Credit cards in pocket
Source: (Creative Commons)

If you are in the process of making that huge step and immigrating to Australia, there will be a thousand and one things going around in your head that you have to remember. Some vital, others not so important, but one of the biggest issues is opening an Australian bank account. While the general consensus might be to leave it until you get there, you never know what problems are going to crop up so you are well advised to apply for your bank account before you leave the UK.

The easiest way by far to do this is to head online. If you have been doing your research you may already have a bank in mind, if not, this search will also give you all the information regarding the different banks and the accounts that they have to offer expats, giving you the chance to peruse them at leisure and have all the information you need to make an informed decision as to which is the best for you.

You don’t actually need residency in order to open an account in Australia just a viable reason as to why you need one. It is of course easiest to open an account while you are physically in the country, these accounts are known as Migrant Banking facilities.

You will need proper ID and will need a reference usually known as ‘Identification by an acceptable referee’. This generally means confirmation by you home bank or other suitable organization such as your solicitor.

The Commonwealth Bank, for example, offers 3 different accounts so you can decide which one best suits your needs. A simple application is filled in online and once accepted you are given a nominated branch near to where you will be living where you present yourself on your arrival in Australia with the designated proof of identity and pick up your debit cards.

You have the same access to your money as you would in the UK; ATM machines, internet banking etc and the sooner you have your bank account in order, the better, as far as working in Australia is concerned. Should you decide to proceed with the Commonwealth Bank you are also safe in the knowledge that your money is being taken care of by one of the oldest banks in Australia which has been in business since 1949.

That said, they aren’t the only bank in Australia that deal with expats, and you may find one that suits your needs even better. If you are already an HSBC bank account holder, then it may be worth looking into their expat accounts which are tailor made for those who live outside of their home country or are in the process of moving and have to make or receive payments across continents.

Full details such as eligibility are found on the HSBC website and a link to their Australia website gives you even more information about the kinds of accounts they offer, where branches are located and basically anything else you need to know about opening an in Australia.

There are numerous banks that work purely online and have no actual physical branches, and if you are already used to this kind of account you may feel that you want to keep the same kind of online banking once you have moved to Australia. For those who haven’t tried this before however there is a certain security about having a branch of a bank that you can actually walk into, so the latter is very much advised for those emigrating down under.

The first thing you’ll need to think about when moving to Australia, is a removal service. 1st Move International has been moving people across the globe for over 35 years. They have an excellent track record and can ship your belongings to Australia in just 35 days.