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The Australia Working Holiday Visa – Everything You Need to Know

Considering a move down under? The Australian Working Holiday Visa is a popular way to experience the Australian way of life, but do you know how to apply for it? In this guide, we cover absolutely everything you need to know, read below to learn more.

What is the Australian Working Holiday Visa?

The Australian Working Holiday Visa allows you to travel, work and live in Australia. It is the perfect opportunity for anyone who is looking to travel the country whilst enjoying all the benefits of Aussie life and earn some money. The visa length depends on your passport and whether you complete your specified work requirement.

Do you qualify?

There are different criteria for eligibility, depending on the passport you have. If you are British, then you need to be aged between 18-30 when you submit your application. You will also need to provide proof you can afford to support your trip to Australia and have enough money for a flight home after your visa ends. You do not need to have any specific skills or educational background and you are not required to have a job already lined up and waiting for you. However, once your visa is approved, you will only have one year to activate it; otherwise, you will lose it. If you are British and apply for your visa when you are 30, you must enter Australia on this visa before your 31st birthday. The age cut off depends on your country, with Irish, French and Canadian citizens being able to apply until they are 35.

How do you apply?

You apply online via the Australian immigration website. It covers everything you will need to know and includes information on who is eligible. Remember that when you apply you will need to have scanned copies of your passport, savings and flight information.

How much does it cost?

A working holiday visa will cost you approximately $485 AUD plus a fee for paying with a credit card (don’t forget to factor in the cost of your plane ticket). You will also need to have a minimum of $5,000 AUD in your bank account to show you can support yourself whilst in Australia and enough money for a flight home at the end of your visa if you already don’t have a return flight booked.

What jobs can you do on a working holiday visa?

A working holiday visa is not for someone who is moving to Australia to look to start their career, if this is you, then investigate the skilled workers’ programme to see if your job role is on the shortage list.

Jobs on the working holiday visa will vary from hospitality roles, retail, tourism or office roles. It’s important to remember that if you want to extend your one-year visa to two years, you will have to carry out three months of specified work, also known as farm work. You will usually find out how to access these jobs at your nearby hostel or through word of mouth with others. It’s important to ensure the job you take is legit, as you will need to show and prevent evidence that you have worked the full three months in order to get your second-year visa. 

How much will I earn?

The Australian minimum wage is $18.93 per hour, which gives you plenty of money to live on whilst exploring the country. If you work in hospitality, you can expect to earn between $18.93 to $25 per hour, with tips added on top. If you work in retail, you can expect to earn more at between $19 to $30 an hour, and if you work in an office, you will be able to earn between $25 to $30 per hour.

If you decide to undertake specified work, such as agricultural fruit picking, you will only get paid depending on how much fruit you pick, or sort. Wages here tend to be low, and income is not always guaranteed.

How to get a second-year visa

If you’ve fallen in love with Australia and don’t want to leave after a year, you’re in luck. To qualify, you will need to have completed three months of specified work during your first year. Specified work is often known as, ‘farm work,’ and usually involves picking crops in the agriculture industry. This work can either be done in 3 months or 88 days if you decide to swap jobs halfway through or need to work part-time. You need to complete your three months of specified work within the first year of your working holiday visa as any days worked after this time won’t count. If you don’t complete your specified work, then you will not be able to return to Australia for a second year on the working holiday visa.  It’s important to keep all records of your work history, including your payslips or any work contracts you may have. You will need all of this to help apply for your second year.

How to get a third-year visa

Yes, you really can get a third-year visa! But this only applies to visa holders who can complete six months of specified work in their second year. Specified work for the third-year visa is classed as anything from regional farming, construction work, mining, surveying or even fishing.

Where can you go?

Where can’t you go! Australia is the sixth-largest country in the world, to put that into context, the country is 32 times larger than the UK. There are cities and regions here to suit every taste, but there are a few firm favourites amongst newcomers, which we’ve outlined below.

Sydney

Located in New South Wales, Sydney is one of the most popular places to live for newcomers to Australia. The city has plenty of job opportunities, but is also near beautiful beaches, allowing you to have a great work-life balance. The city is expensive, but there are plenty of hostel options to allow you to meet others on the same visa and help you get on your feet. One of the most popular tourist cities in Australia, it is famous for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Melbourne

The capital of Victoria, Melbourne, is known as being a cooler, hipper version of Sydney. There is more of a laid-back feel and it is often described as a foodie city. Restaurants and nightlife reign supreme here, which will give you plenty of job opportunities in the hospitality sector. The city is also famous for its street art, graffiti here is legalized, so no matter where you are, you will be able to find works of art on the city streets. The nearby beach area of St Kilda is a popular place to relax and unwind after the working day.

Perth

Perth is the biggest city in Western Australia. It is known for being home to many wineries and is home to the largest number of self-made millionaires in Australia. It is more popular with those who have a skill such as construction, as there is plenty of job opportunities out there. The western coast of Australia is isolated compared to Victoria or New South Wales, so many ex-pats will base themselves in other cities before relocating here.

Adelaide

Adelaide is a bustling city located in South Australia. It is very welcome to ex-pats and newcomers. There is a lot of opportunities for jobs here, from specified work to hospitality or even au pair work. Adelaide is home to vineyards and has an emphasis on art and culture, hosting the largest collection of Aboriginal art in Australia. There are also plenty of nearby beaches to enjoy, so you can enjoy a more laidback work-life balance.

Brisbane

Brisbane is a popular city for newcomers to Australia due to its proximity to the famous Gold Coast. The city is home to many beaches and is known for its wonderful climate. A much smaller city than the others we have covered, it is more family-friendly and welcoming than bigger cities. There is a homely, neighbourhood vibe. There are plenty of jobs in the hospitality industry or the nearby tourist industry.

Are you planning to move to Australia?

Relocating can be an overwhelming process, especially when you don’t know how to get all your belongings to your new home. Have you ever considered luggage shipping? This popular alternative to putting luggage in the hold is helping ex-pats and people on the working holiday visa save money, time and travel stress-free. Luggage shipping companies like My Baggage will collect your items directly from your door and deliver it to your onward destination. No more excessive airline fees or no dragging your case through the airport. Luggage shipping is the perfect alternative.

Skyler

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