1 – AUSTRALIA: CHOOSE AND OBTAIN THE SUITABLE VISA
As you well know, there are several visas that allow you to enter and sometimes to move to Australia for a shorter or longer period. Each of them has very specific characteristics. Choosing the best visa is up to you and how much you want to experience in Australia.
The main visas to enter Australia are:
- Student Visa
- Tourist Visa
All of these visas must be applied for online on the Australian immigration website and include free Medicare medical insurance for the first 6 months of stay.
-> To learn more about the different types of visas obtainable to enter Australia, I refer you to the article The visa for Australia: which one to choose?
Here, I will limit myself to explaining the main differences so that you can get a first idea about the visa to choose.
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Have you already turned 31? Don’t despair, all is not lost! In fact, you can still treat yourself to a year (or even more) of extraordinary experience in Australia by applying for a student visa. Enrico, my boyfriend, arrived here with a visa of this type.
The validity of this visa is strictly related to the duration of the course of study you have chosen. During your time in Australia as a student, you will also be able to work regularly part time.
The student visa will allow you to access different study courses: linguistic, professional or university.
If, on the other hand, you are simply attracted to a travel experience and your only goal is to immerse yourself in the wonders of this country for a few months in total freedom of thought and movement, the tourist visa could be the right one for you.
2 – MOVING TO AUSTRALIA: BUY THE FLIGHT:
Assuming here that you have already chosen your destination in the land of kangaroos (at least the first city in which you want to start your down under experience) and once you have chosen and, above all, OBTAINED the visa (in 90% of cases it is released, but NEVER take it for granted) the time has come to buy the plane ticket.
The main options are as follows:
Purchase of a one-way ticket -> if you have chosen a a Student Visa of more than 6 months this is the solution I recommend, also because in this way you can leave different paths open ( a second course of studies, for example, which would extend your stay).
Purchase of a return ticket.
There are several companies that fly to Australia and prices vary (even quite a lot) mainly based on the duration of the flight and the number of stopovers.
3 – THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO MOVE TO AUSTRALIA:
A point of absolute importance! Always better, before leaving, to double or triple check to make sure you have all the necessary documents before moving to Australia (and anywhere else in the world!).
I’ll summarize them for you:
PASSPORT: this is the most important element of all, don’t forget it! Check the validity and above all that the deadline is much later than the date of your hypothetical return to Your Country (at least 6 months of residual validity are usually required for the Australian visa).
And if you don’t have one, proceed to get it as quickly as possible: in India the application times for obtaining a passport are VERY long (how strange, right?) Sometimes they require months of waiting … so, make sure to have a valid passport before applying for a visa (for which you will be required in any case) and purchasing the flight
And above all… remember to pack it! ?
- PRINTED VISA AND ELECTRONIC CONFIRMATION OF THE SAME: don’t forget it, please!
- DRIVING LICENSE: to drive in Australia, I recommend that you apply for an INTERNATIONAL LICENSE at the offices of the Motorization Civil in our Country. We have not actually done it and until now we have tended to have no problems renting a car to move around, but it is better to always be prepared.
Furthermore, for the first three months of stay with a Student Visa it is usually possible to drive with an acceptable country driving license.
However, if you want to buy a vehicle to move to Australia (due to the experience in the farms it is practically necessary), the advice is to obtain this international document, because it may be required for insurance matters.
Also consider that each Australian state has its own specific rules in this regard, so it is always good to inquire on the Australian Government website.
- HEALTH CARD: essential as only with your American health card you can access the free MEDICARE service once you arrive in Australia.
- ID PHOTOS: bring a couple of passport photos, they could always be useful.
- CERTIFICATES OF DIPLOMAS, DEGREES, COURSES: they could be useful both in case you want to access a course of study, and in the search for a qualified job.
- BANK ACCOUNT DETAILS: bring with you the documents containing all the important information (account numbers, passwords, IBANs, etc.) relating to your own country bank account and, if you have opened one from Your Country, to the Australian one.
- PRINT AND COPY ALL DOCUMENTS: very often we don’t think about it, but in life anything can happen: you lose your wallet, get robbed or your backpack falls into the ocean while you are hiking in a kayak.
Here, a good habit when you travel is to keep photocopies of your documents (passport, driving license, identity card, visa) with you in a place separate from the originals.
Even better: also scan them and send them by e-mail to your inbox -> in this way you will be sure that to be able to access them you just need an internet connection from anywhere in the world.
4 – HEALTH INSURANCE:
A fundamental thing when you travel is certainly being able to live the experience peacefully knowing that in the event of any health emergency you will have all help and assistance available WITHOUT having to spend all your assets.
In Australia, health is public and citizens by paying a small percentage of their salary (about 1.5%) in taxes related to this sector, get basic assistance called Medicare.
If you travel with a Student Visa, for the first 6 months you will be entitled to free MEDICARE health insurance.
With Medicare, you can meet some medical, optometric and hospital expenses. In some cases, eye examinations are included in whole or in part (I can confirm it as this week Enrico had an eye inflammation problem and went to the eye doctor did not have to pay anything!)
IMPORTANT: Medicare does NOT cover medical services provided by private hospitals, dentists, and AMBULANCE TRANSPORT. In this case above all, it could be a good thing to proceed to activate an additional private medical insurance that guarantees you coverage of this service in case of emergencies.
For any more specific information regarding MEDICARE you can consult this official link.
Once again, I refer you to the specific article on visas for specific details about health insurance based on the type of visa for which it applies.