How to Move to Australia If You Are a U.S. Citizen

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Australia is a popular destination for Americans looking for new job opportunities.
Australia is a popular destination for Americans looking for new job opportunities. (Image: gold coast of Australia image by NorthShoreSurfPhotos from Fotolia.com)

Australia's sunny beaches, laid-back attitude and job opportunities have inspired many Americans to pack their belongings and move. However, a successful migration to Australia requires movers to obtain a work visa before they enter the country. Movers should also sort the details of bank accounts, health insurance and travel expenses before they enter their new country, to make the transition as seamless as possible.

Things You'll Need

  • Visa application
  • Supporting documents
  • Passport
  • Criminal history record check
  • Australian bank account
  • Airline tickets

Check your eligibility before applying for a visa to live in Australia. To qualify for a work visa, most applicants need to be under 45-years-old and have a skill listed in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Skilled Occupation List. The Australian government may be more apt to approve someone with a job already lined up in Australia or someone with family in Australia.

Find your skills or qualifications in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Skilled Occupation List and Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List. Send evidence of your qualifications in the field--such as work references, university transcripts, and diplomas--to the relevant assessing body that must approve you before you may apply for a work visa. Search for the assessing body appropriate for your field at immi.gov.au/asri.

Complete a work visa application. If you plan to move to Australia for less than 12 months and you are under age 30, a Working Holiday Visa may suit your needs. If you are under age 45 and plan to immigrate to Australia long-term, submit an application for a Skilled - Independent Migrant Visa or, if you have a pre-arranged job, a Skilled - Sponsored Migrant Visa. Find the visa for you at immi.gov.au/visawizard.

When prompted by the Australian government, complete a health examination. If you are moving to Australia as a student, you must obtain health insurance through Overseas Student Health Cover prior to submitting your student visa application. Otherwise, register for Medicare seven to 10 days after your arrival in Australia.

When prompted, submit a Criminal History Record Check and a local penal clearance report from every place you have resided in the past year.

Book your flights and temporary accommodation, and settle all accounts in the U.S., approximately two months before your move, as Working In, a website devoted to country-to-country moving, recommends. As the move nears, make arrangements to ship large items to Australia, forward your mail and open an Australian bank account.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider finding a job in Australia before obtaining a work visa through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship's Skill Matching Database. This database matches your skills with current job needs in Australia--and if Australia needs your skills, you may find your visa application approved more readily.

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