A Checklist of Things to Do Before Moving to WA
Australia is fast becoming one of the most popular countries for expats, and when you consider what the country has to offer, it isn’t surprising that families are rushing to relocate to a land where the quality of life is very good. The business opportunities are there and with many multi-national corporations having a strong presence across the country, a significant expat community had developed, especially in the Perth and Sydney regions. If you are one of the many expat families about to embark on a working contract in Western Australia, here is a helpful checklist to ensure a smooth transition.
If you already have a job lined up down under, your employer will likely facilitate visas for all the family, which is a great help. If you plan on arriving first, and then looking for a job, you will need to begin the visa application process as soon as you have made the decision to go. If you are a professional person, the chances are that your application will be welcome, and many trades are in demand in Australia.
Research your Location
It might be that you have little choice as to where you will be based, but if you do have a choice, some online research will give you a clearer picture of what to expect. Relocating anywhere is a big step, and if you are planning to travel to the other side of the world, you need to be confident that it is the right move. If you have children, you will need to find suitable schooling, and don’t forget to ask the old school for all the relevant paperwork that will enable a smooth transition. Most major cities in Australia would have quality international schools that teach either the British or US curriculum, so your kids can start the new years as they would at home.
Be Open Minded
If one has an open mind, there is less chance of disappointment, and let’s face it, there will be some things that are radically different to what you are used to, and being an English speaking nation, language won’t be an issue, unlike in some foreign lands like Thailand or Indonesia. Life is what you make it, so don’t it back and expect everything to come to you, and by planning things carefully, there should be no unpleasant shocks after your arrival.
You will be able to drive for a 6 months on your current domestic driving licence, and then you will need to apply for an Australian licence, which isn’t difficult, if you are already a qualified driver. You will also need to open bank accounts and transfer funds upon your arrival, which should be straightforward. Health issues might not present themselves, but it is a good idea to register the family with a nearby clinic, as you will have to do this at some point.
Of course, you and your family will need accommodation, and in many cases, your employer would arrange all this on your behalf. Expat packages are very comprehensive and if you are fortunate enough to be on one, things should be as smooth as silk. They would likely arrange schooling for your children, a home and a car, as well as taking care of your airfares, which is why many expats make the sacrifice to relocate. Whatever your situation, you will need a place to stay upon arrival, and if you are unsure about the future, consider a short term lease, which allows you to get the feel of the place before making a long term commitment.
Western Australia has an outdoor lifestyle, which appeals to most people, and with very friendly locals, you shouldn’t have any problems making new friends. Any relocation seems a bit daunting prior to arrival, and your children might need some extra reassurance from both their parents. The cost of living is lower than most European countries and if you have an attractive employment package, money should not be an issue. In the event you are coming to Australia without a secure job, you will need adequate savings for at least a year, just to be on the safe side.
The temperate climate and idyllic summers make Western Australia a great place to live, and with some research and careful planning, the move should be the start of a dream life for you and your family. Millions of people have successfully relocated in the Perth region and have never regretted the decision, and with the right attitude, life will soon be everything you wanted, and more. The more you plan for the transition, the easier things will be, and hopefully, you will enjoy the experience immensely.