Moving from South Africa to Australia - Everything You Need to Know
Australia is a popular destination for South Africans to both travel and live. We are often approached by those who require self storage during the transition of moving abroad, or to safely store their goods for when they plan to return in a few years.
We recently spoke to ‘Hire a Mover’, an Australian company with expert knowledge on emigrating to Australia. Here they share everything you need to know about moving to the ‘Land Down Under’ to help make the transition smooth and productive.
Tips to making emigration simple
Even though a South African passport can grant you a visa-free entrance in 100 countries, if you want to visit or live in Australia, a visa is a must!
- Consider the visa options
There are a variety of visas available for application. They are divided into subclasses according to a set of requirements. It is important to find out which type of visa will best suit your needs. This is the first and most important step when planning your move to Australia.
One of the things that will influence this decision is your occupation. If you have an occupation that is considered to be skilled such as a lawyer, electrician, accountant, doctor, etc. you can apply for a skilled migration visa. There are currently 178 occupations that nominate you for a skilled migration visa to Australia.
Another visa option is to move an existing business across to Australia.
- Apply for a visa
The following checklist is necessary if you decide to make your visa application:
- Complete an English language competency test
- Do a skills assessment which is conducted by an independent industry regulator
- Do a points test that is based on your qualification, age and savings
- Skills selection
- You have 60 days to submit the application for a visa after receiving an invitation to apply
Depending on the visa, the cost will vary. Tourist visas are normally the cheapest, followed by working holiday visas, student visas and then temporary work visas. The visa needed for permanent residency will require you to spend a significantly larger sum.
The good news is that you can bring your spouse and children with you on your visa. This means that only one family needs to apply for a visa. It is important to consider which family member has a more eligible occupation to increase the chances of a successful application.
Although it is possible to prepare for the visa application on your own, self-prepared visas are the ones that get refused most often due to incomplete applications. To avoid this, try contacting a lawyer or a registered migration agent. These agents are from the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) which is an authority of the Australian Government that regulates their work.
- Hire a mover
If your application for a visa to permanently move to Australia is successful, taking your stuff with you might pose a logistical challenge. The number of belongings you can transport with you by plane is limited, especially if you’re moving with your whole family.
In this instance, hiring a shipping agent will assist in moving all of your belongings safely from South Africa to Australia. Depending on the company that you use, it will cost you in the range of R30 000 to R50 000. The usual delivery time can vary according to the company and the price that you’re willing to pay. Generally, it can be as little as six weeks if you have your own container, and as long as three months if you’re sharing a container with other people.
Why not consider limiting the amount that you move to keep costs down, by either selling items you may not use or need, or by using self storage in South Africa instead (more on this below).
- Self storage
Another great option is to put your valuables in self storage. This can be particularly helpful if you are only temporarily moving to Australia and plan on returning to South Africa. Other instances where self storage is useful is if you have too many items and you are unable to move them all at once.
Whatever the reason for wanting to keep your belongings, a self storage unit will allow you to focus on the more important aspects of the transition, knowing that your belongings are safe and secure.
- Upon arrival
It’s a good idea to search for a job and a place to live prior to landing in Australia.
There are a few websites to help find accommodation such as Flatmates and Gumtree. Although Australia has a fairly low unemployment rate, it can be hard to find a job immediately after you arrive in the country and it is advised to do thorough research before leaving South Africa.
Something else that you have to take care of as soon as you arrive is apply for a Tax File Number (TFN). A TFN is similar to a social security number and is needed for living and working in Australia. Opening an Australian bank account will also help make the process easier and less costly. In addition to opening an Australian bank account, make sure that you arrange your healthcare insurance.
Although moving from South Africa to Australia can be overwhelming, some of these crucial steps will help you to get organised and make the process smoother for you and your family.