What you need to know about moving to Australia

What you need to know about moving to Australia – a Guide for Staff

What you need to know about moving to Australia

What steps will you need to take before you can move to Australia?

The University may sponsor temporary or permanent resident visas for overseas persons who have been offered a position at The Australian National University. Generally, this only applies to certain academic positions.

The main employer sponsored visa types are:

  • Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482)
  • Temporary Activity Visa (Subclass 408)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186)
  • Global Talent Visa Program (Subclass 858)

Things you need to have BEFORE you apply for a Working Visa:

  • An electronic confirmation of your employment at ANU

  • Gather the required documentation for the specific visa as per the Department of Home Affairs Website

  • Understanding of the visa fees find out more here: Visa fees and charges (homeaffairs.gov.au)

Conditions you need to maintain to keep your Working Visa:

Under the conditions of an employer sponsored visa, you need to be employed with the University, in-order for the visa to remain valid. . If you change employers, you will likely need to apply for a new visa with your new employer.  

Depending on the type of Visa you are granted, there will be more conditions you need to comply with to maintain your Visa. It is important that you understand each of these conditions before your come to Australia and that you are staying up to date with any chances that may occur to these conditions. If you wish to stay within Australia, it is important to maintain all of these conditions for the duration of the time you are in the country. Visa Conditions (homeaffairs.gov.au)

You can find out more about Visas here: Visa list (homeaffairs.gov.au)

Bringing your family

Working overseas is an exciting time, not just for yourself, but for the whole family. We understand that you may want to bring some or all of your family with you. We have provided some important information below to help you make an informed choice about who you might bring with you.

It is important that you make sure your Visa accommodates the family you wish to bring with you. Some Visas allow for immediate family to come such as your spouse and children, but you need to make sure this is the case. If it doesn’t, you will need to make sure your family has the right Visas to come with you and this can mean an additional cost.

What you need to keep in mind when thinking of bringing your family to Australia:

  • The cost of getting yourself and your family to Australia, such as:
    - Plane tickets
    - Travel accommodation
    - Visa costs
    - Passports
  • Overseas Health Cover for the whole family for the duration of your stay
  • Rent costs for accommodation – this can vary depending on the location and size (see Example)
  • Daily expenses and weekly food costs
  • Your spouse’s work conditions based on their Visa type
  • Enrolling your child or children into school and/or day-care
  • Cost of education for your children, such as:
    - Day-care costs for ages 0-5- Day-care within the ACT costs – between $140-$160 a day *
    - Potential school costs for ages 5 years to 18 years - This cost is dependent on your Visa type and where you are living. 
  • Transportation Costs, such as:
    - Public Transportation costs
    - Australian Drivers Licence costs & the cost of a vehicle, registration and insurance, car seats for children etc. if you wish to drive.

Childcare and Schooling in the ACT

All children of school age must be enrolled in school, children too young to attend school can be enrolled into daycare.


When it comes to thinking about and finding accommodation in Australia, it’s important to think about the type of accommodation you need and how you would like to live. Below are a few things to think about that might help narrow down what type of accommodation could work best for you.

  • Do you want to live alone and do you feel comfortable living by yourself?
  • Will you be bringing family and need extra room for your family?
  • What is your budget? Rent costs for accommodation can vary depending on the location and size (see Example)
  • Would you like to live with multiple people?

Renting in the ACT

Rental costs within the ACT are currently fluctuating. It is recommended that you view Domain, realestate.com.au, Gumtree or AllHomes to understand rental rates of your preferred location.  We cannot give an exact cost of housing for you, but it would be worth googling “Current cost of Rent in Canberra, ACT” to see what the cost of housing will look like when you come. For rental estimates, you can also view Rental Properties and Real Estate in Canberra, ACT - realestate.com.au.

There are multiple types of accommodation to consider, depending on the type you are looking for.

Finding Rental Accommodation

You can find private accommodation online on sites like Domain, realestate.com.au, Gumtree or AllHomes. The average private weekly rental costs around A$560* for a one-bedroom unit, so you’ll need to ensure this is within your budget. Rent prices can and do fluctuate.

*As of the 12/23.

Group Housing

Another option for accommodation is group housing in a share house. Share housing is when you rent a room in a house that has other rooms rented out by other people. Common spaces and bathrooms are usually shared with housemates – the people you live with. This is a cost-effective way to live as bills, rent and utility costs are split between everyone living in the house. It is also a great way to meet new people when coming into a country where you might not know anyone. The following are good places to look for share housing: Flatmates and realestate.com.au  

Further information about moving to Canberra can be found here: Moving to Canberra

Health and wellbeing

We want to make sure that your time working in Australia goes as smoothly as possible. The Australian National University has multiple health services staff can access while they are here.

Your responsibility

While you are in Australia, you need to have Overseas Student Health Cover, this is so you stay compliant with your Visa, but to also make sure you have access to health services and care whilst you are in Australia.

If you are from a country that Australia has a Reciprocal Health Care Agreement (RHCA) with, you may be eligible for medical care under Medicare while you are here. You can find out more about what the Medical Centre provides here: RHCA

It is important to read the policy of you health insurer carefully before you sign up. Make sure you look at:

  • What they will and won’t cover
  • What additional costs you will need to pay for specialist medical services
  • If there are any hidden additional costs

Remember that if you are having trouble understanding Overseas Health Cover policies, you can call the provider and ask for clarification. Providers have translators available to help you if needed.

Find out more about Overseas Health Cover here: Overseas Visitors Health Cover (privatehealth.gov.au)

ANU has a variety of health and wellbeing services on campus for students such as Gyms, and onsite Medical Centre, onsite mental health support.

The ANU has onsite medical care that is at a discounted rate for staff, you can find out more below:

Medical Services | Australian National University (anu.edu.au)

To see what ANU has to offer staff, click here: Staff Services - ANU

New Staff Orientation & Induction information can be found here: New Staff Orientation & Induction ANU

Please note that ANU is a smoke free campus, this means that smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vaping is prohibited on campus. If you would like to quit smoking and need help, find out information here: Quit Smoking  

Canberra and climate

Canberra is a lovely place to live. Below is a list of information you may like to know about Canberra and the things that come with living here.

Canberra has four seasons:

  1. Summer: December- February. It can get up to 40 Degrees Celsius during the day but usually sits around 30 Degrees Celsius. It is important to have clothing that lets your skin breathe and stops it from getting burnt. It does not rain often in summer, but when it does it usually storms.
  2. Autumn (Fall): March – May. Autumn is when the weather starts to cool down, warmer clothes are needed, and people often layer their clothing so that it’s easier to get warm or stay cool as the weather changes during the day. It rains more often in Autumn than it does in Summer.
  3. Winter: June – August. Winter in Canberra can be very cold, and it is important to make sure you have a lot of warm clothing. It is usually coldest overnight and in the mornings. We don’t often get snow in Canberra, but it does snow nearby and this makes the days feel even colder. Make sure you have lots of warm clothing during the winter months.
  4. Spring: September- November. Spring is when the weather starts to warm up and Canberra starts to get nice and green again. It does rain often in spring and the weather goes from hot to cold. Make sure you keep your winter clothes on hand during spring as there are quite a few cold weeks across the months of spring.

More information about Canberra weather is available here.


Canberra has a lot of natural places you can see and explore and is known as the Bush Capital. This means that we are located in a place surrounded by a lot of native plants and wildlife. The beach is 2.5-3 hours away from Canberra, and the mountains are close by.

You can find out more about what Canberra has to offer here: Canberra

You can find more about Australia here: Australia

If you have any other questions about moving to Australia for study, please contact us.