Sun, sea and opportunity (or why an Australian Working Holiday might be right for you!)
With the unemployment rate for under-25s in Britain reaching record highs in recent months, you can’t blame people for dreaming of lying on hot beaches instead of sitting in job centres, drinking in seaside bars instead of waiting in rainy queues and topping up tans instead of topping up mobiles. It’s little wonder then that record numbers of Britain’s youth are applying for an Australia visa to jet off Down Under on a Working Holiday for a year of fun in the sun while making a little money in the process.
So if you’re thinking of getting away for a while, perhaps you’ve just finished studying and don’t like the look of an uncertain British labour market, then you will almost definitely have considered Australia as the place to go.
You might already know someone who’s gone to Australia and delved into great depths about the ease and simplicity of using the Australia immigration system to obtain a Working Holiday Visa. However, deciphering the actual facts and requirements from their exaggerated and enthusiastic tales can be somewhat confusing.
Here is a look at what a Working Holiday Visa is, what it allows you to do and how to complete an Australian visa application to get one!
What is a Working Holiday Visa?
A Working Holiday Visa (WHV) allows young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to live and work in Australia for up to 12 months. Any work undertaken in Australia as part of your WHV must be incidental to your holiday (so if you are accepting a permanent job in Australia, you must either pursue the General Skilled Migration route or apply for an employer sponsored or a temporary work visa rather than the WHV).
What does a WHV allow you to do?
WHV holders are allowed to work in almost any industry, although you are not allowed to work for any one employer for more than six months.
How to apply for a WHV
Applications for a Working Holiday Visa must be made offshore, meaning you cannot apply for a WHV while you are in Australia on a tourist visa for example.
To apply for a WHV you must be between the ages of 18 and 30, have a valid passport at the time of your application and have sufficient funds to support yourself in Australia.
Sufficient funds is typically defined as AU$5,000 if you have purchased a return plane ticket or AU$6,000 if you have a one way ticket. You may be asked to provide proof of these funds in the form of a bank statement upon arrival in Australia.
While a WHV is usually very easy to obtain, you could be disqualified if you have any substantial criminal convictions or refuse to take a medical test which could reveal any substantial medical conditions.
A Working Holiday Visa is one of the most popular choices for young people travelling to Australia as while its terms ensure that holders can support themselves, it allows them to work and save as much money as possible. Many holders of this visa see much more of Australia than holders of other Australian visas.
Furthermore, the WHV allows holders to extend their stay by a further 12 months simply by meeting a few simple conditions. If you complete three months (or 88 days) of specified work in an eligible region of Australia, typically rural Australia working jobs such as fruit picking and meet similar requirements as your first WHV, you will be permitted to remain in Australia for another year.