29 Jul Your checklist for moving to Sydney
Thinking about moving to Sydney? Take the stress and hassle out of migrating to Australia with this handy moving checklist.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything from hot to get visas to general tips for settling into life in Australia.
Taking care of the essentials
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Moving to another country requires a lot of preparation, especially if you plan to go for a while. You should start by ensuring your passport isn’t expired or about to expire, and renewing if necessary.
Ensure you have copies of any important documentation such as your:
- Drivers licence
- Birth certificate
- Academic qualifications
- Medical documents
Buy your plane tickets and notify friends and family of when you’re leaving. Arrange plans for your accommodation on arrival, whether that’s staying with friends, booking a hotel, or arranging a rental.
Keep in mind that finding a place to rent or buy is very competitive in Sydney.
H2: Getting a visa
If you’re a New Zealand citizen, you can usually move to Australia to live and work without needing a visa at all.
When you arrive in Sydney and go through border control, you will be electronically assigned a Special Category Visa (SCV) if you have a New Zealand passport.
The only exceptions are if you have a criminal conviction or have untreated tuberculosis. In both cases, you need to apply for permission to enter Australia.
Your SCV allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely but you won’t be able to:
- Get a student loan
- Vote in elections
- Join the Australian Defence Force
- Access many social welfare programs such as unemployment benefits
- Work for the Australian government on an ongoing basis
Having an SCV assigned to you happens automatically when the immigration official swipes your passport or when you pass through the SmartGate systems at Australian airports.
If you want to access those services or become an Australia citizen, you’ll need to apply for permanent residency.
H2: Moving your personal belongings
Arrange to have your goods relocated to Sydney by a reputable moving company. Check out Ausmove for more information and advice.
Pack away all the things you don’t need to take and place them in a storage facility or leave them with family or friends. You can also sell your goods and put that money towards your relocation.
When deciding what to bring, ensure you’ve checked with Australian customs to see what’s allowed.
Kiwis moving to Sydney are fortunate when it comes to bringing electronics to Australia as the power sockets are the same in both countries. That means there’s no need for adaptors or buying new chargers and other accessories once you arrive.
H2: Organising your finances
Get your finances in order prior to leaving so you can arrive in Sydney with the peace of mind that you are financially secure and organised:
- Set up new bank accounts in Australia before you move. This can all be done online and will make it easier to transfer ongoing payments such as subscriptions to Spotify or Netflix.
- Obtain the Bank Code Number/SWIFT code of your Australian bank account. This will allow you to transfer funds from your existing account to your new one via an International Money Transfer (IMT).
- Tell your financial institution in New Zealand that you are moving to Sydney so they don’t interpret your financial activities as fraudulent.
- If your internet banking or transactions are linked to your mobile number, ensure you update this to your new number in Australia.
- If you want to apply for a credit card, research the documentation required prior to leaving.
- Tell the Department of Inland Revenue (IRD) you are leaving. Find out whether you still have any tax obligations in New Zealand while you are away.
Find out your options for managing outstanding debts like student loans. Make sure you pay any outstanding fines, otherwise you won’t be able to leave New Zealand.
- If you get a benefit from Work and Income, you must let them know your travel plans and your reasons for travel before you leave New Zealand.
H2: Settling into Sydney
Congratulations on moving to Sydney! Below are a few tips and tricks to help you settle in:
- You’ll need to buy an Opal card to use public transport in Sydney
- Get a Tax File Number for working purposes as soon as you arrive
- Apply for superannuation, if applicable
- Familiarise yourself with Australia’s healthcare system
- Keep in mind that the emergency number in Australia is 000
- Familiarise yourself with public holidays (there are a lot1)
- Many restaurants won’t split bills so prepare to calculate your ‘cut’
- Tipping is not mandatory, but nice to do
- Make sure you wear sunscreen
- Keep in mind that beaches in Australia can be quite dangerous in terms of waves, tides, and wind