Administrative procedures in Australia (Phone, TFN, bank accounts)

by | Mar 19, 2019 | Australia, Travel tips

The plane has just landed, you are already exhausted by the jet lag. Your backpack is certainly 10 times too heavy but what does it matter! You finally go to the promised land!

I would like to say that from now on, everything will be easy and that it will be enough to proudly brand your WHV so that everything goes easily. But it is not (inevitably) the case! You will have administrative procedures to undertake, it is obvious.

In this article I will therefore return to the first things to do when arriving (or even before leaving): administrative procedures in Australia. Show your best smile, I know you love paperwork :).

#1 : The australian number phone

It is important or even essential to have an Australian phone number. This will facilitate your future steps and allow you to be contacted by your future employers. Please note that the phone number is required for almost all paperwork. So in my opinion, this is the first thing to do when arriving.

It is nevertheless very easy. There are three major telephone operators in Australia:

  • Telstra : greater network coverage, convenient if you plan to roam around Australia
  • Yes Optus : less extensive network coverage but good value for money
  • Vodafone : cheap, but network bad coverage 

So everything depends on your needs!

My advice: Do not take Vodafone, other operators’ plans are not overpriced.

My advice # 2: There are often (all the time?) Welcome offers or offers for Christmas or offers for the Saint Idon’tevenknow. So inquire before checking out! Personally I paid 15 dollars for a phone number with prepaid card of 30 dollars and 35 GB of data. I told you it was cheap. I went through Yes Optus. But I am sure that there are also offers at Telstra.


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#2 : The TFN (Tax File Number)

The famous TFN, or tax number you will be systematically asked before starting a job. Indeed taxation in Australia, as in New Zealand, is at the source. You will not make a declaration of income but you will be directly debited on your salary.

To apply for TFN, two solutions:

  • Apply online on the ATO website where you will need to fill out a form to explain your situation. This approach requires having a relatively fixed postal address. You will also be asked for an Australian phone number. It’s usually a week before the reception, but some people are less fortunate and waiting 1 month or more!

It is for these reasons that I chose the other solution:

  • Ask an independent organization. It is a paid solution but very convenient. You apply online. You can do it before you even arrive in Australia. Personally, I did it when I was in New Zealand. You simply indicate your date of arrival on the territory and the process is automatically triggered on D-day. The big +: no need to move to an authorized office or to have a fixed address or a telephone number. The process is done without you having to worry and you will receive the TFN by mail!I received it a week after my arrival, through this organization. Count about 60 dollars for the benefit. It is not given, it is certain, but if you do not intend to have a fixed address during 28 days, it is a solution.

#3 : The australian bank account

It is also essential if you want to work! Know that there are many banks in Australia and that most allow a pre-opening before even arriving on the territory. One more thing I did in New Zealand.

I have chosen ANZ, but many backpackers choose Westpac. It’s up to you!

When you arrive on the territory, all you have to do is go to your bank and ask to finalize your account opening. It is not very long, simple administrative formality. For my part I asked that my credit card be sent to the bank and not to the address I mentioned because I was not sure to be there yet. The card is sent in 5 days, no problem.

My advice: Open a savings account at the same time, it’s usually free, it was free for me, and put 90% of your money on your savings. In case of theft of your card you will be happy or at least reassured to have lost only 10% of your money.

My advice # 2: Also take advantage of this interview to open a superannuation account. Indeed this account will be asked most of the time by your employer. This is a contribution fund for your retirement. You can also open it via your personal online space. It’s up to you.

And done! Not so complicated finally! Of course this is only the basis of the paperwork that you will have to do, I am not talking about the purchase of a car for example. But if you do these three things, you’ll be ready to move wherever you want in the country and find work without the hassle of paperwork.

Hope I helped you. See you soon boyz and gurlz 🙂