Expatriation to Australia – Checklist before your departure

expatriation to Australia

Expatriation to Australia? This checklist will help you prepare your departure.


What you need to do before your departure

1. Passport

2. Visa

3. Bank

4. Mail

5. Health insurance

6. Phone (unlock it and suspend your contract)

7. Check-up at the doctor

8. International driving licence

9. Accommodation (notice)

10. Health mutual and internet (terminate your contracts)

11. Plane tickets

12. Important papers

13. What not to forget in your suitcase


What to do before you come to Australia

How to be sure not to forget anything before you leave your country?

1. Passport

If you already have a passport, make sure it will be valid during your whole journey. If you don’t have a passport, you must apply for it. Your passport will be your identity card during your stay.

Depending on your country of origin, you’ll have to pay and wait more or less.

This is the first thing you have to do if you plan to fly to Australia.

2. Visa

To be legally admitted in Australia you have to apply for a visa on the Australian Government website: https://www.border.gov.au.

The 3 most commonly used visas are the:

– Working Holiday Visa (WHV) that allows you to work full-time (during 6 months maximum for the same company) and to travel in Australia for a year,

– Student Visa that allows you to stay in Australia for the duration of your studies,

– Visitor Visa that allows you to stay and to travel in Australia as a tourist for 3 months.

To have a complete overview of different visas you could apply to, please have a look on our Guide. If you need a consultation with an immigration agent, book a consultation withour partner VisOz.

3. Bank

Keep in mind that with commissions and exchange rates, paying or withdrawing money abroad can be surprisingly expensive. In order to avoid these kind of fees, banks offer fast and simple solutions: talk to your bank agent before you leave  your country. You can also check OZ Forex’s solution to manage your money transfers. Also don’t forget to bring the ID and password of your online bank account so as to regularly check your bank balance during your stay. You can also open your bank account online before your departure on Commonwealth Bank’s website.

For the WHV holders: it is required to have at least 5.000AU$ in your bank account (around 3000€). The Australian authorities rarely check whether you have the money or not, but we recommend having it.

4. Mail

Don’t forget to transfer your email address (you can choose the address of a relative for example) so they can tell you if an important email came while you were absent.

You should also make him legally able to make decisions for you when it comes to dealing unfortunate issues with your bank/mail.

5. Health insurance

This is a crucial step: make sure to subscribe to the health insurance that will cover you during your whole Australian journey.

If you don’t know what insurance would best suit your needs have a look at our blog page.

6. Phone (unlock it and suspend your contract)

Unlock your phone to be able to use an Australian SIM card. In fact, when you buy a phone with an operator, it will only work with SIM cards from this operator. When you unlock your phone, you are able to use any SIM card.

It is possible to suspend your contract with your phone operator for a certain amount of time: you still own your phone number while you are away from home. It generally costs between 2 and 6€ a month: contact your operator to know the exact price.

7. Check-up at the doctor

A complete check-up at the doctor before your departure is essential. It will also be the perfect moment to ask him for your medication orders that you will need if you plan to travel with medicine. The reason why you take your medicine must be explicitly written in your medication orders.

8. International driving licence

Before you leave your country, you must apply for an international driving licence. It’s a translation of your national driving licence: it is free, valid for 3 years and renewable.

Depending on which country you live, different papers can be asked: copy of your driving licence, photos, forms…

You’ll have to bring your national and international driving licence to be authorized to drive a vehicle in Australia.

9. Accommodation (notice)

If you leave your accommodation, beware of the notice. Depending on where you live, you must be very careful towards your notice.

10. Health mutual and internet (terminate your contracts)

When you leave your accommodation, you’ll also need to terminate your contracts. You’ll have to send a mail with the reason why you want to terminate your contract with supporting documents so as to avoid termination fees.

11. Plane tickets

Airfares are volatile and will depend on when you book your ticket (the more you wait the more expensive), where you take off, the time of the day…

Price: Depend on when and where you take off, it could vary from 1.000AU$ to 3.000AU$ for economic class.

Tip: If you take off from Europe, our partner Travelticket can advise you and help you book the cheapest airfares (whether it’s an economy or business class): ask for a free quote.

12. Important papers

Always bring copies of your most important papers with you. In case of loss, robbery or theft, having a copy of your papers will help you save a lot of time. Moreover, you’ll always need copies of such papers to: open a bank account, rent a car, rent an accommodation… We recommend giving copies to a relative you trust.

Tip: Scan and save your most important papers on your laptop (don’t forget to put a password!).

13. What not to forget in your suitcase

Last but not least: your suitcase. We would recommend travelling light so you have room for things you’ll buy in Australia. Make sure to be aware of the maximum baggage weight of the company you are travelling with. Most of the airlines have a weight limit: 25 kgs for Air Austral, 30 kgs for Emirates, 2*23 kgs for China Eastern Airlines and 30 kgs for Singapore Airlines for example.


What you must have on you:

  • Your ID as well as your important papers
  • The address of where you are going to sleep the first night when you arrive
  • Information of your Australian visa
  • The address of the embassy of your country
  • Your bank account online ID and password
  • Information about your health insurance
  • Australian dollars

What you need to put in your suitcase:

  • Camera (+ spare battery and charger)
  • SD card for your camera
  • Laptop + charger
  • International driving licence
  • Adapters
  • First-aid kit
  • Toilet bag (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, shampoo, comb, nail clipper, tweezers…)
  • Bath towel
  • Jacket
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel guide
  • Pen…

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