The cost of moving to the USA from Australia
So, how much does it cost to move to America? That is a very good question and we’re happy to help answer it, but fair warning, it’ll only be an estimate. It’s hard to calculate the exact cost of moving from Australia to the USA, since there are so many factors that affect the cost when moving overseas. We’ll talk more about these factors in a bit, so keep reading!
But first, here are those estimated moving costs to the USA from Australia. The table shows a time and cost range for certain household sizes and also a journey length range. This is also based on the container shipping costs for sea routes, which may be obvious as shipping by plane would be faster and far more expensive.
|Property Size||Time||Average Cost|
|1-bedroom house||8 – 11 weeks||$5,500 – $7,500|
|2-bedroom house||6 – 8 weeks||$7,000 – $10,000|
|3-bedroom house||6 – 8 weeks||$10,000 – $13,500|
|4-bedroom house||6 – 8 weeks||$12,800 – $17,300|
|5-bedroom house||6 – 8 weeks||$17,000 – $24,500|
Disclaimer. These figures are only estimates and the really cost may differ.
Well, it’s high time to talk about those cost factors we alluded to earlier.
- Choice of removalist – Of course, the removalist that you choose is important. The offered service and quality of said service will be reflected in the price. Check out our list of the top 8 international removalists who can help with your move!
- Volume – Not to state the obvious, but the more you move the more you’ll pay. So, maybe use our volume calculator to see how much you’ll be moving and if you’ll need to say goodbye to that old treadmill.
- Distance – There isn’t much you can do about distance, unless you’ve got control over plate tectonics, but it’s important to keep in mind and plan accordingly.
- Season – Depending on the time of year, you’ll find that prices peak. This happens during winter, or for the rest of the world summer. So, be sure to do your best to not move in June, July, or August.
- Insurance – While it may seem like we’re telling you add an expense to your move, we strongly recommend taking out a policy. You can never predict when an accident will happen, and we imagine you’d like to avoid the cost of replacing all your belongings.
- Additional services – If your moving specialty items or would like the company to take care of the stress of packing or even if you will need temporary storage, it’ll all to the cost of your move to America.
While this is not an exhaustive list of factors that will affect the cost of moving to the USA, they are the most important. And if we had to pick one factor that makes the biggest difference in the cost, it would definitely be your choice in moving company. Therefore, request free removal quotes by filling out the form below!
Visa for America
Unless you happen to be an American, you’ll need a visa when moving to America from Australia. Bad news, most visas for the USA are issued via a lottery system. Good news, there is a visa that is specific for Australians that have a job in America, although there is a yearly quote.
So, the specific visa for Australian citizens moving to the USA is called an E-3 visa. You just need a workplace that will sponsor you and a little bit of luck, then you’ll be on your way.
It’s still also possible to apply for other types of visas such as the H1-B visa for specialty occupations, an L visa if you’re going via an intracompany transfer, an O or P visa for those with outstanding achievements or working in the arts.
For more information about visas and the application process visit the US government’s on travel and visas. Also, start applying well in advance. You can’t move to the USA without a visa and there can be a long wait since it’s a popular place to immigrate to.
Checklist for moving to America
Once you have a visa, there’s still a lot more left to do. You have yet to actually move to the USA, and that’s no easy feat. It can be a daunting task and easy to forget something major. In order to help reduce the stress of moving, we made this moving to the USA from Australia checklist.
Before moving to the USA:
✔️Find a removalist
We really don’t recommend trying to orchestrate a move from Australia to the USA, leave it to a professional. Just request free removal quotes, it’ll make your move easier.
Seem obvious right? Our expert packing guide is a must read for tips and tricks that’ll make packing easier. Just be sure to start one month before your move date and be ruthless about what you intend to pack.
There’s nothing worse than not being able to find important documents, so get yours in order. Locate them, duplicate them, and store them in a safe place.
- Birth Certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Medical Documentation (including dental and immunizations)
- University Degree(s)
- Police Background Check
- Visa and Work Permits
✔️Taxes and Superannuation
This is nobody’s favourite subject, but we must mention it. There are some considerations that need to be taken depending on the duration of your stay and your intention. You may still be liable to make a tax return in Australia based on your tax residency.
About your superannuation, it remains subject to the same rules and will not be released until you retire or fulfil another condition of release.
✔️Moving to the USA with pets?
We know how important your furry companion is as a member of the family, so we don’t doubt you’ll be wanting to move your pets to the USA. You’ll be glad to hear that it’s not too difficult.
If you are moving your dog from Australia to the USA, your dog to must be:
- At least six months old
- Vaccinated against rabies with certification and serological test from an approved centre
- In general good health with a certificate of health
For cats, there are no specific requirements, but your cat will be subject to a thorough health inspection on arrival for any infectious diseases. So, just make sure your cat is perfectly health and it’ll go swimmingly.
Speaking of swimming, if you do have other pets like fish, turtles, and more, then you should check out the CDC page on the importation of animals to the USA.
Once you arrive in the USA:
✔️Social security number
Your social security number is also linked to tax payments within the USA. It is the American version of a Tax File number in Australia. You can apply for a social security number when you apply for your visa. If haven’t done this, no need to worry, you can also apply after you arrive in the USA.
Unfortunately, unlike in Australia there is no state funding of healthcare within America, so goodbye free public healthcare. You can rest assured that doctors are still obligated to treat you, however you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any treatment.
So, if you are moving to the USA, you’ll want to take out a health insurance policy to cover any medical expense. Remember, it’s common for employers to offer health insurance as a perk of the job. Keep that in mind when negotiating your work contract.
It’ll be difficult to continue to use your Australian bank after moving to the USA, not just because of the 14-hour time difference, but also the conversion fees. Therefore, the best thing to do is open an account with an America bank. Unfortunately, you can only do this in person.
Here are some of the banks in America so you can pick the bank that best suits your needs before you arrive:
That was a short but thorough moving to the USA checklist, if we may say so. Of course, if you want an even longer checklist with lists of who to inform and more, check out our moving overseas checklist, it’s a life saver!
Life after moving to America
There are some important day-to-day things that it’s best to be aware of before moving to America. Many things are similar between the two countries due to a similar history of being settled by the UK, but there are some differences you’ll be glad to be aware of.
Tax in America
Income tax, as well as Social Security tax is taken directly from your pay just like in Australia. Similarly, you must submit an annual tax form telling the authorities exactly how much you earnt throughout the year and what amount of tax you paid.
Sales tax is imposed on most retail goods, which is similar to GST in Australia. Most American states have a sales tax, and it can vary between 1-10%. Just be aware, sales tax isn’t always included in the listed price. Also, not everything is subject to sales tax, for example food from a supermarket.
Whether you wish to rent or buy a house after moving to the USA, the amount you will pay is dependent on where you choose to live. If you wish to live in the bustling streets of New York, then you should be prepared to pay premium prices. On the other hand, if you move to a smaller city and live in the suburbs, you may find a family home can cost as much as 60% less than in Australia.
The average cost of a house in America is around $260,000 AUD, which will of course increase in bigger cities. The cost of renting in America is roughly comparable with Australia. A one-bedroom apartment in the city on average costing $1,560 AUD a month.
Schooling within America has many similarities to schooling in Australia. On average, around two thirds of children attend public or state funded schools, whilst the remaining third attend private fee-paying, religious or international schools.
However, instead of Australia’s primary and secondary system, Americans have elementary, middle and high school. Children may attend pre-school kindergarten before the age of 6, which is when they begin elementary school. Middle school, or better known as junior high is for kids aged between 11 and 13. Then from the age of 14 children attend high school, all the way up until 18.
After high school, there is the choice of pursuing tertiary education such as public universities, community colleges, professional schools, or the ever-prestigious Ivy League colleges. As many know from movies, those schools don’t come cheap!
Working in America
America has a competitive workplace, and there are always opportunities with it being home to very important financial, technological, and innovative hubs. So, having good qualifications will help you find a good job.
Nowadays applying for a job online is the norm. The most popular job sites in the USA are:
Alternatively, you can speak with an employment agency.
What can you expect?
Unfortunately, the US is not known for its great work-life balance, however that can vary between states and employers.
There is no requirement for your employer to give you minimal hours of annual or holiday leave, if any and there is little in the way of paid parental leave. You are required to ask for and discuss this with your employer.
On average, you can expect 10 vacation days per year. This usually increases the longer you work for the company. Keep in mind that there are 8 public holiday days in a year, but they could be paid or unpaid dependent on your job and employer.
Ready for your move to America?
After reading our guide to moving to the USA, you’re ready to begin your journey! We wish you good luck, but if you remember everything written here you won’t need it, since you’ll be moving like a pro. 😉
Of course, we are also have even more resources that we’d be super happy if you read. It’s not a bad idea, there’s more information about moving and costs, so you can’t go wrong. Just look at the links below.