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Moving to Australia

Every year, tens of thousands of people from around the world take the trip down under and make Australia their new home. If you’re thinking about doing the same, here are some things you’ll need to take care of first.

Sorting out your visa

Before making serious plans to make the move, you’ll first need to find out if you’re eligible for a visa. There are a number of different visa options to match a variety of reasons for moving to Australia. These include gap year visas, student visas and visas for employer-sponsored workers for those with skills in demand.  

The best place to find out more about visas on offer as well as what’s needed to apply is by visiting the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website - it also has a handy visa finder tool that can help guide you towards the right visa for your needs.

 

Sorting out work

It’s easy to start researching work opportunities online before you arrive (or even before you’ve made your mind up to leave your home country). Some well known Australian job sites include seek.com.au and careerone.com.au; there are also other sites geared towards those on their gap year, while LinkedIn can be a great way to make contacts or look for work.

Aside from checking the type of visa you’re applying for, and any restrictions on the type or amount of work you’re able to do in Australia, it’s also important to make sure your qualifications are recognised as well. And even if you don’t need qualifications for your job at home, that won’t necessarily be the case in Australia.

 

Find out more about getting a job in Australia

 

Working out where to live

The good news is Australia has a range of accommodation choices and different locations to suit every lifestyle. The not so good news is accommodation costs in Australia can be pretty hefty, regardless of if you’re renting or buying.

Accommodation prices often vary widely depending on where you decide to live. Whereas the big cities (Sydney and Melbourne) can be expensive, there are also plenty of other Australian cities where prices are more reasonable, not to mention regional towns and cities where prices can be significantly lower than in the big smoke.

 

Find out more about where to live

 

Health care

If you’re a permanent visa holder, you’ll be able to access subsidised treatment and medication from the Australian public healthcare system, known as Medicare. If you’re eligible for cover, you’ll need to apply for a Medicare card.

However if you’re not eligible to access Medicare because of your visa class, you’ll need to take out private health insurance. You can find out about private health insurance in Australia at the Australian Government website privatehealth.gov.au

 

Sorting out your banking before you get here

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).

With Westpac (Australia’s oldest bank), you can open up an everyday bank account online in less than 10 minutes and transfer money straight away into your new account, and attend one of our local branches as you’ll need 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.