Australia Working Holiday Visa

The Australia Working Holiday Visa is one of the easiest visas to apply for and to receive, similar to the New Zealand visa.

Most Australians are not interested in doing hard working agricultural jobs, so the government has done a fine job of marketing the ‘Gooday Mate!  Come on Down-unda, where you can find a job easy mate.  You, can live on the beach and party for a year in paradise.’  When you look at the picture perfect beaches in photos, it will draw you in.  However, in all likelihood once you get there you will likely either be working in a pub, a hostel, or picking fruit somewhere in rural Australia.  There are not many 24-year-old Australians who want to pick fruit from trees in the countryside, so the Australian government offers the chance for young foreigners between the ages of 18 and 30 (both years inclusive) to come and be their monkeys for them.  It is a great experience.   And, if you can find a way to keep your overhead down, there is a lot of money to be made in Australia.

The Australia Working Holiday Visa is a one year visa, with the possibility to extend the visa for a second full year if you have spent three months doing agricultural work during your first visa.

If you have not spend three months doing agricultural work, the second visa is not available to you (although I have made friends who told me they had not put in the amount out agricultural work-time required, made up jobs indicating they had, and sent in their application for the second visa which they were then granted.)

The cost  for the Australia Working Holiday Visa is $420 and it can be completed over the internet in 25 minutes where where payment is made for it via credit card.  Voila!  Usually within 48 hours the visa is issued to you in a welcome email!  When you fly into Australia and pass though immigration, as they swipe your passport, it will automatically match you to the working holiday visa tied to your passport numbers within their system (but be sure to print off you ‘Welcome’ letter and bring it with you in case you are asked to present it).  At that moment, the visa officially activates itself.  It is said that you are required to have proof of support funds of $5000 upon arrival into Australia, but I have yet to meet anyone who was ever asked to prove their funding when coming through immigration.

There are many sites on the internet that offer the ‘Australian Working Holiday Visa in 48 Hours!’  Only use the website to apply for this visa.  Any other site is a 3rd party site who will just take you information, and they will apply for this visa though for you, and then charge you extra money for middle-manning you with promises of a turnaround on the visa in 48 hours.  These 3rd party sites are legitimate, but they are sort of misleading on their promises.  They can only rush the visa as fast as the official government website can process it, so you might as well just go directly to the source and save the extra money as the government website processes the visa in about 48 hours.

*Notes of Importance*
A) When you get to Australia, buy your own vehicle, rather that rent from Wicked Vans or any other agency of the like.  Then about a week before you leave Australia you can start trying to sell you vehicle and it will be extra cash in your pocket once someone else buys if from you.  Renting a vehicle from an agency for an extended period of time is just giving your money away, and you could have used that same money to invest in your own vehicle and you would then have something to sell when you leave.  And make sure you buy the vehicle on your own.  This is important!  If you buy the vehicle with someone else, and if you and co-owner later having trouble getting along because you have been in the same vehicle for 4 months and that person is driving you nuts, you can just go your separate ways rather than dealing with a vehicle divorce!  Also, you will also have the final say on where you want to go during your Australian adventure if the vehicle is totally yours.  Now, go and have fun!

B) Before you leave Australia, it is best to file your taxes within the country and clean out your Superannuation accounts.  If not, it can be a very time consuming process to file your taxes from overseas and trying to reclaim your Superannuation is a nightmare that can include having to have your passport witnessed by an Australian embassy in the country you are located, for a substantial fee of course.  As well, some of the Superannuation companies will have a monthly ‘service fee’ that they will charge to any idle accounts until they have absorbed the funds in the entire account.  So, get your tax-back and clean out your Australian retirement savings before you even leave the country!