Opening a Bank Account

Find out what is required to open a bank account in Australia...

Most salaries and government benefits are paid directly into a bank account in Australia, so an account is necessary for those who work or are resident in the country for more than six months. It is possible to open a bank account in Australia through international branches before arrival, however it is necessary to prove intention to work or migrate to Australia. Proof of identity and a visa are required to open a bank account.

If opening an account on arrival, a passport is generally sufficient proof of identity. If an account is opened later than six weeks following arrival, banks must, by law, operate a 100 points system. This involves the account holder presenting different forms of identification to prove identity. Documents that may be accepted include:

  • Driver's licence
  • Australian Medicare card
  • Utility bill
  • Birth certificate
  • Car registration document
  • Rental receipts

Opening a bank account in Australia can be done at any local branch, by telephone or online. However, proof of identity still needs to be shown to the bank before the account is active. Once an application form has been filled in, it usually takes five to ten days to process the application.