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Moving from China to Australia

Australia and China are closer than ever before. Not only is China Australia’s largest trading partner, but thousands of Chinese nationals have chosen to make Australia their home as students, business owners and skilled workers. Mandarin is now the most commonly spoken language in Australia after English,and there are thriving Chinese communities in every state. So wherever you choose to make your new home, you’re sure to find a warm welcome waiting for you.

Yet Australia and China are still very different places, and there’s plenty to know about before you make your move. Here are some ideas and tips to help make the journey easier.

Depending on your visa type, there may be limitations on what work you can do. Visit the Department of Immigration website to find out if there are any special conditions on the visa you’re applying for.

With most jobs now advertised online, you can get a head start by applying before you leave. The Australian government’s Jobsearch website is a great place to start, along with our short guide to finding a job in Australia.

If you’d like to connect with your local Chinese–Australian cultural community when you arrive, organisations like the Australia China Friendship Society can help. By getting involved with your local branch, you can find social events, mingle with like-minded people and learn from the experiences of migrants and locals with an interest in Chinese culture.

Australia’s quality education system attracts more than 150,000 Chinese students a year,2 and Australian colleges and universities offer a vibrant international culture. You can learn more about studying in Australia and hear about other students’ experiences at the government’s website for Chinese students.

Finding somewhere to live

Depending on where you choose to study, you may be able to access special student accommodation right on campus—contact your university or college to find out more.

Many Australian and overseas students also to choose to share a house with other students as flatmates. Sharing with others can help you save on living expenses, make friends and find somewhere to live close to your school or university. You can even start looking online before you arrive in Australia.


Australia can be more expensive to live in compared to China, so it’s important to organise your finances in advance. Before you get your student visa, you’ll need to show the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that you have $18,610 for every year you plan to study, allowing you to cover the cost of living here.3 You can find out how much you’ll need in yuan with our Foreign Exchange calculator.

You can open a bank account online up to three months before you arrive here ― and you won’t pay any monthly account fees while you’re studying.

Setting up

With a strong economy and longstanding trade ties to China, Australia is a popular choice for Chinese business owners and investors. For detailed information about starting a business in Australia, visit the Australian Government’s Business website.

If you’re planning to buy or rent an office or retail space, it’s easy to get started while you are still in China. Property websites here list commercial real estate across Australia, plus you can get expert lending guidance from one of our Lending Specialists by making an appointment online

Making connections

With thousands of Chinese-born entrepreneurs already at home here, there are plenty of organisations dedicated to promoting business and trade links between China and Australia. The Australia China Business Council has branches in every state, hosting network events and providing opportunities to mix with the Australian business community.

Fortunately, our International Premier and Retail Banking team are here for guidance. You can also open an Australian bank account online up to three months before you travel to Australia, so you can have funds ready and waiting for when you arrive.

Things you should know

1 Australian Bureau of Statistics, Census of Population and Housing, 2011

2 Department of Education and Training, Monthly Summary of International Student Enrolment Data, November 2015

3 Australian Government, Living costs in Australia.

The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, please consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide.