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Immigrate to Australia: Discover the Land Down Under

Immigrate to Australia and you’ll soon discover that Australia is a culturally diverse and stable democratic society with one of the best performing economies of the developed world.

Australia is the only country on earth that governs an entire continent and with a population of over 23 million people, is one of the world’s least populated countries. It is the sixth-largest country, the world’s largest island and about the same size as mainland United States and China and approximately one and a half times the size of Europe.

Australia is the home of one of the world’s oldest surviving cultures. Australia’s Aboriginal people settled here at least 50,000 years ago and peoples of the Torres Straight Islands approximately 10,000 years before the first European settlers. Our heritage of Indigenous peoples together with a strong history of immigrants travelling to Australia over the past century means that Australia is today one of the world’s most multicultural countries rich in diverse culture.

Today, over a quarter of the population of Australia was born overseas. Australia is often referred to as a friendly country and we have a reputation as a successful and prosperous society which has seen us ranking second in the United Nations Development Programme Human Development Program of 2011. Indeed, Australia is often referred to as “The Lucky Country”.

Flag of AustraliaThe Australian flag
On our flag the Southern Cross Stars on the right represent Australia’s geographic position in the Southern Hemisphere. The large Commonwealth star under the Union Jack symbolises the federation of our states and territories, and the Union Jack reflects Australia’s early ties to Great Britain.

Golden WattleOur national colours
The green and gold colours of our National floral emblem, the Golden Wattle (Acacia pycnantha Benth) are also Australia’s national colours.

National day
Australia’s national day is Australia Day (a national public holiday) and is celebrated every year on 26 January. The date commemorates the anniversary of the unfurling of the British flag at Sydney Cove in 1788. Many Australian citizenship ceremonies are held across the country where new citizens make their pledge to Australia and are officially welcomed as new citizens.

Brief History:

Australia is home to people from over 200 different countries and our six states became one nation under a single constitution on 1 January 1901.

Australia was first known as Terra Australis Incognita (unknown southern land) by the first recorded European mariners who sailed into ‘Australian’ waters at around 1606. The first ship’s crew to meet with Australia’s Aboriginal people and to chart the Australian coast was that of the Dutch Ship Duvfken.

It was in 1770 that Lieutenant James Cook of the ship HM Barque Endeavour charted Australia’s east coast. It was on 22 August 1770 on Possession Island that Cook claimed eastern Australia under instruction from King George III of England and named it New South Wales. English mariners and navigators Bass and Flinders and French mariner, Baudin, mapped the Australian coast and Tasmania as a separate island in detail. Flinders published a nearly completed map of the coastline in 1814.

READ MORE about Australia’s history HERE or HERE


Australia is a big country that comprises approximately 7.7 million square kilometres of total land area. It is the sixth largest country after Russia, Canada, China, the USA and Brazil, it is also the only one of the six largest nations that is completely surrounded by water.

Australia is:

  • almost the same land mass as the United States of America,
  • almost equal in size to China,
  • about 50 percent larger in land mass than Europe,
  • about 32 times greater in land mass than the United Kingdom.
  • South Africa could almost fit into the state of South Australia.
  • a flight from Perth to Sydney is approximately the same distance as London to Moscow.


Immigrate to Australia (©Tony Hewitt)

States and Territories (and migration):

Australia is divided into 6 states (New South Wales NSW., Victoria Vic., Queensland QLD. Western Australia WA., South Australia SA. and Tasmania Tas.) and 10 territories, including two that are on the Australian mainland (The Northern Territory NT. and Australian Capital Territory ACT.) The other 8 territories are offshore and are Norfolk Island, Ashmore and Cartier Islands, Australian Antarctic Territory, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island, Jervis Bay Territory, Coral Sea Islands, Heard and McDonald Islands.

The states each have their own Capital City and Constitution and can pass laws that are not controlled by the Commonwealth under Section 51 of the Australian Constitution.

The territories have been granted either limited right of self-government or are governed only by Commonwealth Law.


Under Australia’s migration program, the states and territories can sponsor migrants for permanent and temporary residence (in some regional areas) to live in their state or territory. The state sponsorship opportunities are designed to meet particular skills shortages as part of the subclass 489 visa (temporary residence) program and Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190 permanent residence).

State sponsorship is also necessary under the business owner, business talent, business innovation and investor visa categories (subclass 188 provisional visa, subclass 888 permanent residence and subclass 132 permanent residence).

Each of the states and territories has their own website with detailed information (in most cases) on state sponsorship and living in their state or territory and can be found via the following links:

NSW Flag New South Wales (Sydney): Detailed information on Sydney and regional New South Wales (NSW) as well as information on Visas and Migration (including occupation lists for sponsorship), Working in NSW, NSW Lifestyle and useful information for expatriates and new arrivals to the state.
Visit the Live and Work in NSW Website.

Vic Flag Victoria (Melbourne): Details on the State of Victoria (VIC), including information on Melbourne and regional Victoria. Information on securing Victorian State Sponsorship (including occupation lists for state sponsorship), Visas and Immigration, Securing a Job and Running a Business. Also has details on the cost of living, schools in Victoria and transport.
Visit the Living in Victoria Website.

WA flag Western Australia (Perth): Information on Australia’s largest state, its capital Perth and regional WA. Details on WA State Sponsorship, Occupations in Demand, Finding Work, Living in Perth and Regional WA and other relevant information for migrants. Visit the Living in Western Australia Website.

QLD Flag Queensland (Brisbane): Migration information for people interested in moving to Queensland and seeking state sponsorship under the skilled and regional state sponsorship programs. Details on state sponsorship, business migration and investor retirement visas.
Visit the Migration Queensland Website.

SA Flag South Australia (Adelaide): Updated information for people considering or moving to the state of South Australia (SA) and seeking state sponsorship under the skilled or regional state sponsorship programs. Details on state sponsorship, business migration and investor retirement visas.
Visit the Immigration South Australia Website.

NT Flag Northern Territory (Darwin): Details on living in the Northern Territory (NT), including the climate, lifestyle, history of the territory, finding jobs and working. Information on securing state sponsorship, including the Territory’s Migration Occupation List, business migration and relevant contact information for migrants.
Visit the Australia’s Northern Territory Website.

ACT Flag Australian Capital Territory (Canberra): Eligible migrants who demonstrate commitment to migration to Canberra can be eligible for ACT nomination under the skilled migration program. Information on living and working in Canberra and the ACT Occupation List for migrants.
Visit the Canberra Create Your Future Website.

TAS Flag Tasmania (Hobart): Everything you need or want to know about migrating to Tasmania, including information on state sponsorship (including the State Migration Plan SMP occupation list) for skilled and business migration, finding jobs in Tasmania and living in Tasmania.
Visit the Migrating to Tasmania Website.


Australia has been long regarded as being a pioneer in establishing democracy in the modern world. The Australian colonies began writing their constitutions in the mid-nineteenth century which produced democratically elected parliaments. The Australian colonies progressively established universal male suffrage in the mid- to late-nineteenth century and were amongst the first to give women the vote.

Australia follows the British (or Westminster) tradition of government where the Governor-General represents the British Crown and exercises the supreme executive power of the Commonwealth, though in practice, the Governor-General acts on the advice of the Australian Prime Minister and other Australian government ministers. Australia holds Federal elections at least every three years and state elections every four years (except Queensland where it is every three) and it is compulsory for all Australian Citizens to vote in Federal and their respective State or relevant territory elections.

For more details or to read more about the Australian political system, please visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.


In 2013, Australia was the world’s 12th-largest economy and had the world’s fifth highest GDP per capita (US$64,863). Our main trading partner is China, which accounts for 27% of Australia’s total exports and 15% of total imports, followed by Japan, who was our largest trading partner until 2009, the United States, South Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and the UK.

Australia is currently in its 23rd year of uninterrupted annual economic growth, with low (6.2%) unemployment and low (2.3%) inflation and a highly skilled workforce that has been produced by a world-class education system. Our economic prospects are bright, with strong links to the fastest growing economic region in the world and forecast average annual real GDP growth of 2.8% between 2013 to 2019.

Australia’s annual aid program is worth around $5 billion, making us one of the most generous per capita aid donors in the world.

Read More on Australia’s Economy

Continue to the next section (Work in Australia)

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