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Relocating to Perth

Making the choice to move to Perth is likely to have been a big decision for you to make. If you are moving from outside of Australia then you are probably leaving friends and family many, many miles away, and even of you are moving from within Australia the chances are the distances will still be large. You may have a new language, new culture, new climate and new education and medical system to get your head around as well.

The good news is that if you are looking at temporary relocation accommodation then you are doing the right thing and taking this big move one step at a time. So many people who move to Australia get carried away and try to get everything organized before they have even visited the country. Like anything in life, a big life-changing decision like this should be carefully researched and time spent on ensuring that all the various aspects have been considered before you jump in with both feet. Spending a decent amount of time in temporary relocation accommodation gives you time to get a feel for the region, visit various areas within the Perth region to decide where exactly you want to live, and visit schools etc. These are big decisions that should not be rushed.

To help you with your move we have produced a guide to outline some of the things you should consider sorting out while in your relocation accommodation to ensure you make the most of your time.

Getting around

Organize a rental car for your first few weeks in Perth. This will give you the freedom to explore the area while you are choosing where to buy or rent accommodation. It also takes the pressure off having to buy a car as soon as you arrive so you can spend a bit of time researching what is available and getting a good price. It is also a good idea to get your Western Australian Driving Licence organized as soon as you can.

Health considerations

If you have been issued a permanent visa then Medicare will cover you and your family. Medicare is Australia’s publicly funded health care system. To enroll in Medicare you need to go to a Medicare office 7 to 10 days after you arrive in Australia with your passport and travel documents.  It is also worth considering one of the many private health insurance options available, as Medicare doesn’t cover all services. For example dental care, optical care and ambulance services are not covered. Even if you don’t have a permanent visa make sure you enroll with Medicare as Australia’s reciprocal health care with some countries will cover you for certain medical expenses.

Financial factors

Get a Tax File Number (TFN) as soon as possible if you are planning on working in Australia as you will need it in order to receive an income. You can either call up to get a TFN application form sent to you or you can complete it online.

Open a bank account at a local bank. If you do this within six weeks of arriving you only need a passport or drivers license as identification. If you wait longer than six weeks you will need additional identification. You don’t need any evidence of income, credit rating or previous bank account information.

Location, location

Once you have spent a bit of time getting to know the various areas of Perth and have decided which one you are going to live in you can start setting down some roots. If you have children, probably the most time sensitive aspect to organize is schooling for your kids. The school year starts at the end of January/start of February so if you can tie in with that the disruption to your child will be kept to a minimum. The Department of Education has a very useful website that contains all the information you will need.

Find a local doctor and dentist near to where you are hoping to live. If you do end up living further away then you expected you can always move practices, but it is good to be registered somewhere in case of emergencies.


Settling in

Once you have chosen your permanent accommodation you can start to settle in and begin to plan ahead before you even move in. One of the first things you should do is get your insurance organized. Hopefully you will already have your health insurance and enrolment with Medicare organized by this stage, but there are various other areas to consider. Get insurance for your home and contents so you are covered from the day you move in. Then consider all the other valuable items that need covering, such as car insurance, boat insurance, bike insurance, pet insurance, gadget insurance etc. Don’t forget ongoing insurances that you may have had back at home that may no longer cover you in Perth, such as breakdown cover, travel insurance, life insurance, business insurance etc. Once you actually move into your home you will be so busy with decorating, unpacking, choosing furniture and so on that you will find it hard to make time for the more ‘tedious’ aspects of moving such as organizing insurance, so it is best to do it while still in your relocation accommodation. Most of our accommodations have wireless broadband access so you can do all the researching that you need. It may be some time before you have services such as broadband set up in your new home.

Reap the rewards

If you spend the time researching and getting organized when you first arrive in Perth you will reap the rewards in the long run. You will have carefully selected an area to live in that meets your needs, avoiding any unnecessary uprooting in the near future, and you and your family will be covered medically and financially and all of your valuables will be insured. You will be left with plenty of time to explore the beautiful city of Perth and make the most of your new life here.