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Getting a Working Holiday Visa

There’s a bunch of visas you can apply for if you want to come over to Australia and enjoy some time Down Under. One of the more popular visas is the Working Holiday Visa, so we’re going to take a deep dive into this particular topic and answer all the big questions you may have about it.

What is a working holiday visa?

As the name suggests, a Working Holiday Visa basically allows you to find short-term work while you vacation around in Australia.

With an Australian Working Holiday Visa, you’re allowed to stay in the country for 12 months and can:

What are the basic eligibility requirements?

You’ve decided that you want to spend the next 12 months or so travelling about Australia and living your best life, the only thing now is to see if you’re eligible for a Working Holiday Visa. Well, getting one of these visas requires you to meet a pretty thorough eligibility criteria:

  • Hold a valid passport from this list of approved countries/jurisdictions:
    • Belgium
    • Canada
    • Republic of Cyprus
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
    • Republic of Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Republic of Korea
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Sweden
    • Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport)
    • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Be 18 to 30 years old (inclusive), except for Canadian, French and Irish citizens who can be 18 to 35 years old (inclusive).
    • If you apply for the visa when you’re 30 but turn 31 before getting approval, you’ll still be granted the visa.
  • Have no previously entered Australia on another Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) or a Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)
  • Have enough money to support yourself while in Australia and to leave the country at the end of your stay. Usually this is around AUD $5,000 for your initial stay plus your travel fare.
  • Meet the health and character requirements. This is to make sure that you’re healthy and don’t have a health condition that would put significant burden on the Australian community, and to make sure that you’re a good person without a criminal history.
  • Have no debt to the Australian Government.
  • Not had a visa cancelled or previous application refused.

What to expect when applying for a Working Holiday Visa?

Firstly, it’ll cost you AUD $495 to apply for a Working Holiday Visa, and you can do it either online or by post. The application process generally doesn’t take too long but be prepared for a slight wait as it can take anywhere between a few weeks to 6 months for your application to be processed depending on several factors.

Arranging your finances

As we mentioned in the eligibility criteria above, you need to have enough money to support yourself while holidaying in Australia and to leave the country when your visa is up.

When looking for work, a Working Holiday Visa restricts you to no more than 6 months of work under the same employer so keep that in mind when you’re job hunting.

Otherwise, good luck and have fun! If you need more info, we have guides on how to look for a job and how to open a bank account in Australia.

Choosing a location

The beauty of an Australian Working Holiday Visa is that you can visit anywhere in the country! Check out the beaches up at the Gold Coast before heading over to the city wonders of Sydney, or maybe you’ll want to check out how glorious Melbourne before going on a road trip to Adelaide.

You have 12 months in Australia on this visa so make the most of it!

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