2 Months Before Moving
Making travel arrangements to Australia
18. Make Travel Arrangements
To save money on your travel arrangements:
- Invest time in researching the best deals, as fares change frequently
- Book flights as early as possible
- Avoid school holidays and peak travel periods.
19. Book Temporary Accommodation and a Rental Car
If you plan on searching for your home once you arrive in Australia, book temporary accommodation for when you first arrive. Depending on where you plan to live, you may also want to book a rental car.
Where possible, book temporary accommodation that is within walking distance to your work or public transport. This way, all members of your family will have access to transportation.
20. If Children are Accompanying You, Make Schooling Arrangements
At your child’s current school in America:
- Give notice regarding your departure dates
- Request copies of your child’s school reports or university transcripts and ensure they are readily available—it’s a good idea to take copies on the plane with you
- If you plan on having your child return to the school, confirm and meet any necessary return requirements.
For your child’s education in Australia, you’ll need to:
- Understand how the Australian education system operates
- Investigate the type of school you wish your children to attend
- Shortlist specific schools
- Arrange tours of shortlisted schools for when you first arrive in Australia.
To assist you in finding the most appropriate school for your children, visit:
- The Good Schools Guide, which allows you to compare schools across primary and secondary levels
- My School, which allows you to search the profiles of almost 10,000 Australian schools. Find information about schools of interest to you and compare their resources and performance with similar schools across the country
- The Australian Education Network, which compiles data from a range of reputable sources to provide a complete ranking of Australian universities.
For further information, visit What is the Education and Schooling System Like in Australia? in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide.
21. Confirm Vehicle Transportation
While you can import some types of cars, trucks, caravans, campervans and motorbikes to Australia, their importation is strictly controlled and there are few concessions on duty and tax payments. There are also strict procedures that must be followed and strict regulations around the registration of vehicles once they have arrived in Australia. As such, it is worth considering whether you need to import a vehicle into Australia at all.
To avoid unnecessary headaches and expenses, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving expert for all your vehicle transportation requirements.
For further information, visit How to Import Vehicles into Australia in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide and our Australian Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
22. Confirm Pet Transportation
Confirming pet transportation to Australia
You can import pet cats and dogs into Australia, so long as they are free from infectious diseases that are transmittable to humans and are not deemed harmful to the environment. However, the importation of birds is strictly prohibited. There are also strict regulations around examinations on arrival and quarantine requirements.
Airlines may have separate and additional requirements for the transportation of pets. Be sure to check with your airline to determine what requirements they may have.
To ensure a stress-free relocation to Australia for your pet, speak to a UniGroup Worldwide international moving professional about all your pet transportation requirements.
For more information, visit How to Import Pets into Australia in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide and our Australian Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
Ensure all your pet’s vaccinations and health checks are up-to-date and obtain a copy of your pet’s medical records or a signed letter from your veterinarian.
23. Confirm Weapons Importation Requirements
You may import some weapons and firearms may be imported into Australia, provided that police authorization from the state or territory in which you intend to live is granted. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Control will forward all firearms imported into Australia onto the Australian Police for ballistics and safety inspection. As state regulations vary in Australia, it is recommended that you write to the police department in your intended state or territory for approval prior to shipping weapons or firearms.
For more information, visit How to Import Weapons into Australia in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide and our Australian Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
24. Confirm Alcohol Importation Requirements
You may import wines and other alcoholic beverages into Australia as part of your household goods shipment, pursuant to federal laws.
For more information, visit How to Import Alcohol into Australia in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide and our Australian Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
25. Confirm Plant Importation Requirements
The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has strict importation regulations in place to protect Australia’s native plant population from disease. The rules and regulations around the importation of plants into Australia are quite strict. As such, it is worth considering whether to include plants in your shipment of household goods.
For more information, visit How to Import Plants into Australia in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide and our Australian Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
26. Investigate Employment Options
If you’ve already secured a new role (or are moving to Australia for a specific employment opportunity), now is the time to investigate employment options for your partner (if needed). Or, if you haven’t secured a role, to investigate employment options for yourself.
For more information, visit How to Find Employment in Australia and What is Working in Australia Like? in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide.
27. Investigate Local Customs and Cultural Differences
If you're an Americans moving to Australia, you should investigate local customs and common cultural differences to help you assimilate more easily into Australian culture on arrival.
For more information on some of the common cultural differences, visit our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide:
28. Declutter Your Home
A cluttered house will make moving to Australia unnecessarily stressful; packing will take longer and the cost of your move and storage will be more expensive (as fees are based on the volume of items). If you're not selling or renting out your home (in which case you will have already completed this step), now is the time to declutter your home, determining which items you will:
- Keep and ship to Australia
- Keep and place in secure long-term storage in America
- Sell or donate to charity
- Throw away.
29. Start Packing
How can I move to Australia with minimal stress? Engage experienced, professional international packers, like the team at UniGroup Worldwide. Not only will it reduce, if not eliminate, the most stressful part of moving, it will help ensure your belongings are packed safely for their long journey to Australia.
If you're not using a professional packing service, make sure you start packing as early as possible:
- Create an inventory of all items to be packed, paying careful attention to precious, special and fragile items
- Invest in superior quality protective wrapping and packing materials:
- Professionally designed and constructed double-corrugated moving boxes
- Packing material, like bubble wrap and packing paper (like ‘butcher’s paper’, not newspaper)
- Incidentals like tape, markers and zip-lock bags.
- Reinforce boxes by securely taping the top, bottom and sides
- Start by packing items rarely used (like books and CDs and things stored in garages, basements or your roof space)
- Always pack individual boxes properly:
- Keep each box to a maximum of 20kg (45lb) to make moving the box easy and to avoid boxes breaking under excess weight
- Evenly distribute weight, with heavy items placed at the bottom of boxes and lighter items at the top
- Pack to the top of the box and fill empty space with bedding, clothing, bubble wrap or paper to prevent movement and breakages and boxes collapsing.
- Clearly label every moving box, including the contents of the box (not just the room in which it belongs). For example: ‘Kitchen: Plates and Mugs’; not just ‘Kitchen’.
For more information, visit our Ultimate How to Pack for Moving Tips & Guide.
30. Complete Your Customs Forms as You Pack
For the safe shipment and smooth customs clearance of your household goods, you’ll need to ensure that the following documentation is completed as accurately as possible and provide:
- A copy of your Australian visa
- A copy of your passport
- Moving to Australia Customs Form B534 Unaccompanied Personal Effects Statement
- A descriptive inventory, keeping in mind that phrases such as ‘miscellaneous’ or ‘contents unknown’ should never be included
- Ocean Bill of Lading or Air Weigh Bill, which should include:
- Name of the owner of the goods
- Address, city, and state of origin
- Address, city, and state of destination.
For more information, visit our Australian Customs Forms & Guides for Moving Overseas.
31. Organize Your Finances
- Find out whether your current bank has branches in Australia and if it can handle your future needs
- If you're moving overseas for work, but you're employed by the same company, confirm whether your salary needs to be paid into your existing bank account or into your new Australian account
- If you plan on using your existing debit and credit cards in Australia, confirm whether they will work and what the fees are likely to be
- Organize some local currency for when you first arrive
- Consider opening a new local bank account near your new home
- Make sure you have copies of bank statements and other documentation that proves you have a good credit rating. This will make applying for new credit cards and loans easier
- Ensure all your tax returns are up-to-date.
For more information, visit What is a Credit Rating? in our Ultimate How to Move to Australia from America Guide.