Moving overseas is exciting, but for many new Aussie residents the thought of living so far from family and friends is daunting. Make the most of your time in Oz with our simple checklist that’ll have you settled Down Under before you can say ‘Fair dinkum!’
Before you arrive
First things first – get the right visa. Visit the Australian Government website to discover the different types of visas available and get information on eligibility and requirements.
You’ll have your choice of international removalists, but get some quotes before you make a decision. Factor in time frames and insurance policy details.
Speaking of which, if you’re leaving an empty (or occupied) house behind and you don’t currently have insurance, now is a good time to protect your assets.
If you have a reasonable idea of where you’re going to be living, dedicate some time to investigating the local services, from doctors and dentists to supermarkets and cafes.
You may not have the organisational skills of Mary Poppins, but sourcing the right boxes, labels and security fastenings will help keep your personal effects in order.
Whatever you’re paying for, you need an Aussie bank account to get easy access to your money (and receive your salary). Plan ahead and set one up before you leave.
After you get there
In Oz, the public health system (Medicare) is subsidised through taxes for some eligible expats, but it doesn’t cover everything. Private health care is recommended for the best protection (and it is essential for certain visas). Visit www.humanservices.gov.au for more details.
Tax file number
All workers in Australia are required to have a tax file number (TFN). This nine-digit number is issued by the Australian government, but you must have a valid passport, a valid visa, an Australian address and permission to work in Australia to apply. Find out how to lodge an application at the Australian Taxation Office website.
The goods and services tax (GST) is a tax paid, at a rate of 10 per cent, on all goods and services purchased in Australia. Products that are exempt include milk, tea and coffee, first aid supplies, contraception, and textbooks.
This is a method of saving for retirement and you will most likely require a super account if work in Australia. Your employer will generally pay a monthly contribution.
Electricity and other services
Once you have your accommodation sorted, you may need to set up your energy supply.
Being so far away from home will mean racking up a hefty phone bill unless you invest in internet and decent line rental. Be warned though: you may find the broadband speed a little slower than it is back home – and quite a bit more expensive.
Inform people of your new postal address. That goes for your great aunt Mildred and your bank manager - even if you don’t really want to hear from either of them!
So work your way through the checklist, and you could soon be calling Australia home.