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Spend a Year Down Under: How to Get An Australia Working Holiday Visa

Spend a Year Down Under: How to Get An Australia Working Holiday Visa

If you would like a year down under the Australia Working Holiday Visa could be the best option for you. Gorgeous sandy beaches filled with bronzed bikini babes. Wide open Outback stretching beyond the horizon. The exciting concerts, shows and nightlife of trendy cities such as Sydney and Melbourne. Strange and bizarre animals and birds that you have never seen before. Tiny coastal surfer hideaways where time stands still. The stunning array of colorful sea creatures living in the Great Barrier Reef. Friendly Aussies who will welcome you with a warm smile into their lighthearted conversations.

Why wouldn’t you want to spend a year exploring Australia?

Imagine leaving your country behind for a year and living on this amazing island! A gap year in Australia might be a lot easier than you think.

This guide will help you get started on applying for your Working Holiday Visa so that you can travel around ‘Oz’, find temporary work as you go if you need to, and have one of the most unforgettable years of your life.

The Australia Working Holiday Visa

If you are between the ages of 18 and 30, you may be eligible to obtain a Working Holiday Visa which will be valid for up to 12 months in Australia. The visa will allow you to obtain temporary employment while you are travelling through Australia so that you can supplement the cost of your adventures. It is important to keep in mind that you will only be allowed to work for the same employer consecutively for six months.

Sydney Opera House - Photo by Bilby

Sydney Opera House – Photo by Bilby

For example, you could work in a thriving restaurant or bar in one of the major city centers for six months to save your money and then spend the rest of your trip on a tour around Australia’s most exciting destinations and attractions. Or, you could make your way slowly around the country by doing seasonal work such as fruit picking or farming. Whatever your interests, there is a job in Australia that you will love, from tour guide to office worker to child care provider.

While you are using your Australia Working Holiday Visa, you are able to leave and re-enter the country any number of times while the visa is still valid. You can also study at an educational institution down under, but only for four months.

Am I eligible for the Australia Working Holiday Visa?

The main requirements of the WHV are that you must apply from outside of Australia, and you must be between the ages of 18 and 30 when you apply. It also matters what country you are from, as you must hold a passport from a country which is involved in the Working Holiday Program. These countries include Canada, Japan, Germany, Ireland, The United Kingdom, and Sweden. Check to see if your country is on the list.

Koala - Photo by David Iliff

Koala – Photo by David Iliff

You also must not be accompanied by any dependent children during your time in Australia. You must meet a basic health examination and obtain your own health insurance. Also, you will be required to demonstrate that you have enough funds to support yourself for at least the initial stage of your holiday until you can find employment. This is usually $5,000 Australian dollars, but might be different depending on your particular situation. You will be required to submit proof of these funds, such as a copy of your bank statement.

When you submit your application you will need to pay the visa fee, which is $235 AUD. You should also have your return flights to Australia booked and show proof of your tickets.
Read more about your Australia Working Holiday Visa eligibility requirements here.

Work to Travel, Not Travel to Work

Something very important to keep in mind is that a Australia Working Holiday Visa is designed for travelers whose primary goal is to explore Australia and who want to take short term employment in order to fund the cost of the trip. If your intention for going to Australia is primarily to participate in the work force and you are looking to obtain a longer-term and more permanent position, you will likely find yourself better suited to the different types of Worker Visas that are available. Here is some more information about Employer Sponsored Visas, Skilled Migrant Visas, and other Long Term Working Visas for Australia.

The Australia Working Holiday Visa is one of the most popular in the world

Ready to Start Applying?

Are you day dreaming about hanging out on the beach with your new Aussie friends and co-workers already? It’s time to start making those dreams a reality. Here is the link to the Application Form for the Australia Working Holiday Visa. Make sure that you also read this page for more information about submitting your application.

More Resources

Here are a few more links that will help you plan your exciting year down under!

- Aussie travel blogging couple Caz and Craig have some great info about the Australia Working Holiday Visa on yTravel Blog.
- Here are 101 Things to Do in Australia on a Budget.
- Get started looking for a job with tons of current job postings on TheJobShop.

Good luck, and have a fantastic adventure working abroad in beautiful sunny Australia!

PS. Do you prefer snow, hockey and moose over sand, surfing and kangaroos? Here’s how to get a Working Holiday Visa for Canada instead!

About Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

2 comments

  1. I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know – I actually made more money on my working holiday than I did in my 9-5 here in the UK. Of course now with the European economy in turmoil, I think it’s an ideal time to go travelling, especially when you’re going somewhere where the economy is BOOMING!
    Rob @ Migration Angels recently posted..Opportunities For Skilled Migrants in Australia’s Mining Industry

  2. Thanks for this article! I did a semester abroad in Australia in 2008 and had just enough funds to travel the East coast for a month when I finished my studies. I met tons of young people who were in the country on a working holiday and they were having a blast. So many popular destinations have absolutely massive tourism industries, and from what I could tell, there were plenty of opportunities for foreigners to make some travel money in almost every city I visited. One thing I remember that the article didn’t mention was that people I met who had previous construction experience were able to find short term construction work that paid several times more than service jobs did. I think there may have been a special certification that was required before you could work one of those jobs. Does anyone know more about that?

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