Moving to the UK from Australia

If you are considering moving to the UK from Australia, you will no doubt have lots of questions regarding immigration, education, healthcare, work, and lifestyle. Moving your family along with everything you own to the other side of the world is a big undertaking that needs considerable thought and planning. Thankfully, you are not alone. It is estimated that around 165,000 Australian nationals live in the UK, over 65,000 more than live in the United States. In this guide, we will explain everything that you need to know about emigrating to the UK from Australia,, including the benefits, access to healthcare, education and work, and the main visa options.

Moving to the UK from Australia - Benefits

There are many reasons that Australians consider emigrating to the UK from Australia, but admittedly, the weather isn’t really one of them. That said, if you crave cooler climes, then the UK is perfect for you. In terms of language, Australia and the UK share a common tongue, making it extremely easy to adapt to life here and feel at home.

One of the main reasons that Australians consider moving from Australia the UK the vast array of culture and history available to them. The old pubs, museums, churches and cathedrals, quaint villages, and beautiful countryside are just some of the draw cards that make the UK so popular with those from new world countries. Then there is family; many Australian nationals have extended family in the UK, giving them an immediate sense of connection with this country.

The quality of education and healthcare in the UK are also big reasons for the move to the UK from Australia, as is the ease of access to mainland Europe.

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Innovator Founder Visa

If you are an Australian entrepreneur seeking to establish a new innovative, viable, and scalable business in the UK, the Innovator Founder visa may be perfect for you. This visa allows a stay of up to three years, with the option to renew or apply for accelerated permanent settlement.

The UK offers a wide range of visa types for Australian nationals who want to relocate here. Some of the most popular immigration routes are as follows:

UK Ancestry Visa

The UK’s Ancestry Visa is an excellent and flexible option for those with British ancestry, which is why it is so popular among Australian and Commonwealth citizens. If you have a grandparent who was born in the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, or on a UK-registered ship or aircraft, you may be eligible to apply for an Ancestry visa. Once in the UK, you will be able to stay for up to 5 years and work, be self-employed, and study. Most importantly, you can also bring your partner and children with you. After 5 years on an Ancestry visa, you can then apply for permanent settlement and then British citizenship 1 year later.

Skilled Worker Visa

The Skilled Worker Visa is the main work visa route for the UK and allows those with a job offer for an eligible role with an approved UK employer to work here for up to 5 years. Applicants must meet the minimum salary requirements to be considered for this type of visa. If granted, you can bring your partner and children to live with you in the UK. After 5 years, you can either extend your visa or apply for permanent settlement (indefinite leave to remain) and UK citizenship 1 year later.

Youth Mobility Scheme Visa

Designed for young Australians aged 18 to 35, the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) Visa allows holders to come to the UK to live, work, and study for up to two years. While it does not provide a direct route to permanent settlement, it will give you an excellent stepping stone to other visa categories, such as a work visa or family visa, which will allow you to remain permanently and then gain UK citizenship.

Global Talent Visa

The Global Talent visa is for applicants who are leaders or potential leaders in the areas of academia, research, arts, culture, or digital technology. To prove this, you will need to be endorsed by an approved endorsing body. If granted, you can stay for up to 5 years and then apply for permanent settlement.

High Potential Individual (HPI) Visa:

If you graduated from the University of Melbourne in the last 5 years, you may be eligible for the HPI visa. This scheme is only open to graduates from the best universities around the world. If granted an HPI visa, you will be able to work, look for work, be self-employed, and bring your immediate family members for up to 2 years (or 3 years if you have a PhD or doctoral qualification). Again, this visa does not provide a direct route to permanent settlement, but you can apply to switch to a different visa which qualifies for residency.


The UK has an excellent healthcare system (called the National Health Service or NHS), which is free at the point of access to those with permanent residence and citizenship. As an immigrant to the UK from Australia, you will not have free use of the NHS. Rather, you will need to pay a healthcare surcharge when you apply for your visa. This will give you the full right to access the NHS at any level during your time in the UK. It is important to bear in mind that the healthcare surcharge can be costly and must be paid upfront for the duration of your visa for both you and your dependents in the UK.

Get in touch with our immigration experts for help with your move to the UK from Australia

What is the cost of living in the UK?

Before moving to the UK, it is important to consider the range of housing that will be available to you and the overall cost of living. Living in a large city such as London can be much more expensive than living in a more rural town or city. House and rental prices outside of London are generally lower than in Australia (again, this is very much location-dependent). In addition, the cost of living in the UK is considered to be lower than in Australia, with most food items being considerably more expensive down under.

UK education

If you have children, researching the education system in the UK will be particularly important. Remember, the school year here starts in September, not January. The quality of education in the UK is generally considered to be excellent; however, the curriculum for the school you choose may be different from that in Australia. If your child will be attending a state school, then the schools available to them will depend on the catchment area and whether there are places. By speaking to schools ahead of time to discuss your plans and their admission policy, even if you are still in Australia, you will be able to understand the options available.

Moving to the UK from Australia checklist

To help you in the your move from Australia to the UK, we recommend completing all of the following steps:

  • Look at all of the UK immigration options available to you (speak to an immigration Solicitor who will be able to explain these to you)
  • Do some research on the cost of living and lifestyle in the UK
  • Find out how much you are likely to be paid in the UK for your profession (job search websites are an excellent source of information)
  • Calculate the total cost of moving from Australia to the UK
  • Secure a job with an approved UK employer (if you are planning to come on a UK work visa)
  • Decide what you want to do with your property in Australia – e.g. sell everything, rent your house, or put your items into storage in case you return
  • Research where you want to live in the UK – this will help you to understand the cost of rent and the availability of suitable property
  • Speak to local schools in the UK if you have children who will be joining you i.e. whether they have spaces etc.
  • Open a UK bank account when you arrive in the UK

What is the Self-Sponsored Route?

Self-Sponsorship offers a way for Canadians to live the UK without the need to gain employment and apply for a work visa. Using this route, Canadian citizens can set up their own company without the need for a UK sponsor. The self-sponsorship route provides an direct pathway to permanent settlement in the UK and eventually citizenship.

Final words

Relocating from Australia to the UK is a significant but truly life-changing and exciting opportunity for you and your family. By doing thorough research, understanding the life and living costs in the UK, getting advice from fellow antipodeans who have made the move, and careful planning, your move can be made smooth and seamless. If you need any guidance regarding your immigration options, speak to an immigration Solicitor in the UK who can advise you on the best route for you and your family. Whether you are emigrating to the UK as a non-Australian National, an Australian citizen, or planning to join UK family members, we will guide you through the immigration process.

A Y & J Solicitors is a specialist immigration law firm with extensive experience with all types of visa applications. We have an in-depth understanding of immigration law and are professional and results-focused. For assistance with your visa application or any other UK immigration law concerns, please contact us on +44 20 7404 7933 or at contact us today. We’re here to help!

Moving From Australia to the UK

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Moving From Australia to the UK

Reach out to our immigration advisors to handle your relocation process from beginning to end.

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