Skip to main content Skip to main navigation
Skip to accessibility page Skip to search input

Moving to Australia from New Zealand

If you’re a kiwi and thinking about making the move across the Tasman, here are some of the main pointers to keep in mind to help get you ready for the move.

Do New Zealanders moving to Australia need a visa?

Most New Zealand citizens are able to live, study and work in Australia indefinitely without needing to apply for a visa - when they arrive in Australia they can apply for a temporary Special Category visa (Subclass 444), whilst they remain in Australia and providing they remain a New Zealand citizen and meet certain other eligibility criteria.

It’s important to keep in mind however that this is a temporary unprotected visa. That means New Zealanders on this visa aren’t entitled to many welfare or student allowances or access to student loans. Also, if you’ve retired and are receiving a NZ Super pension, make sure you find out before you make the decision to move if you’ll be eligible for an equivalent payment when you’re in Australia.

 

Working in Australia

When it comes to starting work in Australia, New Zealanders are able to hit the ground running as soon as they get off the plane. It’s easy to start your employment search before you arrive on sites such as seek.com.au, or LinkedIn which is also a good place for making professional contacts.

Keep in mind though that there could be different qualification or accreditation requirements for similar roles in Australia than what’s needed in New Zealand. If you’re intending on working in the same field, make sure you check if you’ll need further qualifications or accreditations to do the same role in Australia.

 

Find out more about working in Australia

 

Paying tax

Whereas New Zealand has the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), Australia has the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). In most cases if you’re working in Australia you’ll be required to pay income tax. To help ensure you pay the right amount of tax, once you’ve started working you’ll need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) and give it to your employer - if you don’t give them your tax number could be taxed at the top marginal tax rate.

 

For more information on tax requirements and rates take a look at the ATO website

 

Healthcare in Australia

New Zealand citizens in Australia are able to access subsidised treatment and medication from the Australian public health system known as Medicare under the reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and New Zealand. Coverage includes medically necessary care as a public patient in a public hospital.

 

Find out more about Medicare

 

Superannuation and saving for your retirement

Superannuation is a long-term investment designed to fund your retirement. You can either nominate your own superannuation fund or let your employer pay it into a fund of their choice. With most jobs in Australia your employer will be required to pay a percentage of the total amount of your salary into your superannuation account (currently 9.5%). 

Generally speaking, the money in your superannuation account can only be accessed once you’ve reached retirement or when you leave the country permanently. If you’re only intending on making the move across the Tasman temporarily, you can find out more about claiming your superannuation back by visiting the ATO website.

 

Find out more about superannuation

 

Keeping up-to-date with student loans

If you have a New Zealand student loan, you’ll still be required to make regular repayments while you’re in Australia; it’s also important to keep in mind that the interest you’ll pay is likely to be different than if you were living in New Zealand. Make sure you check in with the IRD before heading across the Tasman to make sure you’re aware of your student loan obligations.

 

Sorting out your banking in Australia

One of the things you’ll need to do is sort out your banking in Australia. The good news is this is likely to be a lot easier than you’d think – in fact, with some banks you can open up an Australian bank account up to 12 months before you arrive (although you will need to show your ID in branch once you arrive in Australia before you can access your money).

 

With Westpac, you can open up a student everyday bank account online in less than 3 minutes and transfer money straight away into your new account, but you’ll need to attend one of our local branches to verify your ID before you start using your new account.

 

Find out more about opening an account with Westpac

Things you should know

This information does not take into account your personal circumstances and is general in nature. It is intended as an overview only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such. If in doubt you should always seek your own professional advice including on any taxation or superannuation related matters.