Moving to Melbourne
Are you moving to Melbourne, Australia?
Melbourne has been consistently ranked as one of the world’s most liveable cities since the early 2000s. As Australia’s second most populated city and the state capital of Victoria, Melbourne has an eclectic range of attractions. Ranging from the magnificent parks and gardens, passionate sporting culture, thriving social environment, renowned galleries, stylish street art and world recognised dining scene, Melbourne is sure to have something for everyone.
Crown Relocations offer a genuine, professional ‘one company’ standard. With over 50 years of experience in international removals, Crown is a market leader in both New Zealand and Australia, contact us today for your move to Melbourne, Australia.
There are a number of different visas that you may be eligible for when moving to Melbourne. From skilled migration visas to state nominated or sponsored business visas, a skills assessment form needs to be completed to see what you may be eligible for. To find out more information visit the Department of Immigration and Border Control, or the Live in Victoria website.
If you are a New Zealand citizen moving to Melbourne then there is no need to apply for a certain type of visa. On entry to Australia you will be assigned a Special Category Visa (SCV) that allows you to live and work in the country indefinitely.
However, the SCV is a temporary visa and does not entitle the holder to the same rights as Australian citizens or permanent residents. New Zealanders no longer have the right to an automatic permanent residency in Australia; they must apply for this through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
The unit of currency in Australia is the Australian dollar. There are 100 cents in a dollar. Coins come in denominations of 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents as well as $1 and $2. Notes come in $5, $10, $50 and $100. Cash-based transactions and cheques are rapidly declining in popularity and Australians mainly use credit or debit cards and online payments for most purchases.
When it comes time to convert your money in to Australian dollars, it’s advised to avoid using banks, who are known to charge extremely high rates, especially when dealing with cash. The best method for converting currencies is through online transferal companies, who provide a much cheaper rate. People have been known to save hundreds, even thousands of dollars this way. Crown can recommend OFX when transferring funds.
It’s highly recommended that you set up an Australian bank account before you actually arrive in the country. This minimises the need to carry cash while travelling and lowers the fees associated with putting Australian dollars into your account. Australian Banks who provide the easiest sign-up services online are; Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and NAB.
Melbourne boasts an economy that is extremely strong – in 2012 it was ranked as the 15th most affordable city in the world to live in on Mercer’s Worldwide Cost of Living Survey.
Melbourne drivers use the left-hand side of the road and operate right-hand drive motor vehicles. Speed limits range from 50km/h in urban areas to 100km/h on freeways or highways. In order to drive a car in Melbourne, you must hold a valid license. If you have a current drivers license from your home country, you are able to drive on Victorian roads for up to six months. After this, you are legally required to hold a Victorian drivers license.
Drivers from; Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA do not need to pass any tests to obtain a drivers license, they simply must visit VicRoads to change over their existing license to a local one.
If your country is not listed above, you will need to visit VicRoads and undertake practical driving and written tests in order to get a Victorian license. For more information about drivers licenses, motor vehicle registration or general enquiries about driving in Victoria, visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
Australia is subject to International Driving regulations – which mean that the acquisition of an International Drivers Permit or license allows overseas drivers to continue driving in Australia without further tests or applications, provided that a current drivers license is still held. More can be found out about International Driving Permits from The National Roads and Motorists’ Association website.
Melbourne’s public transport system is one of the most efficient in the world. An increase in the population’s environmental awareness means that public transport is heavily utilised by local residents. There are three main forms of public transport operating throughout Melbourne. They are: bus, tram (trolley/streetcar) and train. Tickets are transferrable across all three services. For more information including timetables and trip planners please visit ptv.vic.gov.au/timetables.
Melbourne offers a wide variety of schools, both public and private, with an extremely high level of education across the board. Expatriates most often enrol their children in public/state schooling, as do 65 percent of Victorian families. When it comes to deciding which school to enrol children in to, the decision is usually based on location. As well as government schooling, there are numerous private schools — either classified as ‘independent’ and ‘catholic’ around Melbourne.
For more information about both public and private schooling in the region please visit the Victorian education website.
Transport available to school students will vary depending on the location of the school and home. Independent schools most often run their own bus systems. Most teenage children use the public bus and train services to get back and forth. Crown Melbourne are able to arrange an appointment with a consultant to provide an in-depth explanation of the local education systems if required.
Medical care and facilities are of an extremely high standard in Australia, and Melbourne is no exception. Both private and public healthcare services are provided in the Melbourne. Medicare Australia is a government organisation that’s responsible for delivering public health care services to Melbourne residents. To qualify for fully subsidised health care you must enrol for Medicare here .
Even though Medicare provides free hospital care and free or subsidised doctor and specialist visits, the Australian government still highly recommend having private health insurance – almost 50% of Australians do. Private health insurance covers the cost of ambulance use in emergencies and dental care, which Medicare does not.
New Zealand citizens living in Australia automatically qualify for enrolment to Medicare – but with some conditions. They are also entitled to free emergency hospital care. However if they are not enrolled in Medicare they are generally charged with the full cost of doctor visits.
Health care in Melbourne is delivered through The Royal Melbourne Hospital which is one of Australia’s most prestigious hospitals. If the insurance company you were with in your home country is a member of the International Federation of Health Funds, you may be able to transfer your policy to Australia without penalty – at a similar level of cover. Check with your insurance provider for details.
Expatriates typically choose where to live in a new city based on; price, lifestyle, value, size and proximity to offices and schools. The most popular suburbs for families in Melbourne are the Bayside suburbs of Brighton, Hampton, Sandringham and Black Rock. These are all located 10 to 20 kilometres southeast of the CBD and are popular for their spaciousness and availability of good schools. However these are highly sought after areas and therefore house prices are high.
Camberwell, Hawthorn and Kew are also popular for their gracious and stately renovated homes. Port Melbourne, Docklands and Albert Park are often popular suburbs for young professionals when moving to Melbourne. The average cost of a home in the metropolitan Melbourne area is $652,000. With a unit/apartment typically costing $499,000.
There are some restrictions in place when it comes to non permanent residents buying property in Australia, for more information about this please visit the Foreign Investment Review Board website.
However, it’s more common for expatriates to rent homes rather than buying. This is because the Victorian Government has high tax rates put in place on the purchase of real estate properties, known as “stamp rates.”
When organising a property to rent, landlords typically ask for four to six weeks rent in advance before the collection of keys.
There is also a security deposit or bond to be paid before moving in. For more information about the process of renting a home in Melbourne please visit www.rentalbonds.vic.gov.au
For information about rental properties available around the Melbourne area, visit www.domain.com.au
Melbourne is a city of variety and there is truly a social scene for everybody. Migrants to Melbourne find it easy to integrate into the wider community, and most often do this instead of locking themselves in to a close-knit group straight away. However, there are special newcomer groups which expatriates are able to join.
Families often find the opportunity for social networking through their children’s school activities; sporting, special events, fundraisers and other activities. Melbourne has a thriving social scene, with a multicultural atmosphere and wide range of activities, it’s not hard for socialising to take place at multiple locations around the city. A unique pub culture and large number of nightclubs provide opportunities to meet new people in a friendly environment. There are also a variety of well-known singles networking companies who specialise in arranging a wide range of activities.
Crown Relocations has 50 years of experience moving individuals and families to Melbourne and throughout Australia, contact us today for more information about our services. To arrange a quotation call our office for an obligation FREE quote on: 0508 227 696 or you can use our online quote forms: Instant Quote, Quick Quote or Home Visit Request
To convert your money to Australian dollars the cheapest and most reliable way, check out our guide for Moving Your Money.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.