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Setting up in Australia


When you send money to Australia to purchase your new home, the exchange rate you are able to get on this international money transfer will have a significant effect on your spending power in Australia. Currency is unlikely to be the first thing on your mind, but the importance of exchange rates to your Australian property purchase should not be underestimated. We recommend thinking about getting the best exchange rate as soon as you know you will be moving to Australia and planning it in to your emigration from the very beginning. Emigration can be a long journey and the success of your move depends on currency exchange more than you realise.
While many people choose to move their money through their high street banks, you may not be aware that you can get specialist service and achieve great exchange rates through a currency exchange specialist, such as Halo Financial. Registering with Halo Financial will allow you to take advantage of numerous currency services and resources, so you can make the most of your money throughout the emigration process. This includes specialist currency tools, such as a ‘Forward trade’, which allows you to secure a good exchange rate for a planned international money transfer up to one year in advance. Tools such as a Forward trade can help you secure a rate and protect against any fall in the exchange rate with the Australian Dollar between the time you agree the trade and the time you need to make your international payment. Your currency specialist at Halo Financial will be able to monitor the currency markets for you and help to ensure you receive the exchange rate you need and can plan your various payments to and from Australia effectively.


We recommend arranging for at least three removal firms to visit you home and offer your quotes for shipping your belongings as soon as you move has been confirmed. Taking this step early will allow you to receive a competitive deal and ensure you select the firm you feel most confident entrusting your treasured belongings to. When making your selection, you should be sure to confirm that your chosen company has the correct credentials and standards – such as FAIM (FIDI Accredited International Mover). Australia has different rules on what you can and can’t take with you (or what will incur hefty custom costs). A good removal company will be able to advise you on what’s worth shipping to Australia and what isn’t.


The education system in Australia is the responsibility of each individual state or territory government, meaning that the kind of education a child receives in Australia will differ slightly from state to state. So the age when a child starts school depends on their home state. No matter where you settle in Australia, though, education is generally compulsory for children aged older than five or six and younger than 16 or 17.
Most states allow children to leave school at the age of either 16 or 17, while some enable them to leave at 15. Although this is only the case if the child is either going straight into full-time employment, obtaining an apprenticeship or completing a tertiary education course at an approved institution.
In order to gain the full ‘Senior Secondary Certificate of Education’ (SSCE) (Australia’s major school leaving qualifications) your child will need to complete Year 12 – these certificates are worked for between Years 10 and 12.


While Australia does offer a publicly funded healthcare system – known as ‘Medicare’ – you will still need to pay towards some health treatments once you arrive to live in the country. All permanent residents of Australia are entitled to join Medicare and can do so simply by visiting a Medicare Centre seven to ten days after their arrival in Oz and bringing with them their passport, travel documents and permanent visas.
All permanent residents who hold a Medicare card will receive heavily subsidised treatments from medical practitioners who have been issued a Medicare provider number and free treatment in all hospitals (providing they have admitted themselves).
It is important to note however, that not all healthcare is subsidised by Medicare. For example, the system does not cover dental care, most optical care or ambulance/emergency services (or hospital stays which result from this). For this very reason, over half of all Australians also take out some form of private health insurance in addition to joining Medicare. Private care also gives the patient greater choice of where they can receive treatment.

Last minute checklist

We recommend putting together a list of every single thing you need to do and remember before you go. It is often the most obvious checks that are forgotten in the excitement of your emigration to Australia – things like your flight booking and checking your passport’s expiration date.

       Important contacts

Keep the contact details to hand of any emergency contacts, your legal and visa advisors, and anyone else you may need to get in touch with in a hurry.

       Get all your papers together

Paperwork is arguably number one on this list – you will need to have all relevant information in one place to make sure that it’s there when you need it. This includes correspondence with immigration departments, medical records, school reports, references and anything else. You will also need to make sure you close any bank accounts that you will no longer be using. Passports, Visas… check!

       Say your goodbyes…

Lastly, make sure that you make plans to say goodbye to your friends and family if you are moving to Australia permanently or longer term – it seems obvious, but it can be so easy to forget to do so with such excitement going on and so much to do!

Need more help? 

Since 2005, we have helped thousands of customers to take control of their currency and have supported them throughout the whole process of buying property in Italy or emigrating. We understand what you're going through. Get in touch to see how our team of experts can help you. 

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