While many of you may still think that the hardest part of moving to Australia is arranging travel and visa and settling there, there is still more work to be done before you land. Let me help you here with a list of common / important things to do before you immigrate to Australia. This is to give you a quick idea about what things need to be done to get you going smoothly.
1. Organise a place to live
First things first, check into your accommodation. It is important to book for a place before you start your journey. You can search through few sites for a short term living like Flatmates(https://flatmates.com.au/), Gumtree (http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-flatshare-houseshare/c18294), airbnb (https://www.airbnb.com.au/) Once you feel a little settled and have identified most common places you have to go, you can search another one to move in.
2. Get connected, buy a local sim card
It is very important to stay connected with your family and friends after you move into new surroundings. This will save expenses on overseas calls from Australia, with plenty of options like Skype, Whatsapp at your disposal.
3. Open a bank account
It is important to open a bank account once you arrive – for ease of storing/ transferring money and gives convenience of using local debit/ credit cards. I would recommend applying for a bank account within 6 weeks of your arrival, as you would just need your passport for identification.
4. Don't forget to apply for your medicare card.
Medicare Card provides access to medical and hospital services to all the Australian residents and certain categories of migrants as well. Medicare card covers medical costs, offers free medical consultations, low cost medicines depending on your eligibility. This card also helps as an ID proof.
5. Register with Centrelink
Centrelink (https://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/enablers/register-centrelink-online-account) is one of the master programs of the Australian Government, managed under the authority of the Department of Human Services. It provides services for the unemployed, families, retirees, parents, etc. By registering, you can check if you are eligible for unemployment benefits or any other allowances.
6. Get your Driver’s License
One of the most important tasks is to get your driver’s license made once you reach your place. It is as important as getting a job because without a license
a. You may get a problem moving around different places
b. Miss on opportunities for few jobs, a lot of employers prefer someone with a license; few of them have this as an essential requirement.
c. You may not be able to provide an ID proof , when you approach real estate agencies, Australia Post, Banks and other organizations.
7. Apply for tax file number (TFN)
Apply for tax file number (TFN) issued by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) which is issued for lifetime. You keep the same TFN even if you change your name, change your job, move interstate or even if you go overseas and still have monetary dealing. It is not necessary to have a TFN, but is required in most of the jobs for tax calculations of salary. Without a TFN, you might be paying more tax and getting less pay, due to tax policies. Without a TFN, you might also miss on Government benefits, lodgment of the tax return electronically. In some cases, you need an Australian business number (ABN) if you are trading solely or being paid as a contractor by the employer.
8. Prepare your resume.
Prepare an Australian ready resume to make a positive impression in your job application. You don’t need your passport details, visa, date of birth, gender, religion, hobbies or marital status. You may even skip your country of origin or status as a migrant. As long as you have work rights, the employers have no right to discriminate.
9. Register in the local job sites.
Here are a few sites you could look into – www.seek.com.au , www.jobs.com.au, www.mycareer.com.au ; for Government jobs – www.jobsearch.gov.au. Besides Australia’s biggest job seeking sites and choosing a government or private job agency , one of the key Government job agencies is Centerlink – you can register to get the help in getting a job. An up-to-date Linkedin profile may also positively impact the job prospects.
10. Social Networking is a must
Get to know your neighbours and talk to them. It is very important to have a social circle in the new surroundings. Suggestions and sharing of experiences matter a lot, and may reduce your time in searching the right things you need.