Working Holiday Visa in Australia

by Johnny Ward

Having spent over a year in Australia myself, I really wanted to explain in detail how the working holiday visa in Australia works. It’s a great opportunity for people to explore Australia in depth and if you’ve got no cash, just get yourself here and start working on arrival, save up a travel fund and then hit the road when you have enough. It’s perfect! So let’s have look at what it’s all about:

Uluru

Uluru (Ayer's Rock)

What is A Working Holiday Visa? A working holiday visa (Visa 417) is a visa which allows people between 18 and 30 years old to stay legally in Australia for up to 12 months. It allows you to work, in any field, during your time there.

What sort of jobs can I do? Any job is fine but you can’t work for one employer for any longer than 6 months. The easiest jobs to find are things to do with harvesting – fruit picking etc. And you can save a lot of money doing that.

How much money can I earn? A lot. If you pick fruit you can earn around $18 per hour, working 6 days a week that can give you around $1k USD per week! Not bad at all. Alternatively, you can try your luck in a corporate setting in Sydney, Melbourne etc and make a very good office salary (minimum salary being $36k per year). With lots of jobs in sales, if you’re heart is in it, you can make serious money.

Bondi beach

Bondi beach, Sydney

Can I stay longer than 12 months? If you spend 3 of your first 12 months working in ‘seasonal work’ (i.e working on a farm) then you’re eligible for a second working holiday visa, granting you a second 12 months. Also, if you work for a company and they want to keep you longer than the allowed 6 months, they can ‘sponsor’ you which effectively means as long as you stay employed by them, you can stay in Oz as long as you want. After 4 years, you’ll then be eligible for residency.

Who is eligible for a working holiday visa in Australia? UK, Ireland, Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Malta, Norway, Sweden, Turkey. Canada, Malaysia, USA, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Chile, Hong Kong. You must be between 18 and 30 years old. For some countries, you may need to prove you have enough money to support yourself. Thai, Malaysian and Chilean applicants need to have a university degree.

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

How do I apply for the working holiday visa? And how much does it cost? The visa costs $280 USD, you can apply directly through Australia’s Department of Immigration. Don’t waste your time going through a visa agent, they charge you fees for something you can do yourself. Apply online, and if everything is ok, you’ll have your visa within 3 working days – emailed to your email account. Nothing is stamped in your passport.

That’s it guys, an opportunity of a lifetime. Take the plunge and explore Australia. You’ll meet great people from all over the world, save some real money and begin a life of travel. It’s that easy. Happy Travels!

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20 thoughts on “Working Holiday Visa in Australia

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  2. Mauchie Wolfe

    Hi Johny, I’m currently working here in Singapore for 2 cumulative years. But I’m a holder of Philippines passport, would it be possible to have a working visa in Australia? If yes, what kind of visa? Thank you

    Reply
  3. She

    This is the problem. Everytime I find shiny opportunities I always find out that it seems difficult to get that kind of visa for Indonesian. Who still live in Indonesia. Can you ease my frustation a little bit?

    Reply
  4. Steph

    Hiya !
    Quick question as I am planning to do the whole working holiday visa thing, how did u balance working and travelling all around ? I hear its a really big country and it worries me I might get stuck working and not be able to travel as much. How did u manage it ? Any tips ?

    Reply
  5. Emily

    Hi–thanks so much for this article, great info. How hard is it to pick fruit? I’m in good physical shape but I’m also kind of short…would that be a problem? Haha :)

    Reply
  6. JEMMA

    Johnny I have a question for you… you say if you’ve got no cash just get out there are start working, and thats what Id like to do, but the Australian Embassy are telling me that I cant just turn up without any cash, even if I go there to work I still will need to provide bank statements to show that I have at least 5000 australian dollars available to me in the case that I dont find work. Its bloody ridiculous, I already have a job out there and they can provide me the contract and proof that I have guaranteed work and accomadation for the duration of my stay, but the embassy tells me that when I arrive at the immigration office in the airport this will not be accepted, and I have to be full of cash!!! So how are you getting around this problem?????

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      i’ve found that they don’t check at all, they didn’t check ANYONE i have known at all, me included. Also, this is not advice BUT i heard about ppl just doctoring bank statements on photoshop and then putting them in a file just in case :P

      Reply
      1. Jemma

        I read somewhere that they check 1 in four people, I’m a pretty unfortunate person and I just know that I will be that one!!! As Im shutting up my life here to go, giving up my job, home etc, it’s a risk I cant afford to run as if they decide to not let me enter and send me straight back home, I will have nothing to come back to and not a lot of moeny to set up again…
        I’ve been looking into it some more anyway and I found a friend that just had his parents deposit the money into his account long enough to print off a statement and get through customs, as soon as he left the airport and entered the country officialy, he just got straight online and had the whole amount transfered directly back to his parents without having touched a penny of it.
        It looks like that might be the only safe way to go. Though i did speak to the Visa people and they said that printed statements from online accounts are also accepted, and as a graphic designer doctoring a bank statement would be pretty easy! I’m probably gonna see if I can get my hands on the actual loan of the money first though before I consider these extremes! hahaha

        Reply
  7. Fidel

    I’m looking into going back to university in Australia. Since I want to save up for a year and I am over the age of 30, do you know if I can still apply for a working VISA?

    Reply
    1. Johnny Post author

      sorry Fidel – i’m afraid not mate :S You need to apply before 30 and enter before 31. Check out their immigration rules though, maybe u could enter on a skilled visa?

      Reply
  8. Kate

    Those from the U.S. who are looking into a work and holiday visa (WHV) for Australia, just note that it’s a sub-class 462 work and holiday visa. Restrictions are similar as the 417 WHV, but Americans are not allowed to extend their 462 visa for another 12 months by doing farm work, etc.

    Just thought I’d clarify, since I’m currently in Australia on a 462 WHV. :-)

    Reply

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