Things to do first.

As a general advice: Documents many times needed in these first days or weeks are your passport, the job contract (if applicable), your visa grant letter and a proof of a residential address. Thus have them handy or carry them along while sorting out your business!

Also, do not forget to register with the Consulate General in Sydney! This has to be done within 90 days after the announcement of departure to Australia. The Consulate General is your point of contact for all administrative matters and when you find yourself in difficulty. Registration is not only mandatory but you do yourself a favor as it will speed up processes like getting a new passport. 

  • Finding a home

Most people find a home to rent within 1-3 weeks. Have a look from home on realestate.com.au

  • Opening a Bank Account

If you open a Bank Account within six weeks of your arrival, you will only need passport identification. Bring also proof of an income (i.e. working contract) which helps with your application for the Credit Card. 

Some banks will allow you to open a bank account whilst still in Switzerland (e.g. try Westpac). This allows you to have money handy at your arrival. 

  • Getting two or four wheels

Most people here have and need a car! Once you know which car you want to buy, it will be a matter of half an hour and you drive off in your own car, insurance and registration done by the car dealer. Expect a price from $6000 onwards for a small, manually driven second hand car in good condition. Have a look from home on www.carsales.com.au

  • Applying for Tax file number (TFN)

A Tax File Number (TFN) is a unique number issued by the Australian Government. You most likely need a TFN for your job to avoid tax withheld from your pay or from the earnings on your bank account. You can apply for it online.

  • Arranging health insurance

Medicare is the name of the Australian public health care system. Swiss Immigrants with a Temporary Visa are not eligible to claim benefits from Medicare, only permanent residents. There is no reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and Switzerland either (as per 1/1/2018). Make sure that you have adequate health insurance

  • Enrolling children at school or childcare

Formal schooling in Australia starts with a kindergarten or a preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary school. If you know in which area you will be living and to which school you might send your children, enrol them from back home. Public Schools are usually zoned, that means children living in the school zone have priority in getting a position. Private Schools often have a waiting list. A fee applies in general for the enrollment.

  • Australian driving licence?

Short term visitors in all states but the NT with a temporary visa do not require an Australian Licence if they have a driving licence written in english (information current per 1/1/2018 e.g. Swiss licence in credit card size, international driving licence or translation).

Once you become a permanent resident you must get your Australian driving licence within three months. Swiss licences are recognised as being comparable, thus most likely you get an Australian licence without further testing. For more information click here.

You will notice that an Australian driving licence is quite handy, as it has the address on it (which you need as proof sometimes, e.g. to pick up parcels at the post, membership at the library, etc).