How to Open a Bank Account for Non Residents in Australia

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[ August 6, 2020 ]

How To Open A Bank Account for non residents

Non-residents can open a bank account online before arriving to Australia, on the phone, or in-person at the branch once you arrive. If you do decide to visit an office, remember to bring valid forms of ID with you. 

IDs include your passport, overseas credit card/student ID and letter addressed to yourself proving Australian residence. 

Suppose you decide to open an Australian bank account after your arrival. In that case, you should open it in a timeframe of six weeks from your entry, and you will only need your passport as identification. 

As a possible alternative, using a travelers company could help to reduce the stress and hassle of opening a Bank Account. A travelers company reduces the hassle of dealing with other useful things like applying for a Tax File Number (it's a requirement to work) and a Medicare Card (for medical purposes).

Do Australian banks have migrant services?

A large part of major Australian banks have migrant services with staff who speak a range of languages. Such service aims to help new arrivals settling in the country, making it easier to open a bank account and avoid miscommunications. 

Non-residents to Australia can open an account online; as a non-resident, you will need to provide your identity documents and address. 

You can open a bank account up to a year before your will to move to Australia. That means you can deposit Australian dollars in your account to facilitate your move to Australia. 

What documents do I need to open a bank account for non Residents in Australia?

The documents you need will depend on which account type you are opening, and whether you are already a resident in Australia. 

Each bank has its process, so it is good to check what your chosen bank needs from you thoroughly.

In terms of documentation needed to open an account, Australian banks adopt a points system to assess whether non-residents are eligible. Banks use a given list of documents, and assign to each document a certain quantity of points. In order to open a bank account, you'll need to present several documents that need to add up to 100 points. 

What are the fees of opening an Australian bank account online from overseas?

Banks in Australia have generically very minimal fees, whether you apply from overseas or in Australia, opening an account will not cost you much. 

The large part of Australian banks do not charge for monthly fees or have really low monthly fees. 

The monthly fees are usually waived when you deposit, each month, a given amount. The minimum monthly amount is commonly less than the average Australian salary (around AUD$ 2, 000).

Usually, banks provide a limited number of free transactions per month, which means you could pay fees for every card payment or even ATM withdrawals exceeding this monthly quota. 

Thankfully, today seems like most banks are changing their policies and offer unlimited free transactions. However, you'll need to consider that ATM withdrawals are free only when you use your bank's ATMs. Withdrawals from other banks' ATM will often cost you around AUD$2 every transaction. 

What should non-residents and expats look in a bank account?

There're a few things that an expat or a non-resident should look into a bank account; we recap some of the points we already mentioned above:

  • Low fees: Make sure the bank charges little or no account keeping fees. 
  • Branch access: for some in-branch transactions like depositing foreign cash or cheques, make sure you pick up a bank with lots of branches in your local area. Some banks are online only with no offices.
  • International transfers. You'll likely need to send money back home from time to time, so check what the fees are for transferring money internationally and exchange rates.

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