Living and Working in Australia

Adopted from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT)

Australia is a stable, culturally diverse and democratic society with a skilled workforce and a strong, competitive economy. With a population of more than 21 million, Australia is the only nation to govern an entire continent. It is the earth’s biggest island and the sixth-largest country in the world in land area.

Australia is one of the world’s oldest landmasses and has been populated by human beings for an estimated 60 000 years. Before the arrival of European settlers, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples inhabited most areas of the continent. Australia’s contemporary history is relatively short, with the first European settlement established by Great Britain on 26 January 1788.

Australia has 10 per cent of the world’s biodiversity and a great number of its native plants, animals and birds exist nowhere else in the world. Australia is committed to conserving its unique environment and natural heritage and has a range of protection procedures in place, including World Heritage listings and many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

Australia’s population includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and migrants from some 200 countries. In over 60 years of planned post-war migration, Australia has welcomed more than 6.5 million migrants, including more than 660 000 refugees. Although English is the official language in Australia, more than 3 million Australians speak a language other than English at home (2007).

The quality of life enjoyed by people in Australia is one of the highest in the world. Australia’s clean physical environment, health services, education and lifestyle combine to make it an attractive place to live.

The following information is courtesy of

Travel Advice

This advice is frequently updated and we recommend that all visitors use this official source of information when making decisions regarding their visit and travel arrangements.

Security Advice is provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at

Immigration / Customs

Australia has some of the world's strictest quarantine regulations. Importation of fresh or packaged food, fruit, eggs and egg products, vegetables, seeds, cultures, plants and plant products are strictly controlled. On arrival in Australia, anyone carrying any of these items must tick the appropriate box on the Customs, Quarantine and Wildlife Statement. This is handed to you before arrival and must be presented with your passport upon arrival.
For further information regarding quarantine, including regulations concerning the importation of currency, firearms, and duty free goods, please refer to the Australian Customs website:

Anyone who is not an Australian citizen, with the exception of New Zealand passport holders, needs a valid visa to enter and spend time in Australia. Visas must be obtained prior to entry.

For the rest of the immigration and customs information and advice on general health, climate & clothing, embassy & emergency contact information and much more please follow the 'Notes for visitors to Australia' link below.

Notes for visitors to Australia

Australian Government document on childcare
All you  need to know about childcare in Australia.

Banking information
Currency, ATMs, credit cards, travellers cheques and tipping/gratuity are all covered in the 'Notes for visitors' doc but you can find out more in this pdf

Study in Australia
The official Australian Government site for studying in Australia has information on courses, institutions, studying and living costs, the application process, visa requirements and much more. This information is provided in twelve languages.

Visiting Academic Visas
This visa is for professional academics to visit Australia on a temporary basis, to observe or participate in an Australian research project at an Australian tertiary or research institution. Applicants must be sponsored and nominated by an Australian tertiary or research institution for this visa.

Postgraduate Scholarship Database for Australia
JASON is a postgraduate scholarship search engine. Scholarships in the database apply to Australian students wishing to study at home or abroad, and to international students wishing to study in Australia.