Please Note: I do have partnerships with several of the companies listed below and make a commission from referrals. Thanks in advance for supporting Sydney Moving Guide and keeping the lights on.
Expat Resources to Help You With Your Move to Sydney
- Best Option for Large Sums
- Most Popular with Expats in Australia
- Best Option for Fast Transfers
- Best Exchange Rate
- Long Term Rentals Search Websites
- Short Term Rentals Search Websites
- Australian Real Estate Agencies
- Roommates and Flatmates
- House Sitting in Sydney
International Shipping Companies
NEW! I personally have started taking on moving quote requests from SMG readers.
I only recommend international shipping companies that myself and SMG readers have experience with and would recommend to our friends and family.
Since starting SMG five years ago, I’ve heard some horror stories, not to mention our own shoes being destroyed by Australian Quarantine.
This is why it is very important you choose a shipping company that has experience with Australian relocations.
If you want me to contact you and personally recommend movers you can.
I just ask for you to fill out the moving quote form here so that I know where you are moving from and when. Plus your contact details, of course.
Not all the international shipping companies are partners with SMG but a few are.
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Here are links to the pdf booklets from the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship. I find the booklets to have the best, most digestible form of information. Trying to find specific info on the immigration website can be a nightmare.
- Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) Visa
- Student Visa Options
- Permanent Residence Visas
- The new Skillselect options.
- More immigration pdf information booklets.
Here is a list of the main Australian banks that have accounts specifically for those relocating to Australia. Most will allow you to open a bank account months before you leave home.
These accounts are pretty basic and don’t have the best interest rates but they will get you and your money to Australia. Once you get financially settled in Sydney, you can explore other banks that have better interest rates.
Transferring Money to Australia
When transferring money to Australia, or really anywhere in the world, there is one thing you need to remember. NEVER TRANSFER WITH A BANK! They will charge you large fees and give you the worst exchange rate ever. Please trust me on this. It is infuriating to see how much they charge. Don’t put yourself through that experience. Instead choose one of the options below or go with another forex company or your choice.
Best option for transferring large sums of funds to Australia.
Torfx – 0% Commission, No fees EVER, Fast & Secure. You can also set up a regular payment system if you still have bills back home that you need to stay on top of. Torfx is a SMG Partner.
The following forex companies offer FREE Transfers For LIFE for SMG Readers! Yes, they are all partners of SMG.
OzForex – Probably the most popular forex in Australia. This is the one most expats recommend.
USForex – For those moving to Sydney from the United States.
UKForex – For those moving to Sydney from the United Kingdom.
CanadianForex – For those moving to Sydney from the…well, you get it.
NZForex – NZ as in New Zealand.
The best option for fast transfers. This is the one you want to go with if you forgot about a bill back home that is due asap.
Transferwise – There is a small fee but they have a good exchange rate and are very fast. You can even pick ultra fast transfers for an additional fee. Transferwise is an SMG partner.
Best Exchange Rate
Currencyfair – This is a great idea. What Currencyfair does is match up people who want to exchange funds with those that are selling that specific currency. For example, if you live in Ireland and you want to exchange Euros for AUD, you log on to Currencyfair and they connect you with Australians traveling or moving to Europe. You then bid on the exchange rate you want to pay. If they agree, you’re in business. You can get the best exchange rate this way.
There is one drawback, Currencyfair is not available for US exchanges yet. Well, it’s a drawback for me since I transfer money back and forth from the US to Australia. But if you’re from Europe, Ireland or the UK then definitely check it out. Currencyfair is an SMG partner.
Jobs in Sydney
Top job search websites in Australia.
Here is our article with tips on finding a job in Sydney.
Recruiters in Sydney
- AustCorp Executive Recruitment – http://www.austcorpexecutive.com.au/
- Randstad Australia Pty Ltd – http://www.randstad.com.au/
- Oracle iRecruitment – irecruitment.oracle.com
- Ashdown Consulting – ashdownconsulting.com.au
- Design & Build Recruitment – designandbuild.com.au
- Hays Recruitment – hays.com.au
Health Insurance in Australia
Take a look at ISelect.com.au for private health insurance comparisons.
- BUPA www.bupa.com.au/health-insurance/cover/overseas-visitors
- IMAN www.austhealth.com/457-visa-healthinsurance.php
- Medibank Private www.medibank.com.au/Visitors-Cover/About-Working-Visa-Cover.aspx
- HCF www.hcf.com.au/healthinsurance/overseas-visitors-health-cover
Check out our article on things to watch out for when getting your Australian health insurance.
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Real Estate in Sydney
Long Term Rentals
Here’s a site to bookmark: Tenants NSW – Your rights at a tenant. There is a nice Tenants Rights Fact Sheet that you might want to take a quick look at.
Short Term Rentals
I always recommend renting an apartment instead of staying in a hotel especially if you are moving to Sydney with kids. One it’s cheaper because you have use of a full kitchen and don’t have to eat out. Eating out 3 times a day in Sydney is expensive. It also gives you a homebase (ask the owners if you can use their address for things like setting up your bank account, etc.) and you can book a rental in a suburb that you are considering living in. That way you can check it out and see if you like the area or not.
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Australian Vacation Rentals
- AirBnB.com.au – Get $50AUD Off when you sign up with the AirBnB Australia with my referral link.
- HomeAway.com – SMG Partner.
- Wimdu Australian Holiday Rentals – SMG Partner.
Save money on accommodations in Sydney by house sitting.
I have a guest post on housing sitting in Sydney here. It’s worth a read. House sitting is a very creative way to find a great short accommodations in Sydney for next to nothing.
Australian Real Estate Agencies
Roommates and Flatmates
On many expat forums you will see people suggest Gumtree.com.au, I DO NOT recommend Gumtree for flatmates because you will get a lot of very odd people (putting it politely) replying to your post and wasting your time. The websites above are a much better way to go. However, Gumtree is good for furnishing your first apartment in Sydney.
Finding an apartment in Sydney is not easy! We have a sneaky tip to help you out: The Best Tip For Finding An Apartment In Sydney
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Bring-Your-Own Phone Plans
Phone Plans with Phone
Thinking of getting Netflix in Australia?
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Education Links and Resources
I just recently finished our first article on Sydney schools. It’s probably one of the longest articles I’ve written for the site.
Even just a few days after publishing it’s one of our most view posts. Not just viewed but read from start to finish which is impressive considering it’s over 3,000 words.
As I promised, I am working on writing more specific articles about primary and secondary schools or high schools, childcare in Sydney, info on private schools and what you need to know as a temporary 457 visa holder.
But until then I thought I would just post up all the links I’ve started collecting about schools, that way you don’t have to wait on me.
Finding A School In Sydney
NSW School Year
457 and other Temporary Visas
Child Care Services in Parramatta
Taxes for Expats is an online tax service for US expats with a flat fee of $350.
NEW! Special Referral Code “ilovesydney” Just For SMG Readers For $75 Credit Off Tax Services With Taxes For Expats.
They also have a lot of info on their site about FBAR and FATCA. If you have no idea what those acronyms stand for then definitely check out my posts on taxes here.
Are you from the UK? Then read this article about UK Expat Taxes.
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Australian Expat Books Available From Amazon
- Living and Working in Australia: A Survivial Handbook
Updated regularly. Lots of info but more for UK expats than US expats, still has come good info.
- Expat’s Guide To Sydney
If you have just started researching your move to Sydney, this is a good guide to begin with. It covers all the basics and is only $3 for the kindle edition. Bargain. You’ll learn more about 457 visas, networking and making your resume more Aussie. This is a very practical, straight to the point guide.
- Moving To Australia: A Guide For Expats, Lovers And the Otherwise Curious
Well organised and full of lots of helpful info for your move to Australia. It’s a good reference to have if you are just starting your research for your big move.
- In a Sunburned Country
I have yet to meet an expat that has not read this book before moving to Australia. It’s a great read and gives you an idea of what to expect culturally. Also a good place to start your Aussie travel list.
Study Abroad Australia: A Roaming Scholar’s Guide
There really isn’t that much info out there for students going to Australia. I do hope to change that here as I get many, many questions but in the mean time take a look at this book. It will help you out. Also the university you’re going to be studying at should have an international student coordinator. Make use of them and ask questions, even if you think they are stupid questions. It’s their job to help you out.
SMG is an associated partner of Amazon.