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Q. I am a non Australian resident; can I still open a bank account with Commonwealth Bank?

You are most certainly able to open a bank account with the Commonwealth Bank and this can be achieved by filling the application form

Q. When should I open an account?

You can open an account at any time suitable to you.  You do, however, need to make an initial deposit into the account, within 28 days of opening, to avoid account closure.

Q. Can I have access to my account before I arrive in Australia?

Due to security reasons and to ensure we protect your money, you cannot access your account before arriving in Australia. Once you arrive in the country,  you need to visit the Commonwealth Bank branch mentioned in your ‘Account Confirmation Letter’ to activate your account/s. Please ensure you have the correct documents with you. Once we have confirmed your identity, we’ll activate your accounts and we give you your Master DebitCard® and, if applicable, Credit Card (if available at that time).

Q. When do I have to transfer money into my new account?

An initial opening deposit is required within 28 days of account opening, to avoid account closure.  The initial deposit amount will vary according to the type of account you choose to open.

Q. If there are no funds transferred into the account within 3 weeks, will the account be closed?

If an initial opening deposit is not received within the first 3 weeks of account opening, the account may be closed.

Q. What information do I need to transfer money to my new Commonwealth Bank account?

You will need: The Bank name: Commonwealth Bank of Australia; Your Account name: your full name (if it is a joint account, you will need both account holders’ full names); BSB; Branch name: branch where account is domiciled; SWIFT code: CTBAAU2S.

Q. What is a SWIFT Code?

SWIFT stands for Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.  It is the unique identification code for a particular bank.  These codes are used when transferring money between banks, particularly for international wire transfers.  The SWIFT Code for Commonwealth Bank is CTBAAU2S.

Q. What is the exchange rate I will get on my transferred funds?

The exchange rate you received on your transferred funds will be determined by the currency that you send the transfer in.  If your transfer is sent in Australian dollars, then your overseas bank will provide you with the exchange rate.  If you transfer is sent in foreign currency, it will be converted upon arrival to Australia, and the applicable exchange rate will be determined on the day, as exchange rates are constantly changing. For more information view the foreign exchange rate table.

Q. What is the acceptance fee for an International Money Transfer (IMT)?

Commonwealth Bank will charge a money receiving fee of up to $11, when funds are received from overseas.  Please check with your local Bank for their charges, including their correspondent Australian bank.

Q. Will my account be activated once my transferred funds are received?

No.  Account activation will not occur, until satisfactory identification is completed.

Q. Can I check my account balance online?

You will not be able to check your account balance online until you have been identified at a Commonwealth Bank branch in Australia (or overseas if not moving to Australia).  Once identification is completed, you will need to be registered for Internet Banking.

Q. Once I have been registered for internet banking, how do I use this service?

Please view the information on /personal/netbank/learn-about-netbank.html for instructions of how to use internet banking.

Q. How do I activate my account my account when I am in Australia and can I visit any Commonwealth Bank branch in Australia?

Once you arrive in Australia, you need to present your passport at the branch you nominated when you applied for your account.  Once your identification is completed, the account will be activated and you can start banking at any Commonwealth Bank branch, use internet banking (NetBank), and experience our great value products and outstanding service.

Q. When can I get my ATM card?

Once you have been identified and your account has been activated at your nominated branch, you can collect your ATM card at this same branch.  Please note: For student accounts you need to order your ATM card upon arrival, the card will take 5-7 working days to arrive, in the meantime, you can conduct your banking over the counter at any branch, without any fee.

Q. Can I withdraw my money as soon as my account is activated?

Once the account is activated, you can immediately withdraw the available funds from your account.

Q. Is my ATM card number and account number the same?

Your ATM card number and account number are not the same, as many accounts can be linked to one ATM card.  If you require your account number, this can be found on internet banking.  If you have not been set up for internet banking please call  132221 or visit your local Branch.  If calling from overseas, please call +61 132221 or +612 99993283, these numbers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Q. I am an overseas student; can I apply for a credit card?

You can apply for a student credit card once you arrive in Australia, at your nearest branch.  Your application will be subject to a credit check.  Please visit to find out more.

Q. Can I open a Term Deposit account if I am overseas, and what is the process to open one?

Yes you can.  You will need to open a savings account with Commonwealth Bank and funds need to be transferred into this account, prior to opening a Term Deposit account.  You will then need to send written instructions to your ledger branch, requesting that a Term Deposit account be opened and that the required funds be transferred from your savings account.  Please visit and apply for a savings account online.  We will be in contact with you within 48 hours to provide you with your savings account number, and explain the process for opening a Term Deposit.

Q. How do I apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)?

You can apply for an Australian Tax File Number at the Australian Taxation Office or online at

Q. Does the Deposit Guarantee cover foreign investors as well?

All Commonwealth Bank of Australia clients, including foreign investors will be covered under the Deposit Guarantee scheme.  Please visit /about-us/our-company/govtguarantee.html to find out more.

Q. Can my ATM card and cheque book be sent to my overseas address?

Due to security reasons the Commonwealth Bank does not mail out ATM cards and cheque books to overseas addresses. 

Important information

  • As this advice has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should before acting on this advice, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances.