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Finding a job in Australia

Australia enjoys a thriving economy and a diverse business sector. Boasting an employment rate well above the OECD average,1 there are plenty of opportunities for both workers and business owners arriving from overseas.

Here are five easy steps to help you find the perfect job in Australia.

Depending on your visa, there may be restrictions on the type of work you can do in Australia. To find the right visa for your circumstances, check out Australia’s Department of Immigration website.

If you’re planning to set up your own business in Australia there are some special regulations you’ll need to know about. Take a look at the Australian Government’s business website first.

As most jobs these days are advertised online, you can look for work―and even apply―while you’re still in your home country. Job seeker websites can help you get started with your job hunt before you arrive in Australia.

It’s a good idea to organise any extra documents you’ll need to support your job applications, such as professional and personal references and academic transcripts. If these aren’t in English, make sure you get them translated. You may also want to print some copies and save the electronic versions on a portable USB drive, in case the originals are lost or damaged in transit.

If your job back home requires a special licence, permit or certificate―or even if it doesn’t―it’s worth checking out if there are any requirements for the type of work you plan to do in Australia. Even if you’re accredited in your home country, you might need to do some training, take a trade test or sit an English exam before you’re hired.

If your job involves driving, you’ll need to get an Australian driver’s licence or a valid international permit. There are different licence requirements for cars, trucks and other vehicles — and these can vary from state to state — so visit the Australian Government website to find the information you need.

Tax

Once you’re earning an income in Australia, you’ll most likely have to pay tax. Your employer will give you a form to fill out, which will include a section on whether you're a resident or foreign resident. This is because there are different tax rates for each. If you’re a foreign resident, you won’t be eligible for the tax-free threshold ($18,200 for residents2) and you’ll be charged tax on every dollar you earn. You can find out about our tax rates on the Australian Taxation Office website.

You’ll also need to give your employer your Tax File Number (TFN), which helps make sure you pay the correct amount of tax. It’s quick and easy to apply for a TFN online

Superannuation

In Australia, employers generally have to pay money into a superannuation account for you, to help you save for a comfortable retirement. Currently equal to 9.5% of your annual salary, these superannuation payments are locked away until you retire or leave the country―so if you’re only in Australia for short time, you may be able to claim your super when you leave.

Once you start work, you can let your employer pay this into a super fund of their choice, or else choose your own. To find out more about super, check out our quick and easy super guide or visit the Australian Government website.

It’s good to be work-ready as soon as possible―and that means setting up an account into which your employer can pay your wages. With CommBank, you can actually open a bank account online up to three months before you arrive in Australia. And by downloading our CommBank mobile app, you’ll be able to manage all your transactions straight from your phone.

Fortunately, our International Premier and Retail Banking team are here for guidance. You can also open an Australian bank account online up to three months before you travel to Australia, so you can have funds ready and waiting for when you arrive.

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Things you should know

1 The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Employment Outlook, 2015

2 Australian Taxation Office, Individual Income Tax Rates.

The advice on this website has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the advice, please consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Financial Services Guide.