Retiring in Australia from the U.S.

Good day!

My wife and I are looking at the possibility of moving to Australia, possibly near Gold Coast, QLD.  Just starting to look at visas, etc, and had a couple of questions.

We are both retired here in the U.S, and have permanent income from that.  We both still work at part-time jobs.  We are looking at probably not having to work when we get there, but may be open to some work if possible. 

With our retirement income, what visa would we qualify for or be able to obtain?  Looking at all the different visa info is a bit overwhelming.  I thought I would see if anyone has any advice here, in addition to the research I am doing.

I am sure I have many more questions.

Thank you in advance!

Wow!  49 views and not one reply.  I was hoping for some advice and input from those who may have some information that would be helpful.  After re-reading my post, I wanted to make a small clarification. I feel that it was not very clear in one point.

My wife and I are both semi-retired, which means we are technically retired, but still work.  Both of us have been working full-time since our retirement, and have no real plans to stop.  My intention in my original post was not worded as well as it could have been when I mentioned possibly not working when we came there.  Of course we would want to work, but I do also understand that those who live there are seeking jobs, and we are very aware that they do not need outsiders moving in and taking jobs that should be taken by those that already live there.

Please understand that we want to come to Australia for the beauty of the country, the great lifestyle you all enjoy, and to contribute our part to keeping it the way it is.  We are not looking at landing there and just reaping the benefits of your health care, etc. 

I hope this helps clarify my original post and garners at least a bit of helpful information as to visa options.

Thanks again in advance.


Go to "Discover" at the top of this page and check out the information, especially the visa section, for information.

You are well aware of the Covid-19 pandemic in Australia so it is difficult to get into the country at present. If you are considering working check out and other websites for possible employment.  You will need medical insurance cover.

If you have an area in mind to retire in check out for living costs.

Thanks for the reply.  I have looked over several areas pertaining to Visa info, but not able to find anything specific to my question and circumstance.  Was hoping for some insider information related to that.  I understand the covid restrictions, but am looking at late next year, so possibly different circumstances. I have my own health insurance, and as far as employment, not real worried at this point.

Thanks again.

Best to talk to a migration agent. Google Go Matilda Australian visas. I used them along with a few friends and we got in. I am a Canadian with Australian permanent residency.

As for retirement visas, I assume you retire and not work so maybe retirement visa may not be your best option.  You would apply as skilled worker.

I am sure you have checked out Australian immigration government website.

Good luck,

Thanks for the response.  We are speaking to a migration agent tomorrow and see what possibilities there are.  Wish me luck!

Sounds good.. let's hope it all works out....

I know there are other retirement visas for Thailand, Malaysia and possibly the Philippines as well in case Australia does not work out. Feel free to ask anything in the meantime.

Take care

Mike if you are thinking Brisbane at all have a listen to the Brisbane Property Podcast.

Thanks! I will look into that.


Google Malaysia my second home, Thailand retirement visa, philippine retirement visa. If you prefer western Europe its Portugal and Malta. Barbados I believe has started a nomadic visa where people who can work remotely are eligible to live in Barbados for a year or longer and perhaps Latvia and Estonia.

Other option if you want to live in a foreign country for awhile but not dish out large capital is to do a masters or PhD in a foreign country. It will keep you busy, give you an idea of whether or not the country fits your needs and whether you actually like the place. Living long term versus short gives you a better perspective on things.

Masters and PhD can be cheaper than the US and if you get a full scholarship, free with monthly stipend. I started with that doing first masters in Sydney. Loved the country and found myself back in Australia as a permanent resident. Ahhh yes being an international student in Australia allows you to study, limited work hours if you like and enjoy the uni holidays to explore. Plus after you complete the degree you have a few options to become a permanent resident if you decide to go that route as opposed to the retirement visa which I presume will be quite costly.  This is the official gov website that has all of the visa types and a calculator to walk you through which one you qualify for currently.  I moved from California in 2013 and later became a citizen.

Most probably saying what you know. I understand that the immi sight for visa can be mind boggling.
But if it is your desire to work then thats the type of visa you need to apply for. If you have special skills than you look and see what skills are currently desired. Often changing. If you fit that skill you should look for possible employers. But those employers have obligations before they can offer employment.
Alternatively if you have means you could look at applying for business visa. The business would need to possibly set up at home with opportunity to operate here. Many asians do it that way.
Another is family. If no family here forget that.
I am adverse to most about immigration but one area is not as self funded retiries comming but I am sure if you do not indicate you want to work and do not apply for working visa then general living visa is possible if you can prove you will not need any govt funded facility. As us citizen purchasing property to live under certain values is quiet easy.

Hi MikeMontana,

I am sure by the time I reply to your post, you probably have found out the answer. Just in case you have not, or for public interests, I will provide a short answer here:

Assuming that you or your wife are over 66 (UK retirement age) and you have not got children or relatives who are currently living in Australia, then in the current Australian legal system, your only option is to apply for a visitor visa (could be 12 months e.g.). A visitor visa allows you to enjoy Australian life and study for 3 months but would not allow you to work or at least you can not take paid work.

Other visas in the Australian immigration system will have some requirements, such as age under 45/ 50, child sponsorship, employer sponsorship... which means you need an existing connection with Australia.

Let me know if I have not answered your question.


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