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Are you thinking about relocating to Australia? Have you done a little bit of research but you are still unsure if you should move “down under”?  During the last weeks, we have asked our expats in Australia the most important aspects to take into account when you are planning a move there. And these are the top three results:
Hardly ever, expats take into account that the style of housing in Australia might be different to what they are used to. Despite finding modern blocks of apartments in the city centers, most of the accommodation options will be in houses with a wide range of architectural styles: gabled cottages, ranch styles, Pavilion styles, Queenslander styles… The best type of house will depend on your preferences as well as in the particular region that you are relocating. For instance, Queenslander houses have an underfloor area which refreshes the house and it is convenient during the warmest months of the year and for mild climate regions of the country. 
In addition to the housing style, it is important to remember that rents (most expatriates choose to rent to the restrictions on purchasing applied to non-permanent residents in the country) are normally stated by weeks and that house are mostly rented unfurnished. 
Public transport
In the major cities, having an own private vehicle is not necessary, as the public transport system is good and reliable. Buses and trains are widely available and in Sydney and Perth, ferries are also part of the public transport system. 
Having said this, most of the families prefer to have their own vehicle for convenience, especially with young children. Driving regulations vary from state to state but as a general rule, if you are a holder of an international driving licence, you will be able to drive for a limited period of time. After this period or if you become a permanent resident you must obtain a local permit. Don’t forget that in Australia, people drive on the left side of the road!
Visas and permits
Obtaining the right visa is one of the most important tasks to be done before traveling to Australia. There are strict criteria for migrating to Australia and the documentation required will vary considerably depending on the category of visa that you are applying for.  
Australia has a large number of visas specifically for migrants, business people and tourists. The visas are listed, along with information on who may apply for them at the website for Department of Immigration & Border Protection (DIBP). As this diversity of visa options can be a little bit confusing, it may be useful to engage a Registered Migration Agent to assist you with the visa process. Your local Crown representative will be able to refer you to a Registered Migration Agent in Australia.

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