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How to snag a working holiday visa

How to snag a working holiday visa

Aussie News Today are here to help you lock down that working holiday visa and get cracking on a new life Down Under.


Okay, so moving to a new country isn’t as simple as booking a flight and leaving a note behind for Mum on your pillow, no matter what the movies suggest. That doesn’t mean, however, that it needs to be a production the size of a Broadway musical.

With the help of our friends at YHA, we’ve thrown together a cheat sheet that will probably answer all your working holiday prayers. From finding work to forecasting the weather, this list is all you need to know to kick off your new Aussie life.

Who can apply, how long can they stay and how much does it cost?

Sorry kiddies, you have to be between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive) at time of applying, and travel to Australia within 12 months of your application approval. The Working Holiday Visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months and work for up to six months with each employer. It’ll set you back AUD $440 - a small price to pay for a whole new world. (Cue: Aladdin)


Can I stay longer than 12 months?

Ab-so-lutely. For starters, you’ll need to complete three months of eligible work in regional areas during your first year. Then, you’ll have to apply for a second year Working Holiday Visa. Once both of these steps are complete, you’re in for extended Oz time. Make sure you do your research, so that you know exactly what counts as eligible work and what regional areas tick the box.


What are the tips and tricks for finding work?

  • We wanna be straight up with you. It’s not likely you’ll find a job before you arrive in Australia, so make sure you budget for a few weeks or more without work.
  • Prepare a version of your CV (read: ‘resume’) and save it online or to a USB before you even touch down. That way, when you arrive, you can easily print copies to hand out at shops, restaurants, cafes and so on.
  • Research job options in Oz. Lucky for you, the Aussie News Today team have done the homework on your behalf and uncovered a bunch of work hacks.
  • Don’t be a quitter! There’s plenty of work out there, so be resilient and try again. Eventually, you’ll be cracking cold beers with your mates and toasting to your success.
  • YHA hostels are your BFF. They will not only shelter you, bathe you and introduce you to new mates/lovers, but they might even hook you up with a new job too. All YHA hostels have notice boards that can sometimes include locally advertised work or contacts for companies that find you work.


How much does a hostel cost and are there specials?

Obviously, this depends on the hostel, location and room type. But to give you a ballpark, shared accommodation ranges from AUD $25 to AUD $44 per night while private rooms range from AUD $80 to AUD $160 per night.

ePacks are prepaid accommodation packages of 10 to 15 nights. They can be cashed in at over 85 YHA hostels around Oz and start from AUD $27 per night. This, friends, is a great way to save money. There are also other kinds of special packages, such as weekly rates, ‘bed and breakfast’ and premium WiFi options, so ask about all of this at your YHA hostel reception desk.


Are any meals included?

Sweet toothed-folk beware, a handful of hostels, such as Brisbane City YHA and Adelaide Central YHA, actually provide free pancake breakfasts. Meanwhile, most YHA hostels also often have cheap food nights, such as BBQ or pizza for around five bucks a pop. But, just to be clear, meals aren’t included as part of a regular room rate, so there will definitely have to be some self-fending going on. FYI, the cheapest way to go is to cook your own meal in the hostel’s fully-equipped kitchen.


When is peak season?

For the northern part of Australia, such as Cairns, Darwin and Alice Springs, peak season is during the Aussie winter, meaning the ideal time to visit these places is April through to September, weather-wise. Outside of these months, it may be cheaper, but you could face tropical rain on your parade. No matter how you want to play it, make sure you research ahead and book accommodation and tours well in advance for June, July and August in these locations.

As for the southern states, you’ll be peaking in summer. Sydney gets slammed between December and February, whereas Melbourne and Adelaide are still red hot in March due to events and their festival seasons. Again, you’ll need to plan ahead when you do the famous East Coast tour. For instance, if you want to spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney, try to book your hostel at least 9 months in advance. Accommodation sells out like free hot cakes! And in the interest of stating the obvious… no matter where you are on weekends, public holidays and during any event periods, it’ll generally be bloody busy.


What climate should I expect?

Australia is big, so naturally its climate varies. It can be hot and sunny in the north, and meanwhile cold (and even sometimes snowing) in the south. Most of the continent is desert or semi-arid, only the south-east and south-west corners have temperate climates similar to Europe and the northern part has a tropical climate (complete with a wet season). What you really need to do is plan in advance. Know what the weather will be like in the place you’re headed, so that you can ensure you’re going in the best season.


Where do I find extra hot tips?

For more information about setting yourself up once you get here, have a read of our quick-start guide.

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