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Move to Australia from the UK

“No worries, mate!”

Are you ready to meet friendly people, enjoy a great work-life balance and bask in some southern sunshine? Australia may be your perfect new home.

Australia is a great destination for Brits

If you want to move to Australia from the UK, you are not alone. According to the Australian census bureau, more than 1.2 million UK citizens live in Australia. Brits are the largest group of immigrants, at more than 15% of the total number of overseas-born individuals in Australia.

And no wonder. With gorgeous scenery, a temperate climate, and vibrant, livable cities, Australia is a great option for UK residents moving to improve their career or enjoy their retirement.

Is Australia a healthy place to live

Many UK citizens emigrate to Australia for its healthy lifestyle. The country offers nature-lovers incredible opportunities for skiing, hiking, cycling, and playing golf. Watersports lovers can parasail high above the waves, learn to surf in secluded coves, and explore the underwater beauty of the world-famous Great Barrier Reef.

Australia is also a mecca for fans of competitive sports. Rugby, Australian Rules Football, cricket, volleyball, golf, and tennis are part of the fiercely competitive sports scene. If you can play one of these sports, even better.

If you go to an international match, get ready to cheer, “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oiy Oiy Oiy!”

How big is Australia

At 7.692 million square kilometres, Australia is more than 30 times larger than the UK. However, most of its 25M+ population live in coastal areas. Inland Australia is largely uninhabited.

Where should I live in Australia?

Australia is made up of the Northern and Australian Capital Territories and the states of Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, Queensland, and New South Wales. The city of Sydney is the largest, with 5.367m residents, followed by Melbourne with 5.159m residents. The next most populous cities are Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast, Newcastle, and Canberra.

Which part of Australia is the nicest? Ask any Aussie, and you may hear some strong opinions…

Remote and quirky Perth is more than 1300km from the nearest city. Adelaide is known for vineyards, festivals and its foodie culture. The areas around Melbourne offer skiing, beaches, and some of the country’s best golf courses.

Sydney – with its famous Opera House and harbour – is a bustling home to more than 5 million “Sydneysiders.” With 280+ days of sunshine per year, Brisbane is one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.

And in the far north of Australia, hot and sultry Darwin is known for its national parks and breathtaking sunsets.

Take your pick! You can find a brilliant new adventure wherever you decide to live in Australia.

How to Move to Australia

A moving checklist written by expats for expats

We love relocation and we want your move to Australia to be a success. To help you plan your move, we have created an Ultimate Checklist specifically for UK citizens who want to move to Australia.

It was written by expats and our very own Sterling Lexicon Move Specialists. Let us know if you have any questions!

What do I need to do to move to Australia

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

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

For short-term visits (up to 90 days), British passport-holders may enter Australia with an Electronic Travel Authorisation or eVisitor visa. For longer stays, UK citizens need a visa to work, study, or retire in Australia.

Have you already started your visa application? If yes, it’s time to request moving quotes. You can request a 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.


Do you need health insurance in Australia

Australia’s universal healthcare scheme, known as Medicare, offers residents and some visitors free or low-cost health care services. This includes hospital treatment, medications, and some medical services.

Private medical insurance in Australia is optional for most residents, but high-income earners without medical insurance are subject to a Medicare Levy Surcharge. Australia has a large number of healthcare insurance plans (30,000 and counting), and selecting the right plan can be confusing. A government-mandated website offers clear pricing and plan descriptions.

Brits who are moving to Australia can feel confident using the Australian healthcare system. A recent Commonwealth Fund study ranked Australia 3rd in the world for access to care, healthcare outcomes, and other metrics. Australia was outranked only by Norway and the Netherlands. (If you are curious, the UK came in 4th.)

International removals to Australia

The Sterling Lexicon Promise

Book with confidence. Book to reserve your move date and if things change you can change your moving dates.

Sterling Lexicon is an accredited international mover who provides professional support throughout your move – here in the UK and at your destination. FIDI protected.


How to ship your household goods to Australia

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

Be careful! Moving your household goods more than 21,000 km from the UK to Australia is very different from moving house in town.

Only request moving quotes from accredited, reputable removal companies who specialise in overseas packing and shipping. Reputable international moving companies use overseas-quality packing materials and techniques, and they have a global network that can safely ship your belongings.

Not sure how to find a reputable removals company? Here are a few insider tips:

Your removals company should guarantee your international delivery

A good international removal company will guarantee the door-to-door delivery of your household goods from the UK to Australia. Your moving company should be certified and insured.

Your removals company should be internationally accredited by FIDI

Ask if your mover is FIDI certified. FIDI is the only international industry association to use independent auditors. FIDI-certified moving companies are either FAIM or FAIM Plus, the highest standard of moving services worldwide.

Step 1 - Request a Move Quote

To request a moving quote, most companies offer an online Move Quote Form. If your mover has local offices in the UK, you may 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. Our Move Specialists have years of experience in the moving industry and are committed to making your move a success. They will walk you through the international move process and answer any questions you have.


Home and Virtual Surveys

The first step in getting a moving quote is a home survey. These can be done in person or via a video survey, which can be a Covid-safe and convenient option.

Whether in person or via a video, your move surveyor will review the contents of your home, the items you would like to move, and the items that need to be stored. You can ask your move surveyor about:

  • Packing materials and processes
  • Access and parking
  • Vehicle shipping and storage
  • Antiques, fine art and special items**
  • Insurance
  • Pet moving
  • Storage
  • International money transfers
  • Temporary accommodation arrangements
  • Any special items that need specific handling requirements

Your moving surveyor should inform you If your move will require 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 quick and easy video surveys.


Request your international move summary and quote in writing

Once you receive your quote, confirm that it includes the details and items you discussed with your move surveyor. If you have requested quotes from multiple companies, ask for a like-for-like comparison.

Top Tip! Over the phone and ballpark quotes should be taken with a pinch of salt. They may provide a quick cost estimate, but your actual costs may vary substantially.


Sterling Lexicon price promise: if you are comparing quotes, please speak to your Sterling Lexicon Move Specialist.

Step 2 - Pre-move Consultation

Our customers say that our Move Specialists are one of the top reasons they love working with Sterling Lexicon.

Our caring and supportive Move Specialists have long tenures in the moving industry and are experts at what they do. They know that moving can be stressful, and they are committed to making your move go smoothly.

In your pre-move consultation, your Move Specialist will learn the details of your move and your unique needs. Your Move Specialist can help identify potential challenges that might arise during your move and help head them off before they become a problem.

Step 3 - Book your move date

After you review your move summaries and quotes, it’s time to accept your preferred provider and book your move date.

Ask your removals company 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

To reserve your moving date, you may be asked to make a payment. This can usually be done by credit card over the phone or online. With Sterling Lexicon you can pay online here.

Track and manage your move online

Whenever possible, choose a moving company that allows you to fill in forms and track your move online. Sterling Lexicon offers 24/7 shipment tracking, so you know where your shipment is enroute.

Customs requirements for moving household goods from the UK to Australia

Individuals who are moving their household goods from the UK to Australia will need to provide copies of personal documents such as passports and Australian visas. Customs forms will be required by the Australian Border Force.

Moving shipments arriving in Australia are considered Unaccompanied Personal Effects UPE (B534). Automobiles and other large items must be accompanied by an Import Declaration and may be subject to import duty, GST, and luxury tax.

As an island nation, Australia has strict customs requirements and restrictions. If you work with Sterling Lexicon, our experts in international moving and customs requirements can help simplify the customs declaration process for you.

Moving a pet from the UK to Australia

Relocating a pet can be scary. Your pets are part of your family and it is difficult to put them on an aeroplane, not knowing if they are safe and comfortable.

Even worse, relocating a pet is time-consuming and complex. To move your pet overseas, you need to arrange for vaccinations, veterinary documents, and government inspections. You have to purchase travel-approved crating that is the correct style and size, and arrange for a safe airline itinerary, which may require an overnight stay in a ‘pet hotel’.

To simplify this process and ensure your pet has an easy and safe trip, we highly recommend professional pet relocation services.

‘Pet movers’ provide door-to-door pet relocation. They advise you on importation requirements, take care of necessary paperwork, and find the easiest travel itinerary for your pet. If your dog or cat needs to stay in a pet hotel, they will arrange for a veterinarian to check that your pet is healthy and can continue on their journey. The best pet relocation companies will provide you with updates and photographs throughout your pet’s journey.

Pet relocation services are more expensive than moving a pet on your own. But the peace of mind you get knowing that your pet is well cared for is priceless.

Can I move to Australia with pets

Yes, you can take a pet to Australia, but your pet will need a valid import permit to enter the country. Permit application deadlines – including proof of vaccinations and tests – can be 180 days or more before your arrival, so you should begin the application process as soon as you find out you are moving.

The following dog breeds are prohibited in Australia:

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

Australia offers a comprehensive checklist for importing pets.

For assistance relocating your pet, contact our Move 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 the UK for your move to Australia!

How to prepare for moving day

Before moving day, take some time to sort through your belongings. Once you decide what items you will take with you to Australia, divide the remaining items into categories of long-term storage, short-term storage, and items to be donated or sold. Make sure that prohibited items are removed from the packing area.

“Empty, Drained, Clean and Dry”

All items shipped into Australia are subject to biosecurity control, which checks for pests. The Australian government recommends that all imported items be “empty, drained, clean and dry” prior to packing. Do not reuse packing materials that originally carried food or drinks. Contaminated items may be seized or destroyed.

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 the UK to Australia

Depending on your schedule and the items you plan to move, your shipment may include both air and sea shipments. Items that need to be shipped quickly are sent by air. Sea shipments take longer and are typically larger shipments. Prior to your packing day, put items for your air shipment aside. They will be packed and sent separately.

To help make packing day go smoothly, your moving company may provide stickers labelled Air, Sea, Storage, and Don’t Pack. If not, you can create your own with colour-coded Post-It notes.

Bits box for your first day in your new home

Create a box marked Pack Last, Open First. This is where you and your movers will put any small parts from disassembled furniture, nuts and bolts, screws, remote controls, etc..

If you have children, help them create a “first day” box full of toys, colouring books, markers and games. Ask your movers to load these boxes 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

packingIt’s moving day! Expect your moving crew to arrive on schedule and to introduce themselves. Show your crew foreman the items that are designated for air, sea, and storage. You should also point out any high value or fragile items as well as items that you are not taking.

Professional movers work efficiently, so expect for your home to quickly be a whirlwind of activity. Typically a kitchen crew takes time to carefully pack your dishes and glassware while other packers will begin by wrapping furniture and packing up other rooms. If your packing takes more than one day, your bedding and mattresses will be packed last.

Top Tip! Ask friends or family to help take care of your young children and pets on moving 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

Your items will make a long sea journey en route to Australia, and your crew will use special techniques and materials to prepare them for an overseas trip. These include 4-6 ply export wrap, thick-walled packing boxes, acid free tissue paper, cornering for protecting furniture edges and thick carding to protect surfaces from scratching and tearing.

Your itemised packing inventory

At the end of the final packing day, you will receive your itemised packing inventory. Keep this until you receive your possessions in Australia.

International transit protection

The land and sea voyage between London and Sydney is more than 21,000 kilometres. Your packing crew will do everything they can to safely prepare your belongings for their journey. However, items on sea voyages can be exposed to severe weather and ocean conditions.

We highly recommend transit protection, which provides insurance for your possessions –from the point of packing in the UK to their delivery in Australia.

Top Tip! Declare the full replacement value of your belongings on your insurance forms. Most insurers will only reimburse your claim up to the value you declare. This is especially important for high value items and items in sets.


Step 7 - Track your moving shipment to Australia

With Sterling Lexicon, track your move online with 24/7 shipment tracking.

Step 8 - Travel and temporary accommodation in Australia

Before your departure, make sure that you have all of your personal documents and visa paperwork. Check for any changes to Covid-related travel restrictions in Australia and leave plenty of time to travel to the airport.

Look at the weather forecast for Australia and congratulate yourself on your exciting new adventure!

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

Inform your Move Specialist after you arrive in Australia. Once your air and sea shipments have cleared customs, your Move Specialist will arrange for their delivery to your home.

Step 10 - Welcome to your new home

It’s time to set up the essentials including water, electricity, internet and phone service. Open a local bank account and get recommendations for a local doctor, dentist, and other health care providers.

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 activity groups.

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 GBP 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. They offer Sterling Lexicon clients:

  • Bank-beating exchange rates*
  • No transfer fees
  • Access to a dedicated currency expert

Contact Currencies Direct today! 

*See the Currencies Direct website for details

Shipping cars and motorcycles to Australia

If you are moving from the UK to Australia, you may want to consider taking your car with you. Like in the UK, cars drive on the left, and automobiles in Australia are expensive to purchase.

The total cost of shipping your car to Australia will include the price for door-to-door shipping as well as a goods and services tax charged by the Australian government. Newer automobiles and luxury cars may also be subject to import duties and additional tax.

In order to import your 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.

For assistance exporting your car from the UK to Australia, contact your Sterling Lexicon vehicle moving specialist

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 want to simplify the moving process for you.

Relax and enjoy your new adventure – Speak with one of our Move Specialists today!

Contact our move specialists today

Sterling Lexicon, UK

Building 4, Uxbridge Business Park
Denham, Uxbridge UB8 1DH

+44 208 841 7000