Planning to stay and work while you’re visiting Australia?
If you’re aged between 18 and 30 and hold a passport for a country or region participating in Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program, you may be eligible to apply for a 12-month visa which enables you to work in Australia while you are here.
The Australian Government’s Working Holiday Maker Program, which includes the Working Holiday visa and the Work and Holiday visa, is a cultural exchange program which enables young travellers to have an extended holiday and earn money through short-term employment. If you work in Australia’s regional areas, in certain circumstances you may even be able to extend your stay for an additional 12 months.
The Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship manages all permanent and temporary immigration matters for Australia including visa applications. Their website will tell you everything you need to know about how the Working Holiday Maker program works, participating countries, the type of visa you need to enter Australia, your eligibility and obligations and how to apply: www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/.
The Working Holiday Maker program has two types of visas: Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417) and Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) depending on your country of residence. See below for lists of countries eligible for each visa.
If you intend to work while you are in Australia, you must apply for your visa before you arrive. These types of visas allow you to stay and work in Australia in all types of full-time, part-time, casual, shift and voluntary work for up to 12 months. You can leave and re-enter Australia a number of times while the visa is valid.
You can also study for a maximum of four months in Australia in addition to working during your holiday.
You will need to meet certain health, character and financial requirements and declare that you will respect Australian values and obey Australian laws before a visa is granted. You should also have a return or onward ticket or the funds for a fare to depart Australia. Health insurance from your own country is also recommended.
The Working Holiday Maker program is not suitable for those seeking permanent employment or full-time study in Australia. If your primary reason for coming to Australia is to seek employment or study you should enquire about a business visa or student visa which may better suit your needs.
Read the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship visa requirements carefully to determine your eligibility and obligations before you apply. There is a non-refundable charge when you lodge your visa application.
Apply for the Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) if you are from:
Apply for the Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417) if you are from:
• United Kingdom
• Hong Kong
• Republic of Ireland
• Republic of Cyprus
• Republic of Korea
Arrangements are also being negotiated with other countries, so check the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website for the latest updates. www.immi.gov.au
If you wish to stay longer and continue your working holiday, you may be able to apply for a second Working Holiday visa which will allow you to stay for an extra 12 months.
To be eligible to apply, you must hold or have previoulsly held a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa, and have completed three months specified work in regional areas of Australia while on your first Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa. Check to ensure the work you are undertaking and the regional area of Australia is eligible under the guidelines.
You can apply for a second Working Holiday visa either while you still have your first Working Holiday visa or at a later date.
For more information about applying for a second Working Holiday visa see: http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/eligibility-second.htm.
The Australian Government has strict laws regarding employment of non-citizens and penalties for breaking the law. Don’t try and work without the right visa. If your Working Holiday visa expires and you have not left Australia or applied for another visa, you could risk being detained and possibly removed. You may also not be allowed to return to Australia for a period of time.
There are other visa options if you wish to stay temporarily or permanently in Australia at the end of your working holiday.
For detailed information on working in Australia including on a Working Holiday visa visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship. http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/
Tourism Australia has worked with monster.com to create a website of job vacancies available for working holiday visitors.
Information about harvest work opportunities in regional Australia can be found at the Australian Government’s Harvest Trail website. www.harvesttrail.org.au
Click here for answers to some of the most Frequently Asked Questions about the Australian Government’s Working Holiday visa program.
Find out about other traveller’s Australian working holiday experiences at www.facebook.com/AustralianWorkingHoliday#!/AustralianWorkingHoliday.