Moving from Ireland to Australia: Your guide

Bojana Babić

Thinking of moving to Australia? It’s easy to see why this fantastic country is a popular choice for Irish expats.

Australia offers stunning natural beauty, adventure and a taste of the wild, along with many well-paid jobs, a strong economy and a high standard of living. In its thriving major cities, you’ll also find the culture, entertainment and laid-back Aussie lifestyle you’re looking for.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about moving to Australia from Ireland. This includes visa requirements, finding a place to live, employment, healthcare and much more.

We’ll also look at how you can save on fees when you move your money between Australia and Ireland, and how you can manage Euro and Australian dollar with the Wise Account.

With Wise, you'll always get the mid-market exchange rate - the one that banks use to trade between themselves, and you'll only be charged a small, transparent fee.

Wise: Manage Euro and Australian dollar
in one account 🚀

Quick stats about Australia:

  • Population: 25,687,041¹
  • Largest cities (in order): Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide²
  • Most common languages spoken: English, Mandarin, Arabic, Cantonese, Vietnamese³
  • Currency: Australian Dollars (AUD).
📝 Table of contents

Step 1: Check the legal requirements for Irish citizens moving to Australia


The first thing to do ahead of your move to Australia is to get your visa sorted. There are many different routes into the country from Ireland, and the Australian Department of Home Affairs website is a great place to get information on all of them.

But here are just a few of the most popular options for Irish citizens looking to move Down Under:

Working Holiday Visa

This is a good option if you’re aged between 18 and 30 and it’s your first time in Australia, as you can stay for a year for an extended working holiday and use employment to fund your trip. If you like, you can extend your stay by applying for a Second or Third Working Holiday Visa, each with a validity of 12 months.

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

With this work visa, you can stay in Australia for up to 4 years if sponsored by an Australian employer. You must be working in a suitably skilled position that the employer is unable to fill with a local worker.

Skill Regional (Provisional) Visa

If you’re a skilled worker looking to move to Australia with your family, this visa lets you stay for up to 4 years. You’ll need to meet the eligibility criteria and be nominated by a state or territory government, and move to a regional or low population area.

Permanent Residence Visa

You can apply to be a permanent resident of Australia with this visa, through the family, work or business/investment stream. There’s also a retirement visa pathway for people looking to spend their post-work years in Australia.

These permanent visas can be difficult to obtain, and you may not be eligible unless you have relatives who are Australian citizens or have an Australian employer sponsoring you to work for them. Irish citizens who have skills the Australian government values, or who invest in businesses in Australia, may also be able to apply for a permanent residence visa.

Requirements for students

If you’d love to study in Australia, you can apply for a Student Visa. This gives you permission to stay for the duration of your course, up to 5 years. You must be enrolled on a full-time course at a recognised education institution.

Step 2: Check what is the Australia cost of living


The cost of living in Australia can be a little different than in Ireland, although of course it depends where you live and what you choose to spend your money on.

It’s important to make sure that you can afford everyday expenses once you arrive, or you could face financial difficulties a few months in.

To help you plan your finances, let’s compare a few everyday costs between the two countries:⁴

Cost in Australia Cost in Ireland
Meal at an inexpensive restaurant 25 AUD (15 EUR) 16 EUR
Pint of domestic beer 10 AUD (6.13 EUR) 5.50 EUR
Loaf of bread 3.32 AUD (2.04 EUR) 1.72 EUR
Monthly transportation pass 165 AUD (101 EUR) 110 EUR
Rent one bedroom apartment in city centre 2,297 AUD (1,408EUR) 1,440 EUR
Broadband package 85 AUD (52 EUR) 50 EUR

Prices on the table are related to average costs, meaning they can differ depending of place and some circumstances

Step 3: Set up your finances in Australia

Your first few weeks in Australia will be much easier if you already have an Australian bank account. You could find it almost impossible to rent a property without one.

One of the ways to open a bank account in Australia is through one of the central banks: NAB, ANZ, Westpac, or Commonwealth. You’ll need all your visa details, proof of identity, and proof of address in Australia.

But you can also have AUD local account details in Ireland. If you open a Wise Account, you can get this for 9 currencies and receive money like a local.

The Wise Account also allows you to manage money in 40+ currencies simultaneously, including Australian dollars. You'll be able to spend like a local too by using Wise debit card.


And if your problem is covering relocation costs while you’re still in Ireland, Wise can help you too. Sending money overseas to Australia using your Irish bank account can be expensive, as banks often charge high international transfer fees and add a markup to the exchange rate.

A far cheaper solution is to use an international money transfer service such as Wise. With Wise, you can send money to +70 countries, including Australia, for low fees and using the mid-market exchange rate.

Step 4: Look for a job in Australia


If you’re thinking of moving to Australia, it’s a very sensible move to have a job lined up in advance. This is particularly useful if you’re considering applying for a work-related visa, where you’ll need an Australian company to sponsor you.

The best places to look for jobs are websites such as:

You could also use an international recruitment agency like Hays, Adecco, Manpower, Australia Wide Personnel or Robert Half, all of which have offices in Australia.

If you’re a skilled worker, you’ll have a better chance of being accepted for an Australian work visa. This should also mean it’s easier to find a job, although competition for the highest-paying role can be fierce.

Here are just a few of the most in-demand jobs in Australia at the moment, all of which feature on the government’s skilled occupation list for visa applications. We’ve also included the average pay for each.

Profession⁵ Average pay
Nurse 72,600 AUD⁸
Electrician 46,500 AUD⁶
Carpenter/joiner 35,400 AUD⁷
Secondary school teacher 76,700 AUD⁸
Construction manager 155,000 AUD⁸

Step 5: Find a place to live in Australia


The next step when preparing for your big move is finding somewhere to live. When you’re still in Ireland, finding an apartment half-way across the world can be tricky.

As the rules around buying property in Australia as a foreigner or temporary resident can be quite restrictive, renting an apartment or house could be the best choice.

The best places to start on your search for a suitable rental property are sites such as:

You can also find short-term, furnished lets on sites like or Airbnb. These could be a good option for your first few weeks or months, while you find somewhere more permanent to live. Bear in mind that Australian landlords are not allowed to let properties to tenants they haven’t seen in person, so having a temporary place to live while you go on viewings could be essential.

Now, which city should you choose? Knowing the average rental costs in each of Australia’s most popular cities among Irish expats could help you make a decision.

Let’s take a look:

City Monthly rent for 1-bedroom city centre apartment⁹
Sydney 3,277 AUD
Melbourne 2,268 AUD
Brisbane 2,513 AUD
Perth 2,519 AUD
Adelaide 2,149 AUD

Step 6: Move your belongings


Moving to any new country is always going to present a logistical challenge. You need to find the best and most cost-effective way to get all of your belongings to Australia from Ireland.

You’ll need to be careful what you take, as international removals costs could be as high as €4,000¹⁰ for a family of four. It could be worth down-sizing and decluttering before your move, or making plans to buy what you need once you’re out there.

Make sure to get lots of different quotes to find the cheapest price for your move. A good place to start is or , where you can get shipping quotes from Ireland to Australia from numerous different moving companies.

Other options in Ireland include -, and Make sure everything from customs charges to freight handling fees are included in the price.

Step 7: Make yourself familiar with the health system


Australia’s universal public health insurance scheme is called Medicare. If you’re in Australia on a temporary work or study visa, you unfortunately won’t be covered by the scheme. However, Irish citizens are still eligible to receive emergency treatment for urgent health issues.

This means that you’ll need to purchase overseas visitor healthcare cover, which starts at around 80 AUD to 115 AUD per month¹⁰. This covers things like doctors and dentist appointments, hospital admission and other routine medical treatments.

If in the future you are approved for a permanent residency visa, you should then be able to access the Medicare system just like any other Australian citizen.

Move your money to and from Australia with Wise


There are lots of occasions when you’ll need to send money to and from Australia, starting with before your move. You’ll have moving companies to pay, upfront rental costs for your new Australian apartment and perhaps even recruitment agency fees.

With Wise, you can cover all these expenses, typically paying less fees than you would with your bank. Sending and receiving money internationally is easy, secure, and comes with only small costs. Plus, you’re guaranteed the mid-market exchange rate with no expensive markup applied.

Open your Wise Account
for free 🚀

Sources used:

  1. population of Australia
  2. - capital cities in Australia
  3. Australian translation services - languages spoken in Australia
  4. Cost of living in Australia
  5. Top 10 occupations in demand for skilled workers
  6. Salary explorer- electrical and electronics trades
  7. Salary explorer- construction, building, installation
  8. Salary explorer - average salary in Australia
  9. Cost of living in Australia by cities
  10. Health insurance Australia

All sources last checked on 26 June 2023

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 Wise Payments 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.

Money for here, there and everywhere

Find out more

Tips, news and updates for your location