How to get an Australian Working Holiday Visa

Working in the land down under, Australia!

There are a lot of young and inexperienced travellers out there, and if it’s your first time out of your own continent, you might want to head to Australia as a lot of first time backpackers do. Crime rates are relatively low, work is easy to find, the country is beautiful, there are so many people doing it, and you can live cheaply!! here’s how to get a working holiday visa for Australia. On my travels, I have got a total of 4 Working Holiday Visas before, so will detail each one and the process separately on different posts on here.

Admiring the Opera House – Who wouldn’t want to live in a city like Sydney?

First things first – DO IT! If you have thought about it – don’t hold back! Get out there and see Australia while you work your way around. It’s an experience of a lifetime and an easy one, especially if you speak English. You’ll be amazed at how much money you can make, how friendly people are and how wonderful the landscape is.

Visiting the Australian War Memorial in Canberra Australia

Rule number one is do everything yourself – none of this rubbish about paying other companies to get your Visa for you. In fact I still can’t believe some travellers actually pay money to agencies (especially in the UK) to sort out their Australia Working Holiday Visas. I met a guy who had paid 400 pounds for his! That’s just ridiculous.

Working on a Broccoli Farm near Cressy in Tasmania!

Start by going on the OFFICIAL Australian Government website, very easy to understand, here’s the link: Australian Working Holiday Visa. You must be aged between 18 and 30 the day you apply (meaning that the option begins the day you turn 18 and ends the day before you turn 31 – just to clear that up). If you are under 18 you CANNOT apply, same if you are aged 31 or ABOVE. If you don’t fit the age group category, then you will have to look at another means of getting a valid work visa for the land down under.

My arrival in Sydney in 2009 – I really had no idea about my adventures to follow!

As I understand it there are 3 types of working holiday visa:

1. FIRST Australian Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) – I got one of these

(for these countries ONLY – Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom)

2. SECOND/EXTENDED Australian Working Holiday Visa (also a subclass 417 but on different terms) –  I also got one of these

(for these countries ONLY and on confirmation and completion of the required labour work during your first working holiday visa – Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom)

3. FIRST Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)

(for these countries only – and as far as I know it cannot be extended to a second year – Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA)

So click on the official link to apply for your First Working Holiday Visa. Simply click here: Take me to Australia Now!!

I must admit that when I applied for my Australian Working Holiday Visa I found it ridiculously EASY. I simply got myself a cup of tea, sat down with all my papers and information and typed it up in one sitting (took me less than 2 hours). I sent it off, went into work and when I came home from work, I got an e-mail to confirm my Working Holiday Visa application was successful!

Get your Australian Working Holiday Visa on the OFFICIAL website only!

It currently costs $280 Australian Dollars (it was about half that price when I did it!), here’s a link – Cost of Australian Working Holiday.

Get out to Australia – it’s a small world after all!

So fill in the forms first, wait for the confirmation and book your flights! You’re almost ready to get out there and work! On arrival in Australia you will also need to apply for your Tax File Number. This can be done by phone when you arrive and they will post you out a confirmation letter detailing your new number (if staying in a hostel/campsite – make sure you use that address). Applying for your Tax File Number (TFN) was free when I did it. You will also need an Australian Bank Account to get paid of course!

One of many massive staff parties I enjoyed in the land down under!!

So to sum up in short, here’s what you need to get a Working Holiday Visa for Australia and start working:

1. Be aged 18 – 30

2. Be from one of the countries on the list (or hold a passport for that country – dual citizenship is no problem)

3. Fill in the online form

4. Get an Australian Bank Account

5. Get an Australian Tax File Number

6. Go to interview and get a job!

Good luck my friends, any questions, feel free to ask, I’m a travelling Northern Irishman living a lifestyle of travel ! Don’t Stop Living!

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