You’ve been planning this move for a while. The Lucky Country was going to welcome you with open arms in 2020, but now with COVID-19, you’re not sure. Should you still go?
When this article was written, the situation world wide is uncertain. There’s unknown rates of infection, unknown outcomes, and unknown resolutions. Despite this, if you want to move, it’s still worth doing.
The economy has long been the main reason that Kiwis have considered moving over the ditch. The promise of a well-paying job in the mines, driving trucks, or working in the city has always been a lure for Kiwis. It’s a way to get ahead; get a deposit together for your home, and give your kids a great life.
While Australia is taking a financial hit, so is the rest of the world. The difference is that Australia has the stability and strong market to recover quickly. Once normal life resumes, it’s the same busy economy, liveable salaries, and opportunities for growth.
Another attraction of Aussie is that sun-kissed lifestyle. The white, pristine beaches, warm water, waves perfect for surfing and a temperature making even winter a pleasure. The amazing restaurants, the theme parks, the shopping, the Glass Mountains, the hiking… All of these things are still in Australia, just on hold. If we know anything from disasters, it’s that people want their lives to be ‘normal’ again as soon as possible. The minute the danger has passed, the restaurants will reopen and people will start, slowly, recovering their lives.
By the time you get to Australia, the sense of normal will have returned, and all the great things about the lifestyle will be back.
Health and wellbeing
While at this point it looks like Australia will face many challenges in the next few months, everywhere else in the world is facing the same challenges—even New Zealand. The future is unknown, but this is the same across the world. How this virus behaves is the same across borders and countries.
The Australian healthcare system is also one of the best in the world, with readily accessible care for all her inhabitants. A reciprocal agreement with Australia means that even with your special visa, once you’ve registered for Medicare, you receive the same standard of healthcare as everyone else. Once normality has returned, their healthcare system is effective and world-class.
Flights and entry in Australia
The current situation about how you’ll actually reach Australia is the challenging part of the equation. Currently, Qantas, Emirates and many other carriers have stopped all international flights. Australia has also closed her borders for all non-citizens.
It is expected that flights will resume when safe to do so, and the ban on non-citizens will lift eventually. When that happens, be ready to pack your bags, and start your move.
Impact on your finances
If you have already made the decision to move to Australia, then you will have already spent money on the process. Finding a home, booked flight tickets, booking a moving company. Rather than waste that money—and the time you’ve already invested—simply postpone the trip. Many providers will allow this to happen at this point, especially with the situation developing and changing daily.
If not now, then when?
This largely depends on your scenario and situation. Everyone is different.
If you already have secured employment in Australia, contact the company. Ask them what they are doing—if it’s an essential service, they may request you come as soon as possible. If they are working from home, they may request that you join them on your intended start date anyway and have you log in for NZ. Some businesses, especially in hospitality, may be suffering and could possibly request you hold off arriving until they can safely re-open. Covid-19 is causing the situation to change daily, so stay in touch with your new employer.
If you already have rented a home, contact the landlord. They will likely be happy to hold it for you until you arrive, and possibly even delay rent payments starting. Many countries have suspended mortgage payments, and this could allow a lot more flexibility.
If you’re shipping your possessions overseas, or they are en route, this could potentially be delayed as many ‘non-essential’ shipments are being held back. Speak to your shipping company.
Schooling in Australia is also a flexible situation from state to state. If your son or daughter is enrolled at a school, contact them and find out their situation. With school holidays around now anyway, some are opting for a casual wait and see approach.
Don’t cancel your move to Australia
The situation world-wide is the same, and nowhere is certain. What is certain is that if you were considering or planning a move to Australia, it’s still possible. When flights start, restrictions are lifted and the world discovers the new normal, there will be opportunities for those willing and ready to seize them. Carpe diem.