Australia 250

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.

Rates last updated November 24th, 2017
$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
Westpac Choice
Mastercard
$0
$2,000
$0 ATM withdrawal fee at 50,000+ ATMs globally.
Via Westpac's Global ATM Alliance. Get Cash without your debit card (conditions apply).
ANZ Access Advantage
Visa
$0
$2,000
Apple Pay, Android Pay & ANZ Mobile Pay.
Take advantage of Apple Pay by linking your ANZ Visa Debit card to an eligible iPhone and seamlessly pay for purchases with your phone.
Commonwealth Bank Smart Access
Mastercard
$0
$2,000
Get unlimited CBA electronic transactions using internet banking, phone banking, ATM and EFTPOS.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Rates last updated November 24th, 2017
$
Monthly Account Fee Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Details
Westpac Choice – for migrants
Suitable if you're arriving in Australia within 12 months and intend to make a deposit within 6 months.
Mastercard $0 $2,000 $0 account keeping fees for the first year, then a $5 monthly fee applies. Unlimited free withdrawals at St.George, Westpac, BankSA or Bank of Melbourne ATMs in Australia. Go to site More

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 November 24th, 2017
$
$
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
ANZ Progress Saver
1.81%
0.01%
1.80%
$0
$10 / $10
Ongoing, variable 1.81% p.a. when you deposit $10+ each month and make no withdrawals. Available on the entire balance.
ANZ Online Saver
2.55%
0.80%
1.75%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.55% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to 0.80% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Westpac eSaver
2.51%
1.00%
1.51%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.51% p.a. for 5 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on the entire balance.
Commonwealth Bank NetBank Saver
2.55%
1.00%
1.55%
$0
$1 / $1
Introductory rate of 2.55% p.a. for 3 months, reverting to a rate of 1.00% p.a. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
Commonwealth Bank GoalSaver Account
2.50%
0.01%
2.49%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.50% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 p/m with no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $100,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Rates last updated November 24th, 2017
$
Name Product 3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. 36 Mths p.a. 48 Mths p.a. 60 Mths p.a. Min Deposit Interest Earned
Westpac Term Deposit
2.00%
1.85%
2.05%
2.30%
2.40%
2.50%
2.60%
2.80%
$5,000
Commonwealth Bank Term Deposit
1.75%
1.75%
1.75%
1.90%
1.90%
1.90%
1.90%
1.90%
$5,000
ANZ Term Deposit
1.55%
1.40%
1.70%
1.70%
2.10%
2.05%
2.10%
2.40%
$5,000

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.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

36 Responses

  1. 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

  2. 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?

    • Staff
      MariaNovember 8, 2017Staff

      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

  3. 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?

    • Staff
      MariaOctober 13, 2017Staff

      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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Default Gravatar
    FranzJune 21, 2017

    Good day!

    I am personally interested to open an bank account in Australia to enable me to send funds to an account for savings purposes. I do not intend to move there but want to keep my funds safe due to high fluctuations in Namibia country and government problems. Is this possible and which account type do I need?

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanJune 22, 2017

      Hi Franz!

      We know domestic situations can sometimes worry people. We want you to talk to your local bank and ask if they have Australian bank partners who can assist you with this. If granted, they will tell you which account types are available for you to open.

      Hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  9. Default Gravatar
    KuriakoseMay 22, 2017

    My wife and myself are South African citizens . Our children are married and settled in Australia. We applied and waiting for the Australian permanent residence permit and used to visit Australia . We were teachers in South Africa now retired and is residing in India at present.
    Shall we open an account in Australia and transfer our savings to Australia for a fixed period ?
    Shall we supposed to pay the tax for the interest earned ?

    • Staff
      JhezelynMay 31, 2017Staff

      Hi Kuriakose,

      Thanks for your question.

      Banks often have migrant services to help make the transition as smooth as possible. Most of the 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. If you are on a tourist or visitor visa, you can open an Australian bank account by visiting a local branch and providing your passport. You can find on this page – https://www.finder.com.au/foreigners-open-a-bank-account-in-australia – what are these banks and the guide on how you can apply.

      Once you’ve opened an Australian bank account, you may want to transfer funds from accounts in your home country to your new account through your bank.

      Hope this helps.

      Regards,
      Jhezelyn

  10. Default Gravatar
    SamMay 22, 2017

    I am a Canadian citizen and I will be visiting Australia in August. I want to open an non resident bank account so that I get a debit card to use it while I am there. Can I open a bank account while I am still in Canada.

    • Staff
      HaroldMay 22, 2017Staff

      Hi Sam,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

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

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

Ask a question