Australian lifestyle

There is no such thing as a typical Australian lifestyle. Some Australians choose a laid-back life in the country, and others prefer to live in busy cosmopolitan areas. Regardless of where they choose to stay, Australians enjoy a high quality of life.


Download >Life in Australia

Australian values

The Australian government encourages visitors and new residents to learn as much as they can about Australia, including Australia's heritage, language, customs, values and way of life.

We have introduced the Australian Values Statement and the Life in Australia book to help visa applicants learn what it means to live in Australia.

We require most applicants to sign the Australian Values Statement when they apply for a visa.

Australian values statement

The Australia government requires most visa applicants aged 18 and over to sign the Australian Values Statement. In doing so they confirm they will respect Australia's laws and values during their stay in Australia.

You sign the Australian Values Statement when you apply for a visa (permanent or temporary visa) or at your interview (humanitarian visa).


Permanent visa (including certain temporary visas)

If you are applying for a permanent, or an affected temporary visa, you may be required to:

If you are unsure what Australian Values Statement you have to sign, use the values statement visa selector

*If you are applying for a temporary visa, check the requirements of your application to see if you must read the Life in Australia book before applying.

Temporary visa

If you are applying for a temporary visa, you may be required to:

You do not have to read the Life in Australia book, although we encourage you to do so.

If you are unsure what Australian Values Statement you have to sign, use the values statement visa selector.

*Check the requirements of your temporary visa to see if you must read the Life in Australia book before applying.

Humanitarian visa

If you are outside of Australia and applying for a humanitarian visa, you will:

You do not have to read the Life in Australia book, as staff will explain the contents of the book to you at your interview. This process recognizes the difficult circumstances faced by humanitarian visa applicants outside Australia.

Information for permanent residents

Becoming an Australian citizen

The Australian government encourages permanent Australian residents to apply for Australian citizenship when they become eligible.

See > Applying for Australian Citizenship

Bringing your family members to Australia

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident with family overseas, your family may be able to apply for a family visa option.

Visa options for family members include:

  • Partner category visa options
  • Child and adoption visa options
  • Relative visa options
  • Parent visa options

See> Bringing your family or partners.

Beginning a life in Australia

Living in Australia

For information on settlement and multicultural affairs, including:

  • Settling in Australia
  • Settlement policy, programs, service providers and grants
  • Multicultural Australia (including a calendar of religious and cultural dates)

See > Settlement and multicultural affairs information

Working in Australia

What's new

We are making changes to the visa system as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda. These changes will help Australia attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and the skilled, talented people Australia needs to drive ideas from research to commercial reality.

On 10 September 2016, we will launch a new Entrepreneur visa stream and amend the points test for the skilled migration programme.

The Entrepreneur visa will be part of the Business Innovation and Investment visa programme. Entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Entrepreneur visa will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and be nominated by a State or Territory government.

Key proposed eligibility criteria include:

  • Applicants must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.
  • The entrepreneurial venture must not be related to residential real estate or labour hire or involve purchasing an existing business or franchise.
  • Applicants must also be under 55 years of age, have a competent level of English, and have at least 30 per cent interest in their entrepreneurial venture.
  • There must be one or more  funding agreements in place for at least $200,000 between the entrepreneur or venture and a third party funding body or bodies.
    • Sources of third party funding are limited to state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, Publicly Funded Research Organisations, and investors registered as a Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP) or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLP). Agreements outlining funds from a combination of these sources are also acceptable.
  • Applicants must have a business plan outlining their plans for their venture in Australia.

An Entrepreneur visa holder can progress to permanent residency after four years if they can meet a measure of success, which includes factors such as business turnover, employment of Australians and ability to obtain significant financial backing.

The amendment to the points test will enhance the pathway to permanent residence for students who have completed Doctoral or Masters by research-level qualifications in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or specified information and communication technology (ICT) related fields in Australia.

The current points test will be amended to award additional points for Doctorate and Masters by research-level qualifications gained from Australian universities in STEM, specified ICT and other related fields.

The following fields of education qualifications are proposed to be accepted under this new measure and are defined by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS):

Field of Education:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Other Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Other Information Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering and Technology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology
  • Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Geomatic Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering and Technology
  • Maritime Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Technology
  • Other Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Process and Resources Engineering.

Graduates who want to determine whether their qualification is eligible are able to search the CRICOS website. If their qualification is at Doctorate or Masters by research-level and their field of education is listed in the above table then they will be eligible for five additional points towards their points test.

Work visa options

Skilled migration visa options

You may be eligible for a skilled visa if, amongst other things, you are a skilled overseas worker with skills needed in Australia.

See > Workers

Sponsored or nominated work visa options

You may be eligible for a nominated or sponsored work visa if, amongst other things, you are nominated or sponsored by:

  • An approved Australian employer or business
  • A state or territory government agency
  • A state or territory authority

See > Workers


Information for workers including:

  • Visa options comparison chart
  • Your rights and obligations as a worker
  • Skills assessment
  • Withdrawing a General Skilled Migration visa application
  • Superannuation
  • Working in Australia's offshore oil and gas industry

See > Workers


Information for Australian employers about:

  • Sponsoring and employing skilled workers from overseas
  • Labour agreements for recruitment
  • Employing legal workers
  • Checking a person's visa entitlements
  • Working with migrants and refugees
  • Skilled migration events

See > Employers


If you are a skilled overseas worker and want to apply for a skilled migration visa, you can lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) to work in Australia.

See> SkillSelect

Regional Employment

Information on employment programs to attract young, skilled, English-speaking migrants to regional areas of Australia, including:

  • Regional opportunities for migrants
  • Regional certifying bodies

See > Regional employment

Skills Australia Needs

The Australian government attends skilled migration events around the world. The events provide information to skilled workers on what it is like to work in Australia.

See > Skills Australia Needs

Work visa scams

Be aware that criminals can use visa scams to exploit or steal money from overseas workers wanting to come to Australia. These criminals may lure people by making false promises of work and permanent residence in Australia.

Learn how to avoid being a victim of a work visa scam.

See > Work visa scams

Bringing family with you

If you are working in Australia, you may be able to bring your family if:

  • You include your family members on your working visa application, or
  • Your family members apply for a family visa, or
  • Your family members apply for a visitor visa

See > Bringing family with you

Take a working holiday in Australia

If you are a young person (aged 18-30) and want to work and holiday in Australia for up to a year, you may be eligible for a working holiday visa.

A working holiday visa allows you to work while you have the holiday of a lifetime. You will have the opportunity to share your culture, knowledge and skills whilst discovering our unique landscape.

See > Visit for work