Moving to Australia – The Complete Checklist

Moving to Australia, mate? You must be completely tizzy! Well, no wonder; there’s so much to do and so little time. Luckily, we’re here to help you get ready. We prepared a simple ‘moving to Australia checklist’ that will help you get organized.

First Steps

Research about career and livelihood. Australia’s economy is promising, and jobs are aplenty. However, so is the competition. If you don’t have a job offer yet, research the job market well. You can go on websites such as Indeed Australia, JobActive, and Seek. If you’re using an immigration agent, you should enquire about the job searching tools they recommend.

Visa processing. Assuming that you don’t have a visa yet, you should start your application process as early as possible. There are dozens of work visas available for people of different professional and academic backgrounds. You will need to check what type of work visa you qualify for, and whether there is a job offer requirement, too.

Contact an agent. Although you can do this all by yourself, having an immigration expert by your side may come in handy. A certified agent would have extensive experience and insight into Australia’s immigration policies and requirements, and will be able to handle any difficulties or challenges, thus, saving you time and money.

1 Year Before Your Move

Selling properties. If you are a homeowner, you can either sell your house or rent it out to a tenant. Selling your house might be easier and less time-consuming, but having a tenant can provide some passive income. If you choose to rent out your place after your move, be sure to check and comply with tax requirements.

Looking for a home to rent in Australia? These are the cheapest places to live in Australia in 2021.

Health insurance. Australian health benefits are a must-have, and before you land, you should already have health insurance ready to go. While you’re at it, you should also cease all your active insurance from your home country as it won’t be needed anymore. Once you have PR status, you should register for Australia’s “Medicare” service.

Education. If you decide to migrate to Australia with the intent to study, you have some other type of research to do. Here are our choices for the Best Places to Study in Australia. If you are moving to Australia with children under the age of 18, be sure to check for recommended schools and when the school year starts. Also, your kids may be eligible for free education if you will get PR status.

Passport Validity. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least a year before getting on your flight to Australia! If it is valid for 6 months or less you will not be able to board the plane.

Almost There

How is our ‘moving to Australia checklist’ so far? Well, we’re not done yet! But we’re almost there.

Transportation. Get your printed international license from your local post office, online, or through specific branches that provide this service. We recommend renting a car in Australia once you get there, as commuting this way would be much easier. However, keep in mind that in Australia they drive on the left side of two-way roads. If you’re unfamiliar with this kind of driving, public transportation would definitely be a better option. You can find plenty of buses, trains, trams, and ferries.

Book a Place to Stay. Assuming you haven’t found a place to rent or purchase, you can always book temporary accommodation in Australia. There are plenty of hotels, hostels, inns, B&Bs, and Airbnb’s.

Legal Documents. Bring a collection of important document copies, such as tax file numbers, bank statements, passports, medical and dental records, birth certificates, marriage certificates, school records/university papers, insurance policies, etc. It’s better to be safe than sorry.     

Close Current Accounts and Debts. After all of your hard work, the last thing you would want to realize is that you left some financial loose ends. Make sure to finalize any card payments, close gym memberships or other membership activities, etc. If possible, we also recommend giving power of attorney to someone you trust from your home country for any banking activities or other, just in case you couldn’t finalize some things in time.

Shipping of Belongings. Of course, you can’t take everything on the plane with you (and honestly, who wants to carry 10 different suitcases?!). So, make arrangements for shipping out some important items you can’t leave behind. You will have everything waiting for you on the other side when you arrive.

Currency Exchange. Remember to switch your cash into Australian dollars at your local currency exchange desk. Exchanging your money at the bank or airport is usually quite expensive. You’re already spending enough on the move itself, so save where you can!

Welcome to Australia!

Congratulations for making it to Australia! We’re almost at the final part of your checklist before moving to Australia. Let’s move ahead.

Check-in. Flight delays are the worst, but we can’t help it if they happen. If you booked temporary accommodation, be sure to notify them of your tardiness as soon as you land. Some places have strict policies about these things.

Communication. You have to change to prepaid or postpaid numbers, depending on what providers are available. Do your research, and look for one that suits your needs and budget. In the meanwhile, you can also rely on Wifi. It’s not bad here.

Go to a Local Consulate. Registration in a local consulate is very important, and you should never skip this step so you won’t get into any trouble. If you’re uncertain of their contact or where you can visit them, head over to the Australian government website to be guided accordingly.

Meet Your Employer. If your job or career hunting is successful, and you have obtained a job offer prior to your arrival in Australia, you should immediately meet with your employer as a form of acknowledgment. It is respectful and will allow both of you to get to know each other better.

Didn’t get a job offer yet? This is How to Apply for Employer Sponsored Visas.

Education. Pay a visit to your child’s mentors and inquire about things that you don’t understand yet. You can also do this for yourself if you’re migrating for academic purposes, meet your teachers right away and get to know the campus.

Time to Settle

Before you can take that breath of relief, we have a few more steps before you can finalize your move.

Tax File Number. The Australian Taxation Office or ATO is the proper authority you need to contact when worrying about your tax file number. As long as you have valid documents, it won’t take so much time.

Get an Australian Driver’s License.  Australia is a big and beautiful place. There are hundreds of tourist attractions and golden beaches. Therefore, commuting with a car would be much easier than taking buses or trains. Take some driving lessons to learn how to drive the Aussie way so you could enjoy some leisure time in Australia.

Medicare. “Medicare” is Australia’s premier health care system. “Medicare” is paid for through taxes, and allows you to enjoy subsidized and sometimes free medical services. If eligible, you should register as soon as you can. However, be sure to purchase health insurance beforehand in case you can’t register right away.

Travel and Explore. Get to know your local supermarkets, public transportation spots, bars and outdoor activities. Familiarizing yourself with your surroundings will help you settle more easily.

Final Stuff

Purchase sunblock or sunscreen. Australia is normally a warm country. Sunblock or sunscreen is a must-have, especially during summertime.

Familiarize Yourself with Holidays. You’ll never want to miss holiday festivities and shrimp on the barbie!

Australian Emergency Numbers. As a form of precaution, you should save Australia’s emergency numbers on your phone (memorize them, too!). For police, fire, or ambulance emergencies dial 000 or 112.

Ready to Move to Australia?

If the answer is “maybe” – we have additional tools for you to get started!

At UIS Australia, we provide a wide range of immigration services and settlement solutions to assist our clients with their immigration process to Australia. We provide eligibility evaluations, legal assistance, access to job searching tools and C.V optimizers, and accompany our clients every step of the way.

If you need more than just a “Moving to Australia Checklist”, you can contact our team today for further assistance. Click the button below to get a free consultation today!

Ron Ford

Ron Ford immigrated with his family to Australia in 2005 to work as a social worker. Following their difficult immigration process, he slowly turned to blogging and creating content about immigration: "…As a family of 5, we struggled to make ends meet. I was working around the clock and Clarissa was working in housekeeping any time she could spare. The move to Australia completely changed our lives, but it cost us a lot of money, time, and tears. Ever since I've wanted to help others on their journeys the way I wished someone had helped us".

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