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Moving to Australia

A guide and checklist for people thinking of moving to Australia

Planning a move to Australia?

Whether you’re moving to Australia to live, work or study, HSBC can help make your move easier.

Australia is the land of opportunity, but it makes sense to do your homework before you make the move over. Start with our checklist of the practical stuff.


Things to think about before you arrive

Visas and immigration

You can find out all you need to know if you want to visit, work, study or live in Australia from the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship.


The education system in Australia is open to anyone with the right entry requirements. School is compulsory for all children aged five to fifteen, with some age variation between states. Government-provided public schools are free, while private schooling provided by churches is fee-based.

Higher education positions are awarded first to those judged most likely to succeed. Some students start when they finish school, while others begin as an adult.

Many employers provide training that helps their employees do their job, though many people study purely for their own interest.


Australia is a healthy nation, thanks in part to quality housing, water and sanitation, and an adequate supply of food and medicines. Health care follows western traditions, with technical and scientific skills used to prevent and treat ill health.

In an effort to keep up standards, you can expect to be subject to a health check if you’re coming to live in Australia.


Australian cities offer a wide range of housing options, from single suburban houses on a block of land to high-rise flats in an inner city. Australians often choose to rent before they decide where and what to buy.

House prices vary considerably between cities and within cities. Many people are attracted to the suburbs of the state capitals, by their easy proximity to schools, community facilities and leisure areas.

Country towns and regional cities are smaller and widely separated. Life in a country town is more relaxed and less expensive than in a big city.


Australia is a vast nation with many cities and towns separated by long distances. Public transport is easy to find and good value, although most people have their own car or motor bike.

Walking and cycling are also popular options, although hitchhiking is no longer regarded as a safe means of getting around.


The Australian labour market can be very competitive. So how quickly you can find a job depends on economic factors, qualifications and skills, and the availability of certain types of work in different parts of the country.

The government sets laws on wages and work conditions. They determine, among other things, the amount paid to an employee, the hours worked and conditions such as safety, leave, training, anti-discrimination and more.

Remember that approval to migrate does not guarantee you a job. So if you don’t have a position waiting for you (or an extensive income to support yourself), providing your visa allows it you’ll need to look for work.

Looking to open a bank account with HSBC Australia?

You may be able to apply online from outside Australia and take full control of your finances before you arrive. Learn more about our international bank accounts including their eligibility and how to apply from your current location.

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