What a migrant should do soon after arriving in Australia?

This advice is for those who arrive in Australia after getting their Permanent residency overseas. Most of the things we mention here are applicable for all those who have come here for permanent stay irrespective of the visa conditions.

Register for a Tax file Number

Tax File Number (TFN) is a personal reference number, which the Government use to maintain records for the tax and superannuation of an individual. Without a Tax File Number, employers are obliged to hold more tax and though legally not mandatory every employer demands a tax file number from their employees. Without one, you won’t be able to lodge tax electronically or apply for Government benefits and ABN .

Residents can apply for Tax file number   at Australia Post, Department of Human Services (Centrelink) centre or by post.

Foreign passport holders, permanent migrants and temporary visitors can apply online through the ATO website.

Detailed information about applying for individual Tax File Number can be found here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/

What you should not do

A google search may take you to third parties providing the service. It is in your best interest to apply though a Government body as above mentioned.

Apply for a Medicare Card

Medicare card lets people get free care as a public patient in public hospitals and get a range of medical services and prescriptions at lower cost. At Bulk Billing GP’s and medical clinics, most treatments are available free of cost to Australians.  Those above the age of 15 can apply for a separate Medicare Card.

Details for applying for a Medicare card can be found here https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/medicare/medicare-card/enrol

Open a Bank Account

Australia has four big banks and wide variety of small banks. The banking system is very well regulated by the Government. It is best to open your first Australian bank account with one of the big four banks, ANZ, Westpac, Commonwealth and NAB.

You can open an account online or by visiting a bank branch in person. You have to provide 100 point identification and here is how the points system works.

Birth Certificate, Passport, Citizenship Certificate – 70 points

Drivers Licence (full / probationary / learner) – 40 points

Any card on which your name appears:  Medicare card/ Library Card/ Union Card – 25 points

Documents on which your name and address appear: Car registration/ Utility bill /Rental receipts – 25 pts

Contact Centrelink

Centrelink delivers Government services and payments for Australians. So it is important to visit your nearest Centrelink and enquire about the types of assistance available to you as a new arrival here.

Detailed information about Centrelink and nearest Office near you can be found by accessing this link


Apart from this, finding accommodation, finding school for children, Applying for a driving license, finding a job etc also need to be considered

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