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Financial tips for doctors moving to Australia

Financial tips for doctors moving to Australia


Jan 22, 2022


As a doctor, deciding to pack up and move to another country will almost certainly be the biggest decision of your life.

But it can also be the best decision of your life – as long as you have planned in advance.

That’s why a little sage advice will go a long way when making the move.

How much are doctors paid in Australia?

Doctors in Australia are among the most handsomely paid professionals. But there can be an enormous disparity in pay not just between doctors but ones doing the same job in different regions.

The typical wage of doctors in Australia is between $100,000 and $400,000+.

Factors influencing pay include:

Geographic location

Wages in the biggest cities such as Sydney and Melbourne tend to be higher than in smaller cities. However, a specialist in a rural area can buck that trend if their specific skills are unique to the region.

Years of experience

It stands to reason that more experienced physicians command higher wages than their less experienced counterparts.


A specialist in a particular field is likely to earn more than a general practitioner.

Private practice

You may be able to draw a higher wage if you run your own practice as opposed to working for someone else or in a hospital.

Time sheets

Clearly, the more hours you work, the more you are likely to earn. Some doctors like to work on a part-time basis to devote more time to their families or other activities.

Economies of scale

Obviously, a doctor working in a busy practice or heavily populated area will earn more than a similarly qualified doctor that has fewer patients.

Moving your money

Once you’ve decided to move, it is important to ensure you transfer your wealth with a minimum of fuss and most importantly, a minimum of fees.

We can help you with all of this!

First, you need to select an Australian bank or financial institution. They will ask for a minimum 100 points of ID requiring a driver’s licence and passport, in order to open an account. 

The simplest and most cost effective way to transfer funds is via a specialist foreign exchange company that will able to secure you a better rate than the banks.

Be sure to consider a company’s reputation, not just the cheapest rate.

If you insist on dealing directly with a bank, ask them to match the rate in return for your business.

Also, try to lock in an exchange rate if you fear it may move against you before you can transfer funds.

Be aware that if you bring cash into Australia, you will have to declare anything in excess of A$10,000 to customs. You won’t have to pay tax on it although fees and duty may apply.

We can also help with pensions or annuities that may have accumulated in your own country as well as any other property or assets that you may wish to sell.

Taxation, credit cards and loans

To begin earning money in Australia, you’ll need to apply for a Tax File Number (TFN) so you become a resident for tax purposes. You will then need to pay tax on income earned and any capital gains from your investments, both in Australia and your country of origin. 

You may wish to apply for a credit card in Australia and you will need the same 100 points of ID needed to open a bank account. But it is recommended you wait until you are employed to prove you have an income and allow yourself time to establish a credit history. In the meantime, it may be handy to keep your credit card from your country of origin and ensure it is equipped for international transactions.

If you wish to apply for a home loan in Australia, you will need to enquire about a specific immigrant home loan. Most will allow you to borrow up to 80% of a property’s value although some will lend up to 95%. Evidence of a high income will make the process much easier along with a verifiable credit history from your homeland. 

You may also wish to consider a personal loan for purchases such as a car. As an unsecured loan, this will attract a much higher interest rate. The term of any personal loan will need to be shorter than the expiry date of your visa. 

Move smartly

While doctors are generally one of the better paid occupations, it is important they protect that wealth with good advice and management.

We are specialists in the business of giving medical professionals expert guidance about wealth creation, tax strategies and risk management as well as assisting doctors who are moving to Australia make a seamless transition.

Contact us today to talk about your financial needs regarding your big move.

The information contained on this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.

Taxation, legal and other matters referred to on this website are of a general nature only and are based on Nitschke Nancarrow’s interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Those laws may change from time to time.

Nitschke Nancarrow specialises in accounting, tax and financial advice for superannuation.

Contact us now for a no obligations discussion about your needs.

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