Immigration to Australia
Things You Need to Know When Moving to Australia ...
As Australian Immigration experts, we understand everyone has their own unique questions and concerns about the Immigration process and how best to prepare for life in Australia. So, we have compiled a list of the questions and answers to many of the common questions people ask about immigration to Australia and what they need to do to settle in after their move.
Health Care When You First Arrive as an Immigrant
The standard of healthcare in Australia is exceptionally high and can be difficult to compare to what passes as Health Care in other countries, it robustly structured and well funded.
In a life-threatening or time-critical emergency, call 000 for an ambulance. For non-emergency treatment, if you need to see a GP or visit a hospital, the local phone books (Yellow Pages or White Pages) list hospitals by location in their front sections, or you can find alphabetical listings for Doctors and Hospitals later in the books. Alternatively, visit their websites at Yellow Pages or White Pages.
In every city or town there are walk-in medical centres where you can receive treatment without having to make an appointment.
Reciprocal healthcare arrangements
One exists between Australia and the UK. Under this, British citizens resident in the UK and travelling on a British passport are entitled to limited subsidised health services from Medicare for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia. This does not cover pre-existing conditions, or treatment that does not require prompt attention.
If you are planning on immigrating to Australia this arrangement will not apply to you as you will be on a non-visiting class of visa.
Is the system that provides medical cover for most Australian, but it does not cover everything and the government encourages everyone to buy private health cover early and to stay covered.
The cost of cover will depend on your personal circumstance and the level of cover you require.
Enrol with Medicare
Medicare is Australia’s national health care system, which provides free or subsidised health care services to Australians and permanent residents. Some temporary migrants may also be eligible for Medicare services. If you are eligible for Medicare you have immediate access to health care services and programs. These include free public hospital care, help with the cost of out-of-hospital care, and subsidised medicines.
How to enrol with Medicare
To enrol with Medicare, go to a Medicare Service Centre with your passport and other travel documents. If you meet all requirements, you will be given a temporary Medicare card number. You will receive your Medicare card in the post approximately three weeks later. You must let Medicare know if you change your home or postal address.
Emergency medical treatment is available 24 hours a day at Emergency departments of public hospitals.
Australian Educational System is World Leading
Improve our children's future prospects is often a major reason for immigration to Australia, therefore, finding the right school is a key part of ensuring their educational future is not only protected but in most cases enhanced by the move.
Australia does not have many public schools as the Australian state education system is so good, most Australians believe, there is little point in paying for a private education.
Finding the Right School
Choosing a school can be a difficult decision. You can learn more about local schools from the MySchool website at www.myschool.edu.au/
Enrolment in School
To enrol your child in a school, phone or visit the school. You will need to take your visa or entry to Australia documents, proof of your child's date of birth, and any papers, including school reports, relating to their previous education. You will also need to show immunisation documents.
Australian universities are among the best in the world. An undergraduate degree course usually takes three years to complete, but there are also double-degrees and post-graduate studies that take longer. Some courses have distance (online) learning and part-time options. Universities may also offer shorter professional development courses.
For those immigrating to Australia and have children interested in studying in University visit www.studyinaustralia.gov.au for further information.
Student Discount Cards
In some states and territories, school and higher education students may be eligible for a student card that entitles them to discounts when paying for services, for example, public transport. Ask your school about getting a student card.
Renting a house or flat in Australia
When you first arrive in Australia you will need a place to stay. While some people have friends and family the can stay with others will need to rent a home as soon as possible.
We would recommend you secure a short-term let of a serviced unit or flat for the night you arrive and book for a week to a month at a time. These short-term lets like you would find on Airbnb along with other sites are ideal for new arrivals and to a high standard. This will give you the time to arranging Banking, start work, explore various neighbourhoods and schools, but to also visit your longer-term let in person before committing to a lease.
Arranging a Lease
Renting a house or flat is usually done through real estate agents who act on behalf of landlords. You can also rent directly from a private landlord. Rental properties are advertised online and in newspapers in the ‘To let’ and Accommodation vacant’ sections. You can also visit real estate agent offices and ask to see their list of vacant properties. A 'lease' or a 'residential tenancy agreement' is a legal written contract between a tenant and a landlord. It will usually be for a fixed period of six or twelve months, although you are entitled to negotiate the time period before signing. You may be able to renew the lease at the end of the period.
Having a written contract means the terms of the lease are agreed in advance, such as the cost of the rent, when it must be paid, who pays for utilities (such as electricity, water, gas, rubbish collection and other services), frequency of inspections, whether pets are allowed and how long you can stay in the property.
Do not commit yourself to a lease that lasts longer than you are able to stay, as there can be significant costs if you leave before the end of the agreed period (known as “breaking a lease”).
At the start of a tenancy, you will usually pay one month’s rent in advance, and a rental bond. A bond is a deposit paid to the landlord. The amount varies in different states and territories. The landlord or real estate agent must lodge your bond with the authority responsible for residential tenancy bonds in your state or territory. When you leave the property, the bond will be returned to you if there is no rent owing when you leave and the property is clean and undamaged.
Before you move in, the physical condition of the property and any damage already there is recorded in a document called the 'condition report'. This is completed by you and the landlord or their real estate agent and helps avoid disagreements when you move out.
You should report any damage to the landlord, and get their permission before making any changes to the property. Landlords are usually responsible for making repairs. Do not sign a lease unless you have inspected the property and fully understand the terms and conditions in the document, as it becomes legally binding after you sign it.
You are not allowed to sub-let the property (that is, rent it to another person not on the lease) nor have long-term visitors, as this may exceed the legal limit on the number of occupants.
Short-term visitors are generally allowed. If you intend to move out, you must give adequate notice to your landlord (generally a minimum of four weeks or as specified in your lease).
Purchasing Property in Australia
When you first arrive you will need to establish a relationship with a Bank, we work with Australian Banks who will set up your bank account prior to emigrating to Australia, but that said, you need to complete the activation process in person when you arrive in Australia.
Establishing your credit score may take several weeks or months and so if you do not have sizable deposit banks may be reluctant to lend when you first arrive. A conversation with a Bank prior to emigrating would be time well spent.
Buying a house or flat
Houses or flats for sale are usually advertised in the newspaper or online. Real estate agencies also list properties for sale. If you are buying a home for the first time in Australia you may be eligible for a state or territory government first home owner grant (see www.firsthome.gov.au).
If you are not a permanent resident of Australia, you may need foreign investment approval to buy a house (see www.firb.gov.au/real-estate).
If you need to borrow money to buy a property, contact your bank or other financial institution. In Australia, when buying property, people usually use a solicitor or conveyancer to manage the transaction. Do not sign any contract unless you fully understand all the terms and conditions.
Securing Your Tax File Number
This is a vital part of immigration to Australia and something you should plan to do as soon as possible. Your tax file number is the cornerstone of your credit report and allows you to work. Without a tax file number, you are unable to access employment and other services.
Apply for a tax file number
Australian workers pay tax to the government on their income. To receive an income in Australia, you need a tax file number (TFN). A TFN is a unique number issued to individuals and businesses to help the government administer taxation and other government programs. The money collected from taxes is used to fund government programs and services such as roads, schools and hospitals. Income includes wages or salary from a job, payments from the government, and money earned from investments including interest on savings accounts.
How to apply for a tax file number
If you are migrating to Australia or have a temporary resident visa that allows you to work in Australia, you can apply for a TFN by going to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website, by phoning the ATO or by visiting some ATO Service Centres. The fastest way to get a TFN is online at www.ato.gov.au/tfn - you will need your passport and an Australian address.
What happens if you don’t have a TFN when you get a job?
When you start work, your employer will ask you to complete a tax file number declaration form where you will need to write down your TFN.
If you do not have a TFN, you have 28 days from when you start work to apply and get your own TFN. If you do not have your own TFN after 28 days, your employer must take the maximum amount of tax from payments made to you.
You can work without a TFN, but more tax will be taken from your pay and super contributions. If you don’t have a TFN, you won’t be able to lodge your tax return electronically, apply for government benefits or get an Australian business number (ABN).
Australian Social ethics and traditions
The Australian government encourages new residents to learn as much as they can about their new country, its heritage, language, customs, values and way of life, and to apply for Australian citizenship when they become eligible. Applicants are required to sign the Australian Values Statement when applying for immigration to Australia.
This requires applicants to confirm that they will respect the Australian way of life and obey the laws of Australia before being granted a visa to emigrate.
All provisional, permanent and a small number of temporary visa applicants are required to have read or had explained to them information provided by the Australian government before signing the values statement. This information is contained in the Life in Australia book. Don't worry we provide all our clients with their own copy well in advance of needing to sign the agreement and it does not contain anything you would not expect to see.
Australian Responsibilities and values
The freedom and equality we enjoy in Australia depends on everyone fulfilling their responsibilities. You are expected to be loyal to Australia, support our democratic way of life and help maintain Australia’s values and traditions of acceptance, inclusion and fairness for all.
Our citizenship values are the basis for Australia’s free and democratic society. They include support for:
- parliamentary democracy
- the rule of law
- living peacefully
- respect for all individuals regardless of background
compassion for those in need
- freedom of speech and freedom of expression
- freedom of association
- freedom of religion and secular government
equality of the individual, regardless of characteristics such as disability and age
- equality of men and women
- equality of opportunity.
The responsibilities of Australian citizens include:
- obeying the law
- voting in federal and state or territory elections, and in a referendum
- defending Australia should the need arise
- serving on a jury if called to do so.
On public holidays in Australia, all banks and most businesses are closed. Some shops and businesses may open but with shorter hours than usual.
On Christmas Day, Good Friday, New Year’s Day and on the morning of Anzac Day (25 April), almost all shops and businesses are closed.
Discrimination on the basis of sex, disability, race, age or sexual orientation is illegal in Australia. Complaints about discrimination can be made to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
Carrying an ID Card
In Australia your ID card is an important part of everyday life and you will be asked to present it regularly when you first emigrate when registering with various organisations.
This is a lawfully accepted form of ID for many services like opening bank accounts or entering licensed premises. By getting a card soon after you arrive you will limit the need to carry your passport with you.
Immigration to Australia Guides and Advice
Name: Things you need to know explored
Description: Immigration to Australia is more than just a stamp in your Passport.
Australia offers and exciting opportunity and a positive change to life for you and your family.
However, some of the more routine things like your route to work or how taxes are deducted will have to be re-learnt and planned for.
To make immigration to Australia as smooth and stress free as possible, we provide tailored solutions to match your requirements.