The pandemic is hopefully on its last legs and people are looking forward to a return to their normal lives, especially young people. In Western countries, many people in their 20s or 30s take a sabbatical year to explore the world and find their goals in life. When it comes to exploring, Australia is high on everybody’s list as it’s a magnificent continent, full of natural wonders and mystery. If you’re dreaming of the day when you’ll be free to travel to Australia, here’s all you need to know if you’re planning to also earn a living while you explore the country.
Young foreigners wishing to visit Australia and work their way around the country must apply for a Working Holiday Visa. There are two types – 462 and 417. The first type, Visa 462, allows you to stay and work in Australia for up to one year. The 417 Visa also grants a stay of one year, but you can also apply to renew it for another year. If you’re certain you won’t be staying for more than a year, apply for the former, but keep in mind you might fall in love with this country, in which case it’s safe to have a 417 Visa which can be extended.
Under Australian law, foreign citizens aged 18 – 30 are eligible for a Working Holiday Visa. For French, Canadian, and Irish citizens the upper age limit is 35.
Keep in mind that getting your visa might take a few months, so apply for one well in advance of your planned departure. Besides a passport, you must be prepared to submit a background check and it better be a clean one.
Australian authorities take this issue seriously and you will be asked to present a background check from your country of origin to prove you won’t be a danger to the local population in any way. If you’ve lived in another country for a period longer than 12 months, you will also be required to present your criminal record from that country. It might be that you’ve lived in Australia when you were younger, in which case you’ll have to get another police check.
As far as Australia is concerned, you can get a national police certificate online using a character check agency like the Australian National Character Check.
Even if you’re planning to work while you travel, you cannot enter Australia totally broke, as you won’t be able to find a job as soon as you land. According to the law, you need to prove to immigration authorities that you have access to a minimum of $5,000 AUD (between $3,000 and $4,000). As proof, you can present a bank statement or a card credit with a limit of more than $5,000 AUD.
When coming to Australia, many immigrants find jobs that are easy to get into and bring in funds quickly. An example can be driving a taxi in Queanbeyan, driving for Uber, or working as a delivery driver.
Also, you should have a booked flight for your return journey.
You should use the first few days on Australian soil to find a place to say and start behaving like a native. That means opening a bank account (most useful when you’re going to get paid for your work) and getting a local phone card. Then you can start browsing online employment offers for backpackers like you.
Let the Australian dream begin!