Starting A New Life Down-Under

Some western countries seem to get spared from the crisis and Australia is one of these exceptions. The reason for this is Australia’s mining and its natural resources are still wanted by growing economies like China and India. With the current economic crisis in the United States it is therefore not surprising that more and more Americans are looking to start a new life or to invest money in Australia, to take control again over their own financial future.

But how do you get a job or can you actually buy property in Australia without being an Australian citizen. In this article we discuss these issues in more detail.

Sponsorship Visa

Most of us will probably need a job before we can think about buying property in Australia. Although living standards in Australia are comparable to those in the States, the cost of living is significant higher due to inflation and an expensive Australian dollar. So if you need to support a family in Australia you really need to get your hands on a well-paid job.

To get a job you need a valid visa that allows you to work and stay in Australia. There are different ways to obtain a valid visa, but the most common are being engaged or married to an Australian or getting a work visa from a company via sponsorship. Having Australian family or a spouse means that they must be willing to support you during the first 2 years of your stay as you will not be eligible for allowances like an unemployment cover.

Sponsorships can be requested by employers operating in Australia to employ skilled workers who have certain qualifications or experience in difficult to fill positions. After having been working for the same company on a sponsorship for at least 2 years, you then qualify to apply for the permanent residency. The best way to start searching for sponsored role in Australia is by searching in the major job board for a so-called 457 visa sponsorship.

If you secure a visa and move to Australia you and your family you might be eligible to receive support from payments such as Family Tax Benefit or Child Care Rebate. These are available to you to cover expenses you make in raising your children.

Buying property

If you are looking to buy your first house in Australia for either yourself or as an investment, you will have to deal with the Australian Government. To start with, if you are not a permanent resident and want to buy a home in Australia, you need prior approval from the Australian Government to be able to do so. The reason being is that the Australian Government believes that foreign investments in Australian housing should be used to increase the availability of property and not for making profits.

You can buy a vacant land as long as you start building on it within 12 months and do not have it lie fallow in the hope that its value will go up. You can buy existing properties to have it redeveloped, but only as long as it increases the available housing. Buying property as part of a new development normally gets approved straight away,

In Australia people often get out a home loan instead of a mortgage to finance their property. Applying for home loans in Australia used to be easy as banks used to just give out 100% home loans without asking any guarantees in return. Now you must have someone who stands guarantee for any future defaults in your repayments. But as you might not have any relatives in Australia who can be your guarantor, you should make sure you come up with some savings that secure your home loan. The best way to find the right home loan is to visit qualified loan agencies. They can help you to find out the right loan for you and get you the right creditor.

Bottom-line: there is definitely some opportunity down-under but you really should start with doing some research on what moving to Australia involves and accept that you have to deal with some paper work.

Rick Elenbaas is a freelance writer, who lives in Australia. He currently writes about home loans in Australia on behalf of RAMS Home Loans.