Newly arrived or arriving shortly in Australia? Here on a permanent residence visa? Here are the things you need to do on priority.
Tips: Carry your passport and visa to get the below done, in addition to mentioned documents.
- Get an address
You are either renting a house or still staying with a friend or relative before you rent a house. But you need to have an address to direct the various correspondences.
I’m not sure if a hostel or shared accommodation would work for an address proof. Please leave a comment below if you have stayed in a shared accommodation or hostel and how it worked out for the address proof.
Tip: You might want to rent a house that is closer to the childcare center or school (if you are planning those for your child(ren) or to the train station and bus stop if you would be using public transport on a regular basis.
- Medicare card
Public healthcare is free in Australia provided you are registered in the system of Medicare. All PR holders are eligible to apply for Medicare card. You just visit a center close to you and directly apply there. You can also download the form online and submit it at the Medicare center along with your identity and address proof documents. If you don’t have a Medicare card, you will be charged.
3. Bank account
My husband and I have our accounts in Commbank (Commonwealth bank of Australia). Recently one of my friends opened his account in NAB (National Australia Bank), as it has no minimum transaction per month mandate. You can either call them up or visit them before deciding.
In Commbank there are two types of accounts: Smart Access and Saver. The former is used for transactions and latter only for saving. If you end up opening a Saver (like I did, unintentionally) you won’t be able to do transactions using it. So make sure you get the one for transaction. You can open a Saver once you get a job for better interest rates. You can open an account online, however, you would need to visit the branch office for document verification. Check if document uploading is available.
Tip: After you open the account, you can get address proof/statement of address from the bank to submit to Medicare or elsewhere.
4. TFN (tax file number)
If you are planning to work, it is essential that you have a TFN. And you would need to update it for your bank account as well. The TFN can be applied for online. Easy peasy.
5. Register for myGov online account.
myGov is a Government website where you can link a range of Government services and access from a single place. Important among those services are – Medicare, ATO (Australian Taxation Office), Centerlink, Child Support.
6. Register for Centerlink services
Based on your financial situation, Centerlink provides assistance and services to individuals and families including, childcare benefit (CCB), childcare rebate (CCR), family tax benefit, etc. Visit a center or call them to check your eligibility for any of the assistance they provide.
Tip: If you are a single income family with child(ren), you might be eligible for Family tax benefit. If your child attends a childcare, you will be eligible for the CCR and in most cases CCB as well. Both depend on your combined annual income.
- Childcare and schooling
If you plan on enrolling your child at a childcare center or a school, do check it out on priority after you arrive. There is usually a waiting list for vacancies at childcare. An immunization record (can be generated online from Medicare), for your child, is required to be produced for enrolment.
Check here to choose a childcare and other early education details. It would be best to call up and make an appointment before you visit a center.
Tip: You might want to choose a childcare center or school that is closer to your house or on the way to your work.
Visit a GP (General Practitioner) or a public hospital, to make sure your child’s immunisations are up to date according to the Australian Govt. requirements. If any immunization is required, the GP will administer it. Immunisation drives happen regularly at scheduled locations by the council. Check your council website for details. You would need a Medicare card for immunisation either at GP or council run sessions.
Check here for immunisation schedule for Victoria.
For council sponsored of City of Monash, go here for details about the schedule.
- General health and developmental check for your child(ren)
Maternal and Child health services is a free consultation based service that is offered at different stages of your child’s development (from birth until school age). Visit the webpage to find out about stages at which your child is due for a health and developmental check. You can also find your nearest center and make an appointment for your visit.
Tip: Appointments usually fill up very quickly (esp. at the time you would want, like mornings) so I suggest making an appointment as soon as you arrive.
All the best and I hope you like it here.