inferior airline. If you are moving from the UK or US to Australia, the flight is long and tedious, so you will need it to be as comfortable as possible. If you can, book a seat with plenty of legroom on a flight with limited time spent on airport stopovers.


It is most likely that you will send your treasured possessions to your new home in Australia by boat. A 20ft shipping container costs around $9000 to hire and send your goods from New York to Australia. This is a substantial amount of money, so you should think hard and only take treasury possessions and mementos to your new home.

Packing your stuff into boxes can be costly if you hire a company to do it for you. If you do it yourself, you can cut costs but ensure that everything is packed securely, breakables are well wrapped in padding, and the boxes are robust and well sealed.

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Once you arrive in your new country, you will need somewhere to live. You may want to consider staying in a hotel or motel for a few days until you find something more long-term. Before you move, you should book your accommodation and also look at furnished rental properties. Research suitable areas to stay in and avoid high crime districts. If you are moving for work, your new employer may help you to find a place to stay near work. Whatever you do, accommodation is not cheap, and it is recommended by seasoned travelers that you have enough savings to enable you to live for at least six months without an income.