How to Move to Australia from the USA
Have you been dreaming of experiencing life "down under"? Looking to take on a career or study opportunity? Or just wondering “Can I move to Australia?”
This post will cover everything you need to know about migrating to Australia from the USA including:
- Can a US Citizen Immigrate to Australia?
- How hard is it to immigrate to Australia from the USA?
- What are the Requirements to Migrate to Australia?
- Work, Attend College and Permanent Residency in Australia for US citizens
- Australian Visa for US Green Card Holders
- Retiring to Australia from The US
- Help with Immigrating to Australia From the US
Can a US Citizen Immigrate to Australia?
US Citizens can migrate to Australia provided they can meet requirements for one of the country’s visa subclasses. Australia has numerous visas for eligible U.S citizens. The primary pathways are as follows:
- Employer-sponsored visas;
- General Skilled Migration (GSM);
- Distinguished Talent visas;
- Student and Graduate visas;
- Business visas; and
- Family visas.
Employer-Sponsored or General Skilled Migration Visas
Applicants seeking to apply for an employer-sponsored or general skilled migration visa are required to nominate an occupation on one of Australia’s skilled occupation lists. Certain occupations will have direct avenues to permanent residency available, whilst others will require periods of residency outside the capitals, in regional areas, to secure a permanent stay.
Distinguished Talent Visas
Distinguished Talent visas are available to a person who has achieved global prominence in the arts, academics or their profession. Australia is particularly targeting new applicants within this scheme to make up the shortfall of migration numbers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Student visas are available for eligible applicants who wish to complete their studies in Australia. Graduate visas are available to student visa holders if they meet the specified requirements upon finishing their tertiary studies.
Business visas are available to eligible applicants who have an extensive business ownership and management background and have funds available to invest in one of the country’s states or territories.
Family visas can be secured by spouses or de facto partners of Australians, along with parents or children of Australians. Provided the criteria can be met.
How hard is it to immigrate to Australia from the USA?
The Australian visa process can be rigorous, and it can (at times) feel there are multiple criteria to meet to secure residence. However, this exemplifies the quality and care Australia takes in making decisions on temporary and permanent resident visas along with its Australian citizens.
The criteria for gaining permanent residency in Australia are based on the needs of the general workforce. The migration system adapts to the countries current needs while anticipating what kind of jobs will be in demand in coming years based on shortages and trends.
If you are skilled in certain areas that are in high demand yet under-sourced, there is a very good chance of gaining long-term visas. It’s also worth keeping in mind that short term visa opportunities often evolve to be long-term placements once you are in Australia.
What are the Requirements to Migrate to Australia?
Each Australian visa has its own set of legislative criteria required to migrate. Your background will determine which visa you are potentially eligible for.
All migrants are required to demonstrate they are of good character, health and have not engaged in any adverse activities.
If you are skilled, this will mean demonstrating your qualification and employment background. If you are talented, your global reach and achievements. If interested in a business visa, evidence of assets, funds available and ownership interests. If a family member, demonstrating your relationship.
Worldwide Migration Partners are skilled in numerous visa sub-classes and can provide advice regarding the most suitable visa to individuals’ circumstances.
Can US citizens work in Australia?
Yes! US Citizens can work in Australia, provided they hold a suitable visa to do so. Most Australian visas provide the opportunity to work whilst you are in the country, aside from those such as a ‘Tourist visa’.
Can US citizens go to college in Australia?
Australia is home to 7 of the top 100 universities in the world and holds five of the 30 best cities in the world for students based on student mix, affordability, quality of life, and employer activity.
US Citizens can apply for Student visas in Australia, provided they have enrolled in a certified course and can financially support their stay in the country. Most US Citizens on Student visas are entitled to work at least 20 hours per week.
For more information on study in Australia, visit the Study in Australia website
Permanent residency in Australia for US citizens
An Australian permanent resident is someone who holds a permanent visa but is not a citizen. A permanent resident can live, work and study without restriction in Australia.
Permanent residency avenues are largely secured through the employer-sponsored, general skilled migration, distinguished talent, business and family visa schemes.
For more information about how to become a permanent resident, visit the Department of Home Affairs website
Australian Visa for US Green Card Holders
For US Citizens who are in a relationship with a US Green Card Holder and would like to reside in Australia for an extended period of time or permanently there are the Australian Partner visas. While there may be other short term options for a partner, like a work visa, Partner visas are often a good choice for a couple who wish to reside in Australia for a few years or longer.
Partner visas are similar to the green card process in the US. Like the US, Australian Partner visas require couples to demonstrate their commitment to one another, that they are living together, they share their finances and the social aspects of their relationship. The biggest difference to the Australian partner visa is that you do not have to be married in order to apply for one. You may also be in a de facto relationship, which requires specific evidence to show your relationship meets the definition of a de facto couple. Worldwide Migration Partner provides substantial advice on how to meet these requirements.
If you hold a green card and you plan to return to Australia with your partner, there are other considerations regarding maintaining your green card status that you will want to be aware of prior to re-location.
Retiring to Australia from The US
Unfortunately, there are no longer many viable visa options offering retirement pathways to Australia. Where possible these largely include business visas which are not a viable pathway to permanent residence for most people.
The Department of Home Affairs removed the 405 Investor Retirement visa from the list of available visas on 1 June 2018.
Help with Immigrating to Australia From the US
Worldwide Migration Partners have extensive experience in Australia’s numerous visa sub-classes. We make the arduous task of moving across the world seem simple and guide you through every step of the visa process.
We provide detailed checklists, templates, ongoing advice and assurance, collate the entirety of your application and manage this for you with the Department of Home Affairs.
For more help and guidance on migrating from the USA to Australia contact us today!
About The Author
Amber Halverson is a registered Australian migration agent at Worldwide Migration Partners. Amber specialises in the wide array of available Australian visa sub-classes, including employer-sponsored, general skilled migration, partner, parent, tourist and Australian citizenship applications.
Amidst these unprecedented times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s never been more important to ensure a family can be kept together. There are currently three options for Australian Partners Visas. Should you be in a relationship with an Australian Citizen, Permanent Resident or Eligible New Zealand Citizen and your intention is to reside in […]Read More