Do you want to see beautiful beaches like this one? Then you need to go to Australia. “but I don’t know how to get a visa!”. Well, I’ve been asked this a few times now, the age old “how do I apply for a visa” usually meaning a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). Well the easiest way to answer that is to, you know, write a little story about it.
Now I’m going to be making a few assumptions here. First and foremost is that you are in want of a Working Holiday Visa, and not one of the many other visa options that are available. If you’re looking to migrate permanently, gain sponsorship, just go for a holiday or whatever else then you can probably take a few bits from this post but keep in mind it isn’t catered to you specifically.
You want to backpack around Australia? Yes you do, and even if you don’t, you should. To do that, you’re going to need your Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 in case you want to search), and you’re going to need to get it from the Australian Immigration Department.
Before you go any further, you need to make sure that your home nation is eligible for a subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa. The countries (currently) that are eligible are:
“Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom” as noted here.
Sorry Swiss guys and girls, that means you aren’t on the list.. yet for some reason there are an absurd amount of you travelling Australia. Anyways.
There are a few requirements in place to actually get a working holiday visa.
- You must be over 18, but under 31.
- You must be able to support yourself financially in Australia (5000 AUD but I’ll explain more later)
- You must hold a passport from an eligible country (see above)
- You must not have already held a Working Holiday Visa or a Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)
There are a few things that the immigration department might ask from you. Police checks as a proof of character, a health examination, proof that you can sustain yourself financially and afford a flight leaving the country at the end of your visa period etc. More information on all of these individual things can be found here on the immigration website.
As I mentioned prior regarding the 5000 AUD threshold, this is what is expected of you before you head to Australia. Now while I certainly recommend you do actually have the funds to support yourself if you struggle to find employment straight away, it is possible to get by with much less. At the time I applied for my visa I didn’t have this amount (though I had other security measures in place, namely family to support me if the need arose) so just be aware that you aren’t 100% going to be asked to provide this proof, but you might.
You also need to consider that to apply for a working holiday visa, you will need to shed $420 AUD. That’s quite a sum of money, especially when you consider that you should also have $5000 AUD to support yourself. So you really don’t want to screw this up, and you want to make sure that it’s the visa you’re after (and not just a short holiday visa).
When you actually come to applying, I would recommend doing it online. It’s really straightforward and quite intuitive. Answer the questions, move through the pages and voila. You submit and hopefully your working holiday visa is granted pretty sharpish. Just consider that not everyone gets it instantly granted, it does actually depend on how you answer certain screening questions.
For example, if you indicate you’ve received weapons training, it’s probably going to take a little bit longer to approve your working holiday visa than if you’re a typical student with no abnormal circumstances.
Now about the actual applying. If you go to this page on the Immigration Department website, you’ll see a pretty box to click (beneath the “Requirements” section), like in the image below:
Click on that and you get a pop up where you will need to register an account. It isn’t difficult and it will mean you can log in to check the status of your working holiday visa application. If you can’t find it, then maybe this beautiful picture will help you!
From there, you’re kind of on your own (I can’t log in to get any more pretty pictures for you guys) but as I said, it’s quite straightforward. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and if I can, I’ll gladly help you out. Failing that the immigration department is pretty spot on and are great to deal with directly. They’re a hell of a lot more knowledgeable than I am too.
If you think I’ve missed anything out, once again, let me know, and if you found this guide helpful, then remember to share it around. As they say, if you have a question, someone else will too.