[Kangaroo Crossing]1This is largely for my own reference, but it might also be useful for other people 🙂 let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed!  Lots of other places have useful checklists, including [WestPac]2 (my bank), and the very comprehensive (and excellent) [BritishExpats list]3, this is a much slimmed down version I used for my own purposes: 1. ASAP: Have you told everyone? (And did you tell them in the right order) 2. ASAP: Does your passport have time on it (You can renew abroad, but it’s easier if you have a passport for the period of the visa, and you need at least 6 months…and for your passport not to be falling apart [mine was] ) 3. 3 months? Start the visa process, for me this started 3 months in advance, but the application didn’t go in until 2 months in advance. You need some things for that: 1. Gather together qualifications, 2. Get a signed copy of your contract, 3. Photo of your passport (none of these docs were certified) 4. Get health insurance – there are tax benefits, and even if (as I am) you’re eligible for medicare, you need private insurance to get the visa….I looked around, decided I didn’t really understand it much and went with the easiest to use web-based application (some of them require a postal application…IT’S 2015 GUYS!!) ‘health insurance fund’, which is also a not for profit and the only carbon neutral insurer (apparently).  This one is a bit irritating because they’ll cover you from your application date…even if you aren’t there; other providers are apparently much better on this (the bind is that it’s worth doing this as close to the visa application as possible – apparently the immigration agency don’t like processing applications where the insurance starts more than a month away, even if you aren’t moving until later). 4. 1 month: Open a bank account (after an attempt to find an ethical bank, I went with Westpac (arguably the best of the big 4 apparently), which was super convenient – literally a 5 minute job, and I confirmed my identity in London so I already have a bank card! And before I arrive, I’m already getting expenses reimbursed in my Aussie account 😀 ) 5. 1 month (or, ASAP): Book flights there (also as I’ll be flying back pre-Xmas for my viva) for me: 1. Book flights for Christmas (I’m going to come home via Ho Chi Minh I think, other options were Singapore, and Bangkok) 6. 2 months…ideally: Arrange shipping (3 quotes) (I’m not moving furniture just books and clothes) – shipping takes about 10 weeks, so you want to send stuff before you leave, which might not be possible!  I’ve ended up going with [Anglo Pacific]4 largely because they were persistent 🙂 But also very helpful on the phone, and they have good reviews 7. 1 month: Arrange temporary accommodation (I’m roughly looking in Glebe, Newtown, Camperdown, Chippendale, Red Fern, Annandale and Surry Hills) 1. [airbnb]5 2. 3. 4. 5. 8. 1 month: Transfer some money ([transferwise]6 and [currencies-direct]7 look good) 9. 1 month: possibly consider trips to Dr/dentist, etc. as it might take time to arrange this once there (and I’m unclear on costs!) 10. Just before: Pack flight luggage, finish all work (inc thesis :/ ), 11. On arrival: First, a [temporary overseas drivers license]8, using [these documents]9 from the motor registry 12. **On arrival: **If you need one (I have private health, I’m not clear if I separately need a Medicare card) get a card from the Medicare Office 13. On arrival/prepare in advance: Tax File Number (TFN). This is a number that you get from the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and it is submitted to your employer so that you can be taxed at the standard rate, otherwise without this number you will be taxed at 50%. [https://www.ato.gov.au/ ]10 On the right hand side you will see section called “Forms” Click on “TFN – application for individuals” The first bullet point allows you to order online – Click on this You obviously will be placing an order as a Taxpayer so click on this link and order a form.  You need ID from above to do this (or at least, you do if you’ve lost your birth certificate, uhum). 14. On arrival: Get an Aussie mobile, apparently [WhistleOut]11 is a good tool for this (and other service comparisons); I’m looking at one of these cheapo pre-pay deals [Amaysim,]12 [Vaya]13[,]12 [HelloMobile]14 (in that order I think) 15. On arrival: Join the [union ]15 (how I roll) 16. ASAP on arrival: Arrange permanent accommodation (see links above) Another thing to do is get post delivered, I just directed stuff to the office initially, including getting a new SIM card and an Opal card (Sydney Oyster card equivalent) delivered. Day 1 walking-administrative-tour I know how to plan a thrilling itinerary. This tour assumes things get issued on demand (i.e. without waiting periods) at: Westpac (pick up full debit card, request credit); the driver registry (convert license); medicare (get card); and TFN (get tax number), offices (should be true for driver registry, less sure on the other two although they should at least be able to issue temporary stuff). Surry Hills, the park & Sydney campus are just extra places to see.


  1. /static/2015/08/kangaroo_crossing.jpg

  2. http://movingtoaustralia.westpac.com.au/moving-to-australia

  3. http://britishexpats.com/forum/australia-54/emigration-checklist-before-you-go-when-you-get-there-336029/

  4. http://www.anglopacific.co.uk/

  5. http://www.airbnb.com

  6. https://transferwise.com/#/authenticateModal

  7. http://www.currenciesdirect.com/en/uk/?Ref=A03847&AffiliateType=WebSite

  8. http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/licence/moving-to-nsw.html

  9. http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/licence/identity/index.html#List1

  10. https://www.ato.gov.au/

  11. http://www.whistleout.com.au/MobilePhones

  12. https://www.amaysim.com.au/mobile-plans/unlimited-text?cid=comp-whistle-2GB-list&utm_source=Whistleout&utm_medium=comparison&utm_campaign=phd-bau 2

  13. http://www.vaya.net.au/?option=Mobile&4Gsimonly

  14. https://www.hellomobile.com.au/plans/unlimited30

  15. https://www.nteu.org.au/