Preparing to move

Family having a picnic at the National Arboretum

If you have friends or family who’ve been through the migration process before they can be a great resource. But ultimately it’s up to you to ensure the move goes smoothly.

Assuming your visa has been granted you need to get your affairs in order well in advance of departure. The amount of time you need will depend on your personal circumstances – it’s an easier process for a single person who doesn’t own a house than for a family of four with a pet who own the family home. Selling a property can be time consuming. Most people will commence planning at least 12 months in advance of their move.

You’ll need to decide on what to take to Australia – make sure you check Australia’s customs and quarantine laws. Some electrical equipment may not pass Australian standards and certain items may not be permitted. There are strict rules about bringing animals and pets into Australia which vary depending on where you are moving from.

Are you insured? You should consider property insurance for your goods and travel insurance for the journey. Also look into insurances for when you arrive in Canberra.

Do you need to bring everything? Sometimes the cost of freighting items can be higher than purchasing them in Australia. In Canberra there is a strong trade in second-hand furniture and other household items which can be much cheaper than buying new.

Ensure your finances are in order. If you have investments, a pension or large sums of money you should seek professional advice on what to do with these. Try to pay off any outstanding debts.

Paperwork is also important – keep handy your birth and marriage certificates, employment history and resume, official qualifications, medical records, school records, financial records, and credit and rental references to name a few.

It’s equally important to prepare for your arrival in Canberra. Establishing contacts for employment, researching areas to live and liaising with schools in those areas is critical. You should arrange short term options for accommodation and transport. You should also familiarise yourself with some of the key things you’ll need to do when you arrive like applying for a Tax File Number and registering with Medicare.

There’s plenty of information to help you throughout this website and you are welcome to ask questions if you need help!