The Ultimate Step-by-Step Guide to Moving to Australia.
1. When you first hear that you are leaving:
- Check you have a valid passport and arrange for your visa.
- Open a web-based e-mail account such as a yahoo or hotmail account. Give this new email address to people you will wish to stay in contact with. Also use it to send yourself information and documents that you will need on arrival.
- Contact your relocation consultant with likely dates of arrival.
- Draw up a list of the people you’d like to see before you leave and start putting dates in place; time moves quickly and there will be too much to do at the end to be able to see everyone.
- If you own your own accommodation decide if it would be better to rent it out or sell it. If renting, notify the real estate agent that you are terminating your lease.
- Start liaising with your relocation consultant about your budget, style of accommodation and suitable areas within reasonable commute to the office.
- Check storage costs rather than shipping everything. You can always have things in storage sent on to your new home if you need them but may be able to avoid undue expense by taking only what you really need. Less items arriving also makes your rental accommodation choices wider.
- Decide when the latest that you can dispose of unwanted items is. Friends, family or charity stores may be happy to take away things you do not now need.
- Get strong rubbish bags and labels to identify contents and where they must go. Collect some strong boxes for putting more fragile items into.
- Discard any out-dated technology; Electronic items not compatible with your destination; Books you have read and do not use; items that have been outgrown; Anything damaged.
- Have a garage sale, recycle or advertise larger goods for sale.
- Make your own inventory of what you are taking and also if you have a receipt for any items put that with your inventory.
- Get a couple of moving quotations for the items you decide to take. Your relocation consultant can help you with this.
- Be sure that you ask about the cost of marine insurance. This will be based on the value of the goods you are taking.
- Choose a date for the movers to pack your things. Obtain documentation from the moving company of the paperwork that you will need to complete for packing, insurance, shipping and onward clearance of everything that you’re moving.
- A small airfreight shipment of essential items that you would like to be waiting for you on your arrival is sometimes a good idea.
- Take the physical measurements of large items that you will be shipping and mail to your new Web mail address. If you have a relocating consultant let them know if you are bringing anything unusually large. Once you’re in Australia take these measurements with you when viewing properties.
- Check which of your electrical appliances will not work in Australia. The voltage is 220-240 volts. Plug socket adaptors and power transformers are widely available; you can buy them at most airports, electrical shops and hardware stores.
- Have your valuables photographed for insurance purposes. It may be useful to use a digital camera with a date stamp for verification.
Don’t forget your pets!
Please check the import conditions for your pets to travel to Australia. In most cases your pets will need to have a Rabies Blood test done 150days (approx. 5 months) prior to entry to Australia so your pets will only do the minimum 30days quarantine. You can always leave your pets with family/ friends if you need to travel prior to the 150days. Your pets can travel to Australia 60 days after the blood test however will spend the remaining time in Quarantine. Please see the table below.
Time from RNATT blood sampling
Total time from
150 days or more
Whilst all the blood tests and veterinary treatments can seem overwhelming you can engage the services of a professional Pet Transport Company to oversee the entire process and ensure everything is done correctly. Pet Carriers International has been importing pets to Australia for over 20years and can provide free advice
2. With more than 2 months to go...
- Give notice on your accommodation and check what you must do to get return of your security bond if you are leasing.
- Give notice to your current employer if you are changing.
- Find out about your superannuation contributions and tax situation from your employer.
- Pay your taxes and notify the tax office that you will be moving.
- Get certified bank statements from your bank. Also get some proof of your mortgage/bond if you had one. These papers can help with opening a bank account in Australia.
- Obtain copies of your no-claim insurance certificates from your car.
- Call to the insurance companies to notify of new address (perhaps work address and email) and ensure continuous coverage;
- Decide where you will be staying once the removal company has packed up your belongings.
- Start using up frozen food and pantry items.
- Arrange flights; hire car and short-term accommodation after arrival. Remember that if you are arriving early in the morning it may be worth booking a room from the night before rather than having to wait until after midday to get a shower and change of clothes.
- Transfer memberships and get letters of introductions from clubs that you belong to.
3. With more than one month to go...
- Look at your options for sending money across to the Australia. Companies such as HIFX are usually a good method but also look at banks which may have branches open in your home country and Australia.
- Take copies of important documents, scan them and send an email with the attachment to your new account. Leave a hard copy with family or friends.
- It is good to keep a bank account open in your home country but you will also need to open an account in Australia. Check the websites of the various providers. You will need a statement and a letter from your bank manager to support you when you open an account so make sure that you have this in hand.
- Contact your utility providers and advise them of your intention to terminate your account. Do this in writing and make sure you get a written confirmation in return. Ascertain when the last day of service delivery will be. If you’re letting your property out, advise the incoming tenants and real estate agent that you have done this.
- Arrange for forwarding of mail. If you are currently living in Australia use the Post Office Change of Address Form – www.auspost.com.au
- Contact your newsagent to cancel deliveries. Cancel or redirect your magazine subscriptions. Inform any professional body and voluntary organizations of your change of postal address as well.
- Contact your doctor for your medical records. Inform you dentist, optician and health specialists that you are leaving.
- Check your work desk, gym locker for items which should be packed and moved.
4. With a few weeks to go...
- Collect all the important documents in one place. Take photocopies of all certificates and records and leave these with a friend. Keep them in a waterproof pouch that is small enough to keep with you at all times. Make sure you have educational qualification certificates, birth certificates, references and medical records.
- If you wear contact lenses, buy a few bottles of your preferred solution.
- Contact Doctors and Dentists to get records of injections and glasses prescriptions, transfer x-rays and prescriptions for your new doctors
- Return borrowed items to library and DVD store.
- Make sure your current licence is up to date including International Licences.
5. With a week to go…
- Start packing your bags. Label with name, address, phone number. Identify your bag in some way; a ribbon or special label.
- Make sure your tickets and foreign exchange have arrived. Check the visa in your passport.
- Find out how long before your flight is due to take off that you need to be at the airport. (This is usually 2 hours, but sometimes 3 depending on security requirements).
- Arrange for someone to take you and your luggage to the airport.
- Return all borrowed goods.
- Collect dry cleaning, shoe repairs. Make sure you are on top of your laundry so that everything is clean.
- Prepare an essential pack for arrival including prescription medicines, a travel alarm, essential documents and clothes.
- Advise cut off date for telephone and where to send final account.
- Double check that you have notified gas, electricity and water of cut off date; allow time for cleaning in deciding on your date.
- Advise cut off date for cable TV and where to send final account.
- Advise cut off date for newspapers and where to send final account.
- Confirm your flight details with your relocation consultant.
- Make sure that you empty freezer and fridge.
- Tell the real estate agent where to contact you.
- Arrange for your home to be professionally cleaned.
- If your home will be empty notify your insurance company and neighbours
6. Moving day…
- ·Make sure someone is at the house to supervise and answer questions
- Keep your valuables safe
- Leave any instruction booklets associated with your home along with keys, garage remote, and instructions on alarms etc. for new tenants.
- Double check all closets, drawers and shelves are empty
- Carry your birth certificate and other personal papers with you
7. The big day …
8. Arriving in Australia…
- If you have a relocation consultant, contact them to start the process of inspecting rental properties.
- Open or activate your bank account to make sure that you have funds to cover for rental bond and first months rent when you find somewhere to live. See our section on Banking.
- Apply for a Tax file Number online. See section on Tax;
- Register with Medicare if applicable. See section on Health;
- Look in to pay as you go mobile and data plans.
- When your goods arrive, you may want to consider a valet unpack service.