How to Apply for Bank Account Before Going to Australia

by fourkangaroos on September 24, 2016

One of the most important things that you should do after your visa grant is applying for an Australian bank account which you can use to deposit money from overseas. It is not advisable to bring all of your cash when you move or settle in Australia due to safety when travelling from one point to another.

That’s why before going there for initial entry or “big move”, you must have your own bank account where you can send money from abroad. It is the safest and easiest way to bring your money in Australia.


Please be reminded that you can send money initially but you must visit your bank in person so that you will be able to present your identifications and visa information to be able to withdraw your money. It is the law (anti-money laundering) so you cannot avoid this requirement. You should make an appointment with your banker in order to complete your bank account opening and completely activate your account.

However, you can check your account balance by internet banking or sending an inquiry email to the bank (in case of NAB). In my experience, I was not able to create internet banking because of the confirmation code error when sending to my phone here in South Korea. Despite of that, I can still check my balance when I send email to my bank requesting for my balance.

What Bank Should I Choose?

In my knowledge, all of Australian banks have migrant banking that caters for all migrants who want to work, live or study in Australia. Thus, if you are going there, you are qualified to open a bank account provided you will present essential requirements thereafter like your visa grant letter and passport.

I have tried opening bank account at National Australia Bank (NAB) and Commonwealth Bank’s Netbank through online. It is actually easy to do so because you only need your mobile phone and your personal information.

You may try opening a bank account by visiting the links below. Also, you can visit their website directly to learn more information about how to open an account.






I already sent some money to my NAB account and it is already added to my account when I inquired for its balance when I send email inquiry to them. However, what I have said earlier, I cannot do other transactions like withdrawals at this moment because I need to visit first the bank to submit identification requirements.

It is the same for all migrant applicants. You should visit your bank in person and submit the needed requirements before you can withdraw your money.

The Application Process

Basically, the process of application will only take less than 15 minutes and you will do it online. The basic requirement is your complete name, email address, and mobile phone number. A confirmation code will be sent to your phone in order to verify your identity. I have problem with this one. I’m not sure why but maybe there’s an issue with my telecom provider here in South Korea. I am not able to receive the confirmation code so I cannot complete the application for bank account and applying for internet banking.

However, NAB does not send confirmation code so I was able to complete the application. Westpac and Commonwealth bank do send confirmation code in order for you to complete the application of your bank account.

In case of NAB, a welcome letter detailing your bank account will be sent to your email you used in registration. In addition, there you will know the requirements you need to submit when you visit your branch for the first time.

You can start sending money to your account because you already know your bank account name and number. Also, other details will be given in the letter such as the SWIFT number of NAB.

In order to withdraw your money, you need to visit your bank when you do your initial entry so that your identity will be confirmed. You should bring your passport, visa grant letter and other identification cards you have.

Account Activation

In my experience, before travelling to Australia, I contacted NAB and one employee replied to me about our appointment. It is needed in order for account activation.

I went to NAB at Liverpool Street in Sydney on September 12 so that I can activate my account and also to register to internet banking. Gavin Thompson helped me in the process, he was patient and explained the details and features of my new bank account. The whole process will not consume much of your time so after visiting NAB in Liverpool Strret you can go somewhere else like Hyde Park or the nearby Darling Harbour.

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