This is an important step when you arrive in Australia, without a bank account you cannot get paid, you cannot even buy prepaid phone credit.

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The best way is to try to open your bank account before you even arrive here, which is what we did apply online at Commonwealth Bank!

Within 30 days of your arrival in Australia, find a bank that would allow you to open a bank account while still overseas. I have made a list of the major banks here.

Doing this you are half way there !

On arrival you have to go to the main branch as the email sent you specified for identificaton at the bank :

  • Three months bank statement from your previous bank
  • Your passport
  • Your rental agreeement or
  • A letter from the people you living with, in case you stay with family when you first arrive.

The address on the rental agreement or letter, is to where the bank will send your ATM Bank Card …

If you have the following they would assist the bank consultant as well:

  • Any bill or invoice showing your new address.

Some banks then send a letter back to your bank asking for confirmation that you had an account with them. If this happens try and get them to courier it and then phone the bank back home and ask them to courier it back otherwise you could wait up to month to get a bank account opened!

Later you may also require credit rating, so try and keep a clean record. Over the first year your aim will be to establish a good credit rating. After three months you should be fine to apply for a credit card to further increase your rating.

Just migrated?
PS: When you open an account within 6 weeks to 3 months (depending on the institution) of arriving to live in Australia, you will need only your passport. As this was all we had when we arrived!
From what I’ve been told, this concession only applies to the major banks!