To have a look at the check-list that will assist you to immigrate to Australia within a week, please refer to the Introduction post on how to immigrate to Australia within a week.
How to Prepare to Immigrate to Australia
Today we will cover three things that will help smoothen out the Africa-Australia transition: credit cards, spare cash and paperwork.
1) Credit Cards and Spare Cash
If it is at all possible, then get a credit card and some spare cash. Most of the things that need to get done to immigrate involve money…lots of money in some cases. I recommend that you save up about $2000 – $3000 Australian dollars (rough estimate; please click here to convert Australian dollars into your local currency). Keep a credit card in your spare pocket in case of emergencies.
Once you have a consistent source of income, I recommend you get rid of the credit card. The temptation to spend will be too great and living within your means is a challenge when you have a credit card in your hip pocket. So please start saving up or organizing this before you leave.
2) Necessary Paperwork
Before you leave make sure you have with you:
a) EVERY single education document you have ever received. Primary school, high school, MS word courses, letters of recommendation, leadership position letters. Everything and anything that pertains to learning, GET AN ORIGINAL COPY. Do not think that your photocopy will do, go to the Ministry of education or the training institution and get yourself the ORIGINAL DOCUMENT. You don’t want to be in Australia stranded because you need your high school results from the Ministry of Education, it can be very disheartening.
b) Driver’s License, Birth Certificate, Passport and Identification: I strongly recommend that you get a driver’s license while still in Africa if it’s legal (more on this later). In addition to that make sure you get your national ID card before you leave. This in conjunction with your passport and your birth certificate are all you need to prove your identity anywhere in Australia so please don’t leave them behind.
You will probably already know this but have a look at your visa ( a lot of the time it’s in the passport) and know where it is just in case you will need details from the Visa (you will) later on.
c) All Documents and Receipts Pertaining to the Immigration Process: The basic idea is you want for there to be a paper trail showing how you went from yet another African citizen to an African citizen who is immigrating to Australia. Keep a copy of your application forms, immunization and medical check forms, English course forms, Visa payments, passport payments. As soon as you get any receipt or document, file it away. Compile all these documents into one big folder and keep them together.
d) Your Offer Letter: This refers to the letter that confirms that you have been approved for immigration to either come as a student or skilled migrant. Keep it with the other documents that form the paper trail but be aware of where this document is at all times, it’s pretty important once you get here.
Photocopy and Certify Documents
Make sure that you make at least five photocopies of all the above documents. In Australia, there is a process known as certifying documents. This is when someone who is allowed by law (please click on the link to see people who are allowed to certify documents), certifies that a photocopy is “an official” and true copy of a particular original document. This photocopy is then a legally binding document that can be used with about as much merit as the original.
When you arrive you will get ALL YOUR photocopies certified, including driver’s license, immunization, passport, visa etc. This will immediately eliminate the burden of having to constantly carry original documents, which can get lost, everywhere.
If you are one of those people who wants to come here to attend, adults only venues (pubs, nightclubs, certain comedy and theater shows etc etc) then carry your national ID with you if it shows your date of birth. Whenever possible, avoid carrying your passport everywhere. Speaking as someone who has lost my passport in the past, it’s too much of a hassle getting it back and you never know where you may need your passport or the visa therein.
If there is anything I may have missed in this guide, then please feel free to contact me or leave a comment and I will quickly add it to the guide. Next we continue with some more preliminary preparation before you fly out.
Take time to Enjoy the Scenery,