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When/How Should I Get My TFN & Bank Account?

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific When/How Should I Get My TFN & Bank Account?

1. Posted by JakeM (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y


I'm planning to go to Gold Coast, Australia on a WHV within the month.
I've applied for the visa, and am now on the the Tax File Number, and bank account.

Do I have to be in Australia to apply for the TFN?
And, same thing for a bank account?

I'm not sure if there's anything else I'll need to live and work in Australia :)
Please enlighten me!


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4893 posts) 1y

Yes, you have to be in Australia to apply for your TFN. When you are, fill in the form here. (And see here for a bit more information on things.)

Some banks (I don't know offhand which ones) allow applying for a bank account before you arrive, though you'll still have to visit a bank branch after arriving to show ID and pick up your debit card. But you can also just do it within the first few weeks after arriving, with all banks, by walking into a bank branch with your passport and AUD $50 for an initial deposit. Tell them you want to open an account, fill in some forms, tell them not to send you any bank statements and to send the debit card to your hostel (or probably you can also pick that up at the branch). It's a pretty easy process either way.
If you're good with budgetting money, it's worth seeing if there's any "no fees" accounts around at present (banks shuffle their products around all the time, but there tend to be one or two most times who offer this), where you don't pay anything at all as long as you limit your withdrawals to just 5 per month. Other than that, for backpacking purposes, all major Australian banks are indistinguishable. (Though if you plan to go to remote areas, it might be worth researching which banks have ATMs in that area.) ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB and WestPac are the big ones iirc, with the most extensive ATM networks, though I'd avoid WestPac if you can, as they used to astroturf this forum, and it amuses me to have that still backfire a little bit several years later. :)

3. Posted by JakeM (Budding Member 2 posts) 1y

Thank you Sander! Really appreciate your time & help.

Been stressing about all that crap, and don't want to pay someone to do it all for me.

4. Posted by elmo-m (Budding Member 14 posts) 1y

Yea i read up about it all and was told to order the TFN when there and go to a bank with my passport and address to open an account when I arrive