Top 12 reasons to choose Australia over USA

In continuing with our series, top 10 reasons to settle in Australia, today I will provide you 12 reasons today (more is better!) why you should consider Australia over USA. Both these countries are first world countries and the living standard is one of the best in the world. If you have the opportunity, you can choose any of the two any day.

I lived major part of my life in India and then moved to USA. I spent seven years of my prime working days in USA and being stuck there in visa maze, I decided it was time to move on. If I had gotten my green card there, I would have not thought of other options. USA has their own visa system in which they assign visa date based on the country of birth of the applicant (not country of passport). Also there are different employment categories for different countries. Look at the table below and try to understand (if you can!).

                                          USCIS Visa Bulletin for November 2016 

All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed
1st C C C C C
2nd C 01MAR13 22APR09 C C
3rd C 01MAY14 01JUL05 C 01SEP13


The above table is for final action on visa application. They issue another table which is called ‘dates for filing visa applications (employment).’ Try to make sense of their visa system which is so ancient that even dinosaurs extinction seems recent! President Obama wanted to bring new immigration legislation within 100 days of his Presidency to replace their ‘unfair and archaic migration system.’ Here we are after 8 years of Mr. Obama’s presidency and USA has not moved an inch towards modernising their visa system. It’s best that I do not discuss the nominees for the next President of the great USA.

I have seen many Indians being stuck on H1b visas in USA for more than a decade. What it means is that they are stuck with an employer who knows that it is very difficult to get a new H1b visa if they try to change the employer. Also, their green card may get jeopardised in the process of changing jobs, so the majority don’t change their jobs. Employers take advantage of their situation and exploit them by under-paying in terms of salary and in so many other ways that a whole new blog can be written without covering even a small portion of the issues involved. I also know many Indians who have not visited their home country in decades fearing that their visas may get denied in India.


The USA embassy in India did deny many visas after the 2008 global financial crisis for Indians who had lived in USA for years on H1b visas. They had even bought homes and cars there. This is a very difficult situation for any person and it’s really shocking because they had kids who were born in USA and hence, these kids are USA citizens. This is a very complex subject-matter, so I will not go further and come back to the topic but if you have questions/comments, post below and I will try to answer them to best of my knowledge.

Without any further ado, let’s start the reasons for choosing Australia over USA.

  1. First of all, from our discussion above, getting permanent residency in Australia is like a walk in the park if you are qualified, your skills are needed here and you fulfil their criteria. What about USA? Even if you fall in the above category, USA will make you jump through so many hoops and make you wait for at least a decade that I personally find it worthless. Reason? You lose so much in personal and professional life that you regret after 20 years. Don’t get me wrong, if you get green card quickly then you can set up your own business or change jobs easily and you can really achieve success in your chosen field. Otherwise, good luck! You are stuck with blood -sucking employers.
  2. International students have pathway to getting permanent residency in Australia as you are rewarded a minimum 5 points towards the total 60 points needed, if you meet their conditions. You are also free to work in any job if you are studying in Australia but in USA first you have to find job at the campus you are studying at, which is next to impossible. If not, then find work outside campus but in a field related to your studies. Again, very unlikely. End result? International students work illegally for cash with gas stations, convenience stores etc. getting paid in cash. Again, employers take advantage of their vulnerable situation and hugely underpay them. Oh, and what about green card after studies? Well, you have some advantage over H1b allocation every year but nothing towards green card!
  3. Australia has mandated four weeks of paid annual leave whereas USA is the only developed (OECD) country where the employees are left at the mercy of their employers to negotiate the annual leave. Some shift workers like nurses get six weeks in Australia but the average annual leave for high earners in USA is two weeks.
  4. The same issue with the medical leave: Australia has mandated 10 days of sick leave every year but USA has got zero, zilch, nada! You are not allowed to get sick there!
  5. Number of deaths in gun violence in USA in 2014: 12,594 and in Australia: 230! Agreed that the USA population is more than ten times that of Australia but still there is a huge difference here. Australia banned guns after Port Arthur massacre of 1996 but Mr. Obama even though he tried (and is still trying) couldn’t even implement simple background checks for all gun buyers even after Sandy Hook Elementary shooting where 20 children were killed (aged 6 to 7 years) on December 14, 2012.
  6. College education is cheaper when compared to USA. It’s getting expensive every year here too but still if you will have university going kids Australia makes more sense. But remember, USA universities are the best in the world and Australian universities featuring only in top 50/100.
  7. Australians are more laid-back than Americans, so if you want to have more relaxed lifestyle, Australia is the way to go. Nobody is responds to official matters on weekends in Australia but in USA your employer expects that from you.
  8. The national minimum wage in Australia currently is $17.70 per hour whereas the federal minimum wage in USA is $7.25 per hour. This is the basic reason why there are more beggars, homeless people in USA. Australia is more egalitarian than the US and Australians are able to live with ambiguity more than Americans are.
  9. Australian employers have to contribute a minimum of 9.25% of your salary in ‘super’ contribution. This is like provident fund in India. In USA they are not required to contribute anything in your ‘401k’ (retirement fund), but some employers do match employees contribution which can be 3% to 6%. But again, that is not mandated. It means that if you retire in Australia you will have a bigger retirement fund, guaranteeing peace of mind. Did I mention that you are also eligible for pension if you pass the asset test which excludes your primary residence and approximately $8ook in other assets?
  10. Peace of mind is the central theme when you live and retire in Australia. Medicare is free in Australia (you do contribute 1.5% of salary) whereas in USA if you are working class (as most of us immigrants are), you have to buy private insurance. The monthly premium depends on your medical condition and family size and you are subject to deductibles and out of pocket expenses. You get the point, I hope. Thousands of Americans declare bankruptcy because they cannot afford medical bills. Insurance companies find ways to not pay your bills and you are excluded from coverage if you have pre-existing conditions.
  11. If you love cricket, of course you will choose Australia any day! Australians love sports and love to be outdoors as the weather allows them to be. Did I mention the weather year around is great?
  12. If you would like to spend less time in a metal tube at 35,000 feet above sea level travelling to your country of destination, you will definitely choose Australia if travelling from Indian subcontinent. I definitely feel to get out of the airplane after a very short time in flight! But that’s me!


Australians have a unique sense of humour and if they are teasing you, it’s most probably that they like you and if you play along and respond in the same humorous way, they will become your mates for life. Remember, Australia is more expensive particularly homes, cars etc. but that has still not hampered its growth in the last 25 years. Australia is called a ‘lucky’ country and growing at a steady rate.

When it comes to choosing a country where you want to settle and retire, it all depends on your priorities and unique situation. It is a personal choice and you have to take that decision. My work is to provide you some relevant facts so that you start thinking. The purpose of this is to start a conversation so that we all benefit from this. This is my viewpoint based on my personal circumstances and I am not claiming it will be 100% accurate or right for you.


Any questions/comments? Write below and I will answer..

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Ajeet lived in USA for seven years before deciding to move to Australia in 2014. He is originally from India and loves to travel and see the world. Having migrated twice (till now!), he knows that this process is full of anxieties and apprehensions but the allurement of distant land is fascinating. Passionate about helping potential migrants and save them from unscrupulous agents , he started his migration firm in 2016. When Ajeet is not working on his cases, he loves to share information on his blog about Australia (and more!) and loves to play/watch cricket. Ajeet is a registered MARA agent by profession but the intent of this blog is not to provide any advice. The blog is general in nature and does not constitute personal advice and neither reflects the view of his employer. The purpose is to provide free and valuable information to start a meaningful conversation to help prospective migrants in making the biggest decision of their lives.

37 thoughts to “Top 12 reasons to choose Australia over USA”

  1. Hi, very insightful reading. I didn’t know about these things before. Thank you very much! Please keep writing more.

  2. Very knowledgeable and interesting article. Is it possible for you to write reasons to move to USA instead of Australia. Anyways, I love your blog and I have already subscribed.

    1. Thanks for subscribing and I will definitely write more about USA in future if more people ask for the same. USA is a beautiful country and people are great, no second opinion about it.

  3. I think USA is pretty good and I would love to go and settle there, not Australia they are racist people. No thank you!! I loved your video.

    1. You are right Amit – USA is nice and I really enjoyed my seven years over there. I always say that it’s about your personal priorities and only you can decide what is the best for you. Regarding your racist comment, I can only add that idiots are everywhere be it in India, USA and Australia. I have not witnessed a single incidence of racism in my personal life but having said that it is definitely there. It is more subtle in USA but it’s also there. It doesn’t make either USA or Australia a racist country. Personally, for families the system is more friendly in Australia. More parental leave, more social cover, more sick and annual leaves to count a few. Good luck with your bright future!

      1. Ajeet, you are true. There is a discrimination everywhere in the world. Some people get impacted and others don’t. I used to think that USA doesn’t have, but given the incidents happened here, I firmly believe racism has no boundaries.

          1. This is discrimination to have 15% quota based on the country in which a person is born in. Live incident is US legal immigration system. Maybe you call it inequality, I call is discrimination based on country of origin.

          2. Hi Victor,
            You may be right in your thinking but Americans made that rule to make sure that all countries are equally represented. But they never saw a situation as we Indians in EB2/3 are facing right now. If you speak to an American about this situation, s/he will not believe this ‘discrimination’ is going on against Indians for decades.
            The reason it is not getting rectified is that all major companies are getting cheap labour in form of EB2/3 Indians, who are just willing to slug it out till they get their GCs. They will not let this rule change for their own benefits.
            It is up to us to stand for us and take that bold decision. Have a very bright future!

    1. Thanks Sumitra for your nice words! Australia is a welcoming country, see you soon! Please contact me through my website if you need any help with visa related matter.

    1. Thanks Prakash! That’s why I took the decision to move out of USA even though I had my I140 approved but the green card was still years away! Why to put life on hold and give control of your life to your employer? Enjoying my life here in Australia with my young family.
      Best wishes for your future!

  4. It’s a well written and a nice article, but a couple of points:

    – The inequality in the society is definitely a problem, but for the people at the high end of the spectrum, it’s a non-problem. The salaries and relative cost of living in Australia simply don’t compare to the US. I know that the medical costs are high, but with the right employers, it can be completely cover. The cost of living is relatively low even in major metros (except SF and NYC) because so much of the land is developed. And it’s inconceivable to think (at least personally) that I could get the compensation I have right now anywhere else in the world, and I am not even that bright!

    – There are already so many Indians in the US, it really is an advantage. We live in a community where Indians dominate in numbers. This won’t be so anywhere in the developed world.

    1. I totally agree with you apd!

      In my personal opinion, if people are unhappy with the inequality then Brexit and Trump will happen, even though the main stream media projected otherwise! We have a major problem at hand! And that problem is only going to get compounded. In the long run, even the people at high end would feel the heat! That’s why, we are seeing so much unrest in USA – black lives matter to homelessness to gun violence!
      In Australia, the problem is there but not so much as even those who work at 7 Elevens live a comfortable life. They have all the right perks to be enjoying themselves without hatred for others (4 weeks annual leave, 2 weeks medical leave, some even earning $25/hr, which doubles on Sundays!).
      Well, it’s a way of living and Australians are laid-back and enjoy lives whereas Americans are always working with low wages and no holidays. It’s a culture here to go on vacations. In USA most of the people don’t even know which side of the border, the Canada is!
      It makes life livable with your family when you know that there is some kind of social security to fall back upon!
      Enough, sorry for long reply!

  5. Hey,
    You have mentioned Medicare is free in Australia.
    Can you give more insight?
    Does it mean you pay your monthly premium and do not have to pay for medical services?

    1. Hi Kannan,
      Australia has this Medicare system where you have to pay 1.5% of your salary. You are not required to buy private insurance but if your couple/family income is above $180k, then you need to contribute more by increment of 1% each year.
      With private insurance, you get priority in some surgeries. For example, my son needed tonsillitis surgery but the wait was 6 months in public (they won’t cover the surgery in private for 1 year, I think due to per-existing condition). But eventually under a special drive, my son got booked for the surgery within a week. Total expenses= $0! He stayed in the hospital for 2 nights, excellent facilities. Private would have been the same, only difference you have the option of choosing your doctor.
      Hope I have answered your question, if not ask more.

  6. Very well articulated. The seeming advantages of the US are greatly undermined by the extremely harsh immigration position for Indians. Never realized that Australia was so good in comparison. Eye opener.

    1. That’s right Chandra! We Indians are willing to wait for decades (theoretically it may take 70 years for EB3 Indian applicant) to get that plastic card named Green Card and in the process put our lives on hold. My I 140 was approved in 2012 and I am still years away from Green Card whereas In Australia I got my PR within 18 days of my application! The process is straightforward and clear, unlike USA.

      Initial years are struggle but once you are settled, you ACTUALLY enjoy your life!

    1. Hi Haran,
      Actually, mining is on decline and mining centres are struggling with the loss of jobs. Perth real estate market has gone down. So, it’s difficult to get jobs even for Australians in mining right now.

  7. Exchange rate 1 USD = 1.34 AUD. I can buy BMW here on 100k salary not in Australia. Most stuff very expensive in australia compared to USA.
    Also there is no major company in Australia in tech sector. Most of my friends in Australia have an ultimate aim to come to USA. they are just hanging in there waiting for USA opportunity.

    1. Hi Novato,

      Thanks for visiting here and giving your valuable opinion here. Greatly appreciate!

      I am talking about ease of getting PR now and those who just want to live for $$, then please do so in USA with hanging sword of H1b for decades. If on GC, enjoy and try to get your US citizenship asap before Trump does anything drastic or God forbid if you are even caught on DUI or something like that. What I mean is do not give them any reason whatsoever that they can throw you out, which they will start doing after Trump becomes President on Jan 20.

      Migrating is a very personal decision and if USA suits you, excellent! If not, secure your future now by getting Australian PR and then you have the option of coming back to USA on Australian citizenship on E3 visa (if you really that’s all you want).

      Did your friends also tell you that they get 4 weeks of annual leave (6 weeks for shift workers) and 2 weeks of Medical leave? 1.25% pa of salary you pay for excellent medical facilities. 9.5% of retirement fund fully paid by your employer on top of salary. No gun related violence, that gives a peace of mind which is PRICELESS, especially if you have school going kids.

      Most Importantly: I am not a recruiter but I know so many of my friends, who are earning the kind of money you are talking about here in Australia as well. And on top of this they go to India/Europe every year for 4 weeks of vacation. I never saw H1b holders doing that in USA, myself included. The fear of 221g is such that H1b holders avoid going out of USA, even if that means missing important life events and seeing life pass by. $$ in the end doesn’t matter, it’s the life you lived!!

      Personally for me, I was eager to start my own business in USA and even though I had gotten a professional licence, I couldn’t because I was not GC holder. Here I am, running my own show less than two years of arrival in Australia. You gravitate towards what is important for you at a particular point of life and it is always different for each of us. What is important for me, may not even be worth a dime for you.

      Enjoy your life in USA my friend! Have a very bright future!!

  8. US is USA, whether it is Canada or Australia, they are third world countries with first world infrastructure, I have lived in all three apart from India. Ajeet you are showing false hope and giving wrong data to others, if someone wants to do labor job or small business, sure go to Canada and Australia, but if you really want to get high profile job, get education at top (or more precise from where knowledge originates) university like MIT or Harvard, go to USA (remember IITs and IIMs are good but good doesn’t mean they are Harvard, MIT or Stanford), you want to open high tech companies go to USA. Canada and Australia are good if you want to do hand labor or some small business (2-5 people) and that is harsh reality. US companies exploit because they can and why shouldn’t they, who are these people on H1B and L1 visas?, 99% of them won’t get respectable jobs in India. H1B and L1 visa holders lie, cheat and use fake resume in most if not all cases, they thrive on nepotism.

    1. Hi Mr Sharma,
      Thank you very much for reading my blog and providing your views here.
      1. Can you please pin-point which data I provided in my blog is wrong? All I am doing is to provide insightful information to my readers and that is my personal view-point, not necessarily right or wrong. It is for the adult readers with some perspective in life.This helps them to know more about Australia and it’s clear-cut migration system. I am not giving any false hopes here. On the contrary, many people have benefited who were stuck in archaic US migration system.

      2. So, are you justifying that it’s ok to exploit vulnerable migrants? Vulnerable because they have no other option but to continue working with these US companies for their legal status in USA, till they get their elusive Green Cards. Theoretically, it may take 70 years for an Indian EB3 applicant for their GC dream to come true! Right now, the actual wait time is well over 10 years for EB2! That is in addition to the H1b employment years with blood-sucking employers.

      3. Now, I am not saying that all USA companies are exploiting the migrant workers, but yes, mostly Indian companies are the ones who have this ‘reputation’ with their Indian employees.

      4. My personal opinion is that all the countries in the world are best to live in, be it India, USA or Australia – it depends on the person’s priorities and life stage. But it’s very personal – whatever makes you happy. You rightly said – Australia is a first-world country, in addition we also have superb beaches and very interesting flora and fauna.

      5. Australia is simply the best country to raise your kids – forget USA (it’s somewhere between 2nd and 3rd world country – I don’t think the 2nd world term is used by economists to describe ;)!! There are fantastic play areas which are far superior than USA ones in my humble opinion, which actually surprised me. Where in USA can you enjoy your beach day sipping chilled beer barbecuing your favourite meat, with kids playing right in front of you in their play areas? That’s called lifestyle, my friend! You will get booked for drinking beer if you did that in USA! Correct?

      6. Now, I speak for common people like myself – I did not go to engineering college, forget IITs and IIMs. People like me are suffering in USA, even those who have gone to IITs are suffering too. Why? See point no. 2. These are highly skilled people who have contributed to the USA economy but in return are being made to wait for decades to get their GCs. Their mistake? They were born in India – that’s their mistake! People from any other country in the world (even Nepal, Pakistan, SL, Bangladesh) with same qualifications, same experience, even same job – get their GCs so much faster than us Indians. And that is the reason, Indians are getting exploited by their employers. Some are stuck in their jobs for decades because they do not want to risk their GC process. I am providing alternative options for people like these, if it suits them.

      7. I humbly disagree with your perception that 99% won’t get any respectable jobs in India and they are mostly frauds/cheats. Few do fall in the category you mentioned but those are minority. It is a fact that prevalence of fraud is worldwide and no country is ‘fraud proof, only the percentages differ. I am not justifying that but to classify 99% Indians in that category is highly degrading to Indians and very objectionable, sir!

      8. Knowledge actually originated from Taxila and Nalanda universities in ancient India. Westerners got college/university concept from India. True, India has lost that leading edge but we are marching ahead. You are right though, MIT/Harward/Stanford are the go to universities of the world, in addition to many others like Oxford, Cambridge etc.But for us poor Indians, IITs/IIMs are not bad considering the kind of resources we have at our disposal in India. They do not receive the kind of donations the western universities receive and hence we do not have the research facilities as they have – that’s the truth.

      9. As I said earlier, I write for commoner and for us migrating to a first world country is one of the biggest decisions of our lives. And most of us are happy to live a decent life with all the amenities. If you are living your life only to earn big $$, then good luck.
      You live your life everyday but sadly people keep working hard everyday in the hope that they will enjoy their $$ later in life. Unfortunately, for most of them that day never comes.

      10. USA is the only developed country where there are no regulated annual leave days. In Australia, you get 4 weeks annual (6 weeks for shift workers) plus 2 weeks medical leave, on top of 10-12 fully paid public holidays! This is valid even for those who work in McDonalds where they earn at least $20/hr. Australia ensures that everybody who is working get to maintain minimum standard of lifestyle which leads to social cohesiveness.

      What happens in USA? The lowest paid workers are earning $7/hr in some states with no leave, no paid public holidays. This generates hatred towards your employer/migrants like us and divides the society dangerously. ‘Black lives matter’,to gun violence related deaths, where even primary schools are not safe (remember Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre where 20 young kids were shot dead) but still no gun control after 4 years!! Here in Australia after Port Arthur massacre in 1996, laws were passes to ban guns promptly.

      Regarding jobs, I know many people from India who are earning more than $120k here in Australia, enjoying a lifestyle which Australia can render. Yes, they do not earn money like Satya Nadella (btw he went to Manipal Institute. All are not in labour jobs, my friend, here. Doctors, engineers, railways, airports, banks you name it, they are everywhere. Now, I do not say that it easy to get job here. Yes, there are initial struggles just like any other place in the world but once you are settled, you can sit back and enjoy your life, unlike USA. Australians are always planning for their next holidays abroad and they are one of the most travelled people, again unlike Americans because they can not afford it.

      But, as I said, in the beginning it’s your life and you are the best judge as to what is important to you – money or lifestyle.

      For me, both are important 😉 – enough money to enjoy your life, which Australia has provided me. I got bank job within 1 month of trying for jobs. I have started my business now, within 2 years of arrival in Australia, which I couldn’t even dream of after living 7 years in USA and earning professional licence.

      If you are loving it there in USA, good on ya, mate! USA is a great country, no doubt about it. I lived there for 7 years and loved it. If you have ‘achieved’ Green Card (GC), then good for you but if not, keep your life on hold for next so many years! Coming back to USA greatness, they are the leaders in innovation because great minds from all over the world settle there. They have excellent research facilities and resources.

      I love India and it’s people too. I was born there and I owe it to India to whatever I am today. It’s one of the best places to live with friends and family around. You can afford a princely lifestyle at a very affordable price. But at what cost? You can control interior of your house but what about when you step out of that bubble? Pollution, contaminated food, crime, corruption, traffic, and above all you are nothing if you are not ‘connected.’ and it may cost your life if you are at the wrong place at the wrong time.

      I want to live a life where I do not need connections to live a peaceful life if I am doing nothing wrong. Australia perfectly fits my life’s priorities at this point of time and I am glad that Australia considered me a fit candidate under their skilled visa program and granted me Permanent Residency (PR) – Green Card in USA terms without waiting for decades. In fact, I got my PR in 18 days (contact us to get your free assessment)- yes, you read it right 18 days!! Australia is the country I would like to live with my family – and that’s exactly what I am doing. I am living my dream! Ironically, I never thought that I will head and settle in Australia one day but the more research I did, the more I got convinced.

      Psst..are you reading this on wifi? It was invented in Australia 😉

  9. such clear thoughts. great job ajeet. have subscribed to your blog. liked your clarity of thoughts. we are planning to apply for the PR. But, just few days back read in some news that australia is worst hit by recession. can you please guide how the telecom job market & jobs in general are affected by this recession.
    would really appreciate your reply.

    1. Hi Bhavana,
      Australia is the ONLY developed country which was not hit by recession in 2008; and it has been continuously growing for last 25 years!! But yes, the last quarter the GDP shrank by 0.5% and if this happens again in this quarter(Oct-Dec 2016), and ONLY then Australia will “technically” enter into a recession.

      Having said that, the economy has been facing some headwinds with mining sector performing poorly but housing sector has been doing extremely well. But we are entering into a difficult phase now and if the Government expends on the much needed infrastructure projects, we may dodge the bullet once again. Interesting times…

      My advice is ALWAYS to get the PR at the earliest if the ultimate aim is to move to a first-world country. With PR in hand, you have peace of mind as you have secured your future and also you can apply for jobs with “PR” written on your resume which puts you ahead of the others who do not have PR. Also, you have 5 years to make that final move after getting PR*(but you must validate your PR by visiting Australia as stipulated in your Grant letter).

      Now, I am not a recruiter. Hence, I am unable to guide you on the telecom market or any jobs in general but only those succeed who take the plunge and have full faith in their abilities. I was able to get job in banking sector within one month of my ‘tactical’ job search. Do your own research for jobs of your choice by going to different job websites (eg but remember all advertised jobs are not actual job openings AND there are many hidden jobs.

      Please feel free to ask if you have more questions. Have a very bright future!!

  10. Excellent Article and you just got another subscriber to your Blog Ajeet. You replies are worth thousands of dollars(no body seems to realize it). this is knowledge awakening experience.

    By the way- i also have few questions for you before i start formal process of PR visa of AUS.
    1) is there higher chance of PR under Skilled migration-190 than -189?
    2) I am getting 65 points under 189 and 75 points under 190(as 5 for state nominations and 5 for partner skills). for partner skills, I need to spend additional 500 AUD for ACS assessment. should i go for it or can i avoid it assuming I am anyways crossing 60 points cut-off?
    3) will higher score will have faster visa grant? like 70 will get early call than 65 points holder?
    4) last not the least- if i dont go ahead with partner’s SA, and get my PR, will she be able to work in AUS or this is mandate that you have SA done to work down under?

    Thanks a lot in advance.

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