Retirement visa Australia: The essential guide

Elle Kasser

Australia is a popular destination for Singaporean retirees, and it’s easy to see why. Just a few hours by plane from Singapore, Australia offers a high quality of life, an abundance of natural beauty and all the culture you could want in its major cities.

If you’re considering retiring to Australia from Singapore, you’ll need a visa. Here, we’ll look at the routes into the country for longer stays, through an Australia retirement visa. This includes eligibility and requirements, how to apply and of course, how much it costs.

We’ll also take a quick look at how to manage relocation expenses and spending during your time in Australia using Wise, the free multi-currency account. But first, let’s focus on how to get a retirement visa.

See if you can save with Wise

Wise for sending money

Table of contents:

Is there more than one type of Australian retirement visa?

Formerly, the best but most expensive way to get a retirement visa for Australia was the Investor Retirement Visa. This required a sizable investment in an Australian business, but in return granted you temporary right to remain for four years.

However, the Australian government has now withdrawn this visa to new applications, so you can only get one if you’re an existing Investor Retirement Visa holder¹.

To replace this visa, the government has created a pathway to permanent residency for eligible retirees from Singapore and other countries.

You can enter the pathway if you are a former holder of a Retirement Visa or Investor Retirement Visa and you’re applying for a Parent Visa. You’ll be eligible for the Parent Visa if you have a child who has Australian citizenship or permanent residency².

This means that unless you qualify for another type of Australian visa or apply for Permanent Residency through another stream, you sadly may not have any options for retiring in Australia.

Retirement visa Australia requirements: what documents will I need?

If you are an existing holder of a Investor Retirement Visa, you can apply for a new one with the following documents:¹

  • Completed application forms
  • ID verification including your current passport and travel documents
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs
  • Certified copies of marriage certificate, even if your spouse isn’t joining you in Australia
  • Evidence of health insurance
  • Signed Australian Values Statement
  • Sponsorship form from the Australian territory or state you plan to move to
  • One-page summary of your assets
  • Recent bank statements and details of real estate and business assets (if applicable).

To apply for the Parent Visa, you’ll need all of the above documents plus other paperwork relating to a child who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

How to apply for an Australian retirement visa from Singapore

To apply for an Australian visa, you’ll need to submit your completed application forms and certified supporting documents to the Department of Home Affairs in Australia.

For some visa types, you will actually have to be in Australia in order to apply. This means you’ll need to plan a visit over from Singapore.

How long does it take to get a visa for Australia?

Unfortunately, there is a long waiting list for most visa applications for Australia - and some of these lists are very long.

For example, if you’re applying for a Parent Visa to become a permanent resident, the Australian government is currently advising of a processing time of 30 years³.

Fees for Australia retirement visa applications

The fee to apply for a new Investor Retirement Visa (if you’re a former visa holder) starts from 365 AUD¹.

However, the cost to apply for a Parent Visa is substantially more. You’ll need to pay 6,415 AUD, paid in two installments⁴. There’s also an additional charge for each family member who applies with you.

Save money on relocation expenses with Wise

As you can see, there are likely to be a lot of costs associated with applying for an Australia retirement visa. If approved, you’ll also have a bundle of relocation expenses to pay.

Be prepared by opening a free Wise multi-currency account online. This will give you a low fee way to send money between Singapore and Australia, or all over the world if you want to.

You’ll benefit from fair exchange rates (with no mark-up), easy, secure transfers and even the chance to spend in the local currency of 200+ countries with an international debit Mastercard.

Getting a retirement or indeed any visa for Australia is a little tricky, and not everyone is eligible. Hopefully after reading this guide, you’ll have a better idea of what’s involved and whether it’s the right option for you. Good luck!

Sources used for this article:

  1. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Investor Retirement visa (subclass 405)
  2. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Permanent resident - Retirement visa pathway
  3. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Parent visas queue release dates
  4. Australian Department of Home Affairs - Parent visa (subclass 103) - About

Sources checked on 23 February 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 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