Fortunately, Australian banks make it easy to open an account from overseas.

All four of our big banks — National Australia Bank (NAB), Commonwealth Bank (CommBank) the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ Bank), and Westpac all allow people to open accounts with them, even if they’re not yet a resident in Australia.

Here’s what you need to do if you want to open an account with one of the big four Australian banks while you’re in a different country. Remember, too, that if you want to transfer money to Australia from overseas, your bank or PayPal is seldom the best option. Instead, we recommend using a specialist currency exchange provider, and you can see how much you could save here.

What You Will Need to Open an Account with an Australian Bank from Overseas

The big four banks all let you open a current / checking account online through their websites. You will need certain information to make this process as quick and easy as possible. Here are the conditions you’ll need to meet, and the documentation you need to have, to open an account.

General Requirements for Opening a Migrant Australian Bank Account

  • You will need to know the date you plan to arrive in Australia.
  • It’s helpful if you know the exact address where you will settle, although some banks will accept the state or region.
  • You will need to let the bank know the type of visa you will be entering Australia on — not all visa types are accepted when opening an overseas bank account.
  • You may need to share your profession or the type of work you will be doing in Australia, together with how much you are likely to earn.
  • Some banks will also need your passport number or another proof of identity when you sign up.

Westpac Bank

Westpac allows you to create your bank account up to 12 months before arriving in Australia. You don’t need an Australian address when you open your account, and you can complete account registration in fewer than five minutes.

Once your account is open, you can easily deposit money using international payments and money transfers. You can also use their online portal to start managing your money through their website, setting up transfers, bill payments, and the like. Once you get to Australia, you will need to confirm your identity with the bank before you can withdraw money.

Westpac also offers several other services like credit cards, mortgages, savings accounts, and superannuation.

Requirements to Open a Westpac Bank Account from Overseas

  • You must be over 12 years old.
  • You must have plans to arrive in Australia within the next 12 months.
  • The account must be registered and held in your name only.
  • You will complete an identity check within 12 months — you will not be able to withdraw funds before the identity check.
  • You will request access to online banking and are happy to receive electronic statements.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

“Whatever stage you’re at on your journey – we’re with you every step of the way.”

CommBank provides extensive assistance to help migrants moving to Australia. In addition to letting you open a bank account while you’re outside the country, they also provide other guides and services. These include guides on:

  • Living in Australia
  • Making the move to Australia
  • Moving from the UK
  • Moving from China
  • Moving to Australia checklist
  • Opening your Australian bank account

They also have details to assist you with finding a home, finding a job, setting up your technology, accessing your money, planning your budget, and various financial planning services and products.

There are two different types of accounts available to migrants — one for people who plan to live and work in Australia, and a student account for people who are studying here.

Requirements to Open a CommBank Account from Overseas

  • You can apply for and create an account up to three months before arriving in Australia.
  • You will be able to access your account through their online banking portal, NetBank, and view balances prior to arriving.
  • There are no monthly account fees for the first 12 months after arriving in Australia (and no monthly fees ever for the student account).
  • You will be able to collect and use a debit MasterCard when you arrive and confirm your identity.

National Australia Bank (NAB)

“National Australia Bank (NAB) is one of Australia’s leading financial services organisations and we’ve been helping our customers for over 150 years.”

NAB allow you to open an account online. In addition to a comprehensive range of financial products and services, they also provide guides on moving to Australia, healthcare, visas, accomodation, tax requirements, and more. They also provide comprehensive guides to students on studying in Australia, and detailed information on setting up your banking.

Requirements to Open an NAB Account from Overseas

  • You can open your account up to 12 months before you plan to arrive in Australia.
  • You are due to enter Australia to migrate,study or work.
  • You are 18 years of age or older
  • You are not travelling on a Working Holiday Visa
  • You will also need your passport number and expiry date.
  • You will need to know your planned arrival date and city.

Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ)

“Welcome to Australia! You may find things a bit different here, but there’s help available.”

ANZ Bank provides guides on several areas including banking, superannuation, taxes, budget planning, and more. ANZ provides accounts for students, businesses, and people who want to migrate to, work, and live in Australia. All of these types of accounts can be opened from abroad.

Requirements to Open an ANZ Account from Overseas

  • You can open your account up to 12 months before you plan to arrive in Australia.
  • You are 12 years of age or older.
  • You are not currently a resident of Australia.
  • You may need to supply foreign tax details.


You may also like

11 Things To Do In Melbourne In Winter 2021
Top Skills for Accountants
How to get Overseas Student Health Cover