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Moving to Australia student checklist


Decide on the course and institution that you want to study at and apply for your course - to find out more visit


  • 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 that it will still be valid for at least five years after your arrival in Australia.


  • Looking to work while you’re studying? Check your visa requirements – there can be restrictions about whether or how much you can work
  • Make sure your resume/curriculum vitae is up to date.


  • Open an Australian bank account so you’ll be able to transfer money and have it readily available for your arrival
  • Monitor exchange rates for the best time to send money. You’ll need a CommBank SWIFT Code (International Bank code) and account number to transfer money.


  • 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 to study. With some policies you can continue cover while you're abroad.



  • Make sure you’ll be able to get to your emails in Australia so you can be contactable by your shipping company, per export company etc. when you arrive.


  • Research accommodation options in Australia. Many educational institutions will be able to provide you with advice on different accommodation options - it's worth visiting the website of the uni you've enrolled in or contacting them directly.

Home matters

  • 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
  • If shipping contents make sure they are insured for the move.


  • Transfer money into your Australian account, if you haven’t done so already
  • Change some cash into Australian dollars for your arrival.


  • 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.


  • Check luggage allowances with your airline. Begin packing!
  • 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’s 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. Find out more about 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.


  • Finish packing and weigh luggage to ensure that they meet the airline’s allowance
  • Check what items can and cannot be brought into Australia (quarantine rules are stricter than most other countries for food, plants and animal products)
  • 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.

Home Matters

  • Pay any outstanding bills
  • Redirect your mail
  • Ensure all goods and belongings being sent to Australia are on their way.


  • Visit your nominated CommBank branch to activate your account. Ensure you bring with you:
    • Your current passport (original document required)
    • Your Letter of Enrolment or Student Card
    • 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.


Driver’s licence

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


Local knowledge
  • Visit the student services office at your chosen uni for campus information
  • Explore your local area and get familiar with transport, shops, cafes, laundry and other services that you might need. 

Fortunately, our International Premier and Retail Banking team are here for guidance. You can 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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Everyday Account Smart Access 

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Things you should know

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.