Moving to Australia: A Chinese National’s Guide

Moving to Australia: A Chinese National’s Guide

Over the years, Australia has proven itself to be a land where dreams do come true. Moving to Australia also means you can find both peace and prosperity, or basically the exact lifestyle that you have always been looking for.

You can find the type of lifestyle you want by looking into its different cities and suburbs. Do you want to be at the center of everything and experience ultimate urban living? Choose a home located in the central business districts. Do you want to live a country-life, off-grid and away from the hustle and bustle of the city? Choose an Australian real estate property outside of town. Do you want to live in an accessible area that is also peaceful and quiet? You can look into houses in the suburbs. Do you want to live in areas with high Chinese population? There are several areas dominated by Chinese nationals.

Truly, Australia is a great country to move to, whether to just test the waters for a few years or to live here for the rest of your life. If you’re ready to take the leap and move to Australia, the following are the matters you need to take care of:


Get a Visa

This is one of the first things that you need to take care of. You can only come to Australia if you have a visa; whether you are visiting to see how things are or you are actually moving for the long term. There are two types of visas you can get: temporary visa and permanent visa.

Temporary visas are usually the first thing you get before being able to apply for a permanent visa unless you already have a sponsor from Australia who will help you apply for a permanent visa. For more information on getting a visa, please refer to our Visa Guide.


Find Somewhere to Live

Moving to Australia: A Chinese National’s Guide

This is one of the bare essentials. When moving to Australia, you would, of course, need a place to stay. You can start by finding a place to rent. Now renting in Australia is so much different than renting in China. They have a whole different set of regulations that you have to abide by. Read our guide on Renting to learn more about how this works.

If you want to make more out of your money, it would make sense to actually invest in a property. You will be staying in Australia for a long time, even a lifetime, so it would be worth it to invest in a home. Since essentially you are still a foreigner living in Australia up until you get approved for and receive your citizenship, you should follow the Foreigner’s Guide to Real Estate Property Investment in Australia.



Get a Job or Start a Business

You would need to find a way to earn money while you’re in Australia unless of course, you are a student being supported by your parents, although some foreign students still opt to get a job for additional money.

There are temporary visas that allow you to get a job while in Australia, such as a student visa, while there are also temporary visas specifically made for people looking to get a job in Australia. The difference is that with the former, your main reason for staying in Australia is to study and you’re just getting a job while here; with the latter type of visa, you are actually moving to Australia because of the job.

In order to start a business in Australia as a foreigner, you would need to first have either a Business Innovation and Investment Visa or Business Talent Visa. Once you have these, the next step would be finding out the type of business or company that you will be setting up. Getting assistance from business lawyers would come in handy. Read on about Starting a Business in Australia to learn more about how to proceed on this aspect.

For more information on getting any of the visas mentioned above, please refer to our Visa Information guide.


Connect with the Chinese Community

Connecting with the Chinese community in Australia is not too hard since there are several Chinatowns across the country. According to a 2016 survey, Mandarin and Cantonese are the next widely spoken languages in Australia, right after English.

Connect with the local branch of the Australia-China Friendship Society to find the nearest Chinese community from where you will be residing in. The society has branches in all major cities of Australia, so making connecting with Chinese nationals easier and more fulfilling.


Move your Belongings to Australia

This is one of the most difficult steps in migrating to Australia. Moving your stuff from one country to another can be nerve-wracking and tiring. Imagine having to box all your items up, marking the fragile ones, deciding which items to carry on your flight to Australia and which ones to ship via cargo.

Moving to Australia: A Chinese National’s Guide

But before you start packing, you need to acquaint yourself with the customs regulations of Australia. Bringing your household items to Australia also risk the entry of diseases and pests into the country; this is why your goods will be subject to biosecurity inspection. If in any case the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (the government division in charge of the inspection) finds an issue with your cargo, your property may be treated, or in the worse case, destroyed.

Generally, any item that came from a plant or animal will be looked into deeply. So for example, your wood furniture or your fur coat will be subject to inspection. To make sure what items can be brought to Australia, check the Biosecurity Import Conditions System (BICON).

Remember that every item that undergoes treatment will be subject to fees. Also, if you pack something that requires an importation permit but doesn’t have one upon its arrival in Australia, it will either be sent back or destroyed.

Seeking the help of a reputable freight forwarder or an international moving company can make all these easier for you. Find a company that already has experience moving household items from China to Australia so they already have knowledge of customs requirements in OZ, as well as how your items should be packed and documented.


Apply for Citizenship

Applying for citizenship can be done once you are already in Australia and have settled in. If you are not sponsored by a family member or a partner, chances are you would first have to get a temporary visa, and then apply for a permanent visa that applies to your conditions, and then apply for citizenship after staying in Australia for a period of time.

Typically, you would need to be a permanent resident for at least a year and have stayed in Australia for at least 9 months from the previous 12 months since the date of your application for citizenship. You must also not have been away from Australia for more than 12 consecutive months in the last four years. Another general condition for applying for citizenship is that you must be of good moral character.

The Department of Home Affairs usually releases their decision between 10 to 14 months from the date of application, provided that all forms have been submitted, supporting documents provided and fees have been paid.

For more information on this regard, read our section on Applying for Citizenship.



Get Immigration Assistance

Migrating to Australia can be a grueling process; you can make it easier by getting the services of a migration agent. You would be in need of their services especially if you speak very little English. There are several migration agents who can speak to you in Chinese, helping you through the entire process with relative ease.

If you need help finding the right migration agent for your needs and budget, send us a message.