Working Holiday Visa: Australia
Ah, the famed working holiday visa in Australia. If you’ve backpacked long enough like I have, you will undoubtedly meet someone who has, or is going to be going to Australia on a working holiday visa. I’m currently one of those people, albeit its winter here in Melbourne but in most cases, the summers are hot, the beaches are breathtaking, and the wages here are high enough that you’ll be able to save money, rather than spend it all if you live frugally. Whether you want to work and save up in Australia to plan your next adventure or work and travel around the country soaking up all that there is to offer in the beautiful land down under, you will need a working holiday visa, and this is how you get it.
Who can get a working holiday visa in Australia?
Citizens of Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, The UK and Northern Ireland can get a working holiday visa under subclass 417.
Citizens of Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Mariano, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Uruguay, United States of America and Vietnam can get a working holiday visa under subclass 462.
Working Holiday Visa Requirements
– Must be outside of Australia during application of the Visa
– A valid Canadian passport for at least 18 months after your date of travel
– Be between the age of 18-35 (18-30 if you aren’t Canadian, French or Irish)
– You must not have previously entered Australia on another Working Holiday Visa
– Must have enough to support yourself while you are in Australia to the sum of $5000 AUD + the fare to where you are going after leaving Australia
– Meet health and character requirements
– You will not have any dependent children accompanying you in Australia
Application processing time
Start your application online (here)
I applied for the visa back in late December of 2019 and I got approval on the same day I applied. It was even easier than getting my french visa which was quite surprising. The processing time stated on the website is currently 42-66 days due in large part to Covid-19, but I can’t imagine it will take that long. In any case, once you get approval of your Visa, you have 365 days to enter Australia and the visa will take effect on the date of arrival, so move at your own leisure. The cost of the visa is substantially higher than most at $485 AUD. It is by and far the most popular working holiday visa in the world but you should have no problem gaining approval if you meet all the requirements listed above.
To apply for the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 147) you will need to go online, create an account through (ImmiAccount) and fill out all required details. You will need:
- Page of your passport showing your photo, name, issue/expiry date, signature and personal detail
- A copy of your birth certificate clearly showing the names of both your parents or government issued identification if birth certificate cannot be provided
- Financial Resources (to the sum of $5000 AUD)
Attach an official copy of your most recent bank statement as well as a letter from your bank that states how much money you have in your account etc. Make sure the Representative from your bank stamps the letter as well. A copy of your most recent bank statement should suffice, but this extra step just shows an extra burden of proof. Don’t print out the statement yourself at home, make sure its an official statement given to you from your bank.
Two Passport sized photos
Print your name on the back of these photos
(Also, if you’re name has changed, evidence of the name change. If you have ever served in the military of any country, discharge papers must be provided in the application)
Once you have all your documents together, saved on your computer, it is time to apply. After you have created your ImmiAccount you’ll be directed to the visa application form. Assuming you have all the necessary documents and you fit all the requirements, its an incredibly easy and painless procedure to go through. The application has 12 steps and its important that you take the time to make sure you fill out the steps correctly. When finished, you will be asked to review your application. Double check to make sure everything is correct and submit. You will then be directed to the submission of all the documents you have gathered on your computer. Once finished, submit the documents and you are well on your way to receiving your visa! You will be asked to pay for your visa and it will not be processed until payment has been received. The cost is $485. I received my visa the same day I applied and paid. I don’t imagine you will receive your visa any later than a month maximum and it will look something like this.
Arriving in Australia
It’s the big day and you’ve finally arrived from your 16+ hour flight (30+ if you bought the cheapest available ticket) ready to put your head down somewhere. I would suggest booking a hostel in whichever destination you chose for a week or two before trying to find a place of your own. Do note when booking that Australia is a day ahead of Canada, so book accordingly. Hostels in Australia are a great way to make friends and meet others on Working Holiday Visas, as many people on their working holiday live in hostels for the duration of their stay. It is also a good place to get a lead on jobs, or meet people who you can find a flatshare together with. A good resource if you want to find a flatshare is flatmates.com or gumtree.com If you’re in the Melbourne area. The facebook group Fairy Floss is a great resource to find a flatshare as well. The most popular jobs for working holiday visa workers would be in retail or hospitality. You can only work for one employer for 6 months at a time so getting a job in your respective field may be difficult. There are lots of hospitality groups on Facebook or online that will aid in your search. Make sure you apply for your TFN (Tax File Number) as soon as you get to Australia. This is important for tax purposes and must be acquired before getting paid by your employer. The link is here to apply. If you choose to work in hospitality, you must get an RSA (Responsible Serving of Alcohol) for your respective state. It is either and online or in person test, incredibly easy and usually only about $50 to acquire. As for getting a bank account, all you have to do is walk into any bank you choose, give them your address and information and they’ll send you a card in the mail within a week.
Its incredibly easy to settle down here and you’ll find out very soon why Australia is the most popular working holiday visa in the world and how incredible the standard of living here is.