So. You’re thinking about living in Melbourne. You’re an expat, you’re excited, and
you don’t know much about your destination. Well, first thing is first: Melbourne
was voted as the ‘world’s most livable city’ for foreign assignees in 2011, by the
Economist Intelligence Unit. So you can be confident from the start that you’ve
made a pretty good choice!
And you won’t be alone. The city has done well in contending with its only other
major rival, Sydney. Of course, Sydney still attracts thousands of expats a year,
but Melbourne is no longer very far behind. More than a quarter of people living in
Melbourne were born outside of Australia. Given that the number of people who
are currently settled in the metropolitan area is around the four million mark,
which means one million people in Melbourne are expats. That is an extremely
high concentration of foreigners! In the city center the number is even bigger:
44% of its 100,000 inhabitants did not originally live in Australia. So settling in
shouldn’t be too much of a problem!
Now, what about the practical business: actually gaining permission to start
living in Melbourne. There are lots of different visa options…If you have a job offer
from an Australian employer, and have: signed the contract, made arrangements
for medical insurance, proved your English language skills, and agreed to
respect the local way of life – then you can obtain a Temporary Business – Long
Stay Visa. This is the most popular option for expats. It lets you remain in
Melbourne for four years, and – crucially for those of you with families – bring
kids and partners with you. If this doesn’t suit you, make sure you do some
research into other visa types. This is pretty easy to do – if one million others
managed to start living in Melbourne, so can you!
And once you’re there, get stuck into daily life. You might have to live in temporary
accommodation while you hunt for a home, but so do most people. Treat it as a
holiday-style break, and act a bit like a tourist while you get used to your new
surroundings! There are a hundred things to do. Visit the bizarre construction in
Federation Square. Experience the bustling madness of Queen Victoria Market.
Entertain the kids at Melbourne Aquarium. Be adventurous a join a wildlife safari
at Werribee Open Range Zoo. Just get out and experience the cultural diversity of
the city and its beautiful surroundings before you settle into your routine life in
One thing many expats are always worried about before moving to a new place
is finding like minded people who have been through the same things they have.
Expats from their home country, or other places around the world, will be able to
offer you advice on living in Melbourne, which you may have difficulty obtaining
otherwise. So if you really want to get in touch with people like you, check out the
expat community in Melbourne You won’t be alone for long!