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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.

NAB Classic Banking

NAB Classic Banking

NAB Classic Banking

Impressive digital perks. $0 monthly account fee. Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.

  • Account keeping fee: $0.00
  • Linked debit card: Visa
  • ATM withdrawal fee: $0.00
  • Overseas EFTPOS fee: 3%
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Rates last updated May 20th, 2018
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
NAB Classic Banking
Visa
$0
$0
Apply for a NAB Classic Banking account from overseas 12 months prior to arriving in Australia. You'll receive your account details and be able to deposit money from overseas. Upon arriving, you'll need to visit a NAB branch some form of identification to receive your debit card.
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
In most cases, you need an Australian residential address to open this account. However, if you live in a country that has HSBC bank branches, you can visit a local branch and a specialist will be able to assist you in opening this account prior to your arrival in Australia. This account allows you to hold up to 10 currencies at once.
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
Visa
$0
$0
Apply for a NAB Classic Banking account from overseas 12 months prior to arriving in Australia. You'll receive your account details and be able to deposit money from overseas. Upon arriving, you'll need to visit a NAB branch some form of identification to receive your Platinum Visa debit card.
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.
ANZ Access Advantage
Visa
$0
$2,000
Apply for an ANZ Access Advantage account before arriving in Australia and start transferring funds once you receive your account details. Upon arriving, you'll need to activate your account in order to receive your debit card. Enjoy $0 monthly account fees for the first 12 months.

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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.

Rates last updated May 20th, 2018
$
$
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
HSBC Serious Saver
3.00%
1.60%
1.40%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 3.00% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.60% p.a. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
Westpac Life
2.30%
1.50%
0.80%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.30% p.a. each month you deposit money, and make sure your balance is higher at the end of the month than it was at the beginning. No monthly account-keeping fee.
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
2.50%
1.25%
1.25%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.50% p.a. when you deposit $300+ each month (other conditions apply). Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
ANZ Progress Saver
1.71%
0.01%
1.70%
$0
$10 / $10
Ongoing, variable 1.71% p.a. when you deposit $10+ each month and make no withdrawals. 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 May 20th, 2018
$
Name Product 3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 7 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. Min Deposit Interest Earned
Citibank Term Deposit
-
-
2.80%
-
-
-
$100,000
MyState Bank Online Term Deposit
2.50%
2.35%
2.50%
1.50%
2.60%
2.60%
$5,000
RaboDirect Term Deposit
2.30%
-
2.50%
-
2.40%
2.60%
$1,000
Bankwest Online Term Deposit
2.35%
1.50%
2.60%
1.50%
2.65%
2.60%
$1,000
Firstmac Term Deposit
2.40%
-
2.50%
-
2.65%
2.75%
$5,000
RaboDirect Term Deposit (SMSF)
2.30%
-
2.50%
-
2.40%
2.60%
$1,000
St.George Term Deposit
2.05%
1.85%
2.15%
1.90%
2.45%
2.50%
$1,000
BCU Term Deposit
1.25%
0.71%
1.40%
0.71%
1.45%
2.55%
$1,000
BankSA Term Deposit
2.05%
1.85%
2.15%
1.90%
2.45%
2.50%
$1,000
Bank of Melbourne Term Deposit
2.05%
1.85%
2.15%
1.90%
2.45%
2.50%
$1,000

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Shirley Liu

Shirley Liu is a program manager at finder, formerly the publisher for Banking and Investments. She is passionate about helping people make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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42 Responses

  1. 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.

    • Staff
      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

  2. 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

    • Staff
      JoelMarch 10, 2018Staff

      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

  3. 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?

    • Staff
      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

  4. 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

    • Staff
      LiezlNovember 17, 2017Staff

      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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Default Gravatar
    AlanSeptember 30, 2017

    Hello
    I intend to visit Australia next year on a ETA visa. As a British subject, am I able to open a bank account either prior to departure or on arrival?
    I intend to spend 3 months touring. I will not have a local address as I will be staying in hotels.
    Regards

    • Staff
      JudithSeptember 30, 2017Staff

      Hi Alan,

      Thanks for contacting finder, an Australian comparison website and general information service.

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

      On the same page you’re viewing, you may compare and choose a bank account that would best suit your needs. Then just click the green button “Go to site” to view the details of your preferred bank account.

      I hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Judith

  8. Default Gravatar
    BenedetteSeptember 20, 2017

    Dear Sir
    I’m planning to relocate in 6 months time to Perth, which is the best bank to open my account having in mind I would like to get mortgage for a home.
    Regards
    Benedette

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanSeptember 20, 2017

      Hello Benedette,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Choosing your bank would depend hugely on the accessibility, interest rates and their migration services/assistance to offer for you. We recommend that you take time to review the listed banks on this page to get a clearer picture of the services they can provide.

      As for the home loans, you can check this comprehensive guide to get you started.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  9. Default Gravatar
    DeeJuly 19, 2017

    Hi. I used to reside in Australia a few years ago and still have an active savings account. I am currently living in New Zealand but plan to move to Australia in a few years time. I would like to put my money into a term deposit. Will I have to pay tax on interest? Thanks.

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanAugust 1, 2017

      Hello Dee,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      Yes, if you are considered Australian resident for tax purposes, tax will be deducted on your actual interest earnings. Upon account opening, although not required, you will to nominate your Tax File Number (TFN) so that the bank can report these to the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Without your TFN, the banks would still withhold them.

      You can read this guide to know more.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  10. Default Gravatar
    ParisJuly 16, 2017

    Hi, i am about to come to Australia and I wish to open a bank account.
    At first I would like to transfer 30000 euros.
    For now I live and work at Greece.
    Will this amount be taxed ?

    • Staff
      HaroldJuly 18, 2017Staff

      Hi Paris,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      If you do not intend to move in and have provided your an address as outside of Australia, you will not have to pay tax on bank account.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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