The Australian Government, through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, approved 7,700,000 temporary visas between 2015 and 2016. If you are thinking of moving to the Down Under, here is what you need to know first. From obtaining the right visa to facts about Australian culture, renting, and driving, here are ten essential tips for relocating to Australia.
Get a Visa
The first thing you need to do before you can relocate to Australia should be to secure a valid visa. Unless you’re an Australian citizen, you are required to apply for a traveling visa before you can leave your country of origin. It is worth noting that there are several types of visa available, and your intended length of stay, purpose, and passport of your visit will determine the kind you get. To learn more about how to get a job in Australia and the type of visa to apply for or you are eligible for, visit Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection Website.
You Will Need a Tax File Number
If you intend to live and work in Australia, then you will need to get yourself a TFN or tax file number. This TFN is your reference number in Australia’s tax system. While it is not compulsory, it is advisable that you get one. Why? People who do not have a TFN pay higher taxes than those who do have the number. Applying for tax file number is free and can be done via the internet once you’ve acquired your work visa.
Understand The Cost of Renting In Australia
The price of rental properties in Australia is quite high (and somewhat confusing) and will sweep you off your feet if you aren’t ready, so grab a seat. Rental prices in the country are advertised per week, instead of per month. Though quoted as weekly, they are often charged monthly. As per this article, the average property in Sydney will set you back a cool $480/week, while in Melbourne, you might end up paying up to $340/week for a one-bedroom flat.
Stick to the Left
Unlike in America, Australians sit on the right side of the car and drive on the left side of the road, just like in the United Kingdom. However, unlike in the United Kingdom, Australians keep to the left on pathways, escalators, and sidewalks.
Learn Australian English
Australia is multilingual, but English is the dominant language. However, do not be fooled; Australian English is choke-full of unique abbreviations, slang, and colloquialisms. Any proper noun containing three syllables or more is shortened. For instance, a mosquito in Australia is called a Mozzie, and Australia itself is called Straya. Natives greeting can also be baffling to foreigners, especially the phrase “how you going,” which is not a question but a greeting.
Slip, Slap, and Slop
It is worth noting that Australia experiences some of the highest levels of ultraviolet radiation and has the highest rate of melanoma in the world due to its position in relation to the equator. Considering this, it is essential that you always apply SPF30+/50+ broad-spectrum sunscreen every time you go outside, especially during summer.
Review Smoking Laws and Costs
Smoking is a costly habit to maintain in Australia, considering that an average cigarette pack costs 35.20AUD. Furthermore, the packets themselves are barred from featuring any promotional text or logos and are, instead, covered with disturbing, smoking-related photos and tobacco use warning messages. It is also worth noting that smoking is also banned in airports, public transport, and most enclosed public places like enclosed restaurants.
Understand Australian Humour
Aussies have a satirical, dry, and irreverent sense of humor, which isn’t always understood by other people and cultures, and sometimes offends people. Self-deprecating and dark, Australians tend to poke fun at friends as a way of building bonds. They also love to exaggerate stereotypes. To understand what’s being said here, watch The Chaser’s War, Summer Heights High, Kath and Kim or listen to comedians and radio hosts Andy and Hamish.
Acknowledge Aboriginal Respect
Aboriginals are the indigenous people who’ve inhabited the continent for over 65,000 years. While Australia is extensively multicultural, it is essential that you be respectful towards the original inhabitants of the land. Since the arrival of the very First Fleet back in 1788, the Aboriginals have been discriminated against and suffered at the hands of white settlers. Speeches at functions and events today often start with The Acknowledgement of Country, which pay homage to the original inhabitants of the land.
Find Portable Wi-Fi Routers
While Wi-Fi might have been invented in Australia, that does not mean you are going to enjoy fast internet in the country. The exciting thing is that Australia was, in a recent internet speeds poll, ranked 60th in the world. Public hotspots are unreliable and have restricted and limited access. Want to stay connected? Carry with you a portable Wi-Fi Router.