If spending a year Down Under is on your customer's hit list, here’s how to go about getting a Working Holiday visa.
It's not surprising to learn they're dreaming of a long trip to Australia. After all, it’s quite easy to imagine long summer days travelling along the coast, spending the cooler months soaking up the outback or Top End, and immersing in any one of a number of top cities. Applying for a Working Holiday visa (WHV) gives your customer a chance to earn some extra cash to keep their travels going or do some study while here.
Who is eligible for a working holiday visa in Australia?
If aged between 18 and 30 (or 18 to 35 for citizens of Canada and Ireland) then they may be. On this page, we’ll provide all the details needed to apply for WHV subclass 417, which is what they'll need if holding a valid passport for any of the following countries:
Belgium; Canada; Republic of Cyprus; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders); Republic of Ireland; Italy; Japan; Republic of Korea; Malta; Netherlands; Norway; Sweden; Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport); and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
If holding a passport from Argentina, Austria, Chile, The People's Republic of China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Uruguay or Vietnam, they’ll need to apply for a Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462), for which you'll find the details here.
What documents are needed to apply?
Applying for a WHV 417 is a straightforward process. Suggest they go online, create an ImmiAccount and fill out the details. They'll need a number of documents to hand to aid in the process, including:
- the pages of their passport showing their name, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates; and
- a copy of their birth certificate showing both parents’ names.
Anyone who can’t provide a birth certificate should provide a copy of the identification pages of one of the following documents:
- a family book showing both parents’ names;
- government-issue identification; or
- a court-issues document that verifies their identity.
If they’ve ever changed their name, they’ll also need to provide a marriage or divorce certificate, change of name documents from a relevant overseas authority, and documents showing other names they’ve been known by.
They should have copies of their bank account showing adequate funds to support themselves (usually the equivalent of AUD $5000), as well as a return air ticket or extra funds to be able to pay for their journey home.
They may be asked to provide character documents, including military records, but someone will contact them if needed.
How long will the process take?
They need to first to create an ImmiAccount, which is easy and allows the application to be saved at any time and to go back to it later if they realise extra information or different documents are required. Recommend setting aside a couple of hours to make sure they fill out the form correctly, and add all supporting documentation needed.
What do they need to know before starting?
All documents attached to a WHV application must be in English. Those that aren’t have to be supplied with a translation that includes the translator’s details. They’ll need clear, colour scans or photographs of each of these documents. If a document has more than one page, it should be saved as a single file.
How long until they get a response?
Many applications are processed within 12 days, but it can take longer if they don’t fill out the online form correctly or forget to attach the right documents. If information needs to be verified or more details obtained, it can take longer. Ninety per cent of applications are processed within 34 days. Once the visa has been granted, they have 12 months to fly to Australia and begin using it.
How much does it cost?
When applying for a WHV, they'll have to pay AUD $450. They may also have to pay for extras like health checks, police certificates or biometrics (facial photograph and finger prints).
What are the healthcare requirements?
If applying for a WHV from a country with a high risk of tuberculosis, they may need to undergo a medical examination and chest X-ray.
Ultimately, they’re responsible for any health debts they may run up while visiting Australia. Our public healthcare system, called Medicare, has reciprocal agreements with some countries (Belgium, Finland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Ireland, Slovenia, Sweden, and the UK) that will cover the costs of care from illness or injury that can’t wait until they return home. For visitors from New Zealand and Ireland, non-hospital care is not covered. This reciprocal arrangement only lasts for six months for Italian and Maltese citizens.
Otherwise, they must have sufficient travel or health insurance to cover the costs of illness and accidents while travelling and working.
How much money do they need to save?
They should have savings equivalent to AUD $5000 – be prepared to show proof of the money they have in their bank account. On top of savings, they should have a return air ticket or enough funds to pay for a flight home.
How long can they stay?
This WHV allows them to stay in Australia for 12 months from the day they enter the country. They can either stay for the entire 12 months or leave and re-enter as many times as they like during that period.
What are the work restrictions and requirements?
The idea of the WHV is to allow short-term and casual jobs to fund travels and help pay for their holiday. For the most part, they can stay in one job for a maximum of six months, although this can be extended with special permission if they work for the same employer but in different locations, in plant and animal cultivation (everything from picking fruit to shearing sheep), or in certain industries (like aged care, disability services, construction and tourism) in northern Australia only.
Check out the full list of exemptions from the six-month rule here.
Can they extend their working visa?
Your customer can apply to stay for an additional year in Australia with an extension on their WHV if they have undertaken at least three months of specified work in approved industries including plant and animal cultivation, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, mining and construction. To find out how to do it, head to our hints and tips here.
WHAT ARE THE AGE REQUIREMENTS?
Whether applying for a First or Second Working Holiday visa (subclass 417), they need to be aged between 18 and 30 (unless a citizen of Ireland or Canada – then they have until the age of 35). If they apply for the visa when still 30, but turn 31 before the application has been approved, the visa may still be granted. Similarly, Canadian and Irish citizens who apply at 35 and turn 36 while their application is outstanding may still have their visa approved.