Moving to Australia from the United Kingdom

Moving to Australia from the United Kingdom

Moving to Australia from the UK is a complex legal process, but a well-trodden path. Last year, more than 98,000 Brits made the move to Australia to start a new life.


Emigrating to Australia from the United Kingdom is only possible if you have the right skills, experience, qualifications, or are in a relationship with an Australian Citizen. The country is open for immigration, though they don’t just take anybody, and you have to go through the Australian Immigration Process.


Why Are People Moving From the UK to Australia?


More people than ever are looking at emigrating to Australia. The sentiment of many British Citizens is clear. They feel like the UK, once a proud Nation, is crumbling around them, with rising illegal immigration, high crime rates and the cost of living crisis, Brits simply want a better life. UK residents hear a lot of News that talks about ‘hard working Brits’, but they have lost faith in the Government and are let down by having to work harder than ever to keep the life they once loved.


British career professionals and skilled tradespeople feel they are not being listened to by the UK Government. They have accepted the fate of the Country, and now they are looking to emigrate to Australia for a better life.

With a much warmer climate, lower crime rates and an Immigration system that lets in the right applicants, it’s clear why over 1.2 million Brits have chosen to move Down Under. Australia has a more relaxed work/life balance, higher wages and more opportunities. As the primary language is English, adjusting to Australian living is easy and there are plenty of job opportunities for British emigrants due to skills shortages across the Country.


How to Emigrate to Australia from the United Kingdom


The General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program is the only path for UK skilled workers to emigrate to Australia. UK based candidates must meet the requirements for Skilled Migration and pass the Australian immigration Points Test to qualify for a visa to move to Australia.


If you are not in a relationship with an Australian Citizen then you need to apply for a Permanent Residence Skilled Visa that allows you to live and work in Australia. Moving to Australia is only possible with one of the following Australia Visa Subclasses:


  • Subclass 189 General Skilled Migration
  • Subclass 190 State Nominated Migration
  • Subclass 491 Regional State Nomination
  • Subclass 820 / 801 Partner Visa


Emigrating to Australia with a Permanent Residence Visa requires you to have an occupation in Demand. Every six months, Australia releases a list of Occupations that they need in order to fill skills shortages in the Country and to grow the economy.


These lists are called the Medium Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL)


There are over 200 Occupations in demand, with the main occupations being Skilled Trades, Nurses, Medical Professionals, Accountants, Secondary School Teachers, Engineers and ICT Professionals.


Benefits of Australian Permanent Residency


  • Live and work in Australia
  • Enter and leave whenever you choose
  • Access healthcare
  • Access education
  • Set up a business
  • Sponsor other family members
  • Become an Australian Citizen after 4 years


Occupations on the MLTSSL are eligible for visa subclasses 189, 190 and 491, while occupations on the STSOL are eligible for subclasses 190 and 491.

Skilled Independent 189 Visa Criteria


The 189 visa is the most sought after visa for individuals and families moving to Australia. It is a Federal Visa, which means that applicants are allowed to live and work anywhere in Australia.


You must meet the following criteria to move to Australia on a 189 Visa


  • Be aged under 45 years old
  • Have an Occupation on the MLTSSL
  • Convert your UK qualifications to the Australian equivalent
  • Score 65 points
  • Have a competent level of English
  • Lodge an Expression of Interest
  • Pass health and a UK Police Check
  • Pay the Visa Fees


State Nominated 190 Visa Criteria


The 190 visa is the second most popular visa for UK for individuals and families moving to Australia. It is a State Nominated Permanent Residence Visa, which means that applicants are allowed to live and work in the Nominating State for two years. After this timeframe they are permitted to live and work anywhere in Australia.


It is permissible to change States in the first two years, although applicants must notify Australian Immigration before they move, and provide a valid reason.


You must meet the following criteria to move to Australia from the United Kingdom on a 190 Visa:


  • Be aged under 45 years old
  • Have an Occupation on the STSOL
  • Have your UK Skills Assessed
  • Score 65 points
  • Have a competent level of English
  • Lodge an Expression of Interest
  • Pass health and background checks
  • Pay the Visa Fees


Regional State Nominated 491 Visa Criteria


The 491 visa is a temporary visa that converts to full Australian Permanent Residence after three years. Applicants are required to live in a regional area, although Perth and the Gold Coast are classed as Regional for Immigration purposes. The 491 Visa is often overlooked but a great way to move to Australia, as getting the Visa unlocks an extra 15 migration points.

Where do most Brits move to in Australia?


Emigrating to Australia from the UK can be daunting, and it’s likely you’ll want some friendly faces around as you make the transition to a new life down under. Most British families and Individuals are drawn to Australia’s Eastern Seaboard from the Sunshine Coast down to Sydney. Victoria is a popular choice for many Brits, as is Perth in Western Australia.


Cost of living in Australia vs the UK


The cost of living in Australia is roughly the same as the UK, though Australians typically enjoy higher salaries and a better work life balance. However, there are some costs in Australia that you may not pay in the UK. Private health insurance is one example, and policies can range from £60 – £100 per month for basic plans.


Is it possible to emigrate to Australia from the United Kingdom with a criminal record?


It is possible to move fro the UK to Australia with a criminal record, depending on the nature of your offense and whether you have received a custodial term. The Australian Department for Home Affairs assesses your criminal history by obtaining a police clearance certificate from the United Kingdom via ACRO.


Based on the seriousness of your prior convictions, they will determine whether you meet the requirements to be granted a Visa.


Moving to Australia from the UK – The Lowdown


Whether you’re moving to Australia to start a new life or to join loved ones, moving to Australia from the UK is a life changing process. But like all things worth having in life, it is not an easy process. Emigrating Down Under and takes time and commitment, yet it’s a path that many Brits have taken over the years and it’s fully achievable.


The migration process can be broken down into manageable steps and that’s what I’m here to help with. If you’re confused about what visa to apply for, whether your past may affect your eligibility, or even if you just want to have a chat about the possibility of working in Australia, my team and I are here to help.


Alexander King is the Director of Australian Immigration Services at Migration Consultant LLC and a number of boutique, specialist Migration Agencies serving Professionals and Skilled Tradespeople in the United Kingdom.


For more information, or to schedule a confidential, free assessment of your chances simply take the online visa assessment as your first steps to a new life in Australia.

Migration Consultant Alexander King
Migration Consultant at Migration Consultant LLC | Website

Alexander King is a leading authority in the field of migration, holding a prominent role as a Head of Compliance at Migration Consultant LLC ( With years of expertise under his belt, King has guided countless individuals and families on their journey to immigrating to Australia and Canada, shaping countless lives with his professional advice and in-depth knowledge of immigration law and procedures.

His profound understanding of the complexities of immigration coupled with his unparalleled skills in tackling these challenges has earned him a reputation as a trusted expert in his field. This expertise is shared in his groundbreaking book, "How to Immigrate to Canada," a comprehensive guide designed to streamline the process for those aspiring to call Canada their new home.

King's dedicated, compassionate approach to helping others stems from his own experiences. Born and raised in a multicultural community, he grew up witnessing the struggles and triumphs of people striving to start new lives in new countries. This drove his passion for guiding others through their immigration journey, a passion that he pours into his work and writing.

Authoring "How to Immigrate to Canada" has been an endeavor close to his heart. King hopes that through his words, he can demystify the often daunting process of immigration, making it accessible and achievable for everyone.