Once you arrive in Australia on a working holiday or as a skilled migrant, you’ll need to get your bank account set up so you can start working. Although there are some banks, like Westpac, who will allow you to set up your account before you arrive in Australia, the majority will require you to be in Australia to activate your account. Read on for a few handy tips or follow the link below to become a While You Were Here member and we’ll be happy to recommend some options.
There are a number of banks that will allow you to open an account with them before your move to Australia. These banks vary between local and foreign / international. Things to consider depend on your personal situation and banking requirements. Some banks may offer better solutions for those who are investing large sums of money or transferring money to Australia to purchase a house or invest in a business. Other banks may be better for families or small business owners and entrepreneurs.
Setting up an Australian bank account
Once you’ve opened an account (via online application, or by visiting the bank in person) you’ll have to allow time for your bank cards to arrive before you can use the ATMs, so be prepared to make your withdrawals in the bank until then.
It’s worth noting that when applying for a bank account online, some banks may accept photocopies of your identification (be it a passport or driving license) but may require that it be certified by a person in a position of responsibility, such as a doctor, teacher or civil servant, etc.
The most common type of bank accounts for expats in Australia is a transaction account, allowing the account holder to pay bills, set up direct debits, and write checks.
What are the best Australian bank for Working Holiday Makers?
The thought of transferring money overseas is often painful, but it doesn’t have to be. Other than banks there are now a number of ways that you can securely, safely and legally move money overseas. Remember to read the fine print and be wary of using credit cards as these could incur additional fees.
Whichever bank you choose you’ll have option to transfer funds internationally, but this can incur higher fees.
Aside from banks there are several expat-focused financial exchange companies who will be more than happy to assist. Some that we can recommend include Transferwise, Moneycorp and HALO Financial.
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