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Preparing for life as a migrant in Australia

Australia is a multicultural society consisting mostly former Europeans and Asians who have immigrated to the country through their respected controlled immigration system. Prospective residents must obtain a visa for the purpose of their stay in Australia and will be expected to adhere to certain admission criteria before a visa will be issued.

Preparing For Life As A Migrant In Australia

It remains a very popular expat and migrant destination and is considered to be one of the best places in the world to live because of its low population density, high standard of living and the unpolluted atmosphere. According to the Human Development Index (HDI), Australia is ranked 7th out of a total of 174 countries with this ranking being based upon high scores in GDP, life expectancy, literacy, and education. It is perhaps due to these reasons that Australia is so popular with people who are moving overseas.


How much quid are we talking about?

Australia and specifically larger cities like Sydney can be more expensive than smaller or rural towns. The 2016 Mercer Cost of Living Australian cities continue to rank high on the list in the Asia Pacific region.

This can be attributed to the strong Australian economy and currency. At the time of the last survey in 2016 Australian cities placed; Sydney (24th), Melbourne (46th) and Perth (50th).

Australia provides its residents with a similar level as that available in Japan and a higher purchase parity than the United Kingdom and Singapore.

Do you speak my language?

English is the official language spoken in Australian and you will have no problem communicating or conducting business when moving to Australia if you speak English. The population consists mostly of Caucasian (92%) and Asian (7%) with Aboriginal and other cultures accounting for just 1%.

What are my job opportunities like?

Even in today’s economic crisis, unemployment is in Australia is exceptionally low. There are plenty of jobs of all levels available to those who want them. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to gain work permits and residency if you are moving to Australia from overseas. Immigration policies have become a lot tighter over the last decade and most people looking to move and work need to be able to offer a skill in order to gain a work permit. Retirees will be given visas if they have enough money.

Important tips

• Expats are strongly advised to pay for health insurance. This costs in the region of $60 USD per month and does not include optical or dental care.
• Pets entering Australia will need to be placed in quarantine for a period of up to 120 days and some breeds of dogs are not eligible for importation into Australia at all.
• Depending upon where you obtained your original driving license you may need to re-sit your driving test in Australia before you are permitted to drive there.

Say what?


The Aussies is known for a casual lifestyle and this certainly reflects in the language too with most things abbreviated with simply an ‘O’ added to the end of the word! For fun here’s a list of Aussie slang you might find useful:

Amber fluid : beer
Ambo : ambulance, ambulance driver
Ankle biter : small child
Apples, she'll be : It'll be all right
Arvo : afternoon
Bloke : man, guy
Bloody : very (bloody hard yakka)
Bloody oath! : that's certainly true
Bogan : person who takes little pride in his appearance, spends his days slacking and drinking beer
Boomer : a large male kangaroo
Bring a plate: Bring a plate of something to the braai with you (not just an empty plate).
Click : kilometre - "it's 10 clicks away"
Coathanger : Sydney Harbour bridge
Cockie : cockroach
Coldie : a beer
G'Day : hello!
Garbo, garbologist : municipal garbage collector
Good onya : good for you, well done
Greenie : environmentalist
Quid, make a : earn a living - "are you making a quid?"
Road train : big truck with many trailers
Roo : kangaroo

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