Australia and the United Kingdom have had a relationship for a few years now that has allowed young people to travel to and work in each other’s countries. These working holidays enable young people to gain skills and life experience, as well as some money.
However, not many people know all the details of these visas, if they qualify for one, and what the requirements are. Pack your bags, remember your nicotine prescription, and carry on reading to find out everything you need to know.
What is a Working Holiday Visa?
A working holiday visa is a visa that allows travellers to visit a country for up to 12 months and allows them to work and earn money, something you can’t do on a tourist visa. This visa is also renewable, meaning you can do it for a number of years if you so choose.
The biggest draw for these visas is the fact that you can travel, leave the country and return, all while still being able to work. This holiday visa also provides young people with a path to permanent residency, as well as the ability to gain employable skills, something that will be discussed later.
What Does the Visa Allow?
The visa allows a wide range of options for travellers to choose from. You are entitled to legally work and earn money; you can also work part-time, full time, or seasonal jobs, with fruit picking, surprisingly, being one of the most popular choices.
There is also no minimum or maximum time you need to work on a holiday working visa. You can work for one hour a month or 12 hours a day. As mentioned, a huge plus for people is that you can leave and re-enter the country as often as you want within the 12 month period.
One limitation is that you are not allowed to work for more than one employer for longer than six months. However, there are some exceptions, such as being employed as an au pair or working in the aged care industry, mining, agriculture or hospitality.
An extra bonus is that you are allowed to study or train for up to four months while in the country. Many travellers choose to do this as you can get the training you need to return to a better job if you want to move to Australia permanently.
There aren’t as many requirements as you may think. You will need a valid passport, and this program is only open to young people between the ages of 18 and 30. The biggest challenge for many is usually the financial requirements.
The visa itself costs £360; however, travellers will need at least AUD$5,000 (+-£3000) in their accounts. This money is needed to support yourself during the initial part of your visit, as you may not want to or can’t find work immediately after you land.
You will also need to provide paperwork to show you have the money, usually a bank statement. You will also need to prove you have a ticket booked to leave the country on or before the day your visa ends. Even though you can reapply and come back if you meet the requirements, you must leave the country first when the 12 months expires.
Working Holiday 417 Class
UK citizens will choose the Working Holiday 417 Class visa when applying for an Australian working holiday. As mentioned, this visa lasts 12 months starting from the day you land, and you are only allowed to work for one employer for six months, except for the exceptions mentioned already.
Once your 12 months are up, you can reapply and re-enter the country on another 12-month working holiday visa. The limitation of working for the same employer for six months is reset, and you are able to return to your previous job if you choose.
Path to Permanent Residency
Many young people choose to use their working holiday visa as a way to build the foundation to move to Australia permanently. While most visitors stay for eight months, many choose to apply for a Skilled Labor visa.
This visa is more focused on work and less about being on holiday and allows people to work for an employer beyond the six-month limit. You can then transfer this and apply for permanent residency after a certain number of years.
Two important pieces of legislation that governments are looking to implement, both impact the working holiday visa in positive ways. The current age limit is 18-30 years old, but this is set to be changed, with the new limit being increased to 35, with travellers being able to apply all the way up to the day before their 36th birthday.
The second piece of new legislation is set to dispose of the requirement that travellers need “specified work” to apply for a second or even third working holiday visa. This means you can travel back to Australia on a visa with the same requirements you would have if you were travelling there for the first time.