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There are no money transfer restrictions when sending money from Australia to the US. There are many reasons for transferring money from Australia to the US; Australians relocating to the US may need to finance the move or send funds to buy a property, or support study abroad. Americans working in Australia may want to repatriate part of their salary or send money to family in the US. The Australian consulate in New York in 2010 estimated the number of Australians in the US at around 200,000, and the number of US nationals in Australia at around 99,000. Australia has the 11th largest population of Americans overseas, while the US is the second most popular destination for Australians after the UK.
According to a 2014 study by the Brookings Institution, 4,877 Australians have studied at US universities between 2008-12, focusing on business, management ans marketing. In total, the report estimates that they have spent US$114.8m in tuition and US$59.3m in living costs.
Applying for a student visa in the US is relatively straightforward. Once a prospective student is admitted to an accredited institution, the school becomes the sponsoring institution. The school will send an I-20 form with which the prospective student applies for a foreign student visa through the US Embassy or consulate in their home country. A visa is awarded once the US authorities have determined that they do not pose a terrorist, health or criminal risk. Upon her arrival into the US, immigration inspectors verify the paperwork. The sponsoring school is then responsible for confirming that the foreign student is attending classes and must update the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with any changes in enrollment status, course, or any disciplinary actions.
If moving to the US, to receive funds in the US, you will need a bank account. One of the most difficult things to deal with when moving to the US is opening a bank account as you will not have a credit history in the US. Opening a bank account before you leave Australia with an American Bank with an Australian branch is one suggestion. Some major banks in America will offer account opening assistance to Australian citizens moving as expats to the US. By contrast, opening a bank account in Australia from overseas is more straightforward and can be done in advance with many banks, even those without a presence in the US. in addition to standard ID requirements when opening bank accounts, US citizens or tax residents will have to provide their Tax Identification Number (TIN) or Social Security number.
Australian banks do not have any significant presence in the US. Several global banks such as HSBC may be the easiest way to set accounts up in both countries and to switch from Australian dollar to US dollar banking.
Obtaining a credit card in the US can be challenging, primarily because you will not have a US credit rating which anyone moving from Australia will not have. If you a fortunate to be sponsored by an Australian employer they may have a relationship with a US bank that will allow you to obtain a small limit credit card to allow you to build up your own credit. Once you have an income and credit in the US, it will put less pressure on any needs to transfer money from Australia to the US to fund your expenses and any purchases.
The US and Australia have a very close trade relationship, manifest in the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement (AUSFTA) which entered into force in January 2005. Under the AUSFTA, trade in goods and services and foreign direct investment have grown considerably, and more than 99%of US exports of consumer and industrial goods are now duty free.Australia’s imports of goods and services for the US reached US$48bn, making the Australia the US’s 13th largest export market, and the US Australia’s largest source of imports. The largest categories of imports were machinery (US$5.5bn), vehicles (US$3.5bn), electrical machinery (US$2.3bn), optic and medical instruments (US$2.2bn), aircraft (US$1.9bn), and agricultural products US$1.3bn.
Importing into Australia is usually straightforward as there is no general licence required for importing. Customs will still need to clear your goods on import, however, and it is worth speaking with an established logistics service to better understand any issues surrounding import permits, quarantine permits, safety or information standards and tax issues.
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