Australia & New Zealand - Working Holiday Visas
To work in Australia you need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa. You need to apply for this before you arrive in Australia, but certain nationalities (including British people) may apply in any country except Australia. The Working Holiday Visa is issued under a program of cultural exchange between Australia and certain nations with the intention to promote diversity and inter-cultural understanding.
This visa is a way for you to experience life in Australia. If you are within 18 - 30 years of age, you have a chance to live and work in Australia temporarily. While you go about enjoying your holiday abroad, you could benefit by being able to work there and in turn help the country by filling temporary work needs.
For more information and to apply:
You have a year from the date your visa is issued in which to travel to Australia and you are allowed to stay in Australia for 12 months from the date you enter. You can travel in and out of Australia as many times as you like during the 12 months from the date of first entry. However if you depart Australia during your 12 months stay you can’t "top up" or recover the period of time spent outside Australia. You are only ever issued one WHV.
Note: It is now possible to apply for a second WHV, which will give you 12 more months in Oz. The only condition is that in order to be eligible you must spend 3 months under your first visa doing harvest work in one of the specified regions of the country.
The work restrictions on the visa mean you can only work for three months with any one employer, however there are no restrictions on the type of work you can do.
A WHV also allows you to study or do training in Australia for up to three months as part of your year there.
Check for current updates as certain jobs will allow you to extend your visa by 3 months.
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Why a Working Holiday Visa for Australia and New Zealand?
A Working Holiday Visa is the best way of working legally and getting paid properly on your travels. If you are doing a round the world trip, Australia and New Zealand will be your likely port of calls for holiday and work. There are a number of criteria you must fulfil as a working holiday visa applicant for Australia:
Working Holiday Maker Visa Conditions
- Aged between 18-30 years
- Not accompanied by dependent children
- Show your main reason for coming to Australia is to holiday, and any work you do is just to support yourself whilst in Australia.
- Have not previously entered Australia on a WHM Visa.
- Meet health and character requirements.
- Have funds of AUD$5,000 (approx £2,000).
- Upon arrival be able to provide an outward ticket or sufficient funds for a flight home.
ETA (Electronic Travel Authority) visa
All travellers to Australia (other than NZ citizens) require a visa. An ETA-type visa is issued electronically and is valid for 12 months allowing you to stay up to 3 months at a time in Australia. You can get an ETA from the Australian Embassy by applying online (for a charge of $20) and travel agents (the cost will vary from £10 - £14). It is strictly against the law to work on a visitor visa in Australia – with two exceptions - WWOOFing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms), and conservation work. Illegal labour is a political hot topic in Australia and the Department of Immigration will be only too happy to add you to the statistics of illegal workers they have caught and deported!
Tourist Visitor Visas
This visa does not allow you to work but you can visit Australia for up to 6 months. You are required to show that you are able to support yourself financially and it is open to any age group. The embassy charge is currently £30.
The Australian government operates an Overseas Student Program (OSP) that allows people who are not Australian citizens to study in Australia. You must obtain a student visa (Form 157A) before you can commence a course of study in Australia. You can be granted a student visa only if you wish to undertake a registered course or part of a registered course on a full-time basis. Students on this scheme can work up to 20 hours per week and up to 40 hours during school holidays (around 12 weeks school holidays per year). Travellers Contact Point represent several approved colleges and universities in and around Sydney. The Student Visa scheme is a great alternative to the working holiday for those of you torn between taking a gap year and continuing with your studies. It is also suitable for those of you who have already used the Working Holiday Visa to return for another extended stay, and a good opportunity if you’re looking to migrate. Studying in Australia and getting a qualification there can boost your migration points by up to 65 (110 is required to be eligible to apply for migration).
Other visas such as those enabling permanent immigration, temporary employment or business in Australia are much harder to get than the tourist or working holiday visa. Getting one involves a lot of paperwork, time and effort with potential employers and lawyers. If you are eligible, a working holiday visa is by far the easiest way to work legally in Australia whilst travelling.