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How to Apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa
In order to visit Australia, as a tourist or for a working holiday, you will need a visa (In this post, I only will discuss the Working Holiday Visa subclass 417 as this is the only visa I have applied for at this time). However, in your searches you may have encountered a Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462). Check out this post if you need some clarification.
A quick google search on Australian Working Holiday visas will present you with various agencies promising to make the process quick and easy. However, I am here to tell you that those are unnecessary! The Working Holiday Visa application process is super quick and easy to do on your own. Simply put, the best way of getting approved is to take the time and do it yourself for FREE (Minus the costs of application).
So, the big question? How does one apply?
Firstly, before you start, there are a few points you will need to consider.
Do You Have?
- A passport valid for the duration of your stay (This means not just the standard six months but at least the entire year. More if you might want to do a second year.)?
- $450 AUD to pay for the visa application (Cost for Canadians at the time of writing)?
- $5000 in support funds? Note: You do not need to prove that you have these funds at the time of your application. However, there will be a question in the application as to whether you not you do. The Australian border may request proof. For now, during the application, a plan to have those funds before you depart should suffice.
- Do you have up to thirty-five days to wait for an answer? For myself and my travel companions we received nearly automatic approval. However, this may not always be the case. Plan ahead and apply early! Once approved you have an entire year from the approval date to get to Australia. So, applying early does not hurt.
- Are you currently outside of the country of Australia? You may not be able to apply for this visa while you are currently in Australia.
Now, the onto the application.
How to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa:
Step 1: Get your valid passport ready, you will need it. Also, you will need to pay the fees for this visa at the end of the application (At time of writing, $450 AUD for Canadians).
Step 2: The visa that you will be applying for is Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417). If you are a Canadian citizen, this is the standard visa that allows you to work and travel throughout Australia. In order to start the application process, visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. This website will review the requirements that I have previously discussed.
Step 3: Create an ImmiAccount. This is where you can check the status of your visa later and ensure that they have received all required documentation.
Step 4: Fill out the application. This took me about ten minutes to complete and I was automatically approved. Also, take special care to ensure that you fill this application out correctly as it may be difficult to change answers later. After the application is complete you will receive a confirmation email. Once you are approved, you will receive an email to confirm. This email will contain PDF documentation that you can print out and bring with you to the border.
What sort of questions do they ask? Well, first, it requests your personal details such as name and date/place of birth. Passport information is required. This includes your passport number, date of issue/expiry, and issuing authority. All of this can easily be found on the biodata page of your passport. There is a question about a health examination, which I answered, “No.” This did not appear to cause any issues with my application. There are questions on your usual occupation and what occupations that you plan to search for in Australia. They will want your contact information including residential address and phone number. There are some standard health questions. You do need to be in good character for a working holiday visa so lastly, there are some questions about criminal history. And that is basically the gist of the application.
Step 5: Once your status changes to finalized in your ImmiAccount, print out all documents and bring them with you. That is all. You do not need to have anything added to your passport at this time.
You are set, it is this easy! Truly, the best way of applying is saving yourself the costs and doing it yourself. Now focus on making sure you have your $5000 support funds and get on a beach.
Extra Recommendation: If you do feel the need to get assistance in some way, www.swap.ca is an agency that I have looked into in the past for Canadians. They offer both assistance before you take off and assistance once you arrive. This could create a nice support system for a solo traveller. I have not personally used it but, I have spoken with others who have and it was highly recommended by them. I have also strongly considered it for myself when I was younger and planning on doing things solo.
Did I miss any questions? Please feel free to leave them in the comments or to contact me.