Applying for an Australia Working Holiday Visa is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
It was the first of these visas that I ever applied for and ultimately led to me also applying for similar Working Holiday Visas in Hong Kong and New Zealand as well!
The time that I spent in Australia was incredible, unforgettable, and it changed my life.
Are you ready to start your own Australian experience? Here’s what you need to know about applying for your own Australia Working Holiday Visa.
Requirements & Application
The first thing to do is to visit the Australian Immigration website and read over all the specifics about applying for your visa.
The most popular visa is the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), and you can apply for this if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:
- Republic of Cyprus
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
- Republic of Ireland
- Republic of Korea
- Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport)
- The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
If your country is not on the above list, you may be eligible for the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462), which is available to people from the following countries:
- China, People’s Republic of
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Slovak Republic
- United States of America
I only have experience with applying for the former (subclass 417), but the website is very comprehensive and details all of the requirements.
Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417)
If you’re eligible for the Australia Working Holiday Visa, there are a few requirements that you should take into account before applying.
- You must be aged between 18 and 30 when you apply for your visa* (except for citizens of Canada, France or the Republic of Ireland – you can apply until you’re 35 years old! Lucky you 🙂 )
- You must be outside of Australia when you submit your application.
- You must not be accompanied by any dependent children.
- Upon arrival, you may be asked for proof that you have enough funds to support you for your stay. This is usually AUD$5000 plus enough for an outward air ticket.
- You can’t work longer than 6 months for the same employer.
- You are permitted to study for up to 4 months on this visa.
- The visa fee is currently AUD$485 (as of August 2019).
- You must declare that you meet the health and character requirements outlined in the visa application process.
*If you turn 31 after your application has been submitted, but before your visa has been granted, don’t panic! You just need to be under 31 when you apply.
Once you’re happy that you’re eligible and that you meet all the requirements, go through and submit your application!
I received notification that my visa had been granted within 24 hours of submission, but don’t worry if yours takes longer; their website states that it could take over 22 days.
Be patient and, as long as all your paperwork was submitted correctly, you’ll be booking those flights in no time!
Getting set up in Australia
You’ve arrived down under! Phew! Have a rest and recover from that long journey.
When you’re ready, there are a few things to start thinking about as you start your new life in this awesome country.
There are a number of different banks who cater to travellers, and you’ll need an account set up before you can start working.
I went with National Australia Bank (NAB) on the recommendation of a friend, and I had pretty good service with them.
However, I did notice that there were a lot more Commonwealth ATMs around than NAB, so they would possibly be a better choice if you’re planning on travelling a lot.
I recommend having a look around at the different options and figuring out what would be best for you.
Tax File Number
Next on the list is a Tax File Number, or TFN.
You’ll need one of these to ensure that you’re not overpaying on your tax. Once you’ve been issued with your TFN it’s yours for life, so make sure you keep it safe and provide it to all employers.
You can apply for your TFN online by visiting the Australian Taxation Office website.
Superannuation, or Super, is like a pension fund that is mandatory when you’re working.
You can set up your own Super fund or, if not, your employer will set one up for you.
If your first employer sets one up for you, make sure you get all the details for it so that you can give them to your next employer to pay into the same one.
Otherwise, you could end up with multiple Super funds, and it will be harder to locate them all when you leave Australia and want to claim the money back.
The main mobile phone network providers in Australia are Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.
I used Optus, which was great in the cities but I did need to switch to Telstra while I was working in rural Queenstown as there was no Optus coverage there.
As a traveller, I would recommend using one of the package deals.
These usually include a set amount of data, texts and minutes per month, and are paid monthly. You can set the package to auto-renew or switch to a different package for the next month if you found the allowance was too high/low.
As most phone contracts are at least 18 months long, you will not be able to sign up for one on your Working Holiday Visa.
Facebook groups are also a great way of finding out what work is available in your area and around the country.
Where to Stay
Depending on whether you plan to settle in one place for a while or travel around the country, you may want to rent a room.
If you plan to travel a lot, you may want to look into buying a car or campervan, or staying in hostels.
And that is basically everything you need to know about moving to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa!
Start practicing your Aussie slang now and prepare yourself for an adventure that’s sweet as!
There is so much variety in this amazing country and heaps to see and do; I hope that you love living down under just as much as I did.
Is there anything you’re still wondering about? Are you planning your own trip to Australia? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Want more like this? Check out these articles:
- How a Working Holiday Visa could change your life
- Moving to New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa
- 8 Marvelous things to do in Melbourne
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