The Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) is possibly the most basic residency visa one can apply for in Australia. It is a one year visa, which one can apply for on the Department of Immigration website and most often get a response within 24 hours. The idea of this visa is for a person under the age of 31 to supplement their travels in Australia with work. There is the option to extend the visa for another year, subject to meeting certain requirements.
- You must be between 18 and 30 years old;
- You must have a valid passport (only available for certain nationalities) with at least 1 year until renewal;
- You must have sufficient funds to support yourself when you arrive in Australia (usually $5000 and an outbound travel ticket);
- You must be of good character and not have any substantial criminal convictions (ie. imprisonment for 12 or more months);
- You must not have any substantial medical issues (you may have to undertake a health examination if you have lived in a high-risk country recently, or intend to work in the medical industry or with children);
- You must apply outside of Australia for the first visa.
- You must enter Australia (ie. activate the visa) no later than 12 months from the date that the visa was granted;
- Work undertaken must be incidental to the main purpose of the holiday;
- Employment for more than 6 months with any one employer is not allowed (ie. you must then seek work for up to another 6 months with another employer);
- You are allowed multi-exit from and entry into Australia;
- Study is allowed, but only for up to 4 months.
Second Year Visa
The Australian Government provides holders of the above visa the opportunity to apply for a second Working Holiday Visa near completion of their first stint in Australia. The basic requirement here is that the holder must have worked as a specified worker in regional Australia for 3 months before the end of their 12 months on the first Working Holiday Visa.
A specified worker is defined as one who is employed in one of several primary industries, including plant/animal cultivation, fishing, tree farming, mining and construction work. The most common work in this regard is fruit picking or other seasonal farmwork. This visa extension can be applied for both inside or outside Australia.
Working Holiday Jobs
While the visa entitles you to be employed in most industries in many roles, the idea is that the visa is used to supplement your travels, and so most people undertake low-skilled work or something not requiring formal training, such as bar work, hostel administration, cleaning, manual labour, farm work or construction. However, should you be a professional, you still are able to work in industries such as banking, IT or science, but the 6 month restriction at each company still applies. In extreme circumstances, such as a doctor in the middle of a procedure, you are able to apply to the Department of Immigration to waive the restriction, but this is rarely granted.
Working Holiday Questionnaire
Work and Holiday Visa
US citizens are not eligible for the Working Holiday Visa, however they are able to apply for a similar visa, namely the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462). Apart from the above basic requirements, the applicant should also hold a United States passport, have graduated from high school (or equivalent), not be accompanied by dependent children, have not previously been in Australia on this visa nor a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417).
Other Australian visa types:
Australian Skilled Migration Visas
Australian Business Visas
Australian Employer-sponsored Visas
Australian Investor Retirement Visa
Australian Student Visas
Australian Family and Spouse Visa
Australian Resident Return Visa
Australian Working Holiday Visa
Australian Travel Visa