Moving to Australia: what you need to know

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With good wages and a high standard of living, a laid back atmosphere and of course glorious sunshine and azure ocean views, Australia is frequently touted the best and most popular expat destination.

If you dream of joining over one million Brits in the Lucky Country, following these five tips before you move will help your relocation run smoothly:

Arranging the paperwork

The two most important documents for relocating to Australia are your passport and visa. As with any overseas travel, make sure your passport is valid and up-to-date well before departure. To find an Australian visa you may be eligible for, click here.

Most other paperwork relates to the goods you are importing. You’ll need to complete an Unaccompanied Personal Effects statement (BS534), provide purchase receipts or proof of value for items less than 12 months old and produce a descriptive inventory of your goods.

Should you select Pickfords to pack your personal effects, we will provide assistance with your paperwork, including the completion of your inventory while packing.

 Organising pet travel

If you are considering taking your pet with you to Australia, he or she will need a certified rabies vaccination, rabies blood test (RNATT) and a DEFRA Export Health Certificate issued by an Official Veterinarian (OV). Talking to your vet about fitting your pet with a microchip is also recommended prior to travel.

Take advantage of Pickfords’ pet shipping service and we will arrange all the details of your pet’s relocation for you.

Learning the dialect

While 80% of Aussies speak English, the Australian dialect can be hard to understand for Brits. If words like ‘chook’, ‘neddie’ or ‘dunny’ leave you scratching your head, it’s worth swotting up on “ocker” English to help you get by when talking to locals.

Understanding the culture

As with any new country, you’ll likely experience a number of cultural differences when emigrating to Australia. For example, the temperate-to-tropical climate means that Aussies are often more adventurous and free-spirited due to a love of the outdoors.

Researching Australian culture before you leave the UK will help you integrate into your local community after you arrive.

Transporting your goods

When arranging the transport of your effects to Australia, choosing an experienced removal company with the international expertise is vital to ensure your goods arrive on time, safely and securely. Pickfords transports customers’ belongings to Australia every week, more frequently than any other BAR member. With 40 partner offices across Australia, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Pickfords can transport your goods to any Australian destination.

Click here to find out more about transporting your goods to Australia with Pickfords.

Shipping goods to Australia: an expat guide


Australia is well known as the most popular destination for British expats, but once you’ve decided to make the move to the land down under, you’ll need to decide which personal effects to take with you.

When planning what to move to Australia, you should be aware that there are various taxes and duties to be paid when importing certain goods, as well as accompanying paperwork to ensure everything gets through customs smoothly.

Being aware of the tax implications will help you to make the best decisions on the goods you take into the country.

Tax-exempt goods

If you intend to take up permanent residency in Australia, many of your belongings may tax-exempt. If you can prove you have personally owned and used the items for at least 12 months prior to departure, and are a returning resident or first-time migrant taking up permanent residence, goods such as clothing, books, furniture, appliances and sporting equipment may not need to be declared, and may be exempt from duty, GST (Goods and Services Tax) or other taxes and charges.

Taxable goods

Certain types of goods are subject to duty, GST and/or other taxes, regardless of length of ownership. These include alcohol and tobacco products, vehicles and vehicle parts, commercial goods intended for resale, goods purchased from overseas while in Australia (including internet purchases) and goods which were bequeathed to you.


You’ll need to complete an Unaccompanied Personal Effects (UPEs) statement for your goods, along with an Evidence of Identity (EOI), submitted to customs along with a passport, Australian Citizenship certificate or birth certificate, photo ID (passport or driver’s licence), a list of all goods included (e.g. a packing list) and a delivery order from the shipper.

Transporting your goods

When you’ve decided which goods to take with you to Australia, Pickfords is on hand to pack all your belongings, collect them from your home, book the freight transport (whether by air or sea), and arrange for customs clearance. In Australia, your goods will be delivered at a mutually convenient time by our overseas partner, Allied Pickfords Australia.

Our Move Managers know the challenges of moving to Australia, and will provide expert advice and guidance when shipping your goods to Australia.