Emigrating to Australia can be a complex process, so here are 15 tips on emigrating to Australia by expats for expats.
1. Keep all of your related paperwork organised by storing it in a file. This will ensure easy storage and retrieval of information whenever you need it.
2. There may be times when you’ll need to email over your identification documents, so make sure you keep copies of these. We recommend secure file sharing and storage as this reduces the chance of digital fraud. wetransfer.com or dashlane.com do this well.
3. Keep all your healthcare documents (such as Doctors, Dentists and Opticians) together.
4. Make sure if you’re on medication that you have enough to keep you going until you’ve got a new doctor over in Australia.
5. If you have children, bring copies of their school reports as well as your own CV. Your CV should include references and relevant qualifications. Save yourself the extra bulk of paperwork by saving such documents electronically to a portable USB memory stick.
6. If you have any open utility accounts running (such as gas, electricity, internet and phone), make sure you close them. You also need to ensure you’ve supplied a forwarding address to finalise any outstanding payments.
7. Close any bank accounts that you’re not using and tie up loose ends with credit cards and direct debits you’re paying. You may want to keep a main account open but be wary of fees as these can rack up and if you forget, you may be liable to fines. You’ll be opening a new bank account in Australia so keep in mind banks that offer reduced transfer fees and check companies that specialise in foreign exchange.
8. Where relevant, close any insurance contracts you have (such as house, building contents and car insurance). It’s also important to check your existing life insurance policy to see if you’re covered overseas.
9. Check your pension arrangements, check the relevant documentation and if you’re looking to transfer your pension overseas, ensure that pension arrangements are transferrable to Australia.
10. Ensure your mail is redirected and make sure you inform relevant people/companies of your new address. Contact the post office and ask a friend or family member to re-direct any relevant communication.
11. You might also find it beneficial to set up a new email account and/or transfer contacts that you have built up from your previous business. Find out how to transfer your existing address book and any other important emails of relevance. Keep a copy on a USB stick or a cloud server.
12. For tax advice, contact your accountant or make enquiries regarding taxation and ensure your accounts are in good order if you need to find out how to claim tax benefits as an expat.
13. Speak to your solicitor regarding your intention to move and give them your new address and contact information. You may want to appoint them to deal with any legal/family issues back in the UK.
14. It’s a good idea to obtain a reference form a previous landlord or solicitor, should you wish to rent a property in Australia. You can do this after you arrive, but make sure you have email contacts to obtain this as expediently as possible. It’s also worth considering having a security deposit ready – you may need to provide a deposit worth 4-8 weeks’ of rent. Australia’s rental laws are also different to other countries so make sure you read rental contracts carefully. And remember, competition for property in Australia is high so be prepared to make quick decisions. It’s not unlikely to be competing against 200 people in cities like Sydney.
15. If you’re buying a property ensure you employ the services of a good lawyer and don’t rush into a sale. It’s advisable to rent first and research where you want to live. Look further away from inner cities suburbs for better value and more space. Talk to locals and expats and listen to their advice.
If the above is of relevance to you it is advisable that you seek out support and advice from a registered MARA approved Migration Agent. The team at Overseas Emigration will be more than happy to discuss your options.