5 Top Tips for Migrants to Get Started in Australia

Moving to a new country is an exciting but often daunting experience. Navigating the initial steps of setting up your life in a new place can be challenging, requiring careful consideration and preparation. To help you start the process, we’ve outlined 5 top tips for migrants to get started in Australia.  

Obtaining a visa

Before embarking on your journey to Australia, it’s important to secure the right visa. The type of visa you need will depend on individual circumstances such as whether you are coming for work, study, reuniting with family members or seeking permanent residency. Australia has many visa options, each with its own application process and requirements. We recommend visiting the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs to explore visa options and determine which suits you best. Applying for a visa can take some time, so we suggest starting this process well in advance of your departure.  

Setting up a bank account

Once you’ve arrived in Australia, setting up a bank account will be a top priority. Good thing there are plenty of banks to choose from, including the ‘big four’ – Westpac, Commonwealth Bank, ANZ and National Australia Bank (NAB). You may wonder how to choose the best bank to suit your needs. It can help to visit each bank’s website and compare each of their account features, such as the rates, fees and mobile app functions. Many banks will offer customer service support in different languages, so it’s worth checking if your first language is available.

Opening a bank account is usually a straightforward process. You will typically need to provide documentation, including two forms of identification (visa, passport etc.), an Australian residential address, an email address and phone number.

  • What about sending money overseas?

While your Australian bank account will be essential for receiving your salary and paying for everyday expenses, if you’re planning to send money back home, you may want to consider an online remittance service like OrbitRemit for better value on your international transfers. OrbitRemit is Australia’s most trusted online money transfer platform with a 4.9/5 star rating on Trustpilot. Our customers love that we provide fast, secure and cost-effective transfers, as well as great rates and dedicated customer support.

Simply create a free OrbitRemit account, set up your recipient/s and transfer money from your Australian bank account to OrbitRemit. We’ll take care of the rest and ensure your money reaches its destination quickly and safely.

Securing a rental property

Finding the right place to live is another major aspect of settling into your new home. In a country renowned for natural beauty and friendly people, there are many desirable cities to migrate to in Australia. The rental market in these major cities can be quite competitive, so be sure to start your search early. Websites and apps such as Domain and realestate.com.au are popular platforms to find and compare properties. Before you apply, be prepared to provide some key documents including identification, proof of income and references from previous landlords and/or employers. If possible, attending property inspections is a great way to check the building condition and see any potential defects with your own eyes. It’s also important to thoroughly read through the rental agreement and understand the terms and conditions before signing a lease.

Setting up your mobile phone

Staying connected in your new country is essential. Whether you’re setting up your existing phone or buying a new one altogether, there are plenty of mobile plans and packages to choose from. Some of the biggest mobile providers are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, and smaller but still popular choices are Woolworths Mobile or ALDI mobile. Consider your communication needs and whether you value data, calls, text messages or all three when selecting a plan. Prepaid options are popular for migrants as they offer flexibility and control over spending with no lock in contract. You can easily find and compare different mobile plans by searching online or visiting in-store. 

Obtaining a driver’s licence

If you plan to drive in Australia, you’ll need a valid driver’s licence. Some Australian states will allow you to drive with your current overseas licence for up to three months after entering the country. After this, you will require an Australian issued licence for the state you reside in. The process to obtain one may vary slightly from state to state but generally speaking, you will need to undergo a knowledge test, practical driving test or both. 

Like any relocation, moving to Australia will require a lot of preparation. With the tips outlined above, we hope you’ll feel ready to navigate the first steps of your new life in Australia!


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