Many young people in the UK are curious about living and working in Australia, but aren’t necessarily ready to jump into the migration process. Fortunately, the Australian Government offers an alternative for young Brits aged between 18 and 30 years old: the Working Holiday Visa.
Working Holiday Visas allow young people to travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months. Best of all, Working Holiday Visas are quick, easy and cheap to apply for; with a simple online application letting you complete the process in minutes. Once granted, your visa will be electronically tied to your passport.
Upon your visa being granted, you have up to 12 months to first enter Australia and start the clock ticking. You can then stay in Australia for up to 12 months on your Working Holiday Visa.
Technically, Working Holiday Visas are meant to allow young people to explore Australia, rather than advance their career. Therefore, you can only work for any one employer for a maximum of 6 months.
What You’ll Need to Have
To apply for a Working Holiday Visa you’ll need to have a passport with at least one year’s validity from the date you plan to enter Australia. When in doubt, it’s best to renew your passport before you apply.
Upon entering Australia, you’ll need to show that you have enough money to support yourself when you first arrive. The threshold is usually considered to be $5,000 AUD (or about £2,500). To prove this, make sure you travel with a certified copy of your bank statement (not printed offline).
You’ll also need to show an immigration officer that you have either a return ticket home, or, if you’re not planning that far ahead, that you have enough money to pay for your flight at the end of your trip.
To apply for a Working Holiday Visa, you’ll need to demonstrate that you are ‘of good character’. In simple English, this means your application may be refused if the Australian government has good reason to suspect that you could cause danger to any person or part of Australian society.
Your Working Holiday Visa is most likely to be refused on these grounds if you have a substantial criminal record. The Australian government broadly define a substantial criminal record on the basis of whether you have been sentenced to prison for more 12 months or more, have been sentenced to 2 or more prison terms totalling 2 years or more, or if you have been acquitted of an offence because of insanity or mental unsoundness, and then been detained in an institution.
In practice, people with minor criminal offenses, such as drink driving, public nuisance, or even minor assaults can still apply for a Working Holiday Visa, provided enough time has passed. However, if any of these situations apply to you, you may need to go through a few additional steps when you apply.
As long as you are in good health, with no chronic or serious medical conditions, you will likely not need a medical test to apply for your visa. However, there are a few exceptions to the rule.
If you plan to find work in healthcare, you will need to complete a medical test to ensure that you are in good health. This rule applies to nurses, doctors, care workers, and anybody else who might be interpreted as working in healthcare. A similar rule applies to teachers and anyone who plans to enter or work in an Australian school.
If you have spent more than 3 consecutive months within the last 5 years in a country with a high health risk, you will be required to complete a medical exam. Commonly, this applies to travellers who have spent significant time in Africa and parts of South East Asia.
Twice in a Lifetime – Applying for a Second Working Holiday Visa
Most people will apply for only one Working Holiday Visa in their lifetime. However, in response to overwhelming pressure, the Australian Government made it possible to apply for a second visa, but only if you’re willing to get your hands dirty.
If you work as a “seasonal agricultural worker” in regional Australia for at least three months, you will be allowed to apply for a second working holiday visa. This condition is designed to encourage working holiday makers to fill demand for agricultural workers in fields like fruit picking, crop work, fishing, tree farming and other agricultural fields.
Getting your application started is as easy as filling out a form online! Applications can take up to two months to process, but for most Brits, applications are processed in around two weeks.
If you want to get a taste of life in Australia and earn money at the same time, get a Working Holiday Visa and then get on a plane Down Under!
You can apply online for an Australia Working Holiday Visa with the Australian Visa Bureau.
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