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How Much Money Do You Need to Move to Australia?

There are many reasons that people up their lives and move to Australia: the improved quality of life; the impressive job opportunities; the increased average salaries; the wonderful landscape – the possibilities are endless. But you may be asking yourself, how much money do you need to move to Australia?

One of the first things to consider when moving to Australia is finances and, more specifically, how much money you need for the move. While the obvious expenses are travel and rent, there are other expenses you can’t avoid when relocating to another country.

To make things a little easier for you, we’ve put together a list of the various expenses you’ll likely encounter and provide an overview of how much money you’ll need to ensure a smooth transition.

Visa and Migration

The first step towards deciding how much money will it cost to move to Australia is to work out which type of visa you will need.

Unless you’re moving to Australia on behalf of your employer, you’ll have to pay for your visa application. The cost of visas varies depending on the type, duration, and individual circumstances.

Skilled Migration Visas

Australia has several skilled migration visa options designed to attract individuals with specific skills and qualifications. 

The most common skilled visa subclasses include the Skilled Independent Visa and the Working Holiday Visa. These visas require applicants to meet specific occupation, qualification, and English language requirements.

Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417)

The Working Holiday Visa is a temporary visa designed for young adults aged 18 to 30 who want to explore Australia while working to supplement their travel funds. 

The Working Holiday Visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months from the date of entry. You can work for any employer in Australia but only for a maximum of six months with each employer. It offers flexibility, allowing you to travel and work in different parts of the country.

Under certain conditions, it may be possible to extend your Working Holiday Visa for an additional 12 months. To qualify for the extension, you must have completed three months of specified work in regional Australia during your initial visa period. The specified work includes employment in sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, and construction.

The Working Holiday Visa provides a fantastic opportunity to explore Australia, experience its unique culture, and work to support your travels. It’s important to research the specific requirements and conditions for your country of origin to ensure you meet all the necessary criteria.

To be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa, applicants must hold a passport from an eligible country. 

Cost: from AUD 510 plus suitable living expenses, accommodation, and travel costs.

Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)

The Skilled Independent Visa allows eligible New Zealand and Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders with skills we need, to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia. Unlike the Working Holiday Visa, the Skilled Independent Visa does not accept applications – individuals are invited. Eligible workers can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) form.

Cost: from AUD 4,240

Partner Visa

If you have an Australian partner or family member, you may be eligible for a partner visa or a family visa. These visas allow you to join your Australian partner or family member in Australia.

Cost: From AUD 1,350.


You’ll likely be surprised at the amount of stuff you’ve accumulated throughout your life. If it’s all coming with you, how much money you need to move to Australia may vary. You’ll need to arrange transportation for your belongings – as well as transport for yourself. Air freight and ocean freight are the main ways to move your possessions. Though air freight is often the fastest, ocean freight is usually cheaper. 

Many people prefer to fly over to Australia themselves whilst sending their belongings by boat. Both options vary in price depending on your country of origin, the size of your shipments, and the freight provider. That said, flights cost between £897 and £1636 and ocean freight costs are approximately £5,258 for 40ft from the UK.

How much money do you need to move to australia?


When asking how much money do you need to move to Australia, finding a place to live will be one of the most significant expenses. The cost of accommodation varies significantly depending on the city, neighbourhood, and the type of housing you choose. Generally, major cities like Sydney and Melbourne have higher living costs compared to regional areas. Likewise, you’ll likely have higher monthly expenses when renting than buying your own property.

Renting Accommodation

Renting is a common choice for newcomers to Australia, providing flexibility and convenience. The rental market varies across cities, with major cities generally having higher costs compared to regional areas.

Rental prices depend on the city, neighbourhood, and the type of housing. In major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, the cost of renting can be relatively high. As a rough estimate, expect to pay around AUD 2,500 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centres. Renting a larger property or living in more expensive neighbourhoods will increase the cost.

You can read my complete guide for renting in Sydney here and find out in this post about where in Sydney would suit you most.

Sharing Accommodation

Sharing a rental property with others can help reduce costs. Many young professionals and students opt for shared accommodation, where the rent and utilities are divided among the occupants. Websites and platforms like Gumtree, Flatmates, and Facebook groups can help you find suitable flatmates and shared accommodation options.

The costs per individual in a flatshare typically amount to between AUD 672 and AUD 768 per month.

Buying Property

If you plan to settle in Australia for the long term, purchasing property may be a viable option. However, it is important to carefully research and consider the associated costs.

Property prices vary greatly depending on the city and neighbourhood. Major cities like Sydney and Melbourne have higher property prices compared to regional areas. Conduct thorough research and consult with real estate agents to get a sense of the current market prices in your desired location.

When buying a property, you need to factor in additional costs such as stamp duty (a tax on property transactions), legal fees, inspection costs, and potential renovation expenses. These costs can significantly add to the overall price of purchasing a property.

As of June 2022, the median house price across the combined Australian capitals was $1,065,447.


Australia has a universal healthcare system called Medicare, which provides access to subsidised healthcare services for Australian citizens, permanent residents, and certain visa holders. 

It’s advisable to check the Medicare eligibility criteria and requirements based on your visa type on the official website of the Department of Human Services. Non-Australian citizens are also advised to take out private health insurance to cover costs not included as part of Medicare including dental care, optical services, physiotherapy, and more.

The price of health insurance varies depending on the level of coverage and individual factors, but expats can expect to pay around AUD 100 to AUD 300 per month for a comprehensive policy. It’s essential to compare different policies, coverage options, and costs to find a plan that suits your needs and budget when figuring out how much money do you need to move to Australia.


Australia has an extensive transportation network, including public transport systems and private vehicle options. Monthly transportation costs will vary based on your location and commuting needs. Owning a car involves expenses like registration, insurance, fuel, and maintenance. Public transport costs can range from AUD 100 to AUD 200 per month, depending on your usage.

Is it Expensive to Live in Australia?

Australia is known for its relatively high cost of living, and it’s crucial to factor in these expenses. Monthly costs for groceries, transportation, utilities, and entertainment can vary depending on your lifestyle and location. On average, a single person can expect to spend around AUD 2,500 to AUD 3,500 per month, excluding rent or mortgage payments. Keep in mind that these estimates can change based on personal preferences and the city you choose to live in.

The Cost of Moving to Australia

Moving to Australia offers a wealth of opportunities, and planning your finances carefully can help you to make the most of your time overseas. As a general guideline, it is advisable to have a significant savings buffer and a minimum of AUD 10,000 to AUD 20,000 to cover initial expenses until you settle down and secure employment. This includes money to cover:

  • Visa
  • Transportation 
  • First few months of rent or mortgage payments
  • Everyday essentials
  • Travel across the country
  • Leisure spends

By understanding and preparing for the costs involved, you can embark on your journey to Australia with confidence, allowing you to focus on embracing the new experiences and opportunities that await you in this beautiful country.

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