Australia continues to be one of the top immigrant-friendly countries in the world. There are several routes that foreigners can take to work and live in this country legally. These programs also come with regulations and requirements that are not too strict and are therefore easier for more people to meet.
Additionally, Australia’s excellent quality of life, exceptional career opportunities, high standard of education, top-notch healthcare system, and a laidback lifestyle make it the perfect place for individuals and families to settle in.
Because of these reasons, if you have plans of working and living overseas, consider putting the Land Down Under on the top of your list and find out if you are eligible for one of the current Australian skilled migration visa programs.
Post-Move Activities to Prioritize
If you have already obtained an Australian visa and have recently moved to this country, as a new immigrant, there are certain things you have to do to make your transition smoother.
Below are the five tasks you have to prioritize:
1. Buy and activate a local SIM card
Once you arrive in Australia, you need to ensure people within and outside the country can get in touch with you. This means getting a SIM card from one of the largest local mobile operators which are Optus, Vodaphone, and Telstra.
In case your mobile phone is unlocked and is compatible with any network, simply buy a SIM card and activate it.
To be sure you will get the right prepaid plan, take the time to compare the different ones offered by the providers. Most of the time, the local mobile operators have packages or promos that come with special offers.
Find out which features, perks, and freebies you will likely need or are interested in and get the plan that has them.
2. Find a permanent home to rent
In case you only arranged to live temporarily with a relative or friend upon arriving in Australia, one of the first things you have to do is to find a place where you can stay for the long term.
Fortunately, there are various websites you can use to look for an apartment to rent. Another option would be to check out print and online ads for rooms to rent in shared houses or flats.
If you are working in the suburbs of Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth, you have to know that competition in these areas for property rentals can be quite fierce. As such, if you will view a property and you like it, be prepared to pay a deposit at once. You will do well to bring some of your essential personal documents to cement the agreement as well.
3. Get a Tax File Number
To legally work in Australia, you need to have a Tax File Number or TFN. The TFN is an exclusive number issued to individuals and businesses which help the government administer taxation and other public-funded programs.
During your first few days at work, your employer will ask you to complete a TFN declaration form. This document will tell them your TFN and whether you are an Australian citizen or foreign resident for tax purposes.
Your employer will then use the information to compute how much tax they have to withhold from your wages. Additionally, they will add your TFN to your superannuation fund so that it will formally accept your contributions and pay the appropriate tax on them.
You are only given 28 days to provide a completed TFN declaration to your employer. If you fail to do so, they will deduct a higher rate of tax from your salary.
4. Open a bank account
In Australia, wages and government benefits are paid or deposited directly into an account under the worker’s name. Since you will also be working here, you will need a personal bank account as well.
Your employer will likely open a bank account for you which they will use for payroll. However, you can also open another one which you can use for personal purposes.
If you want to open a bank account, building society account or credit union account, make sure you do so within six weeks of your arrival in Australia. By doing so, you will only need your passport as identification. After this period, you will need additional requirements that you may not have yet.
5. Enroll under Medicare
Finally, since Australia has one of the finest healthcare systems in the world, you need to take advantage of this. This means enrolling under their Medicare program.
Find the nearest Medicare office. When you visit the office, fill out an application form. Make sure to bring your passport and visa copy since you will be asked to submit them. In case you migrated with your family, your members will have to apply for their cards.
Also, make sure you know your bank account details since the application form will require this information.
You can expect to receive your Medicare card by post at least a month after your application.
Migrating overseas requires a lot of planning and preparation. Unfortunately, your work won’t stop after moving to Australia. The upside is that if you complete all these as soon as possible, you will enjoy a successful transition and a great start to your new life in the Land Down Under.
Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.