How to Get a Working Holiday Visa for Australia in 2020
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Despite its remote location, Australia has become one of the most popular destinations for travelers. From diving in the Great Barrier Reef to visiting Sydney’s iconic opera house, Australia has an endless amount of sights to see and things to do. And you can easily spend a year exploring its many wonders — if you know how to get a working holiday visa for Australia.
If you’re between 18 and 30 years old, the Australian government offers a working holiday visa that allows you to stay in Australia for up to a year. You can explore this beautiful continent, make money, and have the immersive international experience that can only come from living in another country.
How to get a working holiday visa for Australia
Read on to learn how to get a working holiday visa for Australia, along with some tips on how to get a job in Australia so you can support yourself during your travels.
What is the Australia working holiday visa?
The first step on your adventure down under is knowing what visa you need. Australia offers a working holiday visa to U.S. citizens between the ages of 18 and 30.
This temporary visa lets you stay in Australia for up to 12 months and engage in temporary work or study while you’re there.
You’re also allowed to leave and re-enter Australia during your stay. So if you want to jet-set to Bali or go home to visit friends and family, you can do so without worrying about your visa status getting revoked.
Australia working holiday visa requirements
To obtain a working holiday visa for Australia, you’ll need to fulfill these requirements:
- Hold an eligible passport, such as a U.S. passport.
- Be between the ages of 18 and 30. If you’re over 30, you might be able to qualify for a skilled or sponsored work visa.
- Be unaccompanied by dependent children.
- Have a high school or equivalent degree.
- Be in good health and have adequate health insurance for the duration of your stay.
- Have at least AUD $5,000 in the bank (about $3,460, but amount can vary depending on how long you’re planning to stay). You might need to show evidence of sufficient funds with a certified bank statement.
- Have a plane ticket that shows proof of onward travel. This could be a round-trip ticket or simply one that shows you’ll be leaving Australia within the year.
- Be of good character. You’ll have to show you don’t have a criminal record, haven’t been convicted for immigration crimes, and haven’t participated in any suspicious groups or organizations.
Note that Australia offers a second working holiday visa to certain workers who have already used up their first working holiday visa (mainly for people working outdoors or on farms).
Preparing financially for your working holiday visa
Along with having enough in your bank account to get a one-year Australia visa, you’ll also need funds to cover the application fee. It costs about $320, as of the time of writing.
Even though the financial demands might feel hefty, it will help to have savings before you leave, especially if you’ll be looking for temporary work once you get there.
It can take time to get hired, so it’s very helpful to have some savings — we recommend three months’ worth — before you move.
How to apply for your working holiday visa
Once you’ve prepared for these working holiday visa requirements, it’s time to apply. You can apply online on the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website.
Unlike some other visas, you don’t need to visit a consulate or embassy or get a stamp in your passport. Instead, you can complete the entire process online.
First, you’ll create an account with a user name and password. Next, you’ll fill out all the forms, which ask about your current location and proposed arrival date. After that, you’ll give personal information, such as your address and passport information.
You’ll have 12 pages in total to get through and may need to upload documents as evidence of your eligibility. At the end, you’ll pay the fee and submit your application for an Australia working holiday visa.
Once you’ve sent in your application, you should get your visa in three to seven weeks. According to the official website, 75% of applications are processed within 23 days and 90% of applications are completed within 77 days.
Since the process can take a while, make sure to start well before your planned departure date.
Working holiday visa Australia jobs
With a working holiday visa you’re allowed to work short-term jobs in Australia or study for up to four months. This flexible option is great for young travelers who want to experience Australia and still earn a living.
Some working holiday visa jobs include serving tables, bartending, farm work, or temporary desk jobs. Just keep in mind you can’t stay at the same employer for more than six months.
Here are some websites catering to travelers looking for temporary work in Australia:
Always inform your employer that you’re on the working holiday visa and be prepared to show them proof. Keep in mind that you can apply for a second working holiday visa, but you’ll need to spend a minimum of 88 days engaged in the following kinds of work:
- Plant and animal cultivation
- Fishing and pearling
- Tree farming and felling
- Mining, or
Outside of working for an Australian employer, you might have better luck working an online job. If you can snag a remote job or start freelancing, you could make money online while traveling around the Land Down Under. You won’t be tethered to a location, but make sure you’ll have internet access wherever you go!
Exploring the Land Down Under on your working holiday visa
Many travelers are attracted to the backpacking, hiking, and natural wonders that Australia offers. Others find themselves drawn to its cities, eateries, and historic sites.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable adventure in a country known for its epic landscapes and gorgeous cities, consider applying for the working holiday visa for Australia before you reach your 30s and it’s too late!