Retiring to Australia – what you need to know

Retirement is a time for rest and relaxation, and to enjoy the twilight of your years in whatever fashion best suits your needs. If you are nearing retirement age and considering spending your golden years in a new country, then Australia might be just right for you.
Recently, the OECD Better Life Index named Australia as the happiest country in the entire world, based on factors such as civic engagement, life satisfaction and quality of health.

According to the Index, Australia has one of the strong senses of community of all developed nations – a factor which may well make it perfect for your retirement needs.

International retirees considering retirement in Australia will need to apply for an Investor Retirement visa (Subclass 405).

The Investor Retirement visa is specifically designed for retirees who are self-funded and who have no dependents, and who wish to spend their retirement in Australia.

In order to qualify for this visa you will need to be at least 55-years-old and be able to make what the Department of Immigration and Citizenship defines as “a significant long term financial investment in Australia”.

This equates to assets of more than $750,000, (currently) which you are legally able to transfer to Australia. In addition to this, you must also have access to $750,000 which you are willing to invest in the state or territory that has sponsored your visa.

You must also have access to an annual net income of at least $65,000 (currently), and hold an adequate health insurance package.

The only exception to these rules is if you wish to live in a rural area, in which case you only need to have assets of $500,000, be willing to invest $500,000 and have an annual net income of at least $50,000.

There are other requirements in terms of health and character which also must be met in order to secure the Investor Retirement visa.

With this visa, you will be able to spend up to four years living in Australia, travelling in and out of the country as you wish. If you have a partner, they may also join you in Australia during this four year period.

If you choose to work part time during your retirement, you will also be able to work for up to 40 hours per fortnight.

It is important to note that the Investor Retirement visa is only temporary, and you will not be able to make an application for Australian permanent residency  or citizenship application while holding it.

However, if you reach the end of your visa period and wish to stay in Australia, you may apply for further Investor Retirement migration visas so long as you meet the obligatory requirements.