How much should I save to make this transition to migrate smoothly?

Published on 1 July 2023 at 01:52

I have a reader who asked me about this. 
Yes, we brought 1000 AUD cash. We also have savings in the bank for the purpose of migration matters. Just like how you would travel for a vacation, you definitely need to do some financial planning to cover cost of stay, food and entertainment. 

Do note that the following would be based on a family of 4 on a permanent resident visa.
With a PR, our family will have access to Medicare which is free medical health check-up and subsidised medication. If you have a newborn,  there will be several health check and required immunisation which are mandatory for school and these will be free of charge. So that helps with the rising cost of medical bills.


The PR visa application for a family of 4 can cost up to $8000. This does not include other fees such as agent fee (average $5000), exam fees, skilled occupation assessment (if required). 


My husband saved alot for the migration transition in a short period of time. We didn't know whether we will get the visa but he just continue saving. Almost equivalent to save for wedding under the block, including 'hantaran' money. As much as we thought it was enough, it wasn’t as I think we did not factor unexpected events. A huge chunk of it goes to the shipping, rent and car. I am not able to suggest on how much one should save since everyone have different spending ways and needs. Alhamdulilah, we were able to overcome the financial hurdle. 

Nonetheless, I typed out a list of things where money was used. Hopefully this can serve as a guide. 

  1. Flight Tickets + Insurance
  2. Transporting of goods from SG to Melbourne (shipping via whole container vs sharing with others)
  3. Airbnb/Hotel while waiting to find a place to rent long term
  4. Upfront Rental costs (at least 2 months)
  5. Rental money for the next month (or few months) until work has stabilised
  6. Rental Car
  7. Car (to be paid in full, unlikely can pay installment as a new migrant as they need a few months of payslip) Unless your job provide novated leasing choice. 
  8. Car fuel/ Public transport money 
  9. Car insurance / Health Insurance 
  10. Groceries (one supermarket trip can cost up to $200) I made few trips in a month
  11. Food (Not cheap but big portion, think $10 for a plate of Nasi Ayam Penyet)

  12. Victorian car licence (must change)

  13. School fees + uniform

  14. Gas, Water & Electric bills (every 3 months) Average user could be about $100-$350 for every type of bill

  15. Employment licence check (if required. Such as australia police check)

I hope the list is not overwhelming. I don’t think we factor all the above before we moved. My husband already has a job secured before we moved so after 2 weeks of working, he received his paycheck and that helps. I am also very sure that there are many who didn't even save so much like my husband but still able to overcome whatever financial obstacles ahead. 

See what can be deducted or reduced from the list. Alot of people don't do one container shipping like us. Majority share the container shipping with other people to reduce cost. 

Securing a job in Australia can also take some time unless your job is in high demand like the medical professionals. Alot of people I know who doesn’t have a job secured after getting their PR visa will move alone first. They get all their things settled before bringing in their family. Entirely up to your preference. Do what is best for you and your family. 


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