Australians like to refer to Australia as ‘The lucky country’. This phrase drawn from Donald Horne’s book ‘The Lucky Country’ (1964) is not only world renowned, it is also a phrase that is held close to every Australian heart and is used in numerous ways to describe everything that makes Australia a great Nation.
With an exceeding amount of people moving to Australia each year Australia is fast becoming the most popular country to migrate to and with good reason.
The following steps describe what to do before you leave your country and what to do when you first enter Australia.
STEP 1: Apply and obtain a valid visa or citizenship. This information can be found under Document for Travel to Australia (DFTA) and Visa and Citizenship Application Information on the Australian Government website.
STEP 2: Complete all the financial, taxation and legal matters that may affect you and your family. You may need to set up a new bank account that can operate from both your old and new country.
STEP 3: Get information about transferring your belongings this may be different depending on how much you want to move to Australia.
STEP 4: Make sure you have the specific documents that are needed when you first arrive in Australia. These include the originals of birth, marriage, medical and work records. You can bring school reports for children and your university or trade papers. You will need your passport for travel also.
STEP 5: Make sure you know details about customs when entering Australia. Australia is very strict with the items it allows you to bring into the country. Australia does not allow most animal and plant material into the country and the country you leave may stop the export of certain items. Any items that you plan on bringing into Australia you need to make sure that they meet the Australian standards and laws. You can check this on the Australian Governments Australian Customs and Boarder Protection Service website.
In addition the country you leave may limit the cash you take out. You must declare any large sums of overseas currency at customs when you arrive. This information can also be found on the customs website.
STEP 6: To make your arrival easier make all your travel plans, find out contact details for relatives, sponsors and friends in Australia if you have any and inform them of your itinerary and leave your new contact details with friends and family before you leave.
STEP 7: Having a health screening is a good idea before you arrive. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) may ask you and your family to have a pre-departure health check to help make sure that you are fit and ready for travel. This is a different check to a visa medical. The health check occurs about three days before you depart. You need to take your medical records to the health check. The health check involves you signing a consent form, having a physical test, chest x-ray and test for HIV and a test for pregnancy for women of the right age. The doctor may need to immunises you against measles, mumps and rubella and if needed treats you for parasites. If you are fit for travel then all is okay. If not, then IOM will change your flight time until treatment occurs and you are fit for travel. When you arrive, you give your medical papers to your service provider or proposer and have any follow up treatment you need.
STEP 8: If you are travelling to another destination on the same day, you may need to organise a transfer to a domestic air terminal. All airports have taxis, hire cars and public transport available from the airport. Airport pickups are also available by different bus companies. If you wish to hire a car you will need a drivers license and there may be other restrictions. Airline staff members can assist you with transfers to another terminal and the staff at the information desk can assist you with information about public transport and other types of transfers when you arrive.
STEP 9: if you are not moving into a home straight away you may need somewhere to stay, you can book this before you leave however if you do not wish to book somewhere to stay, you can do so when you arrive at the airport. The cost and quality can vary greatly. Some accommodation places will provide a transfer for you. Seek help from staff at the arrivals information desk.
STEP 10: On the day of your flight you should leave yourself plenty of time to get there. Most airlines recommend you arrive there three hours before the flight time. The weight limit for your baggage is 40kg. This means you may have one bag under 40kg and one item of hand luggage that fulfils the airline’s limits. The airlines advise you to carry travel papers, valuable, precious and fragile items in your hand luggage and items you may need for the flight. Take the usual security care of your baggage during packing and at the airport. Do not carry any illegal goods in your baggage and make sure all items in your hand luggage fit the airlines criteria. For example no aerosol cans, liquids over 30 ml and Sharpe items.
STEP 11: When you arrive in Australia the first step to enter Australia is at the immigration desk. You will need your passport with visa and Incoming Passenger Card. The official there records your arrival and returns your papers to you. You then collect your baggage, which Australian Customs and Border Protection Service officers will check using an x-ray machine or a search. They look for prohibited goods or items that have not been declared. If they find any illegal item you did not declare, you may pay a larger fine. After this, this is the end of official checks and you are now in the arrivals hall. This is where your family, friends or sponsor can greet you if you have any in Australia and where you can also change money, get transport and arrange short-term accommodation. There may be an arrivals information desk to provide answers to your questions.
Australia lifestyle DVDs and on-line migrant TV channel.