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Moving to Australia from Germany

Have you ever noticed that articles about the “Top 10 Places to Live in the World” always seem to include Australia?

Maybe it is the lure of Australia’s beautiful coastlines, lively cities and vast outback. Could it be the great work-life balance and vibrant culture? Or maybe it’s the world-class skiing, beaches and golf resorts. Whatever the reason, expats, students and retirees who move to Australia give it rave reviews.

Australia is a great destination for German nationals

“No worries, mate!”

With a laid-back lifestyle, friendly people, and stunning natural beauty, Australia may be your perfect new home.

Germans have emigrated to Australia since the 1800s, especially to Australia’s south, where they created vineyards and brought a rich food culture. In fact, when you order a “butcher” of beer – unique to South Australia – you are really ordering a “becher” of beer, Australia-style.

Today, more than 100,000 German nationals study, work, and enjoy their retirement across all regions of Australia.

Is Australia a healthy place to live

Many EU citizens emigrate to Australia for its temperate weather and outdoor lifestyle. Australia’s beautiful natural scenery offers ample opportunities for skiing, hiking, golf and watersports.

Across Australia, life wouldn’t be complete without competitive sports, including rugby, Australian Rules Football, cricket, volleyball, and tennis. When you go to a large sporting event, be prepared to cheer… “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oiy Oiy Oiy!”

Australia has an excellent, free health-care system, good schools and a quality of life that draws newcomers from around the world.

How big is Australia

At 7.692 million square kilometres, Australia is 20 times larger than Germany. Most of Australia’s 25.69 million residents live along the coast. Inland Australia is largely uninhabited.

Does Australia have States or Territories

Australia has both territories and states: the Northern and Australian Capital Territories and the states of Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales. The largest cities are Sydney at 5.367m residents and Melbourne with 5.159m residents, followed by Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Newcastle, and Canberra.

There can be intense rivalries between the various regions of Australia. Each city stakes a claim to being the best – from remote Perth on the country’s far western edge, to the ski resorts and beaches near Melbourne, to bustling Sidney, home to the insta worthy Opera House and Harbour Bridge.

Wherever you live in Australia, you will find a vibrant urban life, beautiful nature and a great work-life balance.

How to Move to Australia

A moving checklist written by expats for expats

If you are moving to Australia, check out our comprehensive checklist for moving overseas. It was created by expats and our Sterling Lexicon Move Specialists to help simplify your move.

Feel free to contact us with any questions. We are passionate about relocation, and we want to help make your move to Australia a success!

What do I need to do to move to Australia

Before you move, there are a few things to check…

Can I move to Australia during lockdown

Australia recently updated its COVID-19 immigration restrictions. According to the government, “Since 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated visa holders can travel to Australia without a travel exemption. Unvaccinated visa holders will still need a valid travel exemption to enter Australia.”

Most states and territories require travellers to take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival. Quarantines may be compulsory. Requirements vary by state and details can be viewed at

Do I need an Australia visa or work permit to move to Australia

German nationals and EU citizens need a visa to emigrate to Australia.

Have you already started your visa application? If yes, it’s time to request moving quotes. You can request a moving quote here. If you need a visa to Australia, speak with one of our dedicated visa and immigration specialists.

Australia offers more than 100 types of visas. Most new residents in Australia will enter under a work visa, such as:

New Employees -for sponsored employees or those holding special skills

Global Talent Visa
Employer Nomination Scheme
Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional Visa
Skilled Independent Visa
Skilled Nominated Visa
Skilled Recognised-Graduate Visa
Skilled Work Regional Visa
Temporary Work Visa – International Relations
Temporary Work Visa – Short Stay Specialist
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

Business and investment visas -for business owners of new or existing businesses in Australia:

Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 888) – Permanent
Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 188) – Provisional
Business Owner (Subclass 890)
Business Talent Visa (Subclass 132) – Permanent
Investor Visa (Subclass 891)

Other visa types include:

Tourist Visa
Study and Training Visa
Parent, Family and Caregiver Visa
New Zealand Citizen Visas
Humanitarian visas
Bridging visas

*Information provided above is for awareness purposes only and should not be used as legal advice. Please consult a qualified immigration lawyer for details about your specific situation.


How do I find a place to live in Australia

Companies like Sterling Lexicon and its local realtor networks can help you compare temporary accommodation options, identify properties for lease, or even find a home for purchase.

Do you need health insurance in Australia

Australia’s excellent health care system is funded largely through Medicare, the government’s universal health-care scheme. With a Medicare card, residents and some visitors can access free or low-cost health care services including hospital treatment, prescription medications, and medical services.

While private insurance is not required, many residents purchase it. High-income earners who do not have private insurance may be subject to a Medicare Levy Surcharge.

Australia has more than 30,000 different private health care plans, and selecting the right one can be confusing and time-consuming. The government provides an excellent mandated website with up-to-date pricing and plan descriptions. For new residents searching for health care, it is definitely worth checking out.

Get a health insurance quote for Australia: EU citizens may want to purchase health care at home before they leave. Sterling Lexicon has an arrangement with William Russell, which can provide a quote for health insurance. Get a quote today.

International removals to Australia

The Sterling Lexicon Promise

Book with confidence. Book to reserve your move date and if things change you can move your dates. Sterling Lexicon is an accredited international mover who provides professional support throughout your move from here in Germany and at destination. FIDI protected.


How to ship your household goods to Australia

First, find an accredited removal company that specialises in overseas moves

Moving your household goods to Australia is very different from moving house within Germany or the EU. Only request moving quotes from accredited, reputable international removal companies.

Not sure what to look for? Here are a few insider tips:

Your moving company should guarantee your international delivery

A reputable international removal company will guarantee the door-to-door delivery of your household goods from Germany to Australia. Choose a registered moving company that is certified and insured.

Your moving company should be internationally accredited by FIDI

Check if your mover is FIDI certified. FIDI uses independent auditors to certify international movers. Top companies are designated FAIM or FAIM Plus, the highest standard of moving services worldwide.

Step 1 - Request a Move Quote

Once you are ready to request a moving quote, you can fill out an online Move Quote Form. If your mover has local offices in Germany, you can call them directly or send an email.

Your moving quote should be free and may be based on an in-person or virtual survey.

Speak to experienced International Move Specialists not Sales People

At Sterling Lexicon, your consultation will be conducted by an experienced International Move Specialist, rather than a salesperson. We fully understand the technical requirements for your move. We will walk you through the international move process and answer any questions you have.


Home and Virtual Surveys

In order to provide a moving quote, a move surveyor will review the contents of your home, items you would like to move, and things that need to be stored.

This review can be completed during a home visit or a virtual survey conducted using your tablet or smartphone.

Whether you choose a home or video survey, this is a good opportunity to discuss:

  • Packing materials and processes
  • Access and parking
  • Vehicle shipping and storage
  • Antiques, fine art and special items**
  • Insuring your items being moved
  • Pet moving
  • Storage
  • International money transfers
  • Temporary accommodation arrangements
  • Umsatzsteuer (USt) reclaims
  • Any special items that need specific handling requirements

Your moving surveyor can tell you if your shipment will need special lifting equipment, crating, disassembly, or special protective materials.

**Antiques, fine art and other high-value items should be identified for customs and special insurance.

Sterling Lexicon Video Survey App

We offer COVID-safe, quick and easy video surveys.


Request your international move summary and quote in writing

When you receive your quote, check that it includes everything you requested. If you get quotes from different companies, make sure they are a like-for-like comparison.

Top Tip! Be wary of over the phone and ballpark quotes. They may provide a quick cost estimate, but your actual costs may vary substantially.


Step 2 - Pre-move Consultation

If you work with Sterling Lexicon, you will work directly with one of our caring and supportive Move Specialists. During your pre-move consultation, your Move Specialist will discuss the details of your move, learn about your needs, and identify potential problems that might arise.

Your Move Specialist’s goal is to help make your moving process as smooth and stress-free as possible.

Step 3 - Book your move date

After you review your move summary and quote, accept the quote from your preferred provider and book your move date.

Ask your provider for written confirmation of the important dates of your move:

  • Date and time your packing crew will arrive
  • Estimated shipping times
  • Estimated delivery dates

Share these dates with your family and your support network.

Step 4 - Pay for your move

You may be asked to make a payment to reserve your moving date. Payment can usually be made by credit card over the phone or online. You can pay online here with Sterling Lexicon.

Track and manage your move online

Choose a moving company that offers online moving forms and shipment tracking. You will be able to fill in paperwork on a web portal and track the progress of your move online. 

Customs requirements for moving household goods to Australia

In order to import your household goods to Australia, you will need to provide personal documents like your passport and Australian visa. You will also need to complete customs forms required by the Australian Border Force.

Most of your moving shipment will be declared in an Unaccompanied Personal Effects UPE (B534) form. This form is available in English, French and Spanish. Automobiles and other large items will require an Australia Import Declaration and may be subject to import duty, GST, and luxury tax.

Sounds complicated?

Our Move Specialists are specialists in international moving and customs requirements. They will help simplify the process for you.

Moving a pet to Australia

One of the most worrisome parts of relocating is moving a pet overseas. It can be scary to put your pet on an aeroplane for a long flight.

If you are concerned about your pet, you may want to work with a professional pet relocation provider.

“Pet movers” make sure that furry friends have the correct paperwork and best itineraries so they arrive in the quickest, most relaxing way possible. Pet movers also provide pet owners with regular updates and photographs throughout a pet’s journey. This can go a long way towards making you feel better about your pet’s travels.

Moving a family pet to Australia is possible, but the country has strict requirements for importing animals. Deadlines for proof of rabies vaccination and other tests can be 180 day or more before your arrival. It is imperative to begin the pet importation process as soon as possible. Your pet will need a valid import permit to enter Australia.*

The following dog breeds are prohibited:

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • American pit bull terrier or pit bull terrier
  • Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario

The government publishes a comprehensive checklist for moving pets to Australia based on the country from which you are travelling.

For assistance relocating your pet, please contact our pet relocation specialists.

*This advice is for general informational purposes and does not replace the requirements of the Australian government or the recommendations of a veterinarian.

Step 5 - Prepare your home for your move

Once you set your packing dates, it’s time to prepare your home in Germany for your move to Australia!

Check out our international moving checklist at the Ultimate Guide to International House Removals.

How to prepare for moving day

If you are moving overseas, the last thing you want to do is bring unwanted items.

Take some time to sort through your belongings. Designate what will be moved, what needs to be stored, and what can be donated or sold. Remove prohibited items from the packing area.

“Empty, Drained, Clean and Dry”

To protect Australia’s natural environment, all items shipped into Australia are subject to biosecurity control and will be checked for pests. To avoid having your belongings seized or destroyed, the government recommends that all items be “empty, drained, clean and dry” prior to packing. Do not reuse packing materials, especially those that originally carried food or drinks.

For more information on importing items into Australia, the government’s website is an excellent resource.

If you work with Sterling Lexicon, your Move Specialist can explain Australian customs restrictions to you.

Items that are restricted and prohibited for personal moves to Australia

As per the Australia Border Force, the following items cannot be shipped as Unaccompanied Personal Effects:

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • live plants, bulbs, tubers, corms and cuttings
  • prohibited and restricted seeds​
    unidentified seeds (including spices)
  • khapra beetle high-risk plant products
  • biological products including some plant based, herbal medications
  • unprocessed goods of plant or animal origin
  • soiled goods, or goods containing organic residues
    goods knowingly infested with pests or a disease.
  • Tobacco
  • Weapons
  • Drugs and medicines

**These restrictions may change. If in doubt, speak to your Move Specialist for further guidance.


Air vs. Sea Shipments from Germany to Australia

Your moving company may offer both air and sea shipments. Air shipments are reserved for those items that you need to ship quickly. Sea shipments take longer and are typically larger shipments. Separate your air shipment items prior to your packing day. They will be packed and sent separately. Learn more about  your international shipping options.

Your removal company may provide you with stickers to label items for packing crews. You can also use colour-coded Post-It notes marked Air, Sea, Storage, and Don’t Pack.

Bits box for your first day in your new home

Parts from disassembled furniture, nuts and bolts, allen keys, remote controls, etc. should be placed in a clearly-identified “bits box” marked Pack Last, Open First. You may also want to create a box of items such as cups, plates, and cutlery to be used on unpacking day in your new home in Australia.

If you have children, make a game of creating their “first day” box! Fill it with favourite toys, colouring books and games. Mark these boxes clearly. Ask your movers to load them last into your shipment so they can be one of the first things you open.

Items to set aside to travel with you

Set aside the following items into a clearly identifiable container marked Do Not Pack:

Passport(s), visa(s), phones and chargers, power packs, adaptors, documents, employment references, health insurance cover, jewellery and medication. Keep important documents such as insurance policies and a copy of your mortgage or lease in a wallet. Have physical and digital copies ready for inspection.

Step 6 - What to expect on packing day

packingOn the first day of your move, your packing team should arrive on time and introduce themselves for security purposes. Show the crew foreman which items should be packed for sea or air, items for storage, special care items and those things you are not taking.

Professional movers work efficiently. Your furniture will soon be carefully wrapped and the kitchen will be a whirlwind of expert dish packing. If you love Marie Kondo, you will be amazed to see professional packers do their thing!

If your packing takes more than one day, your crew will pack your bedding and mattresses on the final day of packing.

Top Tip! To make your packing day easy, ask friends or family to care for your young children and pets. Plan to get take-away or dine out on packing day.


Professionally trained international packing crews

Sterling Lexicon’s professional international packing crews are some of the best in the business and have been working for the company for many years. We only use people we would trust in our own home, so we know they will be professional and respectful in yours too. Their experience ensures all your personal possessions are packed perfectly to withstand being handled and transported over thousands of miles.


Eco-friendly export packing materials

To prepare your items for a sea or air shipment, an experienced packing team will use special techniques and materials designed for overseas moves. These may include eco-friendly 4-6 ply export wrap, thick-walled recycled packing boxes, acid free tissue paper, cornering for protecting furniture edges and thick carding to protect surfaces and soft materials from scratching and tearing.

Your itemised packing inventory

Once the packing is complete, you will receive an itemised packing inventory. Keep this document until your possessions are unpacked in your new home in Australia.

International transit protection

The land and sea voyage between Hamburg and Melbourne is more than 21,000 kilometres. Your packing crew will do everything they can to safely prepare your belongings for their journey, but long sea voyages entail some risk.

We strongly recommend that you purchase transit protection, which provides insurance for your possessions from the point of packing in Germany to their delivery in Australia.

For more information about transit protection, ask your Move Specialist.

Top Tip! Be sure to declare the full replacement value of your belongings on your insurance forms. If you undervalue your belongings, most insurers will only reimburse your claim up to the value you declared. This is especially important for high value items and items in sets.


Storage in Germany

Items left behind in Germany should be stored in a safe and secure storage facility. Ask your removal company which long-term and short-term storage services they offer.

Step 7 - Track your moving shipment to Australia

Sea freight allows you to move your household goods to Australia with the lowest environmental impact. Your moving company may also recommend an air shipment of essential items. With Sterling Lexicon, you can track your move online with 24/7 shipment tracking.

Step 8 - Travel and temporary accommodation in Australia

Before departure, double check your visa, living arrangements, current COVID restrictions, and your travel plans. Leave plenty of time to travel to the airport.

Step 9 - Australian customs clearance and delivery to your new home

Once you have arrived, inform your Move Specialist. Your Move Specialist will inform you when your goods have cleared customs and arrange a date for delivery to your new home in Australia.

Don’t forget to set up the essentials at your new home, including gas, water, electricity, internet and phone service. Open a local bank account if needed and get recommendations for a doctor, dentist, and other health care providers. Some of these to-dos can be checked off your list prior to leaving Germany. Ask your Move Specialist for more information.

Step 10 - Welcome to your new home

Now that you have moved into your new home in Australia, it’s time to explore and enjoy your new neighbourhood! Get settled and meet new friends through local expat groups and activities.

If there is anything that your Sterling Lexicon Move Specialist can do to help you settle into your new home, please contact us right away. We would love to hear from you.

Additional areas Sterling Lexicon can help with

Currency Exchange

If you need to transfer EUR to AUD before you move to Australia, we recommend Currencies Direct.

Currencies Direct is a multi-award-winning foreign exchange company. They have been helping people save time and money on their currency transfers since 1996. Contact Currencies Direct today!

Shipping cars and motorcycles to Australia

If you would like to import an automobile into Australia, you must receive vehicle import approval. Approval is subject to various criteria, such as:

  • You must own your vehicle for at least 24 months prior to importing it to Australia.
  • Vehicles must pass mechanical inspection and be free of asbestos (applicable to cars made before 1991).
  • Upon arrival, your automobile must be inspected for biosecurity measures.

All imported vehicles and motorcycles are subject to GST. Newer automobiles and luxury cars may also be subject to import duties and additional tax. The basis value of your vehicle will be determined by Australian customs.

Want to learn more about Sterling Lexicon's worldwide vehicle shipping services? Check out our Auto Shipping FAQ page

Why Sterling Lexicon

Each year our caring and supportive Move Specialists help returning residents, diplomats, professionals, families, and retirees move to Australia.

We are passionate about relocation and we do our best to simplify the moving process, so that you and your family can relax and enjoy your new adventure.

For a high-quality and personalised relocation experience, speak with one of our Move Specialists today.

Request a moving quote

Office Locations

Sterling Lexicon, Germany

Kleiner Kornweg 26-28 65451
Kelsterbach Germany

+49 61 076 98 40 20