Australia is a huge country and a couple of weeks just isn’t enough to see all the amazing places that this country has to offer. If you travel to Australia as a normal tourist you will only be allowed to stay for usually up to three months.
But considering that Australia is located quite far away from most places, it might be worth to stay for a longer period of time if you are already spending so much money on plane tickets. So why not travel to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa instead?
What is the Working Holiday Visa (WHV)?
The WHV (subclass 417 or 462) will allow you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months, while being allowed to work. It also allows you to study for up to four months. It is also known under the name “Work and Travel” as people will work for a while to save up for travels and then travel for a bit before finding a new job somewhere else. In those 12 months you can leave and reenter Australia as many times as you like.
Working Holiday Visa – subclass 417
To be eligible to apply for the WHV subclass 417 you have to be at least 18 years old and not older than 30. Additional you need to have a valid passport from one of the following countries:
Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom
Additionally you need to be able to show that you have at least 5000 Australian Dollar on your bank account on arrival.
Working Holiday Visa – subclass 462
If you are not from any of the mentioned countries, there is a second type of Working Holiday Visa, which is the subclass 462. To be able to apply for this visa you need to have a valid passport from one of the following countries:
Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Vietnam
However, this type of visa is not as common as the previously mentioned one, because it is more difficult to apply for this one. Applicants will need to have certain education requirements, potentially a supporting letter from the government as well as proof of English language skills.
Costs and Application
The whole application can be done online on the website of the Australian government.
The costs for the application are AUD440 (as of May 2018). *There might be additional charges for paying with credit card/ Paypal etc.
The visa itself is electronic, so there is no need to submit your passport anywhere. Most people will get their visa confirmation (at least for 417) within a couple of hours. But sometimes it can actually take a couple of weeks. Therefore, I would suggest not booking any flights before your visa is granted. By then you still have 12 months to enter Australia. The 12 months stay period in Australia will start at the day of your entry.
What type of jobs will you have in Australia?
Pretty much you can apply for any job you like. The only requirement is that you are not allowed to stay with one employee for longer than six months.
It will definitely be of use to have some previous job experience as a lot of backpackers will come straight out of High School. Following, there will be a lot of competition on the job market.
Overall most backpackers will work in hospitality or on farms. Farm work is especially famous as it is required if you want to stay in Australia for more than 12 months. But more on that in the next section.
Due to the increasing amount of backpackers on Working Holiday Visas, the Australian government has added an additional backpacker tax as of 2017. This tax is another 15% for every AUD1 for up to AUD37000. If you earn more than that, the additional tax is more than 30%.
Can I stay longer than 12 months?
Yes you can, if you do it right! At least that is the case for the subclass 417 but for 462 the rules might be more strict.
There is the possibility to apply for a second year visa! To be eligible to apply for this second year Visa you will have to have completed a minimum of three months (or 88 days) of work in rural areas in Australia. In most cases this will be work on farms.
You must have completed all your days while being on your first year visa. The place of your work must have a specific postcode, so that it will count towards your second year visa. You must also be able to provide prove of the work that you completed. This can be done in the form of pay slips for example.
Now you do not actually have to apply for the second visa straight away but you can also apply a couple of years later. However, you still need to be younger than 31. What is important is that if you apply from outside of Australia you must be outside of Australia as well when the visa is granted. On the other side, if you apply from within Australia you must be in Australia when you get your visa.
My tip on how to complete your farm work
If you have troubles finding work in any of the areas you can also do WWOOFing. WWOOF stands for Willing Workers on Organic Farms. To join the wwoofing network you will have to pay a yearly fee of AUD70 but in exchange you get access to a lot of farms that take volunteers that you can easily contact.
As a Wwoofer you do not get paid but instead work for food and accommodation. But it can also count towards your second year visa and it will save you some money while you figure out your future travel plans. I volunteered a total of around two months while in Australia and it has been a really cool experience as well.
Have you ever considered applying for a Working Holiday Visa in Australia?
I hope this post answers all your questions about applying for a Working Holiday Visa in Australia. If you have any more question, please leave a comment below.
My year in Australia has been hands down the best year of my life. It’s been four years now but I still talk about Australia non-stop. Everyone who hasn’t been there yet must be so annoyed of that by now.
Talk to you soon x
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I’m actually gutted that by the time I’d saved enough money to travel long-term I was too old to get a working holiday visa 🙁 I would’ve loved the experience of working in Australia for a year, and saving up a bit of money for future travels 🙂
Such a shame there’s an age limit.
Very informative article! Too bad I am already too old to do this 🙁