Preparing to Migrate to Australia

Moving to Australia permanently is a massive step for most families. In order to create a new life and home for yourself and your family you need to start planning the move months beforehand as there is quiet a lot involved.

We have put together a list of things that need to be in order before and after you leave to help make the move as easy as possible for you and your family.

Once you decide to migrate

  • Research Australia and decide on an area you would like to live in.
  • Research house prices, salaries and the cost of living in that area.
  • Discuss the plans with your family so they all feel involved.
  • Investigate employment opportunities for all family members.
  • Attend migration and overseas property shows to gain more knowledge of Australia.
  • If you have any serious medical conditions check that they are not going to interfere with your plans.
  • Prepare your house for sale/rent.
  • Make sure you have at least 2 years left on your passport.
  • Dig out all your paperwork including birth and marriage certificates, employment references, driving licenses and qualifications.
  • Update your CV making sure it is suitable for the Australian market place.
  • Get your finances in order.
  • Discuss your plans with your extended family and friends.

6 Months before you leave

  • Medicals and police checks will be required around this time.
  • Get quotes for flights and for removal companies and book them.
  • Ensure any pets that are travelling with you are fit to travel.
  • Get quotes and book pet shipment.
  • Sell any unwanted furniture.
  • Start job hunting.
  • Talk to your children’s schools and ask for school reports/hand over files.
  • Clean and paint any garden furniture/tools that you will be shipping over, Items with soil will be denied at customs.
  • Consider talking to your employer about your migration plans.
  • Ask your medical centre and dentist for your hand over files.
  • Open an Australian bank account.
  • Put your house on the market.
  • Find temporary accommodation in case your house sells sooner than expected.

2 Months before you leave

  • Find temporary accommodation in Australia.
  • Make sure flights, removal companies and pet travel have all been booked.
  • Book accommodation to each destination en route to Australia.
  • Register your children in new schools in Australia.
  • Book pet kennels in Australia.
  • Start having goodbye parties.
  • Organise all birthday cards/presents for the next 3 months.
  • Request up to date statements on all of your accounts.
  • Request credit checks or a credit reference letter from your bank.
  • Give notice to your landlord.

1 Month before you leave

  • Collect all hand over files from doctors, dentists and schools.
  • Give formal notice to your employer and get your P45.
  • Give your new address to your bank, passport office, pension company, insurance broker, accountant etc.
  • Organise 3 months bank statements and insurance evidence and file it all together.
  • Pay all bills and cancel accounts for TV, internet, phone and insurance.
  • Sell or donate any unwanted items that you will not be bringing with you to Australia.
  • Arrange for post to be re directed.
  • Transfer funds to your Australian bank account.
  • Start packing non-essential items.
  • Arrange some private health-care cover for Australia.
  • Close any secondary bank accounts you may have and destroy unwanted cards.
  • Confirm your booking with your removal company.
  • Ensure all of your relevant paperwork is in a handy travel file.
  • Cancel any direct debits or standing orders.
  • Give notice that you will be cancelling your car insurance and ask for a copy of your no claims bonus.
  • Arrange car hire and hotel/hostel accommodation in Australia.
  • Advertise your car for sale.
  • Check that your mobile phone is unblocked so that you can use it when you get to Australia.

1 Week before you leave

  • Cancel any milk or newspaper subscriptions.
  • Cancel your car insurance.
  • Sell your car.
  • Buy some currency for each destination en route to Australia.
  • Ensure your belongings are ready to leave Ireland or are on the way.
  • Organise any cards or presents your children may want to send to their friends prior to leaving.

1 Day before you leave

  • Organise transport to the airport and who will be going with you to say goodbye.
  • Check the status of your flight on line, on aertel or with your local travel agent.
  • Pack activity sets for children.
  • Get a good night’s sleep.


On Arrival

  • Collect your car hire and check into your accommodation.
  • Contact your friends back home to let them know you arrive safely.
  • Contact all of the people who you will be dealing with over the first few days in helping you with your move.
  • Try not to sleep through the day in order to keep your jetlag to a minimum.
  • Set up a pay as you go mobile to start you off.
  • Contact your new employer if you have a job arranged.
  • Find your nearest internet café for property and area search.
  • Take a few days to explore the area.
  • Set up a Skype account or buy an international calling card to keep in contact with family and friends back home.

1 Week later

  • Get your tax file number.
  • Register at your local embassy or consulate.
  • Explore the area you would like to live in and ask the locals for information.
  • Meet the rental agents and view some properties.
  • Consider buying a car and get some quotes for insurance.
  • Apply for an Australian drivers licence.
  • Register at the local school and arrange to meet your children’s new teachers.
  • Get a land line installed and set up internet access.
  • Invite your neighbours around for drinks and make new friends.

1 Month later

  • Review your financial position and transfer more funds if required.
  • Investigate family trusts and pension transfer laws.
  • Set up standing orders/direct debits for bills.
  • Register with your local doctor, dentist and Medicare.
  • Meet with mortgage brokers to understand your borrowing capacity.
  • Visit your children’s schools to ensure they have settled in.
  • Consider re-writing your will.
  • Discuss your first month with your employer and resolves any problems that have cropped up.
  • Start to attend social functions or join a sports club.
  • Establish a routine and settle into your new life in Australia.