A great perk of the Working Holiday Australia visa is the ability to fund your travels as you go. Now it’s time to discuss how to make that money! In order to work in Australia and receive your first paycheck, there are a few things you will have to take care of first. For one, you need to apply for a tax file number.
What is a Tax File Number?
A tax file number (TFN) is a unique number that let’s the Australian Government monitor your income and if you are paying taxes on it.
Every employer requires you to have a TFN. When you apply for a position, you will need to provide your TFN or show that you have applied and are waiting to receive your TFN. The only time you can possibly get away with not having one is if you score a cash-in-hand job.
A TFN generally takes around 7-30 days to be processed and issued. I applied for my TFN before I left for Australia to speed up the process. You cannot get one before you arrive, but by applying early, there will be one ready for when you arrive. Now that you can legally be paid, you need to set up a bank account to receive and manage your money.
Getting an Australia Bank Account
Every Australian employer prefers to pay wages via direct deposit into your bank account unless it is a cash-in-hand position. Employers cannot pay into your normal bank account overseas therefore they won’t even hire you without an Australian bank account. Make it easy for your employer to pay you by having an Australian bank account; it is also the quickest way to get paid and get access to your funds for travel needs.
There are hundreds of banks around Australia, but make sure to go with one of the major banks to ensure quick deposits of paychecks and convenient ATMs.
To open a bank account, just head to the nearest branch of your preferred bank. The only documents you need to open an account is your passport and another form of identification like a birth certificate or driver’s license. The account will open immediately on the same day, but your card with take about 7-10 days to arrive. Until then, you will have to withdraw cash the old fashion way.
I prefer Commonwealth bank. My paychecks deposited within 24 hours and they have the most ATM’s in Australia. Commonwealth’s online banking is very easy to use, transferring money to my overseas bank account was simple, they were traveller friendly, and the customer service was superb!
Here’s are the major banks listed below. Just click the name to visit their websites.
Getting your TFN and opening an Australian bank account should be on your priority to-do list when you first arrive in Australia. Once you completed these tasks, you can begin to look for employment. In part 4 of this series we will discuss on where to looks for jobs and some details on what certifications (if any) may be required by the employers.