Accommodating to the Australian life entails adjusting your experience as you become independent and established in your new country. Regardless of whether you’ve arrived to the country as a refugee, family migrant, humanitarian entrant or skilled professional, there are many new things to fiddle with as you adapt to your new life in Australia. While for some people the process can take as little as six months, for others it could be years before they are able to call Australia their home.
Factors that determine how quickly you can get settled
The timeframe you need to adjust to the Australian lifestyle depends on a number of factors, including:
- Your English skills
- Your statute when entering the country
- Whether you have visited Australia before
- Your knowhow of the social-cultural norms
- When you join the workforce
In the event that you are able to speak English at a conversational level, have arrived to Australia as a skilled immigrant and you have visited the country before, then chances are you will get accustomed to the lifestyle fairly quickly, meaning six to twelve months. On the other hand, if you don’t know English at all, and have never been to Australia before plus you arrived as a refugee, then it could take a few years before you adjust.
3 things you must do immediately after arriving
To make the process of settling into your new home as smooth as possible, there are some things that you are highly advised to do immediately after arriving to Australia, such as:
- To receive an income in Australia you must have a unique number issued by the government, namely the Tax File Number (TFN). You should apply for the TFN as soon as you decide to move to Australia.
- Similar to other countries, the Australian government provides help with the basic medical expenses via a program dubbed Medicare. Before you move, it would be wise to study the Medicare Information Kit (available in English and 19 other languages) in order to know what to expect. The good news is that most immigrants are generally eligible to apply for Medicare.
- Most incomes earned in Australia, be it wages or government benefits, are usually paid directly into a bank account. Opening a bank account within six weeks after arriving in Australia is highly recommended, especially since you will only need your passport for identification purposes. Subsequent to this period, you will require additional documents that are harder to obtain.