TSS 482 Visa Holders Moving to Australia for Work Need to Think about Other Expenses Besides the Cost of Shipping and Flights.
This post is another one straight from my inbox from an SMG subscriber.
Preparing to move to Sydney on a TSS 482 visa.
If everything goes on well, I will be moving to Sydney soon. Right now, I am still waiting for the visa application to be done. Currently, I am in New York City.
You moved to Australia because your partner was on a sponsored work 482 visa, right? Did the company pay for you to relocate to Sydney? Flights, shipping, etc?
Also, what would you recommend expats do for accommodation during the first few weeks before settling down with a place to rent?
I was also wondering if there is a large American expat community in Sydney?
Thanks so much for your help.
What to consider when negotiating your relocation to Australia.
Yes, we moved on a subclass 457 work sponsored visa which is the visa the TSS 482 has replaced. The company that sponsored our visa did pay for shipping our household to Australia, our flights, and two weeks accommodations in Sydney, but not our private health insurance which is a requirement for a 482 visa.
When my husband first started negotiating with the company, they didn't offer anything. He just flat out turned them down simply because there was no way we could afford to move to Australia at the time without financial help.
I think they, the company that hired my husband, do this to everyone they hire because as soon as he said no they came back with an offer to reimburse the cost once we got to Australia. Still money out of pocket, but it turned out to be a good thing to get the reimbursement in Sydney as we needed an immediate source of Australian funds for our first apartment rent and deposit to move in.
Getting reimbursed as soon as we arrived in Sydney.
Asking for the reimbursement for our relocation costs to be paid as soon as we arrived was genius. If we didn't have that money we would have been hurting financially.
Getting them to agree to pay when we arrived took some negotiating. It was actually the hard part. They wanted to wait and group it all into his first paycheck, but we were going to need to be reimbursed asap as our shipment cost was about $5,000. That plus our flights added up quickly to be over $7,000. Of course, there is monthly health insurance on top of that and odd bits and pieces that all add up quickly.
I have a post on how much it costs to move that lists a bunch of expenses that often get overlooked and a second post on how much savings to have when first arriving in Sydney.
Getting all your finances sorted before you arrive will give you an edge when apartment hunting in Sydney.
Another reason why getting that bonus in Australian funds right away was a fantastic idea was we didn't set up our banking before arriving and would've had to wait for funds to be transferred from the States.
Precise time wasted.
With the Sydney rental market, timing is everything, and being able to move quickly will give you an edge. A small edge, but much better than waiting a week, if not more, to set up your banking and have funds transferred.
It actually never even occurred to either of us to open up a bank account before moving and transfer funds to that account. Definitely, something I recommend everyone moving to Australia do now. I would even go so far as to have the company direct deposit any reimbursement to your new account.
The standard for company sponsored relocations to Australia.
The standard for company-sponsored relocations to Australia seems to be two weeks stay in a hotel. That's what we had and it was very stressful only having two weeks as apartment hunting in Sydney is competitive and, for the second week in the hotel, my husband had to start work.
We got lucky and found a place after a week, but we still had about 6 weeks until our shipment showed up so I spent that second week, since our new apartment wasn't ready to move in yet, running around shopping for basic house supplies.
Ah, fun times.
What 482 visa holders should consider asking the company to pay for.
Negotiating is always a difficult thing to do. To be honest, I'm not very good at it, but if I were a smart negotiator I would ask for the company to cover flights, the cost of the move (international shipping), one-month accommodations in a short-term rental instead of a hotel, private medical insurance coverage while employed since that is required by law for 482 visa holders, and, if moving with children that will be attending public school in Sydney, tuition for each child per year as 482 visa holders have to pay tuition to attend public schools in NSW.
If you're really good at negotiating then I would throw in a relocation agent to help orientate you with the city and find your first apartment.
Getting all of that would be top-notch, but most likely won't happen.
The minimum covered, from what I hear from readers and from our experience, is international shipping up to a limit, accommodations at a hotel for two weeks, and flights. No private health insurance, tuition, or relocation agent.
Why a short-term rental instead of an hotel.
One thing I would recommend is trying for the short-term rental in Sydney for a month.
If the company usually pays for two weeks in a hotel then ask for them to cover the first two weeks of the rental or equivalent value of two weeks in a hotel as vacation rentals can often be less.
This way you can select a rental in a part of the city you're thinking of living and get a chance to see how it feels, what the schools are like, how long your commute is, etc. It's also much easier when you're searching for apartments because all the inspections will be close by.
Do NOT secure a long-term rental without seeing it in person first.
Don't stress and think you can get ahead of the game by securing an apartment while still overseas. I've had a few readers that have done this and it has been a disaster. One was a complete scam and they lost their money.
I know this sounds completely obvious and you probably don't need to have it pointed out to you, but when we're stressed out and overwhelmed we tend to make bad decisions.
What You Can Do Today To Make Your Move to Sydney Easier
I have a couple of posts on banking for expats moving to Australia that cover how to set up your account before you leave home (super easy, takes about 10 minutes online) and what Australian banks offer migrant accounts.
Once your account is set up, you can start transferring funds.
I have a post that rates the forex brokers we've used since living in Australia. Here's a link to that post: Expat’s Guide to Currency Exchange and Transferring Money Overseas.
Having a bank account with money already transferred is something I wish we had done!
It will probably be the easiest part of your move.
Being an American Expat in Sydney
There are more and more American expats in Australia. We are still outnumbered by UK expats, but definitely making our mark ;).
Ready to Get Started with Your Move to Australia?
Australia Moving Checklist
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Lock-In Your Exchange Rate
Did you know the Australian dollar is a commodity currency? This means the value of the Australian dollar is linked to the price of iron ore and other Australian exports. It also means that it's HIGHLY VOLATILE! When a good rate comes along, you need to be ready to jump on it and lock-in that exchange rate.
Have You Started Packing Yet?
No, not yet? Still got several months to go? Ok, but have you at least started thinking about what you're taking? Maybe even started a list? The truth is you don’t need to know what's going with you before getting your shipping quote. Why? Scheduling a shipment to Australia can take as long as 6 months.
Open Your Bank Account
In 5 minutes or less, you can open both a checking and savings account BEFORE you move to Australia. There are only 3 things you need to get started.
1. Your passport and visa details.
2. Know where you're going to live.
3. Be arriving within the next 3 months.
*This link will take you to Commonwealth Bank of Australia's special accounts for newly arriving expats and migrants. Commonwealth Bank is a sponsoring partner of Sydney Moving Guide.