5 things you need to know when you move overseas for work

By Richard Laycock


Relocating for a job can be a really scary decision. You might be considering a change of scenery, pursuing a new dream or maybe just fulfilling a lifelong ambition to move overseas. But no matter the reason, it’s always an exciting venture. But with so much admin and work that goes into relocating, it can be a bit overwhelming. So here are some of the things you may need to be aware of if you move overseas for work:


Know your plan before you go


While many people are a big fan of the “New year, new me” impulse buying a one-way ticket, this isn’t always the most effective way to do things. There are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration when you move, and it’s important to plan as much as possible to reduce any unexpected issues that may arise. If it’s possible, have a job locked in before you go. Using a platform such as Relocate.me is an excellent starting place; it can help you to find a great fit in a new workplace abroad.


Lock in an income (or make sure you have savings)


A backpack with a map for job relocation


If you don’t have a job lined up then you’ll likely be relying on your savings to fund your trip while you lock in new work. If you’re planning on moving first, settling in, then job hunting later that’s fine, but make sure you can sustain this until you find another income. Some countries require that you have a minimum amount saved in your account before you enter, but you should aim for more than this. If you’re planning to move first and job hunt later, having a safety net will really help you out in case it takes you longer than expected to find work.


Register for a TFN


This is probably something that doesn’t even cross one’s mind when planning to move overseas, but it’s important to make sure you have your tax file number (TFN) sorted out for the country you’re going to be living in. It’s likely you won’t be able to work if you don’t have one so this is something you should address before you leave.


Organise your travel money


Travelling budget — money for relocation


While it’s important to take some cash overseas, it’s likely you’ll either be conducting an international money transfer or taking a travel money card overseas for your trip. Make sure you do this at a favourable rate so you don’t lose any of it in fees. This means not waiting until the last minute - exchange your money before you arrive in your destination. Airports or other tourist hubs can have unfavourable rates so it’s a good idea to ensure you’re more prepared than this. A little tip: casinos typically have great rates as they assume you’re going to spend your money there.


Check if you’re eligible for the reciprocal health agreement


The reciprocal Health Care Agreement was designed to provide subsidies for certain medical treatments in certain countries. It means that Australians travelling to certain included countries can gain access to subsidised health care for essential treatment. Check whether you’re eligible for this as a minimum for your health care overseas and if not, you should certainly ensure you have travel insurance to last long enough for you to settle in.

Moving is such an exciting process that you shouldn’t let yourself get bogged down by the logistics. Just make sure you have a place to stay, savings or income, and a safety net in case something goes wrong! Good luck.



Richard Laycock
Insurance Expert at finder.com.au

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