An Expat’s Financial Guide to Moving to Australia

by Sean Bryant on November 28, 2013

Expat AustraliaMoney management is a key aspect of moving to another country. With this in mind, here are the main financial factors that you need to consider when moving to Australia, whether you are moving for business or pleasure.

Open a Bank Account

One of the most important things to do before you depart is open a bank account in the country that you are moving to. Opening a bank account in Australia isn’t as simple as it is to open one in your home country as you have no credit history and this can make the process complicated. However, opening a bank account in Australia before you move can provide a speedy solution to this problem. Do your research and find a bank that allows you to open an account and ensure that you will be able to access your funds as soon as you arrive. Failing to do this can have a negative effect on your fresh start especially if you cannot provide your new employer with your Australian bank details due to delays.

Apply for a Visa

In order to live in Australia, you will need to complete a fairly complex process to organize a Visa. This is one of the most stressful aspects of moving to Australia but there is a whole host of information online that can help you. The Visa Wizard is one resource that simplifies the process and will help answer any questions you may have.

Moving Costs

Another financial factor to consider is the actual cost of moving. Hiring a moving company to take care of all of the hard work for you is the simplest thing to do, but this will cost you more than if you were to do it yourself. Do your research and get recommendations from family and friends to find companies that can help you keep the cost of moving as low as possible.

An Expat Mortgage

Moving to Australia doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be severing all ties with England. If you wish to maintain a property in your home country, you will need an expat mortgage. If this is something you are considering, it is wise to seek advice or use an expat mortgage calculator online at Capital Fortune.


The Australian tax regime is similar to that of the UK, however, there are a few things you will need to take into consideration. The income tax year runs from July 1 to June 30 and non-residents are only taxed on the income they earn in Australia. This website will give you an idea of the tax that you will have to pay.

Returning Home

There are many financial aspects to think about when moving back to the UK from Australia, but you will have dealt with similar things when you moved from the UK. You will need to clear any loans that you took out while living in Australia and find a removal company to take care of your belongings. You will need to transfer any existing funds bank to the UK in a cost effective way and also clear any tax liabilities that you may have.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.
  • I have a card with no ATM fees on foreign transactions which is really useful when you first move but after a while nothing is cheaper than local banking.

    • I am not sure about my debit card, but I have a rewards credit card that has no foreign transaction fees.

  • Done by Forty

    Great advice here. We’re planning on working abroad for a short period, and perhaps living abroad permanently, in the near future. Thanks for these tips!

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