Tips for Travelling to Australia
HomeTips for Travelling to Australia

Tips for Travelling to Australia

Useful information and essential tips to help travellers have a safe and hassle-free trip around Australia

Your address in Australia

Many of the things you will want to arrange prior to arriving in Australia such as a Tax File Number (TFN) or a bank account will require an Australian mailing address. The easiest way to arrange one is to register with a mail forwarding company.

To make the process easier for you we have partnered with SOS Mail Solutions. Simply register with SOS Mail Solutions to receive an Australian Mailing address. Any items of mail received at your new Australian address are scanned to your private online mail account. You will receive an email notification once new items have been scanned, then simply use your secure login to access and view your mail from anywhere.

Pay As You Go (PAYG) Tax

Once you begin working and earning money in Australia your employer is obliged to deduct tax from your earnings under the Pay As You Go (also known as PAYE – Pay As You Earn) tax system. The rate of tax that will be deducted from your income is determined by how much you earn. If you are in a casual or seasonal role your employer won’t know how much you might end up earning for the full financial year (1st July to 30th June) so they will deduct tax at the appropriate rate based on how much they are paying you at the time.

From 1st July 2012 the Tax Free Threshold in Australia is $18,200. Basically this means you can earn up $18,200 in a financial year without paying tax. Remember though, if you are working short term jobs your employer/s don’t know how much you are going to earn for the full financial year so they will still tax you at the appropriate rate for the income they are paying you at the time. If at the end of the financial year your employer/s have deducted more tax than you needed to pay you are entitled to claim the extra tax back.

To help take the stress out of completing your tax returns while you are in Australia and to finalise your Australian tax requirements once you leave we have partnered with taxback.com. Taxback are the international income tax return specialists and can handle the whole process for you.

View the Tax Back online tools.

Tax File Number (TFN)

Before you begin working in Australia you will need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN). TFN’s are issued by the Australian Taxation Office and are used to track you, your income and the tax you pay through the Australian taxation system.

Once you have been successful in obtaining a job in Australia your TFN will be one of the first pieces of information you will need to give your new employer. As mentioned above your employer will deduct tax from your income in accordance with the current tax rates based on how much you earn.

As a general rule you will pay somewhere between 10%-30% tax on the income you earn. If you are not able to provide a tax file number your employer is required to withhold 46.5% of your income as tax so it is well worth taking the time to get one.

You will also need to provide your tax file number to your bank if/when you open a bank account in Australia.

Click here to apply online for your Tax File Number.

Visas

There are a variety of Visas available to travellers coming to Australia. The right Visa for you depends on a number of things including:

  • How long you plan to be in Australia
  • What you plan to do while you are in Australia
  • Your country of origin

The quickest and easiest way to find the best Visa for your needs is the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship Visa Wizard. Just answer a few simple questions and the Visa Wizard will recommend the most appropriate Visa for your trip to Oz.

More and more visitors to Australia are taking advantage of 2nd year working Visas. The following information provided by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship will give you an overview of the requirements for 2nd year Visas. To be eligible you must:

  • have completed three months of specified work in regional Australia while on your first Working Holiday (417) visa (there is no requirement to do further specified work on the second visa)
  • not have previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (462) visa
  • be aged between 18 and 30 years (inclusive) at the time of applying, however, you may be aged over 30 years of age at the time your visa is granted
  • be applying no more than 12 months before you intend to travel to Australia, if applying from outside Australia
  • will not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during your stay in Australia
    Note: A dependent child is the child, or step-child, of you or your partner who:
    • is not married, engaged to be married, or in a de facto relationship
    • has not turned 18.
  • be outside Australia when the visa is granted, if applying from outside Australia
  • be in Australia when the visa is granted, if applying from within Australia
  • hold a passport for a country or region participating with Australia in the Working Holiday program.
    See: Countries/Regions Participating in Working Holiday Program

Click here to get your Visa application started.

Bank Accounts

Once you find work in Australia your employer will want to direct deposit the money you earn straight in to an Australian bank account. By taking the time to organise a bank account before you arrive in Australia you can transfer some money to your new account before you leave giving you easy access to your money once you arrive.

The following banks are commonly referred to in Australia as “the big 4”. Each of them will allow you to open a bank account online. All you need to do when you arrive is go to the nominated branch to be formally identified and collect your ATM card giving you access to your money all over Australia.

Driver's Licence

Each state in Australia has its own State Government authority that issues and regulates driver’s licences.

Use the following links to check the requirements for the state you will arrive in. Once you are in Australia it will be easier to work out the requirements if you want to move from state to state.

You should also consider obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP). Recognised in over 150 countries under sanction by the United Nations an IDP carried in conjunction with a valid licence from your home country will enable you to drive without any further testing or qualifying.

An IDP can also be very useful as an alternative form of photo identification and will be required by most car hire companies.

When driving on an IDP be careful that the type of vehicle you are driving is covered by an IDP, particularly if you are driving any specialised vehicles or machinery as a part of your work in Australia. Most insurance companies will not cover you for an accident in a vehicle you are not properly licenced to operate.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance: simple & flexible

You can buy, extend and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from over 150 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

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