If we look at information from the Office for National Statistics alongside census findings then we can estimate that there are something between 100,000 and 400,000 Australians in Britain. This is not surprising when you consider the fact that both countries share a long history and that Australia is part of the Commonwealth. Both countries share a similar culture, as well, and it is largely because of this that migration between both has always been strong.

As the British economy is once again looking like an attractive place to settle down and work, we decided that we would create a resource for those in Australia considering a move to the UK.

Working Visas

It is of paramount importance that you understand the legal terms of your stay in Britain. In order to do this you must make sure that you have the correct visa.

If you plan to come to Britain and act as a temporary worker then you need a ‘Temporary Work Visa’ – also known as a Tier 5 visa. This will allow you to be employed in Britain for a relatively short period of time. To be able to do this you will need a job offer from a licensed sponsor already lined up and you will need to pass the points system. There are 6 categories of worker in Tier 5 and these can be seen in the above link.

If you are aged 18-30 then you should learn about the Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) part of the points system in the UK. Essentially, if you fulfil certain conditions, then you will not need to have a job ready for you when you arrive. If you succeed in getting one of these visas then you can live and work in Britain for two years.

If you are a hoping to come to the UK as a skilled worker then you will need a ‘Skilled Worker Visa’ – also known as a Tier 2 visa. Before you apply for this, you must acknowledge that you will need to have a job offer from a licensed sponsor along with a certificate showing that this is the case. There are 4 categories of worker in Tier 2 and these can be read about in the link provided above.

If you are a high-value migrant then it is probable that you will need a Tier 1 visa to work in the UK. In order to obtain this type of visa you will not need a job lined up but you will need to still pass the point system.

As Australia is part of the Commonwealth of Nations, if you can prove that you have British ancestors then you may be eligible to live and work in the UK for up to five years. For this to be a possibility you will need to be able to work, be at least 17 years of age and be able to support yourself without financial help from the British government. Once this five year period is up you could even try to become a British citizen.

Working Rights

If you have a visa which allows you to work in the UK then you have many of the same rights at work that a British native enjoys. Your working rights include things like the right to receive at least the national minimum wage and the right to a certain amount of paid holiday per annum. The Citizens Advice Bureau provides solid information on this subject.   


It is very likely the case that you will at some point want to send money to Australia. Traditionally this has been a notorouisly tricky process that is often made extremely frustrating when middle men charge you excessive fees to make this possible.

If you have not ever previously considered transferring money online then it is now time that you should. If you use a company like Xendpay then you can transfer money quickly, reliably and securely in a simple way using this method. You will save money doing this.


The most efficient way to get a bank account in Britain is to open one whilst you are still in Australia. This will ensure that you are not left in the lurch waiting for a bank account to be created for you just as you are awaiting your first pay check!

To do this, go into a bank with international branches and enquire as to what they would suggest you do. Remember to take all important personal documentation along with you so that the process can happen quickly. Also make sure you arrange to transfer your money into your new account.

Upon your arrival in Britain you should immediately (within 30 days) go and meet with your new bank and once you have confirmed with them that you are who you say you are, then you should be issued with your debit card.

Useful Websites

  • Australian High Commission – Based in Australia house, in London, they provide a whole range of advice and
    guidance about issues involving visas and migration.   
  • UK Border Agency – This is an essential website to acquaint yourself with if you hope to move to the UK. It clearly explains the technicalities of a temporary work visa, a tourist visitor visa and a skilled worker visa.
  • – This website contains a simple guide as to what relevant permits or visas you need to work overseas. 
  • TNT Magazine – In a fun and informative way this website advises people about what they need to consider before coming to the UK.