Over 130,000 people migrate to Australia each year (source https://ozlife.com). My sister and her fiance were one of them when they moved to Perth in June last year, they wanted to try living in a sunny and warm climate. Perth is the sunniest city in all of Australia. It is also the most isolated city in the world, Hawaii is the second.
I came to Australia for Christmas and extended my ticket as I wanted to avoid the dark, cold and wet winter in the UK. Plus I wanted to try out if I could “live” in Australia. It is 8,000 km from London where I was living. I know there is modern technology and of course flights, but it is still 8 hour time different Perth to London. Sydney to London, there is a 11 hour difference.
Although I have not yet moved here, I have done all the necessary paper work so that I can get a job here and therefore I wanted to let you know how you can pack up your bags and come “down under” too.
1) Set up a bank account in the UK before you leave
Yes they do have Australian bank accounts in the UK. There is a Westpac branch in London. I set up my bank account there as I had proof of a UK address. When I came to Australia, I went to the Westpac branch and changed my address. They didn’t even ask to prove where I was living in Perth.
2) Get a visa
I am an Australian citizen so I can’t quite write down how to go about getting a visa. However, if you are under 30 years old you can apply for a one year working holiday visa which is for Australia or New Zealand. If you have already used your one year visa when you went to NZ, you will not be able to apply for another one for Oz. If your partner is Australian, they will be able to sponsor you but it does take a few months for it to come through. If you are an Australian citizen but have never lived in Australia, you do not need to do anything.
3) Get your Tax File Number (TFN)
This is your National Insurance Number. Now to get one, collect the TFN from a newsagent, complete it, send off 3 pieces of ID and 28 days later you will receive your TFN which allows you to work. I did not want to send off my ID which was my passport, birth certificate (kept in a safe place for the past 30 years) and bank statement. Therefore I made an appointment to go and see a Tax representative at their Northbridge office in Perth. There were a lot of appointments available and even though I was early for mine, I got to see the representative straight away. It took just 20 minutes to fill out all the paperwork. The next day I received a letter to say I had ordered my TFN.
4) Contact companies directly
In the UK, you normally go through recruitment consultants to get a job. I have not found them particularly helpful. I have therefore gone direct to companies and recruitment consultants have then found it frustrating as they say they cannot help me. I am still in the process of getting work although I have a little to tie me over. I want to start earning dollars as my pounds are not worth much over here.
I will update this post as I get more settled into life in Perth. If you have recently moved “Down Under” let me know and you can share your experience on being30.com