The idea of retiring in Australia is undoubtedly attractive. If you’re looking for somewhere sunny, with plenty of culture, then it could be top of your list.
Your first step is to look into Australian retirement visas, to find out if a move is possible. We’ll show you where to begin, as well as covering all the essential info you need on documentation and fees.
As you’re looking to relocate abroad, we’d also like to show you how to save money when sending money to Australia and other countries, by opening a Wise multi-currency account.
You can also spend in Australian Dollars at very little cost with the Wise debit card. You don’t have to change currency first, as the card will do it for you automatically - and at the fairest exchange rate around.
But first, let’s look at your options when it comes to Australian retirement visas.
Australian Retirement Visas are unfortunately closed to new applicants¹. This means that there isn’t currently a specific visa for people choosing to retire here from abroad.
But, it’s worth taking a look at the options for other visas which may apply to your circumstances.
If you have family ties to Australia, you might be able to get one of the Parent or Other Family visas. If you previously held a retirement visa, there’s also a pathway to get a permanent Australian Retirement Visa. We suggest you check through the full list of visas available.
The requirements depend on the specific visa, so you should check the eligibility criteria against the visa. To meet the requirements for the Parent or Contributory Parent visa for example you must:
- have an eligible child sponsor who is a settled Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen
- not hold or have applied for a Sponsored Parent visa
- meet the balance of family test
- have an Assurance of Support
- have health insurance
- meet the health requirement.
If you apply for a Parent Visa as an eligible retiree on the Retirement Visa Pathway then you won’t need a sponsor, an Assurance of Support or to meet the balance of family test.
Once you’ve found a suitable visa, you may be able to apply online by creating an ImmiAccount. From there you can fill out an application form for your visa and submit it, along with your supporting documents.
Certain visas require a paper application submitted by post. So, you should first check your visas page to see if you’ll need to do this and get the relevant application form. You’ll still need to create an ImmiAccount to pay in advance before posting your application. If you’re applying on paper, you’ll also need to get your documents certified.
The exact documents you need will again depend on the visa you’re applying for and your own circumstances. For the Parent or Contributory Parent visas you should prepare to show²:
- Proof of identity e.g. current passport and proof of change of name (if applicable)
- Recent photos x4 (45mm x 35mm) of everyone included in the application
- Proof of sponsorship form
- Balance of family documents - evidence of relation to each child, their country of residence or if they should be excluded from consideration e.g. death certificate
- Proof of Assurance of Support
- Documents of any partners or dependents (proof of identity, birth/marriage certificates showing relationship to you, parental responsibility consent form, proof of dependency)
On the Retirement Visa pathway, the documents are slightly different. You won’t need sponsorship, an Assurance of Support or balance of family documents.
Processing times vary a lot when it comes to Australian visas. While some take only months, the Parent and Other Family visas are capped and queued. There may be a wait of several years before your application can be released from the queue and processed³.
To get a realistic idea of how long yours will likely take, keep an eye on the Australian government’s visa processing times page.
You’ll get notified of the result of your visa application by email or post.
We’ve put together current costs⁴ for visas that may be applicable to you. There are details of circumstances which may reduce your fee, on the fees page.
You pay in two instalments. The first covers the base application fee and any additional applicant fees. You pay this when you apply and it’s non-refundable. The second is only required before grant of visa and you’ll be told when to pay.
|Visa Type||Base Application Fee||Additional applicant 18 and over fee||Additional applicant under 18 fee||Second instalment|
|Parent,Aged Parent,Aged Dependent Relative,Remaining Relative||4,350 AUD (approx £2,450)||2,175 AUD (approx £1,225)||1,090 AUD (approx £614)||2,065 AUD per applicant (approx £1,164)|
|Carer||1,795 AUD (approx £1,011)||900 AUD (approx £507)||450 AUD (approx £254)||2,065 AUD per applicant (approx £1,164)|
Relocating can be expensive, so we’re pleased to be able to help you with your retirement plans by showing you a way to save with Wise.
When you send money abroad the usual way through your bank, you’ll often get stung by high charges and unfavourable exchange rates. Open a Wise multi-currency account and you’ll be able to move your funds (such as your pension) overseas via the secure online system. You’ll be able to do this for very small, transparent fees, allowing you to make the most of your savings.
When travelling, you’ll want a low cost way of spending too. The Wise debit card allows you to pay in the local currency and at the real exchange rate, in over 200 countries.
The genius thing about this debit card is that it converts currency for you automatically, at the moment you pay. This gives you the best exchange rate without you having to do anything, and without any need to carry cash around.
So there you go. We hope we’ve helped shed some light on the options available to you in your search for a suitable Australian retirement visa. Best of luck with your application!
Sources used for this article:
- Home Affairs Australia - retirement visa pathway
- Home Affairs Australia - Parent visa
- Home Affairs Australia - visa processing times
- Home Affairs Australia - current visa pricing
Sources checked on 16 April 2021
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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