One of the most important steps in moving to a new country is opening a bank account in that country. It can be very confusing and the system may be very different to what you are used to.
Here a few important things to remember:
- You will need to take along some sort of identification such as a birth certificate, passport or drivers license.
- You can sign up for a cheque or savings style account online from your home country as long as you have proof of an Australian visa. You can do the identity check online by scanning the document or by going into your nearest branch when you arrive.
- You can transfer money into your account before the identity check is done but you cannot take funds out of the account.
- You cannot apply for a credit card in your home country, this needs to be done in Australia. In general you are more likely to get a credit card shortly after your arrival if you apply in the branch rather than online.
- You can apply for a joint account in Australia.
The Big Four
It can be a very good idea to stick to the big banks such as Westpac, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank and the National Bank of Australia when you first move to the country. They have more experience dealing with international accounts and it will be a much easier process to transfer your funds to your new Australian account.
Here are the web links that will help you to set up an account and find out more about each bank:
If you use HSBC or Citi Banks in your current home country, you can continue to use the same accounts that you already have as both of these banks operate in Australia.
It can be a very good idea to transfer the majority of your funds to your Australian account before you move. The more money that you have with the bank the more likely you are to get credit when you first move to Australia. You can draw money from the moment that you arrive in Australia and pay only local bank charges instead of international fees.
Getting your banking set up before you move to Australia will make your life much easier when you arrive. Setting up rental agreements or purchasing a house will all be easier with a proven Australian bank record.
NB Migration Australia WA is not associated with any financial institution, this is purely general information, and not financial advice.