The Working Holiday in Australia Visa

Want to work and travel Australia for a year and also work? Did you know you can stay for 2 years with the Extended WH Visa? Come on, live the dream Down Under now - keep reading to find out more!!!

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Get up close and personal with the animals!

This is the perfect visa for people who are looking to travel Australia and who need to work at the same time. Most backpackers in Australia opt for this because it gives them the flexibility to travel Australia at a leisurely pace and when funds get low, they can work to get some more money.

It truly is the best way to see all of Australia - you will meet many other backpackers from all around the world and make a heap of new friends.

This is how the truly adventurous fun young people see 'Down Under' with other fun young people. And don't forget, once you are in Australia you can apply for an Extended Working Holiday Visa and stay for an extra whole year!

If you have any questions don't forget to Check out the Working Holiday in Australian Forum for more details.

So, I hear you asking, 'what exactly does an Australian Working Holiday Visa allow me to do?' It is basically designed for young people whose main desire it to travel, but who also want to be able to work while in Australia. As such you are allowed to:

  1. Come to Australia within 12 months of it being granted. That's right, get it approved and you have a whole year spare until you need to arrive in Oz. Finish uni, save up some more cash, or travel somewhere else first, it is up to you.
  2. The down side to this is that once it has been approved it cannot be deferred - you must come within 12 months or it will be cancelled. But if this does happen you can apply for a new one (and pay the application fee again)!
  3. You can stay for a whole year from the date you arrive. That's right, a whole year to travel the 6th biggest country in the world - and trust me, you'll need it!
  4. You can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you want while it is still valid. That's right; you can jet-set off to New Zealand, South East Asia or the Pacific Islands if you want to. Just keep in mind that it is only valid for 12 months and any time spent outside of Australia does not extend this.
  5. You can work and make yourself some extra money if your funds start to run low. There are no conditions on what work you can do with the exception that you cannot work for more than 6 months for any one employer.
  6. You can study for up to 4 months.
  7. And last but not least you are entitled to have fun Down Under! That's right; I want you to enjoy your time here so much that all your friends will want to come over to see what all the hype is about!
Australia has the best beaches in the world - so get your Working Holiday visa for Australia now!
Come and relax on some of the best
beaches in the world, there is nothing better!

So that's it in a nut shell. This visa lets you stay for a year, extend it for another if you want to, do whatever kind of work you want, and come and go as you please.

It really doesn't get any better than that. But hang on, there are some requirements you must meet to be eligible for it, see below for more details.

Visa Requirements

Tip: Check them off as you go so you know if you meet them all!

  •   You MUST be over 18 and under 31 years of age at the time of your application.
  •   If you have dependent child/ren you MUST leave them at home. Sorry mums and dads, this is not for you unless you can find a baby sitter for a year. Check out the Tourist Visa if you want to travel with your children.
  •   Your current passport MUST be valid for at least one more year from the date the visa starts. If this date is getting close, and you haven't applied for it yet, get your passport renewed first!
  •   Ummm, not be a criminal. Well, a better way to put that is: you must be of 'a good and sound character'. To NOT be considered of 'a good and sound character' includes: being sentenced to 12 or more months imprisonment; having been sentenced twice to imprisonment within two years; or having been acquitted of an offence due to unsoundness of mind or insanity. If you are unsure if this is you I highly suggest you consult a lawyer before making your application.
  •   You MUST be in good health. In certain circumstances you MAY be requested to provide proof a full medical examination by a certified doctor. This is especially true if you plan to work in the Australian health care system; work with children; or have spent 3 consecutive months in the last 5 years in a country considered to be of high health risk. But don't wouldn't worry about this too much - you will be advised if you need to fulfil this requirement.
  •   Whilst you do not have to have health insurance to enter Australia on this visa, it is highly recommended. If you come from United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Norway, Slovenia, Malta or Italy you are automatically covered under the Australian Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA). These entitle you to basic cover (i.e. dental and pre-existing conditions are NOT covered). Different countries have different restrictions, so you should view the Australian Medicare Website for full details.
  •   On the note of health insurance, it is also a good idea to get Travellers Insurance to cover such things as camera, laptops, cancelled flights, hotel rooms, etc. I have put together an excellent list of specialised details and things to consider on my Travel Insurance for Australia page. Check it out now!
  •   Show proof (i.e. bank statements) of having 'enough' funds to support yourself while in Australia. And what is considered 'enough' funds? Generally speaking $5,000 AUD, although this can be less if you do not plan to stay for the entire year. You ALSO need proof of having either a ticket out of Australia, or funds to pay for you ticket out, for once your visa is expired.
  •   You must come from one of the approved countries listed below.

Congratulations, you should be fine to apply for this visa!

Australian Working Holiday 
 approved countries 
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 approved countries 
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The complete list of approved Australia Working Holiday Visa countries.

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Republic of Korea
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • The Netherlands
  • United Kingdom

Note: People from Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA have a different visa for young people wishing to travel and work in Australia (it is basically the same, it is just called something else). Please view the official Australian Government website for more details.

Backpackers having fun in Australia and learning to surf
Live the dream and learn how to surf in Australia!

Hopefully there are no problems with the above requirements and you are ready to make your application. But first there are a couple of other small things you should be aware of:

  1. You MUST apply for it from outside of Australia.
  2. You MUST still be outside of Australia for it to be granted.
  3. You MUST travel to Australia within 12 months of it being granted, otherwise it will be cancelled.
  4. You can ONLY apply for it if you have never previously had one that has been activated (see below). That's right, only one activated Working Holiday Visa... ever!
  5. It is activated the second you set foot inside Australia. That means if you make a 'stop-over' for any reason in Australia, it is activated. If you are flying to New Zealand first, make sure your flight does not stop in Australia on the way. If this is a problem you can cancel it, and apply for it again later. Once activated this visa cannot be deferred, paused, or have its dates changed. Remember, only one activated Working Holiday Visa per person... ever.

What have you forgotten???

Have you got everything you need for your trip?
Don't ruin your trip to Australia!
  • - Enjoy the perfect trip to Australia.
  • - Save hours & hours of your time.
  • - Don't forget anything important.
  • - Don't stress about a single thing.

Plan the perfect trip with my "Coming Downundr" checklist.

Can you afford not to???

This visa costs $270 AUD to apply for and this fee is non-refundable; even if your application is denied, rejected or you cancel it. So make sure none of the above is likely to impact upon your application. And one last thing... it is generally approved in just 1 week!

If you are ready to apply for it you can do so online by visiting the official Australian Government visa website. It is a really great system, it lets you 'save' your application at any time and come back to it later - it really doesn't get much easier to get a visa than this.

Alternatively, if you wish to submit your application by post you can find all the details on the same Government website by clicking here. Note: If you have children (that are not coming with you), you MUST submit your application by post.

If you have any questions don't forget to Check out the Working Holiday in Australian Forum for more details.

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