The Top 10 things to do when one first arrives in OZ:


Note – The points are not in any particular sequence.


There are many mobile or cell phone networks in Australia with the main ones being Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
TIP – It can be quite expensive to phone overseas from Australia. Consider Skype as a cheaper option.


If you have not already opened an account prior arriving then this would be one of the first things you would do upon your arrival.
TIP – It is recommended you apply for an Australian bank account within six weeks of your arrival, as you usually need only your passport as identification.


Medicare provides access to medical and hospital services for all Australian residents and certain categories of visitors to Australia. They administer Medicare, and pay Medicare benefits, on behalf of the Department of Health, who is responsible for developing Medicare policy

TIP – Apart from covering you for any medical costs in Australia, the Medicare Card also serves as an ID Proof so it makes good sense to get this done soonest. Having a Medicare card makes seeing a doctor and some health specialists cheaper, or free if your doctor bulk bills. Always look for GP’s who accept Bulk Billing Payments.


Centrelink is a master program of the Australian Government that is managed under the authority of the Department of Human Services. Centrelink delivers a range of government payments and services for retirees, the unemployed, families, carers, parents, etc. and provides services at times of major change.The majority of Centrelink’s services are the disbursement of social security payments.

TIP – Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period:
If you are a recently arrived resident in Australia, generally you won’t have immediate access to social security payments or concession cards. You usually have to wait the Newly Arrived Resident’s Waiting Period of 104 weeks before you can access most payments and benefits. This waiting period doesn’t apply to family assistance payments.…dhs/centrelink

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An underrated task but one which needs most attention is getting your driver’s licence once you arrive in the country.

Surely, getting a licence is as important as getting a job because without a licence you will face following challenges:

  • Getting around – The most obvious advantage especially in regional cities and outer suburbs of the big cities.
  • Getting a Job – Some of the employers seek employees with an open licence as a part of the role requirement.
  • ID Proof – Your licence is the most recognized and accepted form of Australian identification and will make it much easier for you when approaching real estate agencies, Auspost, Banks and most of the organizations.

TIP – If you are migrating with your partner, then it is recommended that you stagger the practical test. This is just in case you are not able to clear on the first attempt, you cannot drive on your international licence anymore. Also if you wish to drive with a learner licence you will need to have someone with an open licence sitting beside you. This way at least your partner can drive you around and sit beside you when you practice your skills.


Your TFN is an important part of your tax and super records as well as your identity. When ATO (Australian Tax Office) issuese you with a TFN it’s yours for life. You keep the same TFN even if you change your name, change jobs, move interstate or go overseas.
You don’t have to have a TFN, but without one you pay more tax. You also won’t be able to apply for government benefits, lodge your tax return electronically or get an Australian business number (ABN).
Permanent migrants or temporary visitors to Australia can apply for a TFN online at any time after entering Australia.

TIP – When you start a new job, you provide your TFN by filling in a form from your employer. You have 28 days to give them your tax file number before tax begins to be deducted at the highest rate.


Your Resume is the first handshake with your prospective employer so be sure to make a positive impression!

TIP – Never include your passport details, visa, date of birth, gender, religion, hobbies or marital status. There is no need to mention your country of origin or even that you are a migrant. As long as you have working rights then the employer has no right to discriminate.


Job Search Sites :

Government Job’s – (Job search is a Australian government initiative to provide people with an alternative job search website) APS jobs is another government jobs website providing a vast array of job available from the Australian public service sector. If you are looking for jobs in the federal government (Central government ) this is the website you should be looking at. Some jobs are offered only to Australian citizens so read the fine print before applying.

Besides Australia’s biggest job seeking sites and choosing a government or private job agency, there is also government job agencies like “Centerlink “, that help people get jobs if you register with them.

Additionally there are various small recruitment agencies available in each town and they can be found on the internet and also yellow pages.

TIP – Keep your Linkedin Profile updated. If you do not yet have a profile this would be a good time to create one. This is not so important for blue collared jobs and entry level positions.


Being in a new country without having social circle could be very daunting.

You can start researching information about professional and casual social networking groups.before coming to Australia. It’s always good to schedule meet up’s with some of these people in first few days.

Newcomers Australia (Australia Locations and Information) is a great website that offers links of communities segregated by nationalities. The group listings are for following nationalities: British, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Irish, Malaysian, South African, South Korean and Vietnamese Communities. (Find your people – Meetup) has plenty of diverse special interest groups including sports, writing, dining out, night life, entrepreneurs, information Technology, music etc. They also have groups related to specific nationalities. ( This is a multicultural group for expats. You can become a free member and they usually have one event in three to four weeks As a paid member you can join special interest groups and participate in activities.

TIP – Besides all the above, you should look for Facebook Groups for connecting with people of your communities.


In most cases when you first arrive you will have to live in some form of temporary accommodation until you figure your next move or at least until you get some kind of short term rental.
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