• Immigration

    • Check/apply for any necessary visas and make note of any conditions e.g. you may need to prove you have access to funds when you arrive or have health insurance cover in place
    • Check you have a valid passport and the expiry date is in line with your visa’s restrictions.
  • Employment

    • Starting a business in Australia? Make sure you’re aware of what’s needed to start a business here
    • Make sure your resume/curriculum vitae is up to date and start looking for potential job opportunities
  • Banking

  • Insurance

    • Organise cover for your trip including travel and health insurance
    • If you have life insurance talk to your current provider to tell them you're moving to Australia. With some policies you can continue cover while you're abroad
    • If shipping contents make sure they are insured for the move
  • Travel

    • Organise your flights if you have not already done so
    • Book your shipping company and make sure you time the arrival of your belongings right – if they arrive before you do you'll need to find and pay for storage
    • Find out what you can import and any duties that need to be paid
    • Apply for an international driver permit if you need one


  • Accommodation

    • Research accommodation options in
      Australia – there are many property websites available listing temporary and permanent accommodation options. Most also have suburb guides to help you choose the right location
    • Take a look at our guide on finding a place to live so you know what to expect
  • Home matters

    • Start to keep a list of the companies you get mail from so you can notify them when it comes to updating your address
  • Banking

    • Change some cash into Australian dollars for your arrival

    Home matters

    • Register for email updates with companies you deal with e.g. bank statements, phone companies – it may be easier to receive some updates by email
    • Make a list of all subscription services that you want to cancel before your move including internet, TV streaming and gym memberships. Many require notice to be given in advance
    • Notify contacts/companies of your new postal address


    • Check luggage allowances with your airline
    • Start thinking about what you'll need to pack
    • Confirm all airport transfer arrangements


    • Make copies of your important documents (certified copies are best for official documents) including:
      • Passport
      • Birth certificate
      • Visa
      • Vaccination records
      • Driver licence and international driver’s permit
      • Airline tickets and itinerary
      • Dentist, school and medical records
      • Get extra passport size photographs – these may come in handy
      • Tax information including any tax identification numbers


    • Check any prescription medication you need is up to date
    • If you’re bringing prescription medication with you, check it can be brought into Australia – you may need to obtain a letter from your doctor
    • Organise private health cover for while you’re in Australia, if required
    • Check whether you need any vaccinations to enter Australia


One week before you leave


  • Finish packing and weigh luggage to ensure that they meet the airline’s allowance
  • Consider including power adapters for electrical items
  • Pack valuables in your carry-on luggage – including original documentation and any paperwork you may need to prove you meet the visa requirements, e.g. bank statements to prove your financial position
  • Check what items can and cannot be brought into Australia (quarantine rules are stricter than most other countries for food, plants and animal products)

Home matters

  • Pay any outstanding bills
  • Redirect your mail
  • Ensure all goods and belongings being sent to Australia are on their way
  • Give your friends and family your flight details and your address in Australia
family relaxing after packing up their home

Organise your banking

  • Open your bank account before you leave

    Open a bank account up to 14 days before you arrive in Australia. You’ll need to visit a branch when you arrive to identify yourself and provide your tax residency details before your account can be used.

    Account options

Once you arrive in Australia

  • Banking

    Once you get to Australia, visit your chosen branch to collect your Debit Mastercard.1 Make sure you bring:

    1. Your welcome letter
    2. Your current passport (original document required)
    3. If you have tax residency outside Australia you'll also need to provide your Tax Identification Number (TIN) for each country of foreign tax residency

    Once you have been into branch and you're all set up, check out all the different ways you can bank with us.

  • Taxation

    Register to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) – you’ll need one if you’re planning on working. It can also save you paying too much tax if you open a bank account.


    Depending on your circumstances and visa, you may be eligible for free or subsidised healthcare through Medicare.

    Driver licence

    Visit your nearest roads authority office to obtain a driver licence if required.

    Mobile plans

    CommBank customers receive exclusive discounts on More mobile plans

Things you should know

  • The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of that, you should, before acting on the advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide (PDF 68KB). Full terms and conditions for the transaction and savings accounts (PDF 660KB) mentioned and Electronic Banking are available here or from any branch of the Commonwealth Bank.

  • 1 To ensure that your card is ready and waiting for you at your chosen branch, you must have opened your account online more than 7 days before arriving in Australia. If you applied for your account after arriving in Australia, your Debit Mastercard will be mailed out to your Australian address.

    Students cannot receive a Debit Mastercard in branch - a card is mailed out to the applicants address once ID has been verified in branch.