Moving to Australia? Here are your most frequently asked questions, answered.
Can I use my Irish drivers licence in Australia?
Drivers license rules for tourists in Australia
The common policy in Australia is that tourists are permitted to drive in a State or Territory if they hold a current license to drive a motor vehicle which is issued in English. If your license is not issued in English, you will also need to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) at all times while driving. You will then be permitted to drive a vehicle; however, this only applies to the type or class to which your license is applicable.
Driver’s license rules for people moving to Australia
If you are migrating to Australia and intend to drive, you should inquire about obtaining an Australian driver’s license from the road traffic authority in the capital city of the State or Territory in which you intend to reside. You should do so, regardless of whether you hold a valid Irish driver’s license. Your queries should be addressed to the appropriate driving licensing authorities. Each State and Territory has its own regulations regarding application and issue of drivers’ licenses. Procedures for obtaining a driver’s license may include an examination in traffic laws, a practical driving test, an eyesight and hearing test and payment of a license fee.
International driving permit (IDP) issued in Ireland
If you hold a valid driver’s license you can purchase an International Driving Permit from your local AA office. The permit is usually valid for one year or the length of validity of your license, whichever is less.
You can find more detailed information at the Australian Department of Transport.
Do I need to have $5000 AUD/ €3000 in my account when applying for a visa?
No this is not required when applying for visa.
What funds do I need in my account when arriving in Australia and where do I have to show this?
You will need to have $5000 AUD or €3000 in your bank account when arriving in Australia. It is good idea to carry a copy of your bank statement to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to purchase an airline ticket to leave Australia.
Do I need to book return flights?
There is no requirement to have a return ticket when you arrive in Australia. However, officers at the border need to be satisfied that visitors, working holiday makers and temporary residents are intending to and have the means to leave Australia before their visa expires. This is why the is the requirement that you have $5000 AUD or €3000 in your bank account when arriving in the country.
Is regional work only to do with farming and fruit picking?
Regional work, also called specified work is not just fruit picking or farming, although it is a great way to save money and meet people. It can include casual work in tourism, hospitality, labouring and more – only in government specified areas outside the cities.
As the name suggests, regional work must be done in a qualifying area. You can check this on a postcode list (scroll to the bottom of the link) to ensure the work you do counts towards your 88 days for the 2nd and 3rd year visas.
- Tourism and hospitality in northern or remote and very remote Australia
- Plant and animal cultivation in regional Australia
- Fishing and pearling in regional Australia
- Tree farming and felling in regional Australia
- Mining in regional Australia
- Construction in regional Australia
- Bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire affected areas only
- Flood recovery work in declared flood recovery areas only, undertaken on or after 1 January 2022 (for applications lodged on or after 1 July 2022)
- Critical COVID-19 work in the healthcare and medical sectors anywhere in Australia
You can get a comprehensive list of jobs that qualify for regional work in your area from the Australia Department of Home Affairs.
What is a TFN?
A Tax File Number (TFN) is a mandatory requirement for anyone working in Australia. You need to get this set up before you start work. NexVentur can help you with this process. You can apply for a TFN even before you arrive in Australia.
When are tax returns due for Australia?
The Australian tax year runs from 1 July to 30 June. The deadline to file your Australian tax return is 31 October. You can apply use a tax agent to help with filing your tax return. This is very useful to get tax back. NexVentur partners with Taxback for these services.
The Embassy can provide the latest Tax Pack for people who wish to lodge Australian tax returns. Any enquiry regarding taxation should be directed to the Australian Taxation Office.
How to I find a rental in Australia?
There are lots of property sites in Australia. Have a look at some of the big ones:
The first step is to fill in a 1form, which is like a rental CV. The great thing about it is that you enter your details once and then save them. Your details then pre-populate all rental applications, making it easy to apply with just the click of a button.
It is also a good idea to get familiar with tenant rights in Australia. Here are some useful resources for new renters.
What do I need to supply in a rental application?
You will need the following in order to apply for a rental
- Proof of income – your last three pay slips
- Employment contract – this may be required by some letting agencies
- Proof of identity – two different photo IDs (such as passport and driver’s license)
- References – an employer reference and a reference from a previous landlord (if you have rented in the past)
- Upfront payment – you will need to be able to pay a bond (deposit) upfront, which is usually the equivalent to one month’s rent, plus the first month’s rent.
Set up a renter profile online and have it all in one place.
What is the 1form?
The 1form is an online rental application form that most real estate agencies require when you are applying to rent property. We recommend getting this before applying for a house or apartment as it spends up the process. You can set up your form here.
Does Australia have the same power outlets as Ireland?
No. Power outlets are different in Australia. Stores specialising in travel goods sell power outlet adapters which will enable electrical goods purchased in Ireland to operate in Australian power outlets. The electrical current in Australia is 240 volts, AC is 50 Hz.
What is the weather like in Australia?
Firstly, Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so the seasons are reversed. The climate varies considerably from east to west and inland to coastal areas. The centre of the country is covered by deserts and is extremely arid. Good news is, the weather is warmer and sunnier than Ireland or the UK!
Summer is from December to February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August, spring from September through November. See here for more information.
When is the best time to visit Australia?
Australia has a widely varying climate, from tropical and subtropical to desert, with temperate areas along the southerly coast. They have a great biodiversity including dewy rainforests, sandy plains, snowy alps and sunny beaches. Remember to consider peak seasons, wildlife events and festivals when planning your visit Australia.
Summer: December through February
In summer, the average daily temperatures range from about 20°C to 37°C in the major capital cities.
Autumn: March through May
Average temperatures moderate to between 17°C and 35°C.
Winter: June through August
Average temperatures range from 11°C in the south to 30°C in the north.
Spring: September through November
Things warm in spring, with daily temperatures from 17°C in the south to 35°C in the north.
What is the difference between White Card and Blue Card in construction?
The major difference is that a white construction induction card can allow you to work all over the country, in any state. With the blue card you’d only be allowed to work in specified areas/territories, such as Western Australia.
A White Card is required for roles such as site managers, supervisors, labourers, tradespeople, and surveyors. You need to complete an in-person course which is approximately six hours. Beware of online courses, they are usually a scam and won’t be recognised in most regions. NexVentur can assist with booking your course in the location closest to you. Simply email us.
Note that a blue card is only accepted in certain states, so it’s easier to get your White Card, which is accepted in all states.
What other tickets may be required for construction work in Australia?
High-risk work license
This ticket is required for scaffolding, dogging and rigging work and can be obtained through an RTO that is listed on the National Register of Vocational Education and Training. Once you pass the training, you will need to apply for the high-risk work license through a local WHS regulator within 60 days of training completion. The ticket is valid for five and needs renewing within 12 months if you want to avoid retaking the training programme. We can assist with booking your course in the location closest to you. Simply email us.
Working at Heights
For any work higher than two metres from the ground you will need a Working at Heights ticket. They are usually required for working electricity, on building sites, or on high beams. A course needs to be completed to earn this ticket, involving theory and face-to-face practice. To book your course at a location closest to you, simply email us.
Confined Space Entry Ticket
You will need a Confined Space Entry ticket if you have a job that involves working in small spaces. Work in tanks, manholes, pipelines, and shafts require this ticket. Most jobs working in smaller spaces where only a few workers may fit at a time will require a Confined Space Entry ticket. You can get your ticket through an RTO course, and it is valid in all regions of Australia. The course is registered as ‘Enter and work in confined spaces’ (RIIWHS202E). The industry standard is to renew this ticket every 24 months, although this is not a government requirement. You can do this through a refresher course rather than going through the full introduction course. Simply email us to book a course closest to you.
Elevated Work Platforms Ticket
An Elevated Work Platforms Ticket prepares you to operate machinery that elevates, such as scissor lifts. You can get this by attending a one-day training course and completing the assessments successfully. It is possible on some courses to get the Working at Heights Ticket at the same time as your Elevated Work Ticket. An EWT is valid for five years from the date of assessment. NexVentur can help with booking your course in the location closest to you. Simply email us.
Excavator ticket –
Employers must ensure that operators are competent for the use of their equipment. Generally, a valid ticket is required to operate plant and machinery.
Excavator tickets are gained through a three-day course and are available for beginners, intermediate and advanced machine operators throughout Australia. You will learn skills on conducting roller machines in the Civil Construction industry which include:
• Planning and preparing
• Operating the machine
• Carrying out pre-start and safety checks
• Lifting, Moving, and placing materials
• Choosing and fitting machine attachments
• General machine maintenance
Operating a Skidsteer in Australia is a great pathway into the construction industry. To get a job as a skidsteer operator you will have to complete a basic training course which will provide you with a ticket to get you started. Skidsteers are used on the majority of construction sites where they are used to collect, lift, move and place materials such as sand, gravel, and soil. A training course to operate a Skidsteer takes 1-3 days. Email us for more information and to get on a course.
A Roller Ticket is available through training organisations throughout Australia. It will take 1-3 days to complete your in-person training and assessment, depending on your experience. Email us to get started.
For a Moxy Ticket you will need to do a 1-3 day training course, depending on experience. Theory and practical exercises are involved, and upon successful completion you will receive a plastic wallet card (valid ticket). A Moxy falls under the Articulated Haul Truck category so you will also gain the skills and knowledge to efficiently and safely operate an Articulated Haul Truck. Email us to start the process.
Graders are seen as one of the earthmoving equipment machines that need the most attention and care to operate. Consequently, operators require a valid ticket to use a grader. These are recognised nationally and give holders the skills and knowledge to operate a grader safely and efficiently. To get a Grader Ticket for Australia you will need to complete a three-day course comprising written and practical assessments. To book your course, simply email us.
What tickets or licenses do I need for Traffic Control?
Before working with traffic on construction cites you will need two traffic control tickets. There is a separate course for each ticket, but they can be done alongside one another.
Traffic Control with Stop/Slow Bat (RIIWHS205E) is the introduction to directing traffic according to the worksite traffic plan.
Implement Traffic Management Plans (RIIWHS302E) focuses on the management of planning traffic control. You can get this ticket without needing the other, but your responsibilities will traffic control.
Most traffic control tickets are valid for a 3-year period before you need to complete a refresher course. Email us to get started.
Traffic Control Tickets – Public Roads
For controlling traffic on public roads, each state has its own requirements. Applications can be lodged both online and in person. For more details, and to get the ball rolling, simply email us.
Can I travel to Australia while waiting for a decision on my visa application?
You should not book flights or make travel commitments until you have a visa to travel to Australia. The Department of Home Affairs stipulates that it will not be liable for any financial loss incurred by clients whose visa application was finalised later than expected or is unsuccessful.
Who needs a visa for Australia?
All travellers who are not Australian or New Zealand citizens need to obtain a valid visa or authority to enter Australia. You may travel there on a temporary visa while you are waiting for your permanent visa to be finalised. Note that visa requirements change regularly so be sure to check with us beforehand. Our expert visa partners will also be able to advise.
What is the time difference between Ireland and Australia?
Australia has three separate time zones:
- Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
- Australian Central Standard Time (ACST)
- Australian Western Standard Time (AWST)
Please see the World Clock.
Is there daylight saving in Australia?
Only some states observe daylight saving. These are New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and Norfolk Island.
Daylight Saving Time runs from the first Sunday in October at 2am, when clocks are put forward one hour. It ends at 2am on the first Sunday in April, when clocks are put back one hour.
How do you phone or fax Australia?
Dial +61 and then the State or Territory code (minus the 0) and then the number.
What is the exchange rate?
NexVentur partners with currency experts OFX for preferential rates. You can transfer money any time, anywhere through their secure app. Register online. They also have a great currency converter tool.
What public holidays are observed in Australia?
Main holidays such as Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Australia Day, Easter Monday and Anzac Day are observed throughout Australia.
Each state also has its own public holidays. See full details by state here.
How can I have my trade recognised in Australia?
The Department of Employment and Workplace relations provides a skills assessment service for people with trade skills gained overseas, this is through Trades Recognition Australia.
They have a number of skills assessment programmes you can sign up for:
- TSS Skills Assessment Program: when you’re applying for a 482 visa (Temporary Skills Shortage), this determines if you have the skills and experience needed at the required level to work in Australia in your nominated occupation.
- Offshore Skills Assessment Program: needed when you are applying for a Skilled Migration Visa (excluding 482 and 485) or if you choose to take a skills assessment.
- TRA Migration Skills Assessment: This is a pilot programme providing fast-tracked assessment. It is for migrants living in Australia on eligible family, partner, humanitarian, or refugee visas who have never undergone a skills assessment and have skills, qualifications and/or experience in a priority occupation.
- Migration Skills Assessment: This is for people wanting a Skilled Migration Visa for permanent migration.
- Migration Points Advice: This is used to tell the Department of Home Affairs about the comparability of your qualifications and/or employment experience against Australian standards. The information on a MPA letter can assist with assessing your points tested visa application.
- Job Ready Programme – for international student graduates who have an Australian qualification.
Do you still have questions?
Book a free consultation with our team today!