Settling Into Your Life in Australia

First Steps

Arriving in a new country can be overwhelming and stressful at the best of times. Those emotions can be exacerbated when faced with having to comply with a myriad of foreign administrative and legal obligations. Being armed with knowledge before you leave, and having a good insight into what is is immediately expected of a recent migrant, both practically and administratively, can be invaluable. 

Administrative Concerns

Although you'll want to line up housing and find a job as soon as possible, in Australia it is difficult to sign a lease or commence employment without completing some essential government registrations. As a newly arrived Australian permanent resident, you should immediately address the following administrative concerns:

  • apply for an Australian driver's licence - this is the generally accepted form of identification in Australia. You'll need Australian ID to apply for a lease;
  • apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) - your TFN is an important part of your Australian tax and superannuation records; 
  • register with Centrelink - to receive child care benefits and other government benefits; 
  • apply for Medicare - to receive publicly-funded health care.  

Practical Issues

There are also a few practical issues you should consider upon your arrival, which will make your adjustment to everyday Australian life as stress-free as possible, such as: 

  • should you wish to enroll your children in an Australian public school (which is free for Australian permanent residents), you will require a residential lease in the relevant school catchment area in advance of the school enrollment; 
  • appropriately adapting your CV, cover letter and LinkedIn profile, to maximise  your Australian employment prospects. From our own experiences, we can offer some helpful insight into improving your jobseeking efforts; 
  • depending on the type of visa you acquire, you may be obliged to take out private healthcare. Even if your visa doesn't require you to take out private health care, it is a good idea to consider doing so anyway, to benefit you and your family, and for tax purposes; 
  • obtain your bank card, transport card and mobile SIM - it's important to know that even if you open your Australian bank account from South Africa, you cannot transact on the account or obtain your bank card until you have arrived in Australia. A bank card also works as a secondary form of ID. 

Helping You Settle In

There a lot to deal with when you first arrive, between handling the above issues while still trying to deal with your more personal concerns like finding immediate accommodation and buying furniture, it can all become very overwhelming. Especially if you do not have a network in Australia.  

To lessen the load, Pathway provides set-up services packages to our clients which not only assist in taking care of the above issues, but a variety of others; and which are perfectly suited to your individual needs and circumstances. To discuss how we can be of help and find a set up package best suited to you or for assistance with any other general relocation concerns, contact Pathway's friendly team to arrange a consultation.

Our newly signed legal and migration clients will receive their first 30 minutes of their general relocation consultation free.