Crops in Malanda, Tropical North Queensland, QLD © Tourism and Events Queensland

Working in Australia FAQ

Frequently asked questions

The New Zealand Safe Travel Zone allows travellers from New Zealand to travel to Australia without the need to quarantine on arrival. You must have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more and not been in a designated COVID-19 hotspot. Find out more about COVID-Safe Travel in Australia here and more about the New Zealand Safe Travel Zone here.

As long as you have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more and have not been in a designated COVID-19 hotspot, you are eligible to enter Australia on a quarantine-free flight. You’ll need to ensure you have a valid Australian visa before you fly. If you are under the age of 30 (or 35 for French and Irish citizens), you can apply for the Working Holiday Maker program, which allows you to live and work in Australia for up to three years if you meet the requirements.

If you're a New Zealand citizen, you'll be granted a visa at the border when you arrive. A Special Category visa (subclass 444) allows you to live, stay, work and study in Australia for as long as you remain a New Zealand citizen. It's free for New Zealand citizens and is applied for when you arrive in Australia and submit your completed incoming passenger card with your New Zealand passport.

Find out more about the Subclass 444 visa here.

New Zealand citizens do not have any restrictions on their work in Australia, and can work in any industry for any length of time. Backpackers and seasonal workers often find jobs in tourism, hospitality and agricultural work, which is readily available.

Visitors who are not New Zealand citizens coming to Australia on a Working Holiday Maker visa can extend their visa for an additional year (or two!) if they work in regional areas in specified jobs, including fruit picking, animal cultivation and bushfire recovery work, among others.

Agricultural work, fruit picking and crop harvesting jobs can be found in different areas of Australia at different times of the year. The Harvest Trail website is one of the best resources for information about harvesting jobs, available accommodation and more. Search for jobs by location, find out about relocation assistance, and get advice by contacting the Harvest Trail Information Service.

Relocation assistance is available for New Zealand citizens and Working Holiday Makers coming from New Zealand only for those relocating for a harvest job. 

International job seekers are eligible for a rebate of up to AUD $2,000 to cover the cost of accommodation and travel.

You must meet all of the following criteria:

  • you are at least 18 years of age
  • you are relocating within Australia to a regional, remote or Harvest Area at least 90 minutes from your Australian address (can be a temporary address on arrival in Australia)
  • you take up a short-term agricultural work including harvest work placements through a Harvest Trail Services (HTS) provider
  • you work for at least 6 weeks and at least 120 hours in agricultural work

You must apply for the rebate before you move and begin work. Follow these steps to register:

  1. Get a tax file number: Register with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for an Australian tax file number.
  2. Get a JobSeeker ID: Contact the Harvest Trail Information Service (HTIS) for information on JobSeeker.
  3. Get a myGov account: Sign up for a myGov account and link it to your JobSeeker ID.
  4. Find a job: Search the Harvest Trail website for work on farms across Australia.

All employees working in Australia have rights and protections at work. The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) can help you understand your rights while working in Australia. Their service is free.

The FWO has information in 30 different languages, and storyboards (short videos) in various languages are available to assist you to understand your rights and obligations in Australian workplaces.

The FWO also has tailored information for workers in the fast food, restaurant and café industry and the horticulture industry. 

You must be paid money for the work you do in Australia. The amount you need to be paid can depend on your age, duties and hours of work. Use the FWO’s Pay Calculator to make sure you have the right pay rates.

A pay slip must be given to you each time you are paid. Visit the FWO’s pay slips page to find out what should be included on yours.

Make sure you keep a record of the hours you work, the places you work and the type of work you are doing. Use a diary or download the FWO’s Record My Hours app. The app is available in various languages and is free to download from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

The FWO can also help with workplace issues and questions. You can’t get into trouble or have your visa cancelled for contacting the FWO for information about your pay or other entitlements. If you have a question about your workplace rights while working in Australia, you can ask the FWO online, or call them on 13 13 94 during business hours. If you or someone you know needs an interpreter when contacting the FWO, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.

If you want to stay up to date with Australia’s workplace laws, follow the FWO on Facebook and Twitter.

Taxes will be deducted from any money you make. Before you can get paid you will need to open an Australian bank account. It’s also advisable to obtain a tax file number (TFN) to ensure you receive all due entitlements. Find more information on how to open a bank account and get a TFN here.

Volunteering is a great way to get involved with a local community and deepen your Australian experience. WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) place travellers on organic farms, where farmers provide flexible jobs in exchange for accommodation and meals. Expect to work half a day for a full day’s board. This model applies to a huge variety of other volunteer roles, from rescuing turtles in Cape York to organising arts festivals in Arnhem Land.

You could also sign up as a Conservation Volunteer and work as part of a team to help preserve precious Australian eco-systems. Your meals, accommodation and travel to and from the project are provided.

If you'd like to help communities rebuild after natural disasters, sign up to volunteer with Blazeaid. You'll work alongside rural families to help them rebuild as well as lift their spirits.