Are you dreaming to enjoy life down-under and looking forward to moving to Australia from USA? Here’s the comprehensive guide that includes all the information you need to know before taking a step further.
Whether you are moving abroad for the first time or relocated multiple times, our guide will ease your doubts along the way. The guide includes information regarding Visa Requirements, Taxes, Education, Health System and everything you might come across if you are planning on relocating to Australia!
Australia is the smallest continent and the sixth-largest largest country in the world. It is nestled between the Pacific and Indian Oceans in the southern hemisphere. This beautiful country is home to the quirkiest wildlife, coral reefs, red-earthed national parks, scorching deserts, and spectacular rain forests.
It has been called by many names, including “The Oldest Continent”, “The Last Frontier”, and “The Last of Lands”. Since Australia started out originally as British Colony, a lot of British values carried over across the sea. This young, multicultural, and open country with an ever-growing economy offers plenty of opportunities. Its quality of life and unrivaled natural beauty make it an ideal destination to settle in.
It is almost as big as the US with less than 10% of the US population. Australia and the continental US are equally massive. If Alaska is not included, then these countries are nearly tied with the continental US covering 8 million square km, and Australia is spread across 7.7 million square km.
According to the United Nations, Australia has an excellent quality of life index, making it the second-best country in the world to live in. This oldest continent has a tolerant and multicultural society with an absolute rejection of racial discrimination. Expats living in this country enjoy several benefits such as work-life balance, good healthcare, great education, decent job opportunities, high salaries, and more.
Can US citizens move to Australia?
Yes. US citizens can easily move to Australia; however, they need a valid visa. You can apply for a family visa, either if your family member is already living in Australia or if any of your family members are Australian or New Zeeland citizens.
A student visa is suitable for students looking to study or undertake any professional training in the country. US citizens can also apply for a work visa for moving to Australia from US hassle-free. The easiest way to get your work visa approved fast is to find a job in Australia before leaving the USA.
Visa Types and Requirements
Australian Visa Types
Australian visas are divided into the following categories.
|Type of visa||Details|
|Visitor visa||It is ideal for short-term travelers, including tourists, e-visitors, etc.|
|Study and training visa||This includes visas for international students, trainees, and parents or guardians of underage international students.|
|Work visa||It allows the holder to work in Australia legally.|
|Bridging Visas||This visa allows the holder to stay in Australia while their immigration application is being processed.|
|Family Visa||It is issued to minors or adult dependent relatives of Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zeeland citizens|
Australian Visa Requirements for US Citizens
US citizens must have a valid passport and visa or approved Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) to enter Australia. However, ETA is valid for those US citizens who are traveling to Australia for tourism or business purposes for less than 90 days.
Australia work visa requirements
You must have to submit the following documents while applying for an Australian work visa:
- A passport with a validity of a minimum of 6 months.
- Job offer letter
- Recent passport-sized photographs
- Travel and health insurance
- English language proficiency proof
- Police clearance certificate
- Proof of educational qualification
- Form 80 for personal character assessment
How to get an Australian work visa?
Carry out the following step-by-step procedure to get an Australian work visa.
- Obtain the job offer before moving to Australia.
- Submit an Expression of Interest.
- Get the nomination approval
- Pass the points test.
- Fill the visa application form.
- Submit all necessary documents and Australian visa fees. Wait for its approval.
How much is the Australia visa fee? The Australian visa fee depends on the type of visa you are applying for.
- Visitor Visa: AUD 45
- Student Visa: AUD 620
- Training Visa: AUD 310
- Work Visa: AUD 310 to AUD 4,045, depending on the work visa type
If you want to extend to request a visa extension, you can learn about it in our guide on vista extension!
How to Get Australian Citizenship?
Australian Citizenship Requirements
The requirements of becoming Australian Citizenship are:
- You should be a permanent citizen of Australia.
- You are over 16 years of age.
- You have lived in Australia for a period of four years, including 12 months as a permanent resident.
- You must have adequate knowledge of your responsibilities and privileges as an Australian citizen.
- You are of good character.
How to Apply? The step-by-step process to apply for Australian citizenship is:
- Check your eligibility
- Get your supporting documents ready.
- Make copies of each and every document.
- Prepare official translations, if needed.
- Complete your application form.
- Submit the application.
- Make an appointment and sit for the citizenship test.
- Attend the citizenship ceremony.
Australian Citizenship Processing Time
The citizenship processing time depends on the application type. Check the details in the table mentioned below.
|Application Type||Period Counted||75% of applications processed in||90% of the applications processed in|
|By Conferral||From the date of application to decision||9 months||16 months|
|From the date of approval to the ceremony||7 months||8 months|
|From the date of application to the ceremony||17 months||21 months|
|By descent||From the date of application to decision||3 months||5 months|
|Evidence of Australian citizenship||From the date of application to decision||9 days||17 days|
How do I get Australian citizenship? You must have to fulfill all eligibility requirements to get Australian citizenship. You must have lived in the country for around 4 years, including a year as a permanent resident.
How hard is it for an American to move to Australia? Moving to Australia from USA is not challenging. Get the necessary documents and meet the age requirements to obtain a visa. To make things simpler, the Australian government offers lots of options in which Americans can get a visa.
How long does it take for an immigrant to become a citizen in Australia?
- If you have applied for Australian citizenship by conferral, then 90% of applications are processed within 16 months.
- If you have applied by descent, then 90% of applications will get processed within 5 months.
How long does it take to get citizenship in Australia?
Tax Types and Rates
Tax System in Australia
Before moving to Australia, you must know that there is a progressive tax system in this country. It means that the higher your income, the more tax you will have to pay. Australia has slightly less marginal and average tax rates for low-income people and high marginal tax rates at high-income levels.
You can earn up to $18,200 in a financial year without paying any tax. This is called the tax-free threshold after which the tax rate kicks in. Australia contributes a maximum of its revenue from taxes. The financial year in Australia starts on the 1st of July and ends on the 30th of June.
Types of Taxes in Australia
The types of taxes levied in Australia are:
- Income tax
- Capital Gain Tax
- Property Tax
- Custom Duties
- Payroll Taxes
- Fringe Benefits Tax
- Inheritance Tax
- Superannuation Tax
- Passenger Movement Charge
- Trustees Liability Tax
- Corporate Tax
- Excise Taxes
How much tax do you pay in Australia? It depends on your income. The lowest income tax rate in Australia is 19% and the highest income tax rate is 45%.
Tax rates for foreign residents are:
|Taxable Income (in $)||Tax Payable $|
|0 – 120,000||32.5%|
|120,001 – 180,000||39,000 + 37% excess over $120,000|
|180,001+||61,000 + 45% of excess over $180,000|
How to tax calculated in Australia? Check the tax rates for Australian residents in the table mentioned below.
|Taxable Income (in $)||Tax Payable $|
|0 – 18,200||Nil|
|18,201 – 45,000||Nil + 19% excess over 18,200|
|45,001 – 120,000||5,092 + 32.5 excess over 45,000|
|120,001 – 180,000||29,467 + 37% excess over $120,000|
|180,001+||51,667 + 45% of excess over $180,000|
Australia Housing Market
Renting Property in Australia
The process of renting a property in Australia is:
- First of all, you need to learn the local language to make the searching process easy.
- Take your time to explore different neighborhoods and choose the best location.
- Initiate the search. Use newspapers, the internet, or real estate agents to know about the available property on rent.
- Once you are done with searching properties, connect with the agents through email or phone.
- Submit an application for a property along with the necessary documents such as proof of income, employment details, prior rental agreements, identity proof, etc.
- Sign the lease and move in.
How much rent is in Australia? Check the housing rent in Australia’s major cities in the table given below.
|City||Rent (in AUD)||Rent (in USD)|
Can foreigners rent property in Australia? Yes, sure. It just requires a little bit of paperwork and preparation. For example, you might have to provide the reference of your previous landlord so that they can cross-check your background.
What is the average house rent in Australia? The average house rent in Australia is about 436 AUD (304USD) per week.
The average cost of the house in Australia? Housing is fairly expensive in Australia as a whole. The average median price of a house in the country is about $956,000.
Can US citizens buy a house in Australia? Sure. US citizens can invest in property in Australia. However, there are strict rules and regulations to follow. They need to apply to FIRB for approval to buy the desired property in the country.
Jobs in Australia for Americans
The job market in Australia
Australia is known for its strong economy, high salaries, low unemployment rate, and plenty of job opportunities. The country’s economy is dominated by the service sector, followed by industry and agriculture. Tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Australia’s major cities.
Other sectors in which you can easily find jobs are:
- Mining and Energy
- Science and Technology
Most demanding jobs in Australia
Check the list of most demanding jobs in Australia here.
|Job Position||Average Salary|
|IT System Architect||US$94,810|
|IT Security Architect||US$83,970|
How to get a job in Australia as an American? Obtain a valid work visa, find a job online through several job-finding portals, research about the company beforehand, attend an interview, and get a job. There may be certain companies that ask you for references as a part of a job application. This could be previous employers or professors if you are a recent graduate.
Is it hard to get a job in Australia as an American? The Australian job market is very competitive so, it is a bit hard to get a job in this country. However, if you are really talented and skillful, then there are tons of opportunities available to get started.
Can American citizens work in Australia? Yes, sure. They just require is a valid Australian work visa and a job. Moreover, they can opt for self-employed jobs as well after obtaining a work visa.
Can I move to Australia without a job? Yes. Moving to Australia without a job is absolutely possible. But a job offer gives you extra points while applying for a visa and thus speeds up the process. Also, it will increase your chances of getting permanent residency in Australia.
Healthcare System In Australia
Australia is known for offering best-in-class healthcare facilities to residents. The country offers both public and private healthcare and people living there are free to choose the option that goes well with their requirements.
Healthcare services in Australia are funded by the Australian government and various health insurance companies. The land down under ranks first among OECD countries for exceptional healthcare outcomes and third for overall healthcare performance
Public Vs Private Healthcare
Australia boasts a public as well as a private healthcare system to facilitate the residents. Public healthcare in the country is known as “Medicare” which covers treatments, medicines, and appointments either for free or at a significantly reduced cost.
While public healthcare is affordable, it doesn’t cover long-term dental and vision problems. The long waiting time is also one of the drawbacks of Australia’s medicare facility.
Therefore, if you are concerned about your health or face ailments frequently, then opt for a private healthcare facility.
Health Insurance in Australia for Foreigners
Expats are eligible to get medical cover in Australia at a specific amount, irrespective of their origin country. However, the rules and regulations for getting health insurance depend on the visa you are holding.
Is healthcare free in Australia? Yes. Australia’s public health system offers doctors’ appointments, medicines, and essential treatment for free or for a reduced cost.
What is the coverage cost of health insurance in Australia? The average health insurance policy cost in Australia is around $2000 per year. There are different healthcare insurance tiers, including Basic, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The insurance coverage cost varies from one tier to another.
Is healthcare in Australia free for foreigners? Healthcare in Australia is free for all permanent citizens and expats who have applied for permanent residency.
The education system in Australia
Australia has one of the best education systems in the world. It is divided into three tiers, namely Primary, secondary, and higher education.
- Primary education runs for 7 or 8 years, starting from kindergarten.
- Secondary education runs for three or four years, beginning from years 7 to 10 or 8 to 10.
- Senior Secondary education runs for two years.
- Tertiary education is comprised of technical colleges and universities. They provide undergraduate, technical, or postgraduate degrees.
Education in Australia facts
Check the education facts in Australia here.
- Schools in Australia start in either late January or early February. It usually ends in mid of December.
- English is the official language of instruction.
- Australian education system offers over 22,000 courses across 1,100 institutions.
- The majority of schools in Australia have three or four semesters and each term lasts for 9-11 weeks.
- International students report almost 90% satisfaction scores for their study experience in Australia.
- This country is home to six of the world’s top 100 universities, including the University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, Monash University, etc.
Education in Australia vs the US
The education system in Australia is quite different from the US.
- While American schools continue to demand some 3 to 4 hours of homework, Aussies don’t care about it much.
- Australian students have term breaks while Americans have a summer break.
- Academic grades are different in both countries.
- Sports lessons are part of physical education in Australia; however, it is referred to as business in America.
Check the education stats here before moving to Australia from US.
|Average years of schooling of adults||10.9||12|
|Compulsory education duration||11||12|
|Literacy, the total population||99%||99%|
|Primary education duration||7||6|
|pupil-Teacher Ratio, primary||17.88||14.29|
Is Education free in Australia? Public schools are free for permanent residents of Australia. However, catholic and private schools usually charge attendance fees.
How much does education cost in Australia? It depends on the degree you wish to pursue. For example, the average fee for a doctoral program in Australia is about AUD 20,000 to AUD 42,000 annually. It is AUD 15000 to AUD 35,000 for Undergraduate Bachelor’s Degree.
Is education free in Australia for international students? No. However, Australia offers lots of scholarship programs that offer value up to 40,000 USD, approximately. These scholarships allow international students to study free in Australia.
Cost of Moving
Cost of moving to Australia from the USA
The cost of moving to Australia from USA depends on various factors, including the city in which you are relocating, the number of goods you are carrying, and the total distance traveled.
Australia is classified as an island which means that your belongings can either reach the country through boats or via airline’s cargo shipments. Since this country is far away from America, it is advised to hire professional movers and packers who pack and unpack items carefully.
The average cost of relocating to Australia from the USA is about AUD 14,000 (USD 10,500). This includes AUD 8,000 for a visa and AUD 4000 for moving your personal possessions 9,000 miles around the world.
How much does it cost to relocate to Australia? To calculate the cost to relocate to Australia, expats need to consider three major areas, including the cost of submitting a visa application, the cost of moving to Australia, and the cost of settling in this country.
While the average cost of moving to the land down under is around AUD 14,000, the cost of settling depends on the number of family members.
|Single Migrant||AUD 15,000 – 20,000|
|Couple||AUD 20,000 – 30,000|
|Family of 3 or 4||AUD 30,000 – 40,000|
|Family of 4+||AUD 50,000 or more|
How much would it cost for an American to move to Australia? It takes around USD 10,500 for an American to move to Australia. This includes visa, shipping, and settling costs.
Want to bring your dog and wondering what would it cost you? Check out the cost of bringing a dog to Australia!
Cost of Shipping
Shipping to Australia from the USA
Since Australia is surrounded by water, you can ship your goods either through cargo or via ship. There are dozen of carriers that can ship to Australia but the four best options to go for are USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. They handle your goods with care and get your packages delivered within a few days.
Generally, it takes about 5-10 working days for a shipment to reach Australia from the US. Shipment of goods by sea freight takes around 2-3 weeks, depending on which of the US state you are shipping from.
The cost of shipping depends on various factors such as package weight, package dimensions, and delivery speed.
How much shipping to Australia from the USA? Check the table here to find the cost of shipping to Australia from the USA.
|Origin||Destination||20ft container cost||Duration|
|Los Angeles, USA||Melbourne||$1161.62||3-4 weeks|
|Los Angeles, USA||Sydney||$1184.15||3-4 weeks|
|Los Angeles, USA||Adelaide||$1,172.89||4-5 weeks|
|New York City, USA||Melbourne||$2,940.20||5-6 weeks|
|New York City, USA||Sydney||$2,997.27||5-6 weeks|
|New York City, USA||Adelaide||$2,968.74||5-6 weeks|
If you can’t wait for so long, then opt for the airways and ship your items within a few days. These estimations are based on a single-meter cubed 250kg container.
|Los Angeles||Sydney||$2,286.31||1-3 days|
|Los Angeles||Adelaide||$2,286.31||1-3 days|
|New York||Sydney||$2,526.97||1-3 days|
|New York||Adelaide||$2,526.97||1-3 days|
What is the cheapest way to ship to Australia?
Consider the cheap overseas shipping options and cut down the extra cost of shipping your goods to Australia from the USA.
|APC -PercelConnect Expedited||10-15 days||$60.06|
|DHL Express Worldwide||4 -7 days||$62.21|
|USPS – Priority Mail Express International||12-19 days||$100.50|
Living in Australia
Australia is the second-best country in the world to live in, according to the United Nations. It offers best-in-class education, high life expectation, and socioeconomic well-being. Also, Australia is one of the happiest countries in the world.
Wondering is it expensive to live in Australia? Every good thing comes at a price and Australia is no different. Living expenses in Australia are higher than in the USA and this island country often falls in the list of top 10 expensive countries in the world to live in. The average cost of living for a single expat in Sydney is about 1440 AUD without rent.
Australia cost of living Vs US
Check the cost of living in Australia vs the US in the table given below.
|Cost of living of one person (without rent)||$1,002||$1,900|
|Cost of living of a family of four (without rent)||$3,584||$3,313|
|One-way ticket (local transport)||$3.30||$2.15|
|Average monthly salary after tax||$7,754.41||$3,572.98|
|GDP per capita||$51,812.15||$63,543.58|
Living in Australia as an American
You can live in Australia as an American for up to 90 days with the Australia ETA. After that, you will have to obtain a valid visa for an extended stay in this island country. Australia has numerous visa options for eligible US citizens, including a family visa, work visa, student visa, and more.
Pros and Cons
Find out the pros and cons of living in Australia here.
|High living standards||Higher cost of living|
|Welcoming atmosphere||Expensive housing|
|Quality healthcare||Isolation anxiety|
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Australia? It depends on your lifestyle. But you could live a comfortable life in about AUD300 to AUD500 per week.
Is Australia a good place for an American to live? Yes, sure. It offers over-the-top healthcare, excellent education, higher salaries, and a better lifestyle, thus making it a good place for an American to live.
What are the benefits of moving to Australia?
- It offers plenty of job opportunities.
- The quality of life in Australia is way better than in other countries in the world.
- It is home to a plethora of beaches and offers tons of outdoor adventures.
- This island country enjoys pleasant weather throughout the year.
What is the best time to visit Australia?
Spring and Autumn season is considered the best time to visit Australia.
Best Places to Live in Australia
Check out the best places to live in Australia here.
It is the capital of New South Wales and Australia’s largest city. Sydney is the perfect destination to find ample job opportunities. It is best known for its harborfront Sydney Opera House.
It is considered to be the country’s cultural capital with amazing museums, exciting festivals, and an endless selection of cool bars and eateries.
Canberra is Australia’s inland capital and boasts a sophisticated atmosphere. Although it is a national capital, Canberra offers a small-town charm with tree-lined streets.
The capacity city of South Australia, Adelaide is a paradise for foodies. It is popular among expat families and is filled with varied cultural scenes, art festivals, and great restaurants.
It is the third-largest city in the country with a fast-growing economy. It is home to relaxed suburbs and beautiful landscapes, making it a perfect place to enjoy a rural escape.
Lies on the banks of Derwent River, Hobart is the second-oldest city in Australia. It offers a relaxed pace of life with breathtaking scenery. Moreover, it has the most affordable housing in the country.
A city on Australia’s west coast, Perth enjoys the highest daily sunshine hours and is known for its pleasant weather. It is home to golden sandy beaches, gorgeous city parks, and plenty of nature reserves.
It is a coastal city in the Australian state of Queensland. The Gold Coast is famous for its long sandy beaches, inland canals, and surfing spots.
Situated along the western shoreline in the Northern Territory, Darwin is jam-packed with incredible wonders, namely Litchfield National Park and Kakadu. It is an ideal destination for those who want to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle.
A city on the north-eastern coast of Queensland, Townsville is the country’s largest urban center. It receives more than 320 years of sunshine every year.
Culture and Climate
The island country of Australia boasts a western culture derived from Britain. Aussies have been inventive in adopting their cultural roots to sync with the new environment and modern society. Australia is a diverse country and attracts expats from all around the world, making it a melting pot of different cultures.
Australians are known for their easy-going and friendly attitude. They love enjoying a laid-back lifestyle without getting worried about the future. The country’s rich assortment of backgrounds, cultures, and communities influence everything, from their food to festivals.
Due to the huge size of the country, Australia has several different climate zones. The northern section of Australia has a more tropical-influenced climate with hot and humid summers and dry winters. The southern part of the country is cooler with mild summers and rainy winters. It enjoys all four seasons, including Summer, Winter, Autumn, and Spring.
What are some cultural facts about Australia?
- Australians are friendly in nature and love enjoying a relaxed and no-worry lifestyle.
- It is home to the oldest surviving civilization on Earth.
- Aussies suffer from the tall poppy syndrome.
- Australians are egalitarian.
What traditions are in Australia? Learn about the unique traditions of this island nation before moving to Australia from USA.
- Small talk with cabbies
- Muck up day celebration while wearing weird costumes
- The celebration of Boxing Day Test Cricket
Does Australia have four seasons? Yes, Australia has all four seasons but at the opposite time to those in the northern hemisphere. The summer season is from December to February, Autumn is from March to May, Winter months are from June to August, and Spring is from September to November.
This is all about how to move to Australia. We hope you have enjoyed reading this guide and found it informative.
This island country is a land of staggering contrasts and spectacular beauty. It is home to ancient rainforests, rugged national parks, and the Great Barrier Reef. Australia boasts a higher standard of living and offers ample job opportunities to skillful people. The country has one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Aussies are well-known for their welcoming nature and warm hospitality so you don’t have to worry about glares you might face as an immigrant in other countries. However, they only that you have the willingness to embrace the local culture.
Moreover, Australia offers a world-class education system and is home to some of the best-in-class universities. Since it is the world’s largest island nation, it boasts more than 10,000 beaches where expats can enjoy a rustic and natural experience.
Australia is an ideal destination for wildlife lovers as the animal life in this country is unique as compared to the rest of the world. It is the only nation across the globe where you can get a chance to run into marsupials almost every day.
What are you waiting for? Apply for an Australian visa, pack your bags, hire professional movers and packers, and get ready to move to the land down under.