In this blog post, I will list and explain in brief the first essential tasks that you do or need to do to make your stay pleasant in Australia. There are still lots of things and works to do, I am trying to list some basic works here, that I did.
I am currently residing in South Australia, and all steps are somehow similar in all the states.
After you land in Australian Airport, have someone to pick you up, or you can take public transportation to reach your destination. If you already arranged accommodation, then it is easier for you.
Else, you can stay for a few days in hotels, lodges and hostels. Shared apartments, housings and units are available, you can google for more details. If you have someone here, ask him/ her to guide you or help you with accommodation.
You can also find different communities in Social Networks like Facebook, who will be happy to help you! They are just a touch away!
Opening up an Australian Bank Account
The foremost official task to do after being landed in Australia within in few days is opening up a bank account. The bank account is important and needed in most cases here, like paying bills or taking sim cards in the plan or be it for debit/ credit cards or whatever.
I have brought a Bank draft (AC payee cheque) from Nepal, and it was a must for me to get it deposited in a bank account as I hadn’t brought any cash with me.
Following are major things to know about opening up a bank account in Australia:
- there are different Banks proving banking services in Australia, you can choose your desired one and one which is convenient for you by location, ATMs and more.
- visit your nearest preferred branch of the bank with passport and you can take your visa paper or remember your visa expiry date in case they ask you
- bank staff will come to you to assist you and open up a bank account for you
- provide information and answers the staff asks to you and your bank account will be ready in about 5-10 minutes
- they will hand over your account details, guide book containing useful information, and a letter that you can provide to your employee to pay you through your bank
- your cards will arrive in the address you provided in a few business days
- if you are depositing bank draft/ cheque, tell bank staff about this and they will be more than happy to assist you and do it for you.
- the cheque amount will be loaded to your account in a few business days.
- you don’t need to pay any fees or deposit any amount for opening a bank account! The regular fee will be waived for few months!
Buy a SIM Card/ Mobile Phone Plan
If you don’t have a SIM card, you need to get one here. As you move around town and city you might require data connection to browse the internet, to find places and for navigation and routes.
If you already have a phone that supports Australian sim card, you can just buy a sim card.
If you want to get a mobile phone and sim card, then you can get both in a monthly plan, payable in 1/2/3 years depending upon the contract.
You can also buy mobile phones separately.
Few useful things:
- take your passport/ student card(if you have or COE in case they ask) and your bank account number and BSB code.
- visit your nearest preferred network provider’s store, you might get sim cards in a convenience store, mobile phone stores and repairing centres too
- one staff will come to you and assist you in choosing plans. s/he will explain you all details and would be more than happy to answer your queries
- choose your preferred data plan and they will activate the sim card instantly
- in most cases, local calls and SMS inside Australia are free, you just pay for the data plan
- you need to sign up a contract paper
- you don’t need to pay any fees, in-store if you are getting in the plan, instead, they will be deducted from your bank account in next billing period(unless you are buying a phone paying full price)
Buying a metro card
To travel in train, tram or bus you can buy a ticket in stations/ stops or in the vehicle itself with cash and card or you can get prepaid cards. Better and easier are prepaid cards, which you can buy from your nearest convenience store.
Such card might differ with the state. Here in Adelaide, there is MetroCard which is valid for travel by bus, trams and trains. You can load a certain balance from the convenience store itself or through different mediums.
Visit your University/ College and inform you have arrived
Visit your educational institution and inform them you have arrived here in Australia. They might provide you with your student ID card too. ID card is essential if you wish to get concession in public vehicles. Also, inform them about your address you are staying here.
Applying for a TFN (Tax File Number) number
Last, but not the least, you should apply for a Tax File Number.
- you can apply for TFN online through Australia government’s official site
- be aware while googling for the site; there might be different ads, Australian government sites end with .gov.au domain.
- visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/Apply-for-a-TFN/ to apply for TFN
- you need your passport number and address of resident in Australia
- TFN will be posted to your address within 28 days
- you don’t need to pay any charges to apply for TFN!
These were the essential tasks to do that any international students or anyone coming to Australia need to do. There might be several others too if I find any I will update here. If you have any comment down below!