Retire To Australia: 9 Ways To Secure Your Residency

Australia: retirement options for expats.

Australia is not an easy country for expats to retire to. You can’t simply get off the plane Down Under, unpack your suitcases and stay there in total bliss for the rest of your life just because you don’t have to go to work back home.

First of all, you have to find ways to secure your residency in Australia. It has become a little bit trickier since the Investor Retirement Visa was abolished in 2018.

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However, if there is a will, there is a way. So for those with families in Australia or for whom the lure of the nation appeals very strongly, there are ways to make the move possible. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how to retire to Australia for those who are exploring all their options for overseas retirement.

Retiring to Australia with a Family Sponsorship

The main ways to be able to gain at least temporary residence to retire to Australia are by being sponsored by your child or children who are permanent residents in Australia or by applying under the Investor Visa category.  We will now explore each option more closely.

retire to Australia: New South Wales
The blue waters of Avoca Beach – above in between trees on a beautiful sunny day on the Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia.

Your children can sponsor you to retire to Australia

If you are a parent of a child who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen, and your child has been settled in Australia for at least two years and can sponsor you, then you can apply under either the Parent Category or the Contributory Parent Category. 

Bonds are paid and held for either 2 or 10 years; the applicant must pass health and character assessments as well as a balance of family test whereby at least half of their children live in Australia, or more children live in Australia than in any other single country overseas.

Your Australian relatives can sponsor you to retire to Australia

If you are of state retirement age and have a relative in Australia who is a child, adopted child, parent, brother or sister, grandchild, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew (or step relative of the same degree), and you are single due to never having been married, being widowed or divorced, you may be able to apply for an Aged Dependent Relative visa. 

Your Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen relative will have to sponsor you, and you will have to prove you are dependent on them.

You can retire to Australia if your only close relatives are resident in Australia

Another alternative for those who want to retire to Australia is to apply for a Remaining Relative Visa. 

You can apply if your only close relatives are resident in Australia and are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens. 

If you have a brother, sister, parent (or step-equivalent) in Australia and you and your spouse have no other brothers, sisters, children, parents (or step-equivalents) than those in Australia you may be eligible.

You can retire to Australia as a carer for your Australian relative

Alternatively, if you could act as a carer to an Australian relative who has a serious medical condition causing them physical, intellectual or sensory impairment, then it’s possible you could be eligible to apply to retire to Australia under the terms of the Carer Relative visa category.

Retiring in Australia with Investor Visa

The Australian Retirement Visa program was stopped by the government in 2018.

The Investor Retirement visa allows those over 55 years to live and work in Australia for up to four years, provided they have invested a certain amount of money in Australia and enjoy a certain level of annual income.

The visa, first offered in 2005, also encouraged retirees to settle in regional areas where the required investment was $500,000 and the required annual income $50,000.

The government said that “the economic benefits of this visa at the time when it started do not align with Australia’s current economic priorities”.  

However, it doesn’t mean that retiring to Australia is impossible now if you don’t have any eligible relatives to sponsor you. 

If you wish to retire to Australia and have enough money to do so, there are perfectly viable ways very much in line with Australia’s current economic priorities, which are classified as Investor Visa Australia.

Australia Investor Visas Available

The Investor Visa Australia is available to entrepreneurs, investors, high-net-worth individuals, venture capitalists, and those looking to establish a business in Australia.

There are several types of Australia Investor Visa, and defining which one is right for you could be crucial for a successful application. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that your ultimate goal is permanent residency. As a rule, the more you can offer to invest, the easier permanent residency criteria become.

Here is a list of visas available under the Investor Visa category:

1. Australian Business Innovation Visa

For those business people who plan to establish, develop and manage an Australian business. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory.

2. Australian Investor Visa (Business)

For those who can invest at least $1.5 million AUD in an Australian state and maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory.

3. Significant Investor Visa

For those able to invest a minimum of $5 million AUD into complying investments in Australia. Applicants can be nominated by a State or Austrade(The Australian Trade and Investment Commission) on behalf of the Australian government.

4. Premium Investor Visa

For those who can invest at least $15 million AUD into premium investments in Australia. 

5. Entrepreneur Visa

For those who can secure at least $200,000 AUD in funding for a project that will lead to the commercialization of a product or service in Australia. Entrepreneur Visa applicants are nominated by an Australian state or territory.

Which visa suits you best?

There are different criteria and various conditions attached to each of these visa types. Some of them won’t be ideal if your aim is to retire in Australia.

Business Innovation Visa, for example, as well as Investor Visa (Business), takes into consideration the age of the applicants (plus, there is a long list of other conditions attached).

The two most convenient ways to retire to Australia are to apply for a Significant Investor or a Premium Investor visa.

First of all, there is no age limit for Significant or Premium Investor Visa applications. Plus, you can apply for this visa either onshore in Australia or from your home country. 

Requirements for the Significant Australia Investor Visa

For a successful application, you must invest at least AUD 5 million in a “complying investment” which can be:

  • Minimum $1 million in venture capital and growth private equity
  • Minimum $1.5 million in approved managed funds invested in smaller companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $2.5 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed entities, bonds and commercial real estate

Premium Australia Investor Visa

This is the smoothest ever way to retire to Australia.

It doesn’t have any age requirements and it takes you just one year of holding a temporary residence under this visa before you can convert it into Permanent Residency.

To apply as a Premium Investor, you must invest a minimum of $15 million AUD in qualifying designated investments:

  • Australian securities exchange listed assets
  • Australian Government debt
  • Corporate debt issued by an Australian exchange listed entity
  • Australian proprietary limited companies
  • Tangible Australian property (excluding residential)
  • Deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies
  • State or territory approved philanthropic contributions

Both Significant and Premium Investor Visas are quite a lucrative business opportunities for law and investment firms in Australia. Some of them have developed and now offer immigration-compliant options in partnership with venture capital partners in Australia. They can also provide full legal representation on your behalf. 

Whichever way you decide to use to obtain a permanent residency in Australia, there is no doubt you are going to live in an amazing country. Our guide to Living in Australia can give you invaluable tips on planning your move.

You might find useful:

Expatra Team

Our most popular evergreen guides are kept fresh and up-to-date by our in-house research team. If you have any questions about our guides or the country discussed feel free to contact us or leave a comment below and we'll get back to you.

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  1. Thank you but I don’t think I would qualifie. I met many australian soldiers in Viet Nam in 1968 and Sydney seemed a good place to R&R. Please post this so that all australians know what happened to us. You asked “when are you coming back? Well, life got in the way of dreams, but I have always had my heart and mind on you wonderful, wonderful people. You guys were awsome! Thank you for allowing me to visit your great Island. I am old now and I wanted to answer your question. Not in this lifetime. I am sorry but I will never forget you lovely, frindly people. I hope life has good to all of you. I have never met a more loveing. and friendly people.Good by and may God be with you. Your friend. John Warren.

  2. Back in 1987, I was able to visit Australia serving on the USS Belleua Wood and I told myself I would return. It was beautiful and the people were awesome, plus I made some great friends! I enjoyed the food, the night life was exciting and you couldn’t beat the weather. Since then, I have retired and I am considering relocating because I am too
    young to retire. Would you be able to advise me of job positions that are available for people over 60?

    • Hi Albert, thanks for sharing your story. Indeed, Australia is beautiful and a great country to live; unfortunately the skilled visa route has an age limit of 55, which makes it very difficult (impossible) to take this route. You might want to talk to a legal professional to see whether there are other ways to secure residency for you.
      Best Wishes,

  3. I am contemplating to retire in Perth, Australia and I have a sister who has been there for the last 40 years. I am 82 years old, now retired and was a physician who is self-independent financially. How should my sister start applying for me?

  4. Hi
    I would like to join my Daughter and Son in Australia, I’m now retired and have started my pension, I would have assets in cash around £240,000 plus my monthly pension. Would this be enough to get an aged visa and to invest money into helping my Daughter get a bigger house with an annex for me to live out my remaining years.

  5. My cousin was migrated in Australia a few years back, her other half got married first before started living in Australia along with their son. Up until now, they are still living in Australia and currently looking to become a nurse.

  6. I have a son who lives in Brisbane and a daughter who lives in Melbourne another daughter lives in Melbourne too but her permanent status has not been confirmed due to delays caused by the Corona virus. The first two are Australian citizens, while the third has applied to become one. I have two more daughters who work and live in the UK.They are UK citizens
    What are my chances of being able to relocate to Australia?

    • Hi Cliff, you need professional advice on this. We are not an immigration company, so not qualified to advise. Let me know if you would like to be put in touch with somebody who can clarify this for you.

  7. I am a 60 woman with no children; wanting to come to your country to have a peaceful and relaxing retired life.
    But I have no relative nor friends in Australia.

    Knowing I must apply the Significant Australia Investor Visa in order to live in Australia. Is there anyone I can visit in HK can assist me to go through each step to obtain the Visa and I can really look for my retired home in your beautiful country

  8. Hi, we are 65 plus retired Canadians, that love Australia and would like to move to Australia. We have reviewed a lot of info but can not find a way that we can do this as we are not able to bring 5 million to invest in Australia. We have enough for a million dollar home, and to live but not to invest. CAn you provide any other useful information??? Thanks D & G

    • Hi Deb,
      Unfortunately, there are no other obvious options apart from the ones we stated in the guide. You can get a year-long tourists visa but this kind of visa doesn’t lead to a permanent residency. Have you considered speaking to an immigration lawyer?

  9. My parents moved to live in WA years ago their main sponsor being my brother who has an Australian passport and emigrated 15 years ago. I thin my sister who emigrated some years ago may be a secondary sponsor. My brother is now planning to emigrate to the USA. Will he have to tell the AU authorities and what happens to my parents? They only have a British pension, no other savings or income?
    Will they be deported?

  10. My husband & I are hoping to join our daughter who has residency as soon as we can negotiate our way round the Visa. Just wondering, the ‘only close relative’ option. We meet the 50% citeria, and son also wants to emigrate to Australia. I have one sister, who I have nothing to do with after a long standing family fued spanning back years. Would that be of any significance, or the fact I have a sister in the UK rules out that option.

    • Our understanding is that if your daughter is an Australian permanent resident and has been settled in Australia for at least 2 years, she can sponsor you. You can apply under either the Parent Category or the Contributory Parent Category, you won’t need to involve your sisters. Visa requirements can be ambiguous and complex, however, hopefully you will get a positive decision. Good luck with your retirement

  11. Thanks for such a direct and clear guide to immigration but the draconian new rules unfortunately rule out me and I guess many UK retired folk with friends, not family in OZ, from making the move. Withdrawal of the temporary retirement visas seems a loss all round.