A lot of kiwis are moving to Australia at this time of year.

Are you moving? If so check out the below ‘To Do List’ to know what you need to do before you leave and what you can leave until your there.

Moving to Australia Process

Before you leave for Australia:

  1. Start looking for a job! Check out recruitment companies and get the process going.
  2. Find a school for your children. You will need an approximate move date to register your kids.
  3. Find some short term accommodation. It is highly recommend to give yourself some time to find which suburb suits you and your family best before you buy or rent any real estate in Australian or sign a fixed term agreement (one year).
  4. Book a moving company to pack and ship your household items. Save yourself time, money and stress.
  5. Setup a bank account before you leave. Then you can pick up your eftpos card as soon as you get there and start living (apply two weeks before you leave for Australia).
  6. Register with a foreign exchange/money transfer provider. They have sharper exchange rates than the banks and lower fees (or none if you register using this link: https://xe.com or https://nz.ofx.com.
  7. Sign up for our monthly newsletter (right column of site). We stay on top of all news relating to kiwi’s living in Australia and send you the things you need to know.
  8. Let everyone that you deal with in NZ know you are moving to Australia:
    – Doctor: advise you doctor you are moving and that when you find a new doctor you will request for your records to be transferred.
    – IRD: they will talk through you individual circumstances and obligations with you.

After you arrive in Australia:

  1. Register with Medicare Australia. You will need to apply in person in a Medicare Office. Please remember to take your passport.
  2. Register for private health insurance. Read here why you should look into this.
  3. Get a TFN (Australian Tax File Number). You are not able to apply from NZ. You can apply online here: https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals/tax-file-number/apply-for-a-tfn/foreign-passport-holders,-permanent-migrants-and-temporary-visitors—tfn-application/.
  4. Look for a rental property. Read this post to make sure you are prepared for the Australian rental market.
  5. Converting your NZ driving licence to an Australian licence. Find out how here.
  6. Buying a home in Australia? Get the first home owners grant.
  7. Look into becoming an Australian Permanent Resident then Australia Citizen.

Good luck with you move and please feel free to ask any questions you have in the comment section at the bottom of each post.


  1. Sue english

    February 19, 2021 at 5:01 pm

    I am a new Zealand citizen living in the UK at present, can I move to Australia to live from uk.

    • JJ Smith

      February 21, 2021 at 10:06 pm

      Hi Sue,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately I am not an immigration specialist so cannot advise you.
      I recommend you contact IMMagine, as they will be able to help you: http://www.immigration.co.nz/.
      They offer a free preliminary evaluation (http://www.immigration.co.nz/assessments/free-evaluation/) to establish which Visa category may suit you and whether it’s worth your while ordering a comprehensive full assessment (http://www.immigration.co.nz/assessments/full-assessment/). Not many immigration companies do this. Next step is a full assessment where IMMagine will develop your detailed strategy, timeline and pricing structure in-person or on Skype. Naturally, a small cost applies for this full and comprehensive assessment.
      You can also ask them the question for the small fee of AUD$15 and one of the team will be in touch with your answer within 24 hours (usually same day response): http://www.immigration.co.nz/ask-us-question/ask-us/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  2. Mel

    November 25, 2020 at 1:22 am

    Hi! Thanks for all the useful information! just wanting to check….. Comm Bank website says you can apply for a bank account if you are expecting to arrive within the next 3 months. Just curious whether there is a reason you suggested applying 2 weeks before leaving for Aus? Thanks!

  3. Stacy

    May 3, 2020 at 11:44 pm

    Hi there,
    My husband is an Australia by birth and we would like to move back to Australia from NZ after being here on and off from Sydney the last 5 years. We have two children both born in NZ. I have my elderly grandparents (who are basically my parents after moving in with them as an early teenager) whom need to come with us due to their daughter/my mother having a huge fall out leaving them with no support or love. My grandparents have lived in NZ from SA for 25 years and have NZ citizenship.
    We would sponsor them 100% as we tend to buy a house big enough for us all.
    Is this possible????
    Thank you in advance for your reply.

  4. Freda

    December 5, 2019 at 1:13 am

    Hi there,

    Considering to make the big move to Australia from anew Zealand. Me and my daughters are all NZ Citizens but hubby is a NZ resident. What does he have to do to be able to move to Aus too? Also Would he be able to move there if he has a couple things on his criminal record from years ago? (Eg DUI and MAF).

    Thank you,
    Hope to hear from you soon

    • JJ Smith

      December 9, 2019 at 1:25 am

      Hi Freda,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You and your daughters will get the automatic SCV. However, your husband is going to have to either get NZ citizenship or apply for a visa for Australia.
      If he hasn’t spent more than a year in prison then his convictions should stop him from moving to Australia. Sorry but I don’t know what a MAF conviction is.
      Read this post if you if you haven’t already: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/are-you-wanting-to-move-to-australia-but-have-a-criminal-conviction/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  5. Gemma

    October 14, 2019 at 12:29 am

    Hi, I was sent the link to your page, was hoping you could help with my massive dilemma. Im moving from NZ to Geelong with my 6 children, I’m Australian by birth but been in NZ most of my life. I want to secure a rental before we get there but I keep being told you can’t without a current Australian address, and you can’t without viewing properties first.
    Im not sure how that’s possible when people are moving from elsewhere?
    I’ve been told temporary accommodation such as an Airbnb for a month or so is the best bet but the price of that for 7 of us is way out of my reach.
    Do you have the inside info on how to have a rental ready for our arrival?
    Thank you in advance

    • JJ Smith

      October 14, 2019 at 12:30 am

      Hi Gemma,
      Thanks for your email.
      However, unfortunately I don’t have good news for you. What you have been told is correct.
      The Australian property market is more competitive than NZ for both renting and buying. You do have to tick all the boxes and have all the paperwork you need.
      Most Australian rentals will require you to submit a tenancy application, accompanied with the following documents, so it is best to have all the information ready to go:
      – Your last 3 months bank statements
      – A written reference from your previous landlord
      – Your previous landlord’s contact information
      – Proof that your last bond was repaid in full (or an explanation as to why it wasn’t)
      – Provide and attach photocopies of documents required to meet 100 points of identification (https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-real-estate/)
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  6. Karen

    October 14, 2019 at 12:24 am

    I am a nz born nz citizen along with my husband and we are wanting to move to Australia, Brisbane, I have 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren, father, two sisters, a brother, two step sisters and a step brother who live in Australia, I am 58 years old and my husband is 57 years old, will we be eligible for the old age pension? Looking at moving early next year.

    • JJ Smith

      October 14, 2019 at 12:26 am

      Hi Karen,
      Thank you for your message.
      Yes New Zealanders are eligible for the Australian old age pension. Read this post: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/can-a-nz-citizen-get-an-australian-benefit-or-pension/.
      Australian age pensions are asset and income tested, so any assets or income a New Zealander has will affect the amount payable. In addition, the rate of New Zealand Superannuation payable in Australia cannot exceed the amount of Australian Age Pension that would be payable if the New Zealander was entitled to receive an Australian Age Pension but was not entitled to receive New Zealand Superannuation.
      Read more about income test for pensions (https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/age-pension/eligibility/income-test-pensions) and asset tests (https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/age-pension/eligibility/assets-test).
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      • Karen

        October 16, 2019 at 10:28 pm

        Hi JJ..I rang the phone number off the work and income site ..international services and was advised if I was on a pension now ….I would be eligible to continue getting the pension but if I leave nz now at age 58 by the time I am 67 if I am not eligible for any centre link payment nz would not pay the pension for me or any portion of the payment and to be entitled to any centre link payment I would to be on a protected SCV ..at this stage i am only entitled to an unprotected SCV…have you checked out any of this info..am i missing some..because at first glance i thought we were entitled but as i dig further i find we are not….can you advise any further

        • JJ Smith

          October 16, 2019 at 10:29 pm

          Hi Karen,
          Did you complete the income and asset tests?

          • Karen

            October 16, 2019 at 10:34 pm

            No but I’m sure we will be way under if we purchase a home we will still have a mortgage…a small car and our kiwi saver ..what I need to find is the latest agreement between Australia and New Zealand regarding the pension

            • JJ Smith

              October 16, 2019 at 10:38 pm

              Hi Karen,
              It isn’t easy to get to the bottom of this question and I can only advise on the information I can read on the internet.
              Have you read this article: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1314/QG/NZinAust. It states that:
              Entitlements for non-protected SCV holders
              Pensions and Carer Payment
              Under Australia’s international social security agreement with New Zealand, New Zealand citizens living in Australia can apply for the Australian Age Pension (if over the age of 65), Disability Support Pension (if they are severely disabled) and Carer Payment (if they are caring for a partner on DSP) irrespective of whether they are protected or non-protected SCV holders. There are certain residency and other qualifications applying to these payments. Reciprocal arrangements apply in relation to certain New Zealand payments.
              Therefore I am unable to confirm or deny.
              Have you asked Work and Income? Call them on 0800 777 227 or 04 918 0159.
              Are you eligible to apply for permanent residency and then citizenship? You may be able to get a Australian Resident Return visa if you visited Australia before 1 September 1994 and cleared customs, this is an easy and cheap visa to obtain as a New Zealand Citizen. Read this post: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/become-an-australian-permanent-resident-and-australia-citizen/.
              Sorry I can’t be of more help.

  7. Lisa

    October 9, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Hi there I have so many questions Sorry to bombard you with them all, hope you can help.
    So for 10 years we have been wanting to move finally we have bit the bullet and we are going to do it. Family of 5 with an extra daughter’s boyfriend.
    Putting house on the market and aiming for Jan 2020. Questions:
    1. What is the best process of beginning ie, job for hubby rental house wih 2 dogs etc?
    2. Schools how does the years differ from NZ, how do I enrol?
    3. Bank accounts?
    4. At the airport do we tell them we are going to be living there in Aus?
    5. How do we apply for family tax benefit?
    6. How do we do taxes, like here in nz end of financial we either pay back or get back.
    7. How do you get residency before citizen ship?
    Think that is it at the moment.
    Thank you

  8. Megan

    September 29, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Hi JJ
    Just wanted to leave a thank you post. Your site is amazing! You have completely made this process stress free. So thankful for you.

  9. Stella

    July 1, 2019 at 12:08 am

    Hey JJ,
    Im a yr 13 at school and have been considering moving to Yamba or Sydney next year where I will live with family and hopefully get a job. I am currently 18 years old and on my restricted licence and was wondering if I will be aloud to drive with it there. I know some countries you have to have your full licence to drive but yeah if you could help me with this it would be very appreciated. Australia is like a second home to me, I am quite familiar with certain areas as I have spent a lot of time there and have many connections, so hopefully everything will work out! thanks so much!

    • JJ Smith

      July 1, 2019 at 12:12 am

      Hi Stella,
      Thank you for your email.
      You will be able to drive on your NZ restricted licence for 3 months and then you will need to change it over to a Australia licence: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/driving-and-licences-in-australia/.
      When you go to the appointment to apply for a NSW licence, you must attend a service centre or registry in person and bring your overseas licence with you.
      – Provide proof of your identity
      – Provide proof of your Australian permanent residency
      – If you can’t provide this, you will be issued with a Temporary Overseas Visitor licence
      – Complete the Licence Application form (PDF)
      – Pass an eyesight test
      – Pass a knowledge test for each class of licence you require, unless you are exempt
      – Pass a driving or riding test for each class of licence you require, unless you are exempt
      – Pay the relevant licence fee
      Your NSW licence card will be posted to you and you’ll receive a temporary paper licence to drive or ride with until your new card arrives.
      View post: https://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/roads/licence/moving-to-nsw.html.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  10. Priscilla

    June 18, 2019 at 7:14 am

    Hi JJ!

    Trust you are well.

    I will have to apply for radiation licence in Queensland and one of the requirements, in order for me to apply is to provide “current identification card issued by the Commonwealth or State as evidence of the person’s entitlement to a
    financial benefit—examples include seniors health card, health care card, Medicare card, pensioner concession
    card or entitlement card issued by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs”

    Do you much about that? I will have to apply from NZ hence Medicare card is hopeless. What is the card they mean issues by the Commonwealth?

    Thank you.

    • JJ Smith

      June 26, 2019 at 10:38 pm

      Hi Priscilla,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I’ve researched and read how to apply for a radiation licence in Queensland and what proof of identity documents they require.
      I recommend you either fill in the contact form on the Queensland Government website or call them on +61 7 3022 0001 and ask them, as it does come across that they want one of the identity documents to be Australia issued: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/comments.
      You will be able to use your NZ passport as the primary identity document, but you need to enquire if they will accept an NZ secondary identity document.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  11. Hardeep

    March 12, 2019 at 1:11 am

    I want to move from New Zealand to Australia and need tips.


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