Setting up a bank account from overseas

Sorting out your finances before you arrive can be simpler than you think. You can even set up a bank account up to a year before you arrive. 

Check out the easy steps below.

A good idea is to set up an account before you arrive so you: 

  • Get paid in the first pay cycle of your new job by giving your employer a NZ account number in advance
  • Have money ready and waiting for you when you arrive by transferring money into your account through your FX specialist before you leave
  • Avoid paying unnecessary fees and charges by using your NZ account from day one
  • Start building your savings and credit history from day one

Step 1: Apply for a bank account 

We can help make the whole process really easy and we’re only a call or email away.

Apply online now

Fill out our migrant banking online application form and we’ll contact you via email within two working days.

Apply by post or email   

Print out and complete the personal bank account application form (PDF 45KB). Then simply post or email it to us and we'll contact you via email once we receive it. Click here for our contact details.

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Give us a call

Remember, if you need any help give us a call:

From NZ: 09 348 9311 or toll free 0800 808 007

From Australia: +64 9 348 9311

Toll free from UK: 0800 983 942

Toll free from South Africa: 0808 234 1208

Step 2: Transfer some money into your new Westpac bank account 

Now that you’ve got your account set up, you can transfer up to the equivalent of $1 million NZD into your Westpac bank account before you arrive. If you are applying under Immigration New Zealand’s Investor Category, or if you wish to transfer more than $1 million NZD equivalent, please contact our Migrant & Expatriate Banking team.

If you are sending an International Money Transfer, here are the details your bank / FX specialist will need: 

  • Bank name: Westpac New Zealand Limited

  • Branch name: Registered Office Westpac New Zealand Ltd Auckland New Zealand

  • Account name: Your full name (as it appears on your passport)

  • Account number: We will supply this to you once your account is opened

  • BSB (Bank/State/Branch) code: We will supply this to you once your account is opened

  • SWIFT code: WPACNZ2W

Conditions, fees, charges and foreign currency exchange rates apply. You’ll need to check with your current bank, financial institution or exchange dealer before your transfer.

You will not have full access to your Westpac account from overseas. You cannot make withdrawals until you arrive in New Zealand and visit a Westpac branch to verify your address and identity. See here for full details of suitable verification documents.

Please see 'activate your account' (on the next tab above) for more information.

Activating your account

When you arrive in New Zealand you can activate your account by visiting any Westpac branch within 365 days of submitting your application to open an account.

If you have any further queries contact the Migrant & Expatriate team in New Zealand:

  • Email:
  • Phone: +64 9 348 9311

If your plans to move to New Zealand change

If you are no longer moving to New Zealand and your bank account is not fully activated such that you can withdraw funds, you can request the return of your funds* by following the steps below:

  • write a letter to Westpac Migrant Banking
  • attach a certified** copy of your identity documentation and immigration papers to your letter.
  • send your letter and copy of your identity documentation and immigration papers to:

Westpac New Zealand Migrant Banking
PO Box 934
Shortland Street
New Zealand 1140


* Please note that the return of the funds is at the absolute discretion of Westpac. If your request is accepted, your Westpac account will be closed and funds will be returned by telegraphic transfer to the bank account they were originally received from. A $25 telegraphic transfer charge will be deducted from your account balance. No credit interest will be earned on these funds.

**Click here for a list of acceptable verification documentation. Westpac's account opening criteria apply to all requests.

You can get a copy of our current disclosure statement for Westpac New Zealand Limited and a copy of any applicable investment statement or term sheet from any Westpac branch in New Zealand free of charge.