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Opening up bank account offshore


NikkiR

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Hi all, can anyone offer any advice on opening up an Australian account before you arrive? I can see that the Big 4 allow you to do so, but you need to physically present yourself at one of their branches in order to transact on this. With quarantine, this would delay being able to use your cards for at least 2 weeks, and it would be good to buy essentials without using overseas cards. Can anyone suggest an alternative to the Big 4 where you can do online transactions before going into a branch?

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ChrisH

Hi, I think the only banks that allow opening accounts offshore are the big 4. 

Unfortunately the rule that you have to present yourself physically at a branch is an AML (anti money laundering) law and I doubt that you'd get around this.

To open an account when you are here you would need 100 points of identification (your passport + either a local drivers license or Medicare card) which is also not an option.

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TeeTMI
On 2/16/2021 at 11:06 AM, ChrisH said:

To open an account when you are here you would need 100 points of identification (your passport + either a local drivers license or Medicare card) which is also not an option.

 

When we migrated many years ago now - we had opened an account prior to moving and transferred some funds.  You will need to check it is still he case but we did not need 100 points of evidence - I think it was just our passports.  When in the bank activation the account we asked the bank to print us a letter - and we were also then able to use that towards proof of address and the 100 points at other locations. 

It was one of the useful tips we had been given on here before  we moved!

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ThatMorneGuy

Hi @NikkiR

We were initially supposed to travel to Australia in January 2021, so in December I opened a bank account with NAB. Since I'm unable to transact with that account, and still being stuck in South Africa due to not getting a Travel Exemption approved, I opened another account with Revolut Australia.

 

My employer in Australia is able to pay my salary into this account, and I am able to spend some of that money in South Africa using a virtual card. Also worth mentioning that Revolut allows you to have multiple virtual accounts which can be in many different currencies, so my main account is in AU$ and my virtual account is in ZAR. They also allow you to buy and sell different currencies at actual rates.

 

Revolut Australia | A better way to handle your money

 

I was able to open the account just with my SA cellphone number, my SA passport (I believe they automatically checked if there was a Visa granted on my passport number), and a selfie. There are also no monthly fees for the standard account. Once you arrive in Australia you can order your free physical card and have it delivered.

 

Hope this helps :)  

Edited by ChrisH
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