Things you should know before Moving to Brisbane, Australia

March 5, 2023

You will be able to enjoy the beach life in Queensland, the "Sunshine State," if you settle in Brisbane. However, moving to Brisbane necessitates more than just a surfboard and some swimwear. Moving to Brisbane, Australia?Allowing someone else to move your freezer sounds like a lot greater chore than you ...

You will be able to enjoy the beach life in Queensland, the “Sunshine State,” if you settle in Brisbane. However, moving to Brisbane necessitates more than just a surfboard and some swimwear.

Moving to Brisbane, Australia?
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Guide Moving To Brisbane, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of Queensland, with a population of 2.3 million people in the metropolitan area.

The climate in this city is subtropical and humid, with mild winters and hot, humid summers. Severe weather occurrences, such as cyclones or floods, are unfortunately a possibility.

A visa finder is available on the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website to assist you in determining the visa type you require.

In Brisbane’s five local government regions, there are a number of housing alternatives to select from.

Natural Disaster Precaution

Relocating to Brisbane gives you the chance to live in a highly livable city that is often referred to as one of Australia’s economic engines. Brisbane has garnered international news due to its subtropical environment, which has resulted in recurrent floods and other natural calamities.

Because the city is constructed on a floodplain, flooding occurs frequently throughout the summer season, from November to March. This should not, however, dissuade anyone from relocating to Brisbane. Brisbane’s City Council website has arranged evacuation routes and public safety information available online in the event of an emergency.

Although natural disasters, such as the catastrophic flooding in December 2010 and January 2011, have the potential to stifle the region’s economic growth, Queensland’s economy and infrastructure have shown robust in the face of cyclones and flooding in the past. As a result, Brisbane continues to be a popular destination for both expats and immigrants. Brisbane’s metropolitan area offers jobs in finance and commerce, information technology and biotechnology, shipbuilding and logistics, as well as the many benefits of living in Australia’s “Sunshine State.”


Brisbane’s — now a thriving city — history began with brutality and violence, like those of many other Australian metropolises such as Sydney and Melbourne. The earliest European immigrants in Brisbane were British Empire prisoners who settled in a 19th-century penal colony near the Brisbane River and Moreton Bay. This region on the east coast of the continent, which was somewhat remote from Sydney at the time, seemed to be a suitable location for one of the colonial era’s harshest penal camps.

Those deported from the United Kingdom squatted on the Jagera and Turrbul clans’ land in Brisbane. Unfortunately, foreign diseases and violent confrontations with colonists devastated the Aboriginal population. As a result, when Brisbane became a self-governing town in 1859, additional people from the mother country arrived in quest of “uninhabited” property. Brisbane has grown into a massive urbanized area during the last 150 years.


Greater Brisbane includes the City of Brisbane as well as the local government areas of Ipswich, Logan City, Redland City, and Moreton Bay. It is located in the southeast region of Queensland, around 100 kilometers from the New South Wales border. They have a combined population of over 2.3 million people.

If you look at the full “Southeast Queensland conurbation,” also known as the 200-kilometer metropolis, you’ll see that this urban sprawl stretches from the thriving tourist resorts of the Sunshine Coast in the north to the Gold Coast in the south. South East Queensland, which is made up of 18 cities and towns, is generally referred to as one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions. More than 3.4 million people live here, accounting for more than 60% of the state’s total population. Aboriginal Australians now account for barely 3.6 percent of Queensland’s population.

However, the initial pioneer population from the British Isles has long since become a multicultural mix of varied residents in Brisbane. Between 16 percent and 24 percent of all Brisbanites were born overseas, depending on the local government area surveyed in the 2011 census, and six localities in the area had a higher foreign-born population than Australian-born. Non-Anglophones accounted for up to 15% of new residents from other countries.

China, Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Samoa, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and a variety of other countries, particularly in the Asia-Pacific area, are among the birthplace countries of Brisbane’s international residents. When you move to Brisbane, you’re likely to meet people who speak Cantonese or Mandarin, Spanish or Tagalog, German or Dutch, or Khmer or Lao. The multicultural resource list of all foreign communities represented in Queensland may be of interest to you as an expat or migrant.


Don’t forget to pack appropriately when planning for your relocation to Brisbane. The city has a subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and mild winters. Maximum temperatures rarely fall below 20°C throughout the winter months. The average daily temperature in the summer is above 30 degrees Celsius. As a result, Brisbane is unquestionably a city for individuals who want to live in summer all year.

You can enjoy the beaches of the “Miami of Australia” if you remember to bring sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses. Keep in mind that Brisbane is in a cyclone-prone location. However, the public is usually notified and at-risk regions are evacuated in a reasonable period of time. That so, it’s always a good idea to know your consulate’s and local authorities’ emergency phone numbers in case of an emergency.

Options for Visa

If you want to migrate to Brisbane, you can choose from a variety of visa types because Australia offers a variety of possibilities for immigrants from other countries. However, the type of visa you need to apply for is determined by your reasons for traveling to Brisbane and the length of time you intend to stay.
The Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa is the most common visa for expats sent to Brisbane on an intra-company transfer or to take up temporary employment with an Australian company (457). This type of visa normally has a four-year validity period. A confirmed job offer from an Australian employer is required for a successful visa application.

Migrant Visa Categories

If you want to live permanently in Brisbane, you can apply for a Skilled Independent Visa (189). It allows you to stay in Australia for as long as you want, live wherever you want, and work in any job you desire. A particular minimum score on a points exam is normally required to obtain such a visa. The number of points you receive is determined by whether you have a currently in-demand occupation, your professional experience, your age, your English language skills, and other variables.

If your occupation is not on the list of occupations that qualify you for the Skilled Independent Visa, you can apply for a Skilled Nominated Visa (190) or a Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (489) instead. 190 visa applicants are sponsored by the government of a specific state or territory, primarily because their professional skills are needed in that area, as in Queensland. This is how immigrants can receive a permanent visa for Australia.

However, a Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa is only valid for a limited time. Furthermore, it requires you to reside and work in a specified zone for a set length of time. If you want to stay beyond that, you may be eligible to apply for a permanent visa.

However, the Immigration Department has made some significant adjustments to the Skilled Migration program. People who want to apply for an occupation-based visa after July 1, 2012, must not only pass the points exam but also demonstrate their English language skills. They must also input their information into the SkillSelect database.

Only if the Australian government expressly invites potential immigrants to apply for a migration visa may they do so. These invitations are based on an annual quota system that includes the persons who have the best scores in their field of work.

In Brisbane, there are a variety of visa options for business people.

There are additional visa subclasses designed expressly for entrepreneurs who want to start their own firm in Brisbane rather than work as an employee.

There are various visa categories available for entrepreneurs who want to start their own firm, executives who want to manage an existing one, and investors who want to participate in the Australian economy. You should investigate the alternatives available under the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (188) stream. All of these possibilities, however, are provisional (temporary) visas. You can apply to make this a permanent position after a minimum of two years.

In addition to temporary business visas, permanent business visas are available for those who choose to settle in Brisbane. Please take a look at the Permanent Visa for Business Talent (132). They apply to affluent business owners and investors, as well as entrepreneurs looking to launch a business using Australian venture capital.

Businesspersons who want to relocate to Brisbane must also apply through the SkillSelect system.

Additional Visa Information for Australia

Please contact your nearest Australian diplomatic post or the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for more information on any of these visas (e.g., specific requirements, supporting documents, visa fees). The DIAC website also has a visa finder that will help you figure out which visa category you or your family members require.

Once you’ve selected the proper option, you’ll be able to learn more about the visa’s purpose, validity duration, your rights as a visa holder (such as access to government healthcare), eligibility requirements, obligations, and the application procedure. Your future move to Brisbane is assured once you’ve cut through the red tape.

Brisbane Expat Housing

The Brisbane Metropolitan Area

The Greater Brisbane Area is made up of multiple municipalities, as we discussed in our post on migrating to Brisbane: the City of Brisbane, the City of Ipswich, Logan City, the Moreton Bay Region, and Redland City. There are around 450 separate suburbs in these five local government units. (A “suburb” in Australian English simply means “district” or “neighborhood,” regardless of location.)

There are even more residential locations to choose from if you include the towns of the relatively touristy Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast, with their beachfront high-rises, resort facilities, casinos, and theme parks. As a result, recommending specific districts that are both popular and inexpensive for all expats in the Brisbane metro area is challenging — if not impossible.

Choosing a Brisbane Neighborhood

When looking for a new home in Brisbane, you should first evaluate your own circumstances.

What is the location of your office or workplace?

Do you have a partner or spouse who has also found work in Brisbane?

Do you feel comfortable driving in other countries or do you prefer to take public transportation?

Do your children need to attend a kindergarten or school and are there any special education requirements to consider (for example, extra lessons for pupils who speak English as a second language or for children with disabilities)?

After you’ve considered all of the elements that may influence your home decision, head to Wikipedia’s List of Brisbane Suburbs for a quick summary of the history and demographics of various Brisbane areas. The Real Estate Institute of Queensland is the state’s largest real estate association, catering to foreigners who can afford a realtor. Using a realtor is arguably the most convenient and stress-free approach to finding a place to live in Brisbane. If you’re worried about locating safe neighborhoods, you can always check the Queensland Police Department’s crime statistics map for the locations you’ve chosen..

Locating a Residence in Brisbane

You can begin your house search after determining which neighborhood(s) you would like to live in while in Brisbane. If you’re currently in Brisbane, for example on a business trip or a fact-finding mission, you can speak with a real estate agent in person or go through the classified ads in the Brisbane Courier-Mail and Brisbane Times. From afar, you can look at their online editions or the offerings on the major Australian real estate websites to get a sense of what pricing and housing standards to expect.

Brisbane has fortunately been less expensive in recent years in terms of the general cost of living (which includes lodging). Mercer named it as the world’s 24th most expensive expatriate destination in 2012. Fortunately, Brisbane has moved up to 96th place in the Mercer 2016 Cost of Living Survey.

Despite the fact that the cost of living appears to be decreasing, the Mercer Cost of Living study is based on the US dollar. As a result of the Australian dollar’s depreciation against the US dollar, Brisbane has dropped in the rankings. As a result, depending on the currency used, Brisbane may be more or less expensive. Despite its decline in the rankings, Brisbane remains one of the top 100 most expensive places to live in.

Utilities and Water Supplies in Brisbane Housing

After you’ve chosen a future house in Brisbane and become the lucky new tenant (or owner), you still have to deal with the utilities. Queensland Urban Utilities (water), Energex (electricity), Origin Energy (gas), and Telstra or Optus (mobile phone, Internet, and pay-TV) are the largest utility providers in Brisbane metro area.

In terms of water usage, you should be aware that Brisbane has been experiencing a severe drought for several years. The rainstorms and floods of 2010 and 2011 were, ironically, the ones that refilled the local water sources. Despite this, the city government continues to advise Brisbanites to consume no more than 150-200 liters of water per day. In Queensland, your local council will give you advice on how to conserve water and thereby safeguard the environment.

Whether you’re moving to Brisbane or to a new country for the first time or have transferred several times before, the process generates a lot of questions. From the first preparations to how to negotiate a relocation package, our comprehensive guide to relocation will help you GO! prepared with the answers you need.