You are finishing your university studies, leaving military service, or just need a break between jobs. You need a break but don’t have a lot of cash. Your best option may well be a working holiday in Australia. A working holiday (also referred to as a gap year) gives you an opportunity to see a unique part of the world before settling into your life “back home.” An Australian working holiday can be all work or just part time with plenty of travel in between jobs. Because an Australia working holiday visa is quite flexible, you will be able to travel anywhere from Brisbane to Perth and Darwin to Melbourne.
When planning your Australian working holiday, keep in mind that while you may stay for a year and leave with fond memories, you may also fall in love with Australia and choose to immigrate. As you find new friendships and a new perspective on life, pick jobs and travel experiences that will best further your goals.
What Is the Australian Working Holiday Visa?
The Australian government sponsors a Working Holiday Maker Program. This is a cultural exchange program aimed at young travellers. It lasts longer than a standard tourist visa and allows you to work during your stay. For many young visitors, the only way they can travel in Australia is to earn money as they go. But, working in various jobs in Australia is an excellent way to meet the Australian people, understand the culture, and help you decide if a life in Australia is for you. Because there are two different working holiday visas, subclasses 417 and 462, consider working with an Australia immigration consultant to choose the correct visa for you.
What You Can Do During Your Working Holiday in Australia
From metropolitan Sydney and Melbourne to small towns in the outback, Australians are friendly and worth your while to get to know them. This is easier when you settle into a job and get out of “tourist mode.” Because Australia is a large country you will find the climate in the far north around Darwin or Prince of Wales Island (just south of Papua New Guinea) to be hot and humid in the summer and warm in the winter. And, the climate around Melbourne will be temperate in the summer and cool with rain in the winter.
If you love scuba diving and snorkelling, the Great Barrier Reef lies off the east coast of Queensland. And, you can blend into the local sports scene by watching cricket with your mates at a bar or brewery in Brisbane. Australia boasts national parks from coast to coast if nature attracts you. City life will give you lots of things to do and opportunities to meet new people while work in rural areas will often provide you with the chances for closer friendships.
How to Get and Use a Working Holiday Visa
This class of visa for Australia is for those who are eighteen to thirty-years-old. Complete your application before your thirty-first birthday. When you are accepted by email you will have one year to enter Australia. You can work as much or as little as you like during your stay. However, if you would like to stay for a second or third year, you need to complete three months of “specified” work during your first year and six months during your second year. And, you need to be less than thirty-one years of age.
Do a job search before leaving home. Focus on the locations in Australia where you want to visit and live. Consider work programs as they often help you with transportation and housing. And, if you plan on looking for work once you arrive, make sure you have a resume and references handy. Getting a local SIM card and phone number is also a good idea so that employers and friends can always find you.