Moving to Australia? Here’s how to set up an Aussie bank account

lesbian couple excited that their aussie bank account got approved

If you’re looking to move Down Under chances are that you’ll need to open an Australian bank account.

Typically Australian banks don’t require much when opening a new account and most of the time you can do it online. However, if you’re overseas or don’t have an official Australian address it might be more difficult.

Take it from me as someone who immigrated to Australia and struggled to find the right bank.

Opening a bank account while overseas

black woman in a mustard sweater inside her house in front of a laptop

Believe it or not, you can open an Australian bank account while still living overseas. However, you’ll need to show proof of your visa, where you’re planning on living and your passport.

Some banks that allow you to do this are:

Keep in mind that these banks require you to arrive anywhere between 3-12 months after your application. So open the account close to your departure date and keep an eye on the currency exchange so you can transfer money on a good day.

If you’re not keen on banking with the Big Four, then opening a bank account becomes a bit more difficult.

When I arrived in Australia I was planning on opening an ING account but there was a massive roadblock of not having any official Australia ID or my name on anything with an Aussie address. I had no choice but to open an account with a Big Four since they accepted my American docs with no issue.

If you rather open a bank account while overseas that isn’t tied to a major bank, then you might consider something that gives you the option to have multiple currencies like a Wise Account.

Wise (formerly TransferWise) is an international money transfer provider that also offers a banking option. You could get its Wise Debit Card and use it to hold multiple currencies as you settle into your Australian life.

Keep in mind that the card takes about 7-14 days to be delivered so plan accordingly.

Opening a bank account in Australia

black woman with curly hair in an airport looking for a bank

If you’re in Australia, then one of the easiest ways to open an account is by popping into a local branch. 

Keep in mind that you need to show proof of residency i.e. valid visa (student, working holiday, partnership etc.), picture ID (ideally your passport), and provide an Australian address. Some banks might ask for two forms of IDs and a TFN. So be sure to double check the requirements before you go open your account.

Note: Americans opening an Australian bank account need to declare it in the FBAR (Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts) when filing US taxes annually. If you have less than the equivalent of 10,000 USD in the account, you might not need to file the FBAR. However, be sure to check with an accountant first, so you don’t run the risk of being fined.

Choosing a bank account

If you need help picking your next bank account check out the Mozo Expert Choice Award^ winners for banking to see are crowned as cream of the crop in our database. Alternatively, you can start comparing bank accounts below.

Bank account comparisons on Mozo - last updated 29 June 2022

Search promoted bank accounts below or do a full Mozo database search . Advertiser disclosure
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    No monthly account fees ever, with no conditions. Free use at over 7,000 ATMs around Australia. No overdrawn fees if you happen to go over your account balance. Open an account in less than 7 minutes.

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^See information about the Mozo Experts Choice Bank Account Awards

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