Thinking of making the move to Australia? You don’t always need an expert to help you navigate the process and lengthy paperwork, all the information can be found online. From helping you understand the requirements to preparing all the necessary documentation, let me simplify things for you. For me, Australia was one of my first solo trips, in fact it was the birthplace of this site! Upon my entry, I began my time in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa.
What is a Working holiday Visa? I’m glad you asked! Well, it’s exactly what it says on the tin. Ideally it is a visa that allows you to juggle your time between working and travelling. It’s a great way to test the waters, explore somewhere new, make money while you travel, scope out employment options and possibly make it your permanent home one day. A subclass 417 (otherwise known as a Working Holiday Visa) is generally the easiest to obtain, depending on where you’re from. If you are from Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Hong Kong, Sweden, Taiwan, Canada, Denmark, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Korea, Malta or Norway the 417 visa is a prime choice. It is intended for those who want to extend their stay past a 3 month tourist visa and holiday while working to fund it.
417 Basic eligibility criteria:
- Each candidate must be 18-30 years old, except for Irish, Canadian and French citizens, who are accepted up to 35 years of age.
- You must have a passport from an eligible country in order to work legally.
- You must not be accompanied by dependant children.
- You can apply for a second Working Holiday Visa if you meet a certain eligibility criteria down the line.
The visa normally costs $495 and can be applied for online. However, the government recently announced that Working Holiday Makers that arrive in Australia between the 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022 can apply for a Visa application Charge refund. This will apply to those who already have a visa , as well as those who are granted a new visa, and who travel to Australia within this timeframe. People travelling to Australia are required to make a declaration regarding their vaccination status, and be able to provide acceptable proof. Visa holders must meet Australia’s vaccination requirements, or have an approved travel exemption. Information on entry requirements is updated regularly so it is important to check the Department’s website.
While you can work on a 417 visa you do have to prove that you have enough funds to support yourself, in case of the unknown! It’s a requirement to have at least $5000 saved in case of the unfortunate event that you don’t end up finding a job or spend all your money partying. The Australian government need to know you’ll be able to book a ticket back home if needed.
462 Basic eligibility criteria:
Similar to the 417 visa, there is a subclass 462 visa eligible for those from Vietnam, Uruguay, Poland, Portugal, Turkey, USA, Singapore, Slovenia, Thailand, San Marino, Peru, Malaysia, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China and Czech Republic. The 462 visa normally costs $485 (you can apply for a Visa Application Charge Refund until December 2022 as above). For the 417 visa 50% of applications are processed within 1 working day, while the 462 can take up to two months to be approved. Again, they do have a strict eligibility criteria.
- You must be 18 to 30 years old.
- Have $5000 in your bank account.
- Have adequate English skills.
- If you are from Singapore, USA, China or Israel you will need a letter of support from your national government.
The Application Process:
Whether you are applying for the 417 or 462 visa I would highly recommend making your application directly through the Australian Government website. It is very straight forward, many companies sell visa services, however, this is both costly and time consuming. Once you’ve received your visa you have 365 days to start your Aussie adventure. During this year you are normally only allowed to work with the one employer for 6 months. Due to the many changes being made over the last few months you can now work with the same employer for up to 12 months. In this year you can re enter Australia as many times as you like once your visa is valid.
Obtaining a Second Working Holiday Visa:
You’re living the Australian dream and are not ready to head home just yet? I hear you! While you can’t extend your first year visa, you can apply for a Second Working Holiday Visa. Up until now, people on a 417 and 462 visa have needed to complete 3 months of farm work to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa. Doing this work will still get you a visa extension, but as you can see from below, other types of work will be valid too. From May 2021, those working in the tourism and hospitality sectors anywhere in Australia may now work for up to 12 months with the same employer without requesting permission. From June 2021, work undertaken in the tourism and hospitality sectors in northern, remote or very remote Australia can also be counted as specific work towards eligibility for a second or third year visa. This option will be available for Working Holiday visa applications lodged from March 2022.
Things to consider:
- If you apply for a visa while you are in Australia, make sure you’re in Australia when the government process your application. Likewise, if you apply while you are outside Australia you must be outside Australia when the decisions made.
- If your visa is coming to an end and you’ve not yet been granted your new visa, you can obtain a bridging visa so you don’t need to leave the country while waiting.
- Health Insurance is a general requirement by the Australian Government in order to obtain a visa. It tends to vary, however, your home insurance could cover you or you can go through the Australian system. To avoid any confusion I opted for travel insurance, that way I was also covered for all the activities I’d endure while travelling.
Applying for a Working Holiday Visa could not be any more straight forward. It gives you the opportunity to balance your time between work and travel. This is your sign to bite the bullet and get that visa. It’s time to see what Australia has to offer!