Moving to another country is one of the biggest life transitions you can ever make. Being well prepared will make your move easier, and much more enjoyable.
Please note, this list is a guide only and individuals will need to do their own research.
- Hire a car to get you around or purchase a MyWay card to use Canberra’s public transport.
- Check into your temporary accommodation.
- Contact friends and family at home to let them know you’ve arrived safely.
First few weeks
You will need to apply for the following once you have arrived:
- Tax file Number – you’ll need this before you start work.
- Bank Account (if you haven’t already opened one).
- Medicare Card – gives you access to free or subsidised medical treatment.
- ACT Drivers Licence – you can only use your International Driving Licence/Permit for the first three months. An ACT Drivers License will allow you to drive a vehicle in Canberra and the rest of Australia.
Set up communications
Set up a mobile phone account.
Find your nearest internet access. You local library is a good spot for this - all branches have computers with free access to the internet. Free wireless internet access is available inside the library during library opening hours.
You need to physically visit a place in order to get a true impression of it. Hire a car or use Canberra’s public transport system to get an idea of where you’d like to live, work and study.
- Renting: Renting is a great way to find out about an area before committing to buy. Canberra has a huge range of homes and apartments at varying prices depending on where you want to live and the style of home. Make sure you have landlord references and between 6-8 weeks payment up front when applying.
- Buying: As with anywhere, buying a home is a big commitment and involves a lot of research and careful consideration. House prices vary depending on the area you want to live and even within suburbs. Before planning on making an offer or making a bid at an auction, it is crucial that you have your finance approved including enough to offer a deposit.
Enrol your child in school
The sooner you can register your child, the sooner they can establish a regular routine making it easier for them to settle in.
Find a job
A job is the foundation for your life in Canberra. Contact potential employers and recruitment agencies to set up interviews and regularly check jobs advertised in newspapers and online websites. Find out more in our 'Work' portal.
Find new health professionals
This includes finding a doctor, dentist and vet. You'll be glad to know who to call if an emergency hits.
First few months
Move into your new home
- Make sure you’re present when the removalists arrive with your belongings and ensure nothing has been lost or damaged.
- Collect your pets from quarantine if necessary
- Find out about facilities and requirements for owning a pet in Canberra
- Set up your utilities such as phone, electricity, internet etc.
Get more mobile
Look at buying a car or familiarise yourself with Canberra’s public transport system.
Connect with your community
There are plenty of opportunities in Canberra for meeting new people including social and recreational clubs, family events, religious groups, playgroups and volunteering organisations. Introduce yourself to your neighbours, contact school groups, register with the local library and, as they say in Australia, “have a go”.