Moving to Australia

 

Moving to Australia can be a wise decision for families who want to begin a new chapter of their lives abroad. Its reputation as a working democracy, little pollution, and general high quality of life attracts over 130,000 migrants each year. Besides that, 150,000 jobs are advertised weekly by companies looking for skilled workers. Earning a decent living is thus hardly a problem for those who plan on moving here. As a destination for working expatriates, it is still considered potentially a difficult posting as the cost of living is high and the distance from family and friends can be a challenge. 

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world with a land area of about 7.6 million square kilometers. It is a land of contrasts --- from harsh deserts to huge grazing lands, tropical rainforests to modern cities, and beautiful golden beaches and exotic coral reefs to mountain ranges.The country has a lot to offer those who are looking for a fresh start, whether it involves settling down with family overseas or a new direction career-wise. The fertility rate in the country is low at 1.4 births per woman in 2005. According to experts, this figure is not enough to replace the aging population. Currently, the Australian Government actively encourages skilled and sponsored migration to sustain its population. Presently, the expatriate population in Australia is composed of 4,711, 490 people, and about 89.3% of the population are of European descent with only 2.3% of the population being from indigenous or of Aboriginal descent.

Australia is divided into eight geographical regions: New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia and Australian Capital Territory. Despite the vast land area, it has a small population, estimated to be about 23,833, 174 people. Australia has the lowest population density in the world (2.5 people per square kilometer), thus providing the luxury of ample space, especially in residential areas. Most civic amenities are available within easy access while major cities are located in the coastal regions.

According to research carried out by a leading company, Mercer, which surveyed 215 cities, "Australian cities continued to rate among the highest for quality of life with criteria including political, social, economic, environmental factors, personal safety, health, education, transport and public services. Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane all feature within the top 25, ahead of cities like San Francisco, Paris, London and Montreal for all-round health, safety and good times."

Sydney is world-renowned as one of the most vibrant cities in the world with superb nightlife. Queensland is known for its great weather and beautiful beaches also draws tourists.The Great Barrier Reef, one of the natural wonders of the world, is located north of Queensland.  Another cosmopolitan city, Melbourne, with a milder climate, is a haven for shopping enthusiasts.

Prior to becoming a British colony, Australia's majestic landscape was at the hands of the Aboriginals. Today, American culture can be found in the media and sports (football, cricket, and rugby) and play a major part in the Australian way of life. Australia is a stable democracy where three levels of governance exist: Federal or Commonwealth Government, State Government, and Local Government. The currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

New residents can register with Centrelink, a government office that provides job seeking assistance, social security payments, and other assistance to people living in Australia. You must also apply for a tax file number once you become part of the workforce or are receiving any form of income. Call the Australian Taxation Office for a form or visit their website to apply online.

If you open a bank account within six weeks of moving to Australia, a passport is required.  After six weeks, you will need additional ID.  Once you have a bank account, inform the bank of your Tax File Number to avoid paying higher taxes. Most salaries are paid directly into bank accounts. Other requirements needed to open a bank account include proof of residential address, a bank statement from the previous three months and the need to have passed the ‘100-point’ system to prove your identification. Conventional banks found in Australia include the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, ANZ Bank, Westpac and National Australia Bank.

Recognized as the 'Lucky Country' because of the general feeling of wellbeing experienced by people who have successfully relocated, Australia's ethic of "no worries" that reigns amongst the locals makes it a pleasant place for expats.

 

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