My Australian visa has been lodged - what now?

Once you have lodged your visa application it can be an anxious wait for a decision, with waiting times currently varying from 5-8 months. While it is strongly recommended not to make any irreversible decision before your visa has been granted, there are some relocation matters you can start investigating to ensure you are prepared for your move to Australia.

Get a quote for Migration Cover

Migration Cover is a product designed to protect you against the risks associated with relocating to a new country. Their Visa Insurance Packages covers you against multiple stresses, including the need to return to your home country unexpectedly and loss of employment. They also offer travel and health insurance add-ons. Migration Cover is designed to give you comfort and security when leaving your family and property behind.

Research the Australian Healthcare system

Depending on your visa conditions, you may have limited access to Australia's public healthcare system, Medicare. Furthermore, many Australians choose to hold private Health Insurance in addition to their Medicare cover. Researching the Australian Healthcare System and calculating the costs of your prescriptions can help you feel prepared should you require medical attention in Australia. You can read more about how the UK healthcare system compares with Australia's here.

Bupa are an internationally recognised health care provider with 4.2 million customers in Australia alone. They can offer an exclusive network of private hospitals and specialists, as well as access to bulk billing doctors and consultants. Their consultant Alex Rice based is based in the UK to assist with your Australian healthcare queries and to provide tailored quotes for Bupa Private Health Insurance. You can meet Alex at Visa Bureau's Australian Migration Seminars.

Sort out your finances

As you prepare to leave your home country, organising your finances can be a daunting task. Luckily you can enlist the help of professional companies who can ensure you get the most out of your money and pension.

If you have a UK pension it is beneficial to seek professional advice to assess what your options are. Visa Bureau work with bdhSterling who specialise in overseas pension transfers and global QROPS, ensuring you have a smooth transition, protecting your income and maximising any pension benefits.

The exchange rate will dictate how many Australian dollars you get for your money, and therefore timing is crucial to ensure you get the best rate. Visa Bureau recommends contacting Halo Financial who specialise in creating a tailored strategy to moving your money between currencies. They will look at what funds you need to transfer and when you need to transfer them by. Generally, the longer you have to move your funds, the better the exchange rate you can hope to achieve. This is why speaking to a currency broker early on in the migration process can save you a lot of money in the long run. Setting up an account with Halo Financial is an excellent way to keep up-to-date with currency changes and predicted forecasts.

When you arrive in Australia you will need access to money, so why not set up an Australian bank account before you leave home? Westpac has a dedicated UK team to assist with your Australian banking requirements, including:

  • Open a bank account online up to 12 months before you depart
  • Verify your ID at our London branch so you don't have do it in a branch once you arrive in Australia
  • Waive the $5 account fee for the first 12 months
  • Arrange a HandyCard so you will have access to cash once you arrive in Australia
  • Get set up for 24/7 telephone, mobile and internet banking
  • Provide an introduction to a banker in Australia who can assist you with a range of products

You can meet professional representatives from Visa Bureau's financial partners at Australian Migration Seminars in London, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Consider what belongings you will take with you to Australia

When migrating to a new country it can be tempting to take all your belongings with you, however do your research to see if it's financially viable. It may be cheaper to buy your electrical goods in Australia, and don't forget that Australian plug sockets are different!

To get a tailored shipping quote you can contact John Mason to arrange a free home survey. John Mason International is a family business, helping people move around the world for over 130 years. They specialise solely in international shipments meaning you can relax knowing your shipment is in knowledgeable hands. Their services include household removals, excess baggage, motor vehicle shipping, storage solutions and pet relocations.

Research job opportunities and Australian salaries

Hays Globalink are a UK based team who specialise in helping skilled professionals find employment in Australia. Diane Boyce, Senior Business Manager at Hays Globalink explains how the team can assist. "If you make contact with the Globalink team in London we can facilitate your job search in Australia or New Zealand from here in the UK. By registering formally with one of our specialists you can then be briefed and introduced to organisations seeking your skills and experience. The aim will be to achieve interviews and potentially job offers while you are still in the UK, making life that little easier. All of our team have lived and worked in Australia so have personal experience and insights to also impart."

You can research Australian salary and market trends by reading Hays Job Reports or downloading a copy of the latest Salary Guide.

Research your new home

The Australian lifestyle can differ amongst states so it's beneficial to conduct research to get an understanding of what to expect when you arrive. A useful resource is the State Government websites, which have information about education, cost of living and general lifestyle:

Western Australia
South Australia
New South Wales
Northern Territory

Attend an Australian Migration Seminar

Visa Bureau has designed seminars to give you a broad overview of some key decisions you will face when planning your move, and the opportunity to discuss first hand your options and concerns. You will meet the Visa Bureau team of migration experts, as well as professional representatives from a variety of relocation services including:

  • bdhSterling: Provide financial solutions for migrants, specialising in pensions, tax and multi-currency investments. Their licensed advisers have the knowledge to ensure that your income, savings or investments are managed properly - both immediately and for the years ahead.
  • Bupa: Health and Dental Insurance providers, offering advice on the Australian Healthcare system.
  • Halo Financial: An award-winning UK foreign exchange brokerage, simplifying the currency exchange market to save you time and money.
  • Hays Recruitment: Providing job opportunities in the finance, engineering, construction and IT industries.
  • John Mason International: International shipping services, including household removals, excess baggage, motor vehicle shipping, storage solutions, pet shipping and more.
  • Migration Cover: The first insurance product of its type to reduce the risks associated with migrating; such as job loss and travel requirements.
  • TOEFL English Language Test: Discussing the English Language Test for skilled migration, including the format and helpful advice.
  • Westpac Banking: Assistance with opening accounts up to twelve months before arrival in Australia, setting up your online banking and introducing you to an Australian based banker ahead of your arrival.

Spaces are limited to ensure the best experience for attendees. Further information and details of how to book can be found on the website.