Moving to a new and unfamiliar place can be stressful. This is especially true if you are moving to a totally different country. It is disorienting not only because of possible jet lag effect, but primarily because of the sense of uncertainty and isolation. You will be a stranger in a strange town.
However, if you are taking your family with you, it could complicate your move in terms of legal and logistical considerations. It could take a while before you can secure all the necessary documentation and arrange for the shipping of your belongings. You need to hire an international moving company to transport your personal items, including your vehicle.
If you have set plans of moving to Sydney, Australia either because of a job offer, a long-term work assignment, or because you just secured your skilled worker visa, you need to adequately prepare. Here are a few pointers you need to take care of right away:
1. Secure legal documentation
In terms of legal documentation, moving to Australia from a non-British Commonwealth of Nations member can be a bit difficult. Currently, there are 53 sovereign states that are members of the Commonwealth. Nearly all of them are either former colonies of the British Empire or dependencies of the colonies.
Citizens of commonwealth-member countries enjoy relative ease of travel among the member countries. For instance, if you are a holder of a Canadian passport, you only need an electronic travel authorization or eTA. This is relatively easy to secure online, and you can even get it while in flight.
On the other hand, if you are coming from other countries, and you are planning to live and work in Sydney, you need to prepare the following:
- Passport from your home country
- Australian visa (skilled worker visa)
- Work permit or invitation from an Australian employer
- Pet importation permit (only dogs and cats are allowed)
- Permit to import plants (some plants are prohibited)
- Vehicle importation permit if you want to bring your vehicle
You should check on the latest visa and immigration requirements well in advance of your proposed relocation date, to ensure all arrangements have been made and approved.
2. Look for a credible removalist company
In the process of looking for a reliable moving company, you may look online or ask for recommendations from relatives, friends, and colleagues. Finding a credible removalist may not be as straightforward, so you need to allocate time for it.
You must compare companies based on the following:
- Services and capabilities – You may compare the services such as international networks of transportation and storage.
- Price quotes – The price quotes will vary depending on the distance, bulk of the items, and the type of items to be transported.
- Customer reviews – You may go to public forums online dedicated for reviewing removalist companies. You may want to create your own thread if you have a lot of questions to ask.
- International certifications – Look for a company with ISO 9001 and FIDI & FAIM (FIDI Accredited International Mover) certifications. The Fédération Internationale des Déménageurs Internationaux or The Federation of International Movers, i.e. FEDI sets the global standards for companies engaging in removal and relocation businesses. A seal of approval from FEDI is an assurance of credibility.
3. Know the quarantine rules
Australia is very strict when it comes to protecting its agricultural industry and natural environment. The importation of fauna and flora is strictly regulated. Quarantine rules are implemented, and many species are not allowed to enter. Most types of food are not allowed, or should be declared.
You need to declare the following in your packages, luggage or hand-carried bags:
- Seeds and nuts – these include all commercially packaged seeds and nuts that are either intended for food or for planting.
- Plant derived products – these include straw packaging, wooden articles, and decorations that include plant parts. Dried fruit and vegetables are included.
- Animal derived products – these include products that have rawhide, fur or hair.
- All food items – these include biscuits, cakes, chocolates and beverages such as coffee and tea.
4. Research about life in Sydney
Before moving to Sydney, you must first have an idea about your new neighbourhood and/or city. This way, you will minimise the stress of culture shock and cope with the urban challenges of everyday life.
You should do some research on the following:
- Cost of living – this includes apartment rent, fare, the price of food and other grocery items, utility bills, leisure, entertainment, and taxes.
- Job opportunities – if you have an invitation to work in Sydney, this will not be much of a problem. However, if you are a holder of a skilled worker visa who is still searching for work, you should search for a company that will hire you.
- Business opportunities – learn about the government regulations and various potential markets for specific types of products and services.
- How to get around the city – you will eventually learn how to get around the city if you live there, but it would also be helpful if you study a map of the city and learn about the transportation links.
- Getting a driver’s licence – you may need to learn new traffic rules and how to drive on the left side of the road. If you plan to bring your own car, it may need to be retrofitted if it has a left-hand side steering wheel.
Look forward to your new life adventure
After securing all the necessary documents, compiling important information, and hiring the right removalist company, you should psychologically prepare yourself for this major move. This is very important if you plan to permanently live in Sydney.
You should learn how to acclimatise yourself not only to the weather but also to the culture and economic life of the city. Anticipate initial feelings of isolation and homesickness. Condition your mind for a long-term stay and becoming integrated in the city culture of Sydney.
Getting used to living in Sydney shouldn’t be so hard as it is one of the best places to be in the world.
Robert Wise, Sales Administration Manager at Nuss Removals, has been a respected figure in the removals industry for over 20 years. His attention to detail and the ability to truly understand the needs of the customer have ensured the successful relocation of thousands of satisfied individuals and families. For moving and storage across Australia and around the world, Robert’s wealth of experience ensures his customers are in safe hands.