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Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been talking about doing a Working Holiday Visa in Australia for years. Working Holiday Visas offer a chance to travel a country while working to supplement your adventures. What could be a better way of seeing a country as massive as Australia?
While I’ve been talking about it for years, I didn’t put a lot of effort into learning as much as possible about how to make it a reality. I kept putting it off and thinking that I had more time. But, these visas have age restrictions! That means you can’t get them forever. In this post, I will tell you about all of the steps I took to get a Working Holiday Visa and make my dream a reality. That way, you can make it a reality too!
Last year, I decided to finally buckle down and cross this item off of my bucket list. After a discussion with my partner, he decided that he would like to join me. And the adventure began!
If this is a bucket list item for you then there is no time like the present to get it done!
What You Need to Know About Australian Working Holiday Visas
Australia offers two different working holiday visas that sound very similar. One is the Australia Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) and the other is the Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462). The deciding factor in which visa you would choose is where you are from.
For example, I am from Canada so I am in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa Subclass 417.
If you are from any of these countries, you would be too:
- Republic of Cyprus
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Ireland
- Republic of Korea
- United Kingdom
To be eligible for this visa you must meet the following requirements:
- The applicant must be between the ages of 18-30 years old. Unless you happen to be from Ireland or Canada then the age is extended until 35 years old.
- Your passport must be valid for the duration of your visa.
- You have not previously had a Subclass 462 visa.
- There is no one dependent on you (Like children).
- The applicant must have good character and no criminal record. Or, Australian debts.
- Finally, you must have $5000 to support yourself once you arrive.
You’ll be looking at the Work and Holiday Visa Subclass 462 if you are from:
- China, People’s Republic of
- Czech Republic
- San Marino
- Slovak Republic
- United States of America
The eligibility requirements are very similar for this visa and include:
- Applicants must be between the ages of 18-30 years old.
- Again, an eligible passport.
- You may not have previously had a visa under subclass 417 (Discussed above).
- No children!
- Meet the education and English requirements. These may vary depending on your passport.
- You must have the support of the government in your home country.
- You must have a suitable amount of money to support yourself. For instance, $5000 and enough to buy a return ticket home.
- No criminal record or Australian debts.
For the most updated visa information check out the Australian Government’s website. As you can see, the requirements for both visas are similar.
Both of these visas will allow you to work and travel to Australia for up to 12 months. During that time, you are allowed to leave Australia and return as many times as you like. If working while on the visa you cannot have the same employer for more than six months.
The availability of this visa made it possible to cross this item off my bucket list. These visas exist for you to travel and work! How convenient.
Once I figured out which visa to get, the next hurdle was the application process.
Working Holiday Visa Application Process
At the time of writing, my visa fee was $450. This has to be paid at the time of the application. The Australian government’s website states that it can take up to 35 days to be approved for this visa. However, both my partner and I were accepted almost immediately.
That being said, I would apply ahead of time. I don’t know how consistent those visa processing times are. Once your visa is approved, you will have up to a year to enter the country. This means that you have plenty of time to apply before you leave.
When you are ready to apply, head over here.
What do you need to apply?
- Your passport needs to be ready to go. You will need the passport number which you will be travelling with. If your passport needs to be renewed then you will have to have done this first.
- The visa fees.
- $5000 support funds. While proof of this wasn’t necessary, it is required to enter the country so make sure you have it by the time you leave if not the time you apply.
If you have been doing research on visas, you might have noticed that there are agencies willing to handle the application process for a fee. Honestly, the process is so easy that I don’t consider this a good use of money.
At one point, years ago, when I thought I would be solo moving here I did consider using Swap to arrange the visa for me. The reason I was thinking of going with them was on the ground support they offer. It can be handy for finding new friends. But, if you follow these steps then you really shouldn’t need help applying for the visa.
How to Apply:
- Grab that passport!
- Head over to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. This is where you can review the requirements to make sure you meet them.
- Create an Immi Account. It will be here that you can check the status of your visa and print off any relevant documents.
- Fill out the application. This part took about ten minutes and we were automatically approved. Fill out all of the information carefully and accurately as it can be difficult to change later.
- Wait for approval.
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You might be wondering what questions are on the application. First, they will request your basic passport information. All of the answers to these questions can be found on the biodata page of your passport. But, it is basically just your name, passport number, expiry date and where the passport was issued.
There was a question about a health examination. I did not have one and I stated the fact but it didn’t appear to cause any issues.
They ask questions about your usual occupations at home and what work you might be looking for in Australia. Next up is your contact information and some standard health questions. Finally, they want to know if you have a criminal record.
And, that’s basically a wrap! Easy peezy. I printed out my approval form to bring to the airport with me just in case.
There you have it! Here is one of the best ways of long-term travelling to Australia. I am so glad that I finally made the effort to get myself down here. It was well worth it. One of the first things that we did here was a Great Ocean Road trip.
Another bucket list item crossed off! For a more in-depth look at my time in Australia, feel free to visit my other blog dedicated to it.
Have you ever considered a working holiday visa? Tell us about your thoughts in the comments.
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