6 Considerations when moving from Hong Kong to Australia

Thinking about moving from Hong Kong to Australia?

Easy points you should think about

Given the recent events in Hong Kong I have been contemplating moving back to Australia. I am in the fortunate position of holding an Australian citizenship, which entitles me to reside in Australia permanently, of which I’m very thankful for. I was born in Australia and grew up in Australia, was educated through the Australian high school system. I proceeded to University and once graduated, I went to Hong Kong started a career and began a family.

I love Hong Kong very much, and I believe that many others do too. But having my family, my friends, my loved ones, be placed in danger as a result of conflicts between protestors and Hong Kong police, starting a new beginning in Australia is something that not only makes common sense, but is prudent. For all Hong Kong residents, whether or not you are in support of the protesters, you should not be afraid to seek a life that is safe, protected, and free of harm for you and your family.

Australia is a warm and loving country. The people have always had a strong friendly relationship with Hong Kong people. Australia is a multicultural Society with many people from different ethnic groups backgrounds and have diverse religious beliefs. It is safe, there is the right of law that is upheld, and you have civil liberties. It is these values that I look for and respect.

In the past month, I returned to Sydney Australia to begin planning for my move back to Australia with my family. I have not been back to Sydney for many years and I was a amazed with the changes that have been made particularly with infrastructure. Sydney is a world-class city and hence I look forward to returning to Australia.

If you too are looking for a safer home, a place to live, then why not consider Australia too.

Below I discuss the key elements to consider in moving to Australia, I wish you good luck and safety.


1. Visa Options

Your first consideration should be your visa options. Of course if you hold citizenship or permanent residency that this consideration can be foregone.

Depending on you current situation, there are many options to explore. There are a variety of visas in which they are grouped into classes.

The most applicable classes could be the: student visa, temporary skilled visa, and perhaps a business visa.

Some visas will only allow you to stay temporarily, whilst others are permanent or could lead to permanent residency. The Australian visa legal system is highly complicated and is strictly regulated.

I highly recommend engaging with a migration agent such as Migration Essentials, who not only provide migration services but support you with your move to Australia.


2. Place to live

The next important aspect to consider together with your visa application, is to investigate areas to live. Similar to Hong Kong, property prices in the major cities have shot up in the past few years and have only just stabilized. You will find that housing in Sydney is slightly expensive in comparison to Melbourne. But the gap is massive when compared to other major cities – Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart.

Although some cities are more expensive to live in than others, that are of course other factors to consider. Some of them may be: job opportunities, family and friends or proximity to University. There are many aspect to consider, and it can be difficult in weighing up the pro’s and cons.


3. Public and Private Schooling

If you are planning on starting a family, or already have children who will be attending school, then the next important consideration is schooling. In Australia, every child has the right to attend a school, i.e. to receive an education. No child can be declined by the public school system and hence where you choose to live may make a huge difference. However, with private schools, and there are many but quite expensive, your place of residence takes a lesser importance. You could live relatively far away from the private school, and as long as they accept your children, your location of residency is irrelevant.

I have spent many hours researching schools in Sydney. The schooling system itself is just as complex as migration law. But I know that the schooling in Australia is very good, even in the public schooling system. If your children are especially clever and bright, they may even qualify for entrance in a “selective” school. Selective schools are very difficult to gain entrance into. The children who are selected to attend the selective school must pass an entrance exam that is difficult and competitive. Only those who are smart enough will be selected.


4. Job Market

This is absolutely crucial in your decision making to move to Australia. If you intend to move to Australia, and you know you need to find a job and work, then start looking into the job market. Update your LinkedIn profile and register your interest with Recruitment Agencies. Recruitment agencies are one of the easiest ways to get your foot into the door of an interview. Recruitment agencies are extremely popular in Australia, and many who are unemployed register with more than one Recruitment agency.

Be rest assured, however, that if you have good experience, a good set of skills, it is relatively easy to find a job.


5. Health System

Australia’s health system is one of the best in the world. There is the public health system and the private health system. The public health system is high in demand and therefore at times there is a lengthy waiting period for elective surgery. But there is Medicare which is the Government support net for seeing a General Practitioner (a.k.a Medical Doctor) and other public hospital treatment. The private health system is also very good, and if you wanted to choose your own doctors, have our own room at a hospital, then you can do so through the private health system.

Strong consideration should be give to your health system needs. Should you feel that being close to a hospital or having the best medical support for you and your family, then you will need to research the area that you plan to reside in for the local hospitals and their quality of service.


6. Quality of Life

Australia differs to Hong Kong with its large open spaces. It may take some time to get used to for some Hong Kongers. I recall when I was young, my friend from Hong Kong would visit and he grew uncomfortable with the lack of people around him. That was many years ago and the Australian major cities, in particular Sydney and Melbourne, have certainly exploded in population. Quality of life, is still very much a factor in coming to Australia. Consideration should be given to recreational facilities, nature reserves and parkland, vicinity to the coast, food and shopping and population density. Now of course, different people will place a different emphasis on these elements. It is up to each individual to decide.


Conclusion

There are many aspects to think about if you are planning on moving from Hong Kong to Australia. The first and foremost is your ability to obtain a visa for yourself, your spouse and for your family. Without being able to obtain a visa, and the right visa, then unfortunately you will need to rule out the possibility of moving to Australia. There may be opportunities in other countries such as New Zealand which could be an option.

Following the visa options, and assuming you are able to obtain a visa, there there are the life style, job opportunity, and housing affordability angles to consider. It isn’t easy to make a decision, as there are many pro’s and cons to think about.

Good luck and if you need any visa assistance, please contact Migration Essentials.