Can foreigners open a bank account in Australia?

Yes. Foreigners migrating, studying or working in Australia can open a bank account.

Opening a bank account with an Australian bank is a simple process given that you’re migrating, studying or working. If you reside in another country and don’t intend to migrate to Australia, you’ll need to speak to a local bank who has international ties with a bank in Australia. Those on a tourist or visitor visa can open an Australian bank account by visiting a local branch and providing your passport.

HSBC Everyday Global Account

HSBC Everyday Global Account

HSBC Everyday Global Account

Special offer: $100 bonus for new HSBC customers.
Earn 2% cashback on tap and pay purchases under $100.
Enjoy no foreign ATM or transaction fees and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available. T&C's apply to $100 bonus and 2% cashback offers.

  • Account keeping fee: $0.00
  • Linked debit card: Visa
  • ATM withdrawal fee: $0.00
  • Overseas EFTPOS fee: $0.00
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Rates last updated October 18th, 2019
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
If you live in a country that is part of HSBC's global network, visit a local branch to open this account prior to your arrival in Australia. Hold up to 10 currencies at a time and instantly transfer funds from one to the other at HSBC's competitive foreign exchange rates.
NAB Classic Banking
Visa
$0
$0
Apply for a NAB Classic Banking account from overseas up to 12 months prior to arriving in Australia and receive account details within 3 business days. Upon arrival, visit a NAB branch to verify your identity and receive your debit card.
Suncorp Everyday Options Account
Visa
$0
$0
Customers who open their account after 3 December 2018 will have their account-keeping fee waived for life.
Non-residents can open a Suncorp Everyday Options Account online as long as they verify their identity within 60 days.
Westpac Choice
Mastercard
$0
$2,000
Open a Westpac Choice account up to 12 months before arriving in Australia. Enjoy $0 monthly account fees for the first 12 months, and withdraw money after completing an identity check at any Westpac bank branch in Australia.
Suncorp Everyday Basics Account
Visa
$0
$0
Open an account with Suncorp online from Australia or overseas and verify your identity within 60 days, either in branch or via the post.
HSBC Day to Day Transaction Account
Visa
$0
$0
Apply for an Australian bank account in person at one of HSBC's global branches and get exclusive shopping deals at over 1,500 retailers worldwide through HSBCS home&Away privilege program.

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates last updated October 18th, 2019
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
CUA Everyday Account
Visa
$0
$0
Enjoy flexible payment options and access to a wide network of ATMs.
$0 monthly account fee.
Access to Google, Samsung and Apple Pay. Enjoy fee-free cash withdrawals from 10,000+ ATMs across Australia. Deposit $1,000+ into this each month and receive bonus interest on a linked CUA eSaver Reward Account.
Citi Global Currency Account
Mastercard
$0
$0
Hold up to 10 currencies.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free. Earn up to 1.50% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
CUA Everyday Snap Account
Visa
$0
$0
Refund of international ATM withdrawal fees and international card transaction fees (conditions apply). Refund of overdrawn fees.
$0 monthly account fee. Unlimited fee-free everyday transactions.
Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay available. Savings Top Up tool automatically transfers to linked savings account.

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Australia enjoys an excellent reputation as one of the top destinations for holiday-making, but also for foreigners considering studying and/or working overseas. Foreigners in Australia constitute 28% of the general population, which includes 1.2 million from the UK.

Thanks to the sheer volume of emigrants studying and working in Australia, banks often have migrant services to help make the transition as smooth as possible.

How do I open a bank account in Australia?

You can open an account online before arriving in Australia, on the phone or in person at the branch once you arrive.

If you do decide to visit a branch, remember to bring valid forms of ID with you. This includes your passport, overseas credit card/student ID and letter addressed to yourself proving Australian residence. For more information, please see our 100 points ID article.

Do Australian banks have migrant services?

Most major Australian banks have migrant services with staff who can speak a range of languages. This makes it a lot easier to open a bank account and avoid miscommunications.

These banks include (but are not limited to): Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, NAB, ANZ, Citibank and HSBC.

Moving to Australia? See our comprehensive guide here.

Which kinds of accounts are available to foreigners?

The type of account depends on your personal situation, your reasons for being in Australia and how much you’re willing to pay for additional services and add-ons. Students pay little or no withdrawal and/or management fees since their accounts are quite basic. Professional people would require more elaborate account types, like those that allow for joint accounts and access to loan and investment facilities. Here are a few of the account types available to foreigners.

Transaction accounts

Also known as a current or cheque account, this option is an everyday account from which to pay bills, send and receive money, and manage your daily expenses.

Savings account

This account pays you interest on the amount you have in your account: the more you have in this account, the more interest you earn. Since these funds are not intended for everyday use, account holders are usually penalised with high fees or loss of interest when withdrawing from this account. Keep in mind, a lot of these accounts cannot be opened from overseas since they require you to have an Australian Tax File number and residential address. However, since you can open some transaction accounts from overseas, you should consider comparing these rates when choosing the right transaction account for your needs.

Rates last updated October 18th, 2019
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
Rabobank Online Savings High Interest Savings Account
2.50%
1.05%
1.45%
$0
$0 / $0
Maximum variable rate of 2.50% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.05% p.a. No deposit or withdrawal conditions. Available on balances below $250,000
UBank USaver
2019 Winner
UBank USaver
2.10%
1.04%
1.06%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.10% p.a. when you link your USaver account to a UBank Ultra transaction account and transfer at least $200 per month into either account. The linked transaction account has no monthly fees and no international fees. Bonus interest available on balances up to $200,000.
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
2.15%
0.65%
1.50%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.15% p.a. when you grow your balance by $300+ per month. Earn bonus interest even if you make withdrawals during the month. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
Suncorp Growth Saver Account
2.05%
0.20%
1.85%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.05% p.a. when you grow your balance by at least $200 (excluding interest) and make no more than one withdrawal in the month. Available on the entire balance.

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Term deposits

Sometimes called a fixed deposit, this type of account is ideal for people who want to lock away a large amount of money for a fixed period. The length of the fixed period depends on the bank, and terms can last from as little as one month to over five years. As far as the interest rate goes, it pays to shop around for a bank that offers a decent rate over the fixed term. At the end of the fixed period, you can either roll over the amount plus interest for another fixed term, withdraw just the interest or make a full withdrawal. Most of these accounts cannot be opened from overseas, you need to have arrived in Australia to open them.

Rates last updated October 18th, 2019
$
Name Product 3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 5 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 7 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. Product Description Interest Earned
UBank Term Deposit Account
1.70%
1.70%
1.70%
1.70%
1.70%
1.60%
-
Customers who reinvest their term deposit upon maturity receive a 0.10% loyalty bonus.
The 5 and 7 month terms are UBank's Green Term Deposits, where your money will be matched to a portfolio of renewable energy projects.
MyState Bank Online Term Deposit
1.70%
1.65%
1.40%
1.50%
1.40%
1.35%
1.30%
Single or joint account-holders can apply online with MyState's online application process.
The MyState Bank Online Term Deposit has a choice of term lengths. Interest is paid upon maturity of the term deposit.
Judo Bank Term Deposit
-
-
-
2.35%
-
2.15%
2.20%
Earn a 0.10% p.a. loyalty bonus when you roll over your term.
The Judo Bank Term Deposit term lengths range from six months to five years. Minimum opening deposit is $1,000. No account-keeping or set-up fees to pay.

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What are the benefits to opening a bank account in Australia?

While a myriad services are now at foreigners’ disposal to send and receive money internationally, there are some advantages to having a local account.

  • Immediate access to your money. If you transfer money to your Australian bank account before you leave, you’ll be able to withdraw from your account as soon as you land in Australia. You’ll be asked to present positive identification when collecting your bank card.
  • Lower fees when using domestic services. Moving or withdrawing money between international and Australian accounts incurs high fees, whereas you’d pay low transaction fees when using a local account. These kinds of fees are usually waived for students.
  • Professional advantage. When you open an account before leaving, you can provide your future employer with your banking details ahead of time, saving yourself time on administration.
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50 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    azzaAugust 9, 2019

    Hi,

    How many bank accounts I can keep open at the same time?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 10, 2019Staff

      Hi Azza,

      Thank you for getting in touch with Finder.

      You can open as many as you can.

      I hope this helps.

      Thank you and have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  2. Default Gravatar
    ElzanneFebruary 27, 2019

    As a South African citizen, I would like to open a bank account in Australia, but I will not be living or working there.
    I just want ato save place to put myit money.
    Is that possible?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JohnFebruary 28, 2019Staff

      Hi Elzanne,

      Thank you for reaching out to Finder.

      Opening a bank account with an Australian bank is a simple process given that you’re migrating, studying or working. If you reside in another country and don’t intend to migrate to Australia, you’ll need to speak to a local bank who has international ties with a bank in Australia for you to be able to open an account. Hope this helps!

      Cheers,
      Reggie

  3. Default Gravatar
    BerniceAugust 1, 2018

    I entered Australia with an EB188 visa when I opened a saving account. I left Australia 4 months later and left the money in my bank account. I need to know how long can I keep the money there while I am abroad.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JeniAugust 9, 2018Staff

      Hi Bernice,

      Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

      It is best to contact your bank and check if your account still has your money on it. Some Australian banks charge an “inactivity fee” if no transaction is made within a month/a certain period – depending on the type of the account. If you still have the balance and your bank states that you are not charged an “inactivity fee”, your money can stay in your bank within 7 years. Your bank account becomes unclaimed after 7 years if the account is inactive (no deposits or withdrawals).

      You may read more about finding unclaimed money on this page.

      I would also suggest that you contact your bank and close your bank account with or without a balance. This is simply because some banks may charge inactivity fees for not using your account. Others may continue to charge monthly fees on the account, which could put you in debt.

      I hope this helps.

      Have a great day!

      Cheers,
      Jeni

  4. Default Gravatar
    agnesJune 6, 2018

    I am a non-resident of Australia thinking of opening a bank account in Perth, Australia.

    Is that allowed?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiJune 6, 2018Staff

      Hi Agnes,

      Thanks for getting in touch!

      You can open an account online before arriving in Australia, on the phone or in person at the branch once you arrive.

      If you do decide to visit a branch, remember to bring valid forms of ID with you. This includes your passport, overseas credit card/student ID and letter addressed to yourself proving Australian residence. For more information, please see our 100 points ID article.

      Here are the types of accounts you are eligible for:

      Transaction accounts
      Also known as a current or cheque account, this option is an everyday account from which to pay bills, send and receive money, and manage your daily expenses.

      Savings account
      This account pays you interest on the amount you have in your account: the more you have in this account, the more interest you earn. Since these funds are not intended for everyday use, account holders are usually penalised with high fees or loss of interest when withdrawing from this account.

      When you’re ready, simply choose the bank on this page above and click the GO TO SITE to get started.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Nikki

  5. Default Gravatar
    RochelleMarch 29, 2018

    Can you open a bank account in Australia if you have committed and been convicted of armed robbery (of a bank or otherwise)? This question is for Australian citizens/residents as well as foreigners.

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      NikkiMarch 29, 2018Staff

      Hi Rochelle,

      Thanks for your message and for contacting finder.

      In general, having a negative standing (i.e. a criminal record), a person may lose all sense of personal identity and credibility.

      However, not all hope is lost as each case is determined accordingly. So you may direct your concern to the proper authorities on how to go about it.

      Please note that we’re a product comparison website and we hold no affiliation with any company we feature on our site. We provide general information on products to assist you in your buying decision process hence we cannot recommend product / service that is rightfully fit for you.

      Hope this helps!

      Best regards,

      Nikki

  6. Default Gravatar
    CarolFebruary 22, 2018

    We will be coming To Australia yearly to visit and world Line To open an account in Melbourne. Our daughter lives there and Will be making monthly deposits for us. Can an account be opened front canada

    • Default Gravatar
      JoelMarch 10, 2018

      Hi Carol,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      This page on Savings Accounts for Expats and Residents on a Temporary Visa may be what you’re looking for as it discusses bank accounts for non-residents.

      If you’re not migrating to the country, you can also consider speaking to a local bank in Canada who has international ties with a bank in Australia.

      Cheers,
      Joel

  7. Default Gravatar
    GrantFebruary 4, 2018

    I intend to do business in my country with an Australian company. The intention is for the Australian company to pay my commission on deals in my country to me in Australian Dollar. Customers in my country will pay for the services in Australia and I will earn a commission on the profit margin for these deals. I am not resident in Australia but would like to open an Australian bank account to have the money paid into. Am I legally allowed to open a bank account in Australia and have these funds deposited there?

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayFebruary 23, 2018Staff

      Hi Grant,

      Thanks for your question.

      Typically, yes, a foreigner/non-resident can open a bank account in Australia, however, if you’re not migrating to the country, you would need to speak to a local bank who has international ties with a bank in Australia.

      Cheers,
      May

  8. Default Gravatar
    LivNovember 14, 2017

    Hi, I used to work in Australia under working holiday visa 2 years ago and i’ve come back to my home country, Indonesia. I still have some money in my Australian bank account and also the debit card. And my debit card is about expire in 6 months, and I still want to use it. My question is, can I order a replacement card so I’ll get the new card? I’m not living in Australia anymore so can I use my friend’s address to send it? thank you

    • Default Gravatar
      LiezlNovember 17, 2017

      Hi Liv,

      Thanks for reaching out to finder.

      Generally, banks will send your replacement card automatically before your card will expire. You don’t have to request for it. They will send this to the address listed in your bank’s record.

      Depending on the bank’s procedure, you may request to change your address or have your card delivered overseas. Either way, you’ll need to call the bank’s customer care few months before the expiry date to make this request. Kindly note that most banks won’t accept such request through email due to security reasons.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Regards,
      Liezl

  9. Default Gravatar
    RajNovember 8, 2017

    I applied for a visitor visa (sub-class 600) and was granted visa for 1 year (non-working with each stay up to 3 months a time). Can I open a bank account? If so, which banks allow tourists to open account?

    • Default Gravatar
      MariaNovember 8, 2017

      Hi Raj,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      This page on Savings Accounts for Expats and Residents on a Temporary Visa may be what you’re looking for as it discusses bank accounts for non-residents.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria and requirements and to read the details, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/ Terms and Conditions of the option before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

  10. Default Gravatar
    JoeyOctober 13, 2017

    Hi, I used to work and stay in Australia for some years and I have a TFN, however, I go back to my country for family issues and now thinking to just open an online bank account by using my friend’s home address due to better interest rate, is that alright? Will that be any issues?

    • Default Gravatar
      MariaOctober 13, 2017

      Hi Joey,

      Thank you for reaching out to us. It’s possible that they would look for a document proving your Australian residence such as a letter with the claimed address.

      You may find useful information on this page for Verifying Your Identity In Australia For A Savings Account.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

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