- Apply for a Tax File Number. You can do this online but only after you have landed in Australia, as the authorities will check with DIAC that you are physically in Oz before they process your application.
- Get a Pre-paid mobile number asap. You need this for almost everything else listed below and beyond. S has posted here on some local Telco options you can consider.
- Register for Medicare - You should do so in person at any Medicare branch. Remember to bring along your passport and visa grant letter as that is all you need. Couples and families can apply together to have one common Medicare account number, so that in the future you can make claims for each other. Useful feature there!
- Get your Victorian Driving License - In order to save time, you should call vicroads first to make an appointment to covert your license. Our friends made two trips because they didn't know the requirement for an appointment, and their lesson learnt saved us at least an hour and the cost of and additional trip. The good news is that the Singapore Driving License is recognised so all you need to do is bring it (together with other supporting documents as listed here), pay the required admin fee and you're all set.
- Open a bank account if you haven't already done so before landing in Oz. As S has mentioned in an earlier post, National Australia Bank allows prospective migrants to migrate their money before they physically go over. Their iBanking system is pretty straightforward and activating your bank account when you reach Australia is equally simple. The NAB staff will arrange via email / phone to meet you at one of their branches during banking hours and you can be issued an ATM card on the same day. No sweat!
- One photo ID. This can be your passport or driving license.
- One other ID that need not have a photo. This can be your Medicare card (or Centrelink card, which new migrants will not have as there is a 2 year waiting period before new PRs are eligible for welfare).
- Statements/Testimonials from your previous landlords, which first-timers would not have.
- Rental lease agreements from earlier rentals, which most migrants would not have unless you have rented overseas before. I'm not sure landlords will recognize lease agreements from other countries but I was prepared to submit my HDB ownership documents as supporting documents if I was 'desperate' enough...
- Evidence of current employment. No problem for those under subclass 457 or those who landed jobs before reaching Oz. Very challenging for job-hunters.
- Other miscellaneous documents can be used to replace items 3, 4 or 5 such as previous utility bills or bank statements. Whether they are accepted as 'good enough' as alternatives will depend on the landlord.
|How can we prove we are the right fit for the landlord?|
- 'Fixed-time' open inspection - the time period when the unit is open for viewing will be advertised online. Some agents require that viewers register for inspection while most others don't. You simply show up at the rental venue at the time and date stated and the agent will come along to open the place. After you view the unit/apartment/house, you can ask the agent questions and request for an application form if you are keen. Typically there is no deadline for submission but the agency will process the applications as they are received and close applications once the landlord has decided on a tenant. Units at good locations will typically have inspections of this form so that interested parties can 'see' their competition for the place. Our first viewing had probably about FIFTY people in the queue, not counting those who left upon seeing the crowd, before viewing the unit. But that's probably an extreme case. Another viewing had about five other interested parties, which I would guess is a more usual number.
- 'Anytime' inspections - this requires you to pick up the key to the unit from the agent's office during office hours. The receptionist will ask for a photo ID, $50 deposit and you will have one hour after collection of the keys to go to the venue, inspect the place and return the key. Units in mediocre/not-so-good location or units in poorer condition will typically have inspections of this form. Remember to call the office beforehand to check that the unit is still available.
- Deal with owner direct. This can be sourced via gumtree or by looking for "For Lease" signs in the neighbourhood that you are keen to rent in. Some owners not willing to pay for an agent will place advertisements on gumtree, hand-made signs outside the unit for lease or in restaurants/shops. You will have to call and arrange for an inspection with the owner directly. Before you go down this route, it is critical to check for the average rental rates in the area first so that you'll know if the quoted price is reasonable.
|Opportunities can be found in unexpected places!|
|Moving house today!!|