Here's a compiled checklist of things you should do before you migrate to Australia.

You can DOWNLOAD & PRINT OUT an easy to read PDF copy here to tick off items as you go along:
Important Checklist Before Your Big Move to Australia
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  • Start selling things you don’t need: car, properties, household items (garage sale), etc.
  • Monitor the exchange rate.
  • Be prepared. Read “Travelling to Australia – The Basics” and “Customs – What You Cannot Bring Into Australia” to make sure you know what is allowed into the country.
  • Check the validity/expiry date of all passports and renew where necessary (make sure you inform DIAC of the renewals – fill/submit DIAC’s Form 929).
  • Get your Permanent Residency visa label from your local immigration office/embassy/consulate, find one HERE – Many organisations (e.g. banks, road transport authority) want to see proof of your residency status, and this will often be your only proof.
Continue... Click "Read More"

Tax File Number TFN
A Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique set of numbers assigned to identify a taxpayer's Australian tax dealings. Basically, it allows the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) the ability to manage, match, and check your income against its source (e.g. banks, employers, public companies).

In general, most taxpayers have a TFN, and as new permanent residents, you'll need one too. It'll make everything much easier, especially if you need to start a job, receive salary, open a savings account, have investments, or need to lodge your tax return.

So why is having a TFN so important? If you don't quote your TFN when payments are made to your name (e.g. interests earned from a savings account in a bank), the MAXIMUM tax rate of 46.5% will be withheld from that particular income..."Read More"

BASIC MUST-KNOW's before you travel to Australia.

EMERGENCY: Emergency number in Australia is TRIPLE ZERO (000) – Police/Fire/Ambulance.

Australian Electrical Plug
ELECTRICITY: Electrical current in Australia is 240/250v , 50Hz AC. British appliances will work with an adaptor but American and Canadian 110v appliances will need a transformer.

Click on "Read More" for the full list...

The 100 Point Identity Check is a requirement by many Australian organisations and government departments as a means to establish and prove your identity. For me I've always found it extremely troublesome and scary when we have to provide SO MUCH personal information to various parties across Australia. Meh, but what can we do?

Essentially the 100 Point Identity Check requires a person to provide one primary document which makes up 70 points, and various secondary documents (40, 35, 25 points) that must add up to a total of 100 points or more. Some examples of when the checks are required include: opening a new bank account, buying a mobile phone, getting a driver's licence, etc. 

It is advisable that you make a few certified copies and keep the originals safely as you'll often be required to show it to establish your identity.

Click on the "Read More" link for the full list, which sets out the value of each document according to the 100 Point Check.

It is vital that you open a bank account before or soon after you arrive in Australia, as most employers pay your salary and wages directly into them. 

Some banks do offer the option of opening accounts before you actually enter the country - links to The Big Four Australian bank's "Migrant Banking" section are provided below:
National Australia Bank (NAB)
Commonwealth Bank
- and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)

After arriving, you then have to "activate" the account and have to present them with sufficient identification that meet what is known as the 100-point identification check (this is also the case if you choose to open an account only after you have arrived).

However, if you might not be able to produce sufficient documents, make sure you open your bank accounts within 6 (six) weeks of arriving in Australia, as all you need is your passport. This is mentioned on DIAC's website HERE. To continue reading, click on the "Read More" link below...

Australia Customs Incoming Passenger Card
Australia Customs Incoming Passenger Card
For those of you ready to make the big move to Australia, you’ve probably started packing your bags with essential necessities: your clothes, travel documents, laptop, money, pictures of family, 2 cartons of Colgate toothbrushes, 5 bottles of Head & Shoulder’s shampoo, 1kg of grandma’s ‘award-winning’ home-made chilli paste, 8 Ayam-brand tuna cans, 3-in-1 coffee... 

... WAIT A MINUTE, that’s actually my list. Yes, yes, laugh all you want. What can I say? I’m STINGY and I love my grandma’s chilli paste! Also, whatever I can pack into my bag which saves me $$ off my grocery bill gets a big TICK on my packing list, call me crazy.

It might just be me, but I’m sure there are many others out there who, like me, try to pack their entire life into huge luggages heading for Australia. Well, for me, it serves as a sweet reminder of home.

"Read More" to find out a list of things you can and cannot bring into Australia.

Australian Subclass 175 Permanent Resident Visa Label
Australian Subclass 175 Permanent Resident Visa Label
After all the excitement with finally gaining Permanent Residency, one question suddenly popped into my head: “Actually, wait a minute! What are the benefits of being an Australian Permanent Resident?!” 

I laughed to myself... I had NO IDEA.

To save you from any possible embarrassment, "Read More"

If you don’t yet know, once you enter Australia as a Permanent Resident, you are legally required to convert your overseas driver’s license within 3 months of your arrival to continue driving.

You’d think that all the years of driving in your home country would count for something, well... NOPE. New Permanent Residents are required to pass an eye sight test, sit for a Drivers Knowledge Test ($39 each attempt), and after passing that, a Driving Test ($48 each attempt) to gain a full NSW Driver’s License. All these can be done at your local RTA office.

If you prefer the official NSW RTA instructions on how to get this done, go to THIS LINK.

For my personal experience and tips on how I got this done, click on "Read More"...
(This was back in Oct 2011, so please don’t murder me if this post gets outdated and your tests are different.)

Let’s get started...

Oh my gosh! $114 for translating my driver’s licence?! Are you kiddng me?!
Yes, it DOES cost that much. I got a shock. 

Official translations can be done by the NSW Community Relations Commission for a Multicultural NSW. $114 was the price when I recently called them up in October 2011, along with two other quotes for different time frames.
$75 – 3 weeks
$93 – 1.5 weeks
$114 – 2 days

If you’re desperate and don’t have any other choice, then I feel truly sorry for you, that’s an exorbitant amount just to get something translated. BUT, If you’re an eligible New Permanent Resident of Australia, you can get it done from an AMEP service provider for FREE!
Here's what you need to do...(Read More)

As a new resident in Australia, I had NO CLUE what the whole Medicare service was about. After doing some research and getting details from friends, I found out that as a new resident, we will be eligible for the enormous health, social, and welfare support that the government provides. 

Medicare is AMAZING, so take some time to read about it and get registered! It will save you A LOT of money and time in the long run

Essentially, what you get from Medicare is...