Well here we are. The very first blog post of Australia. Boy does it feel weird to be here. Australia didn’t get off to the smoothest of starts. Upon landing, I completely lost my voice so the first few days were a bit of a recovery mission. Although I got a lot done and most of the ‘life admin’ sorted, I did so feeling like death warmed up.
Today I thought I’d bring you the gritty blog post. The boring one. The T&C’s of the blog post world but the one that essentially is going to save you a lot of time… and in my case, stress. This is the blog post all about the in’s & out’s of moving to Australia, the admin involved and what you need to look out for before making the trip over. I’ve done it once in New Zealand and now again in Australia, so upping my whole life and moving to a new country is quickly becoming second nature to me. Grab a snack, we’re going in.
// The Visa \\
First things first, actually getting into the country. There are many different visa’s for many different needs. So when you’re scouting out what visa it is that you’re going to enter on, make sure you’re picking the right one and doing it through the right website. This website >> HERE << is the one to use. It’s the official Australian Home Affairs website that will give you all the information you need to be able to enter Australia.
For me, I thought it would be best to test the waters. So I’ve entered on a Tourist Visa to begin with, which for me was free. This allows me entry to Australia for up to 3 months at a time, within a year. As my plan for the first 3 months of being in the country, is to travel, I thought it was best not to waste the short amount of time a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) allows, by applying but not actually working. Does that make sense?
If you’re going to enter on a WHV, there is a lot more to consider. Have a read >> HERE << to see exactly what it is you’ll need to enter and the terms of your visa. The most common way people enter on the WHV is to apply for a 1 year visa and once that year is over, they embark on 88 days farm work in order to get the visa extended. Please read carefully into the farm work before deciding to do it, everyone I’ve spoken to has said it very closely resembles Hell.
// Driving \\
Surprisingly, anything driving related seemed to be the most challenging thing about coming here. I have a UK driving licence, meaning this is internationally recognised as most of us in the UK, learn to drive a manual car. In most countries, this allows you to drive without issue, for up to 12 months before needing to convert the licence. No problem. And the same goes for Australia… they just seem to have a few more rules. So let’s break it down.
I purchased a car which I couldn’t register in my name, as I didn’t have what’s called a ‘Client Number‘. This is something (as per my research) that is only needed in South Australia. This is essentially your driving licence number but as I didn’t have an Australian licence, I didn’t have a Client Number. To obtain this, I needed to prove my address, my visa, my passport and bank cards. Once these things could be proved to ServiceSA, I was able to obtain my Client Number. Therefore, being able to register the car in my name.
I was so lucky I had Gracie here to help me with everything and get the car temporarily registered in her name. So a bit of advice, leave the car buying until you’ve done all your other admin. It’s your other admin that will give you the proofs you need, to be able to get the documents to register your car.
Please note: The registration of cars differ, depending on which state you’re in. So make sure to do your research before getting there. This was something I didn’t know. Each car is registered to a state, rather than just the country.
// Banking \\
Talking of other admin, banking. Opening a bank account was number one on my to-do list. Having a bank account is what opens many other doors, meaning I can switch over my Apple Account to download the App’s I need, meaning I’m not going to get hefty foreign charges on my account and actually means I can get my money into Australia.
In New Zealand, opening a bank account was THE BIGGEST PAIN IN THE ARSE. Read this blog post >> HERE << to learn all about my experience. It wasn’t the best, wasn’t the most simple thing and oh boy, did I have to jump through some hoops. So naturally, I thought it would be the same in Australia. Oh how I was wrong. With a simple proof of identity like a Passport and Driving Licence, a half an hour appointment and a few questions answered, my bank account was opened. Online banking was set up and my card was on it’s way to me.
Each bank has their own seperate rules. Do you research and look around into what will be best to suit you and essentially, which one is going to be the quickest to open. Be warned, charging monthly fees for bank accounts seems to be a normal thing over in this part of the world, it’s something you’ll just have to suck up. Sorry. For safety, I’m not going to publicise which bank I went with. If you have any Q’s, just DM me privately.
// Phone \\
Very much the same as the bank account, setting up a new phone number was super simple. Telstra offer some great deals at the minute, with Data Usage being high on my priority list. Just one visit to the store and my new phone number was already set up. It’s funny, you don’t realise how important it is to have a local phone number, until you don’t have one. My recommendation is to do a Pay As You Go plan. This way if you don’t need it one month, you just don’t have to top up. You’re constantly in control of the balance on your phone, without money being debited from your account without you knowing. It’s a far easier way to manage your money.
I know this has been a beefy blog post but for me, I struggled so much with knowing what to do and where to look for the information. I wanted to compile a list of everything I needed to sort out for this move to Australia so you guys have somewhere to get the information you need. If I’ve missed anything out that you’ve had to experience, let me know in the comments below.
It’s been one hell of a hectic move over here but I feel good to finally be in Australia and start planning my HUGE road trip! Stay tuned for some pretty epic things coming your way!
| By Harrison |