How to Survive the 100 Point Check (and other shit) in Perth

If you are a Singaporean migrating to Perth, you need to know this.

The 100 point check was an outcome of the Australian Commonwealth Government's desire to limit opportunities for individuals and companies to hide financial transaction fraud, enacted by theFinancial Transactions Reports Act (1988) (FTR Act), which gave rise to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). 
The points system applies to people opening new financial accounts across Australia, such as a bank account or betting account. Recently (2009), a law stating that buyers for Subscriber Identity Modules (SIMS) require the 100 point check. Also to buy a mobile phone the 100 point check is required. Points are allocated to the types of documentary proof of identity that the person can produce, and they must have at least 100 points of identification to be able to establish the account: 
However, the system has become more widespread and is also applied to the establishment of many official records, such as a driving licence. 
An issue for many Australian organisations is the capture of credit card Primary Account Numbers (PANs), referred to below under the 25 Points section as Credit Card or EFTPOS Card. This practice is not compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and must be removed from all 100 point check forms. [link]

We came to Perth knowing nothing about this. So I am writing this post to help you out. If you do not want to read all these bullshit, skip the following and move on to the next section. 

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Come to think of it, migrating here was a complete conundrum. I didn't realise that because we tied up with a friend of Jen who agreed to rent one of her rooms out to us to tide us over. We were a lot luckier in that sense as compared to most of the Singaporeans I knew who came by themselves with only some money in their pockets.

So a migrant needs a place to stay. It is obviously impossible difficult to secure a rental place before coming over. Many will resort to staying at budget motels or backpackers inn to save cost. Even then, these options are not cheap and don't make good accommodation in the long run. So unless the new migrant as pockets deeper than the Orchard Road ponding, they will be desperate to land themselves a rental home as soon as they can.

Ah. Finding a rental unit is by far one of the trickiest thing over here. Firstly, the mechanics of renting is somewhat different from what we know in Singapore. In Singapore, we can rely on real estate agents to  hunt down renting options. An agent usually has an array of rental flats under her armpit. If one does not work out, we move on to the next. With that, a new migrant in Singapore will get his rental flat in no time. Money, it appears, solve most problems in Singapore.

I do not want to elaborate the problems of searching for a rental place in Perth. It will take one, or even two, long posts just to talk about it. Perhaps I will do it next time, or unless my friend Thusara completes his rental house hunting guide and donate it to me. Meanwhile, let me simplify the situation. Under the tricky mechanics that the rental market operates, it will be best to have  

a) a car to run around the place
b) good rental references
c) proof of permanent job

The bad news is, chances are you will have none of the above and will be thinking how the fuck will you be able to land a permanent job without a place to take a proper dump? So let's get a rental place. No references, no rental places. You need a rental reference to get a rental place but you need a rental place to get a rental reference. That's the gist of it. Fuck Perth, I'm flying back to Singapore on the next flight. That will be what you may be thinking being caught under an catchception - a catch 22 within a catch 22 situation. 

If you end up at the vehicle licensing centre too quickly with the intention of obtaining your most important identification card, the WA driving licence, you will encounter yet another frustrating barrier. You will be required to produce documents fulfilling one of the following two options before they will process your application.

Identification checks requirements at licensing centres

So what are the items in the different categories? If you need to ask this question at the licensing centre, you have a 99% chance go back on another day. To find out the items in each category, click [here]

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Ok. To cut the story short. Do these.

1) Get your bank account

After you dump your bags at the budget motel, head to the nearest bank. Choose whatever bank you like. They offer higher interest rates than DBS/POSB anyway. Open a bank account in the bank. All they need is your passport. Unless you came by boat, landed and didn't get caught, the document which got you here will be sufficient to get a bank account set up nicely.
1a) Get a Tax File Number (TFN) if you wish at this stage. You need to provide your TFN for any permanent job. Your passport is sufficient as identity check for TFN.

2) Get your medicare card

Armed with your passport, visit the nearest Medicare centre and get yourself set up with an account. Your medicare card is important. So give it a kiss when you received it a couple of weeks later.
2a) With a medicare card, set up a Centrelink Account. Centrelink is a department of Human Services of the Australian government. No they do not provide massage services, if you are thinking along that ling. As a newly arrived migrant, you are not immediately eligible for social security (unless you are a refugee or humanitarian entrant). You do not have access to the full range of government employment services. If you are a permanent resident, you may be eligible to access some services. I'll leave you to explore their website to find out what aid you can receive to help you get going with life in Australia. 

3) Get your local driving license

Bring along your passport, bank statement, medicare card and a big grin - for that grin is going to appear on the main identity card (your driving license) for a very long time.

4) House hunt

Buy a damn car. If you want to buy that five figures newish lean mean shiny babe magnet, by all means do it. If budget is your concern, I bought mine for $2100. Thusara bought his for $1300 or so. You have no excuse. The cheap cars are too "lok-kok"? Wu qi wu pi wu dua liap nee? Be realistic. It's too early for heaven.

Is it necessary to get a car ? Absolutely not. Sure, if you don't want to spend the money. You will take longer to find a place to rent because your options are only limited to places accessible by public transport. Unless you are very luck, chances are the extra time you will be spending to secure your house will cost you enough money to buy my car. Otherwise, you will probably get a place fast but expensive. Again, the extra rental fees you pay compared to a less convenient location will probably buy you two of my car in a year. I think spending more time on the road and spending a bit more on fuel is fully justified at this point in time, where the roads of Perth are still running (relatively) smoothly. That is because the difference of rental rates for houses just a 5km apart can be of paramount difference and that really hurts the pocket week by week.

Once you get there, you will find yourself having adequate documents to prove your identity to the real estate agent  Without a permanent job, it is really tough convincing the landlords to rent you their houses. Your next best bet is impressing your real estate agent with the number of zeros behind a natural number in your bank account. Do that as the agent notices your big grin in your driver's license. Hopefully he or she will put in a good word for you.

5) Hunt your job

With a car, a rental base, internet access and your 100 point check documents, what's stopping you hunt that job like a hungry hound? Good luck.

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