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Australia,  Travel

Australian Working Holiday Visa: Things You Need To Know

Are you considering applying for an Australian Working Holiday Visa? Borders may not be open yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start doing your research! Going to Australia on this subclass 417 visa is an idea that I’ve been toying with for some time now.

Although I’m yet to apply and have it (hopefully!) approved; I thought it might be helpful for me to share everything I’ve learnt about the visa and the application process. I’ve done so much reading and watched countless videos on the topic, so I like to think I’m well-versed enough now to impart some wisdom to anyone else who might be interested.

1) Eligibility

The key things to note if you’re thinking of applying for an Australian Working Holiday Visa are as follows:

  • Are you between the ages of 18-30?
  • Do you hold a valid passport or are citizen of one of the following countries? These include; Canada; the UK; Belgium; Denmark; Cyprus; Ireland; Hong Kong; Germany; Estonia; France; Finland; The Netherlands; Sweden; Norway; Japan; Malta; Republic of Korea; Taiwan; and Italy.
  • Do you have any dependents?
  • Have you previously had an Australian Working Holiday Visa? Or applied in the past and had it cancelled or declined?
  • Do you have at least 6 months left on your passport expiry?
  • Are you in possession of the required funds? (See section 4)

2) The Application Process

The application process for an Australian Working Holiday Visa is reasonably straightforward.

The Australian Government’s website have laid out the steps here, if you wanted to take a look:

3) When To Apply

According to the Australia Government’s website, the recommended time to apply is no more than 3 months prior to when you plan to set off. Roughly 75% of applications take about 57 days to approve, and 90% of applications take 3 months. This can differ though, and I’ve heard of people’s taking much less time than that. But to be on the safe side, it’s probably best to give yourself the recommended time.

4) Necessary Funds Needed

Before your Australian Working Holiday Visa application can be approved, the government will want to see that you have enough money to:

  1. Support yourself while in Australia
  2. Be able to leave Australia at the end of your stay

This amount is usually AUD5,000 plus the cost of your flight to your next destination/home country.

money required for Australian working holiday visa
Photo by Josh Appel on Unsplash

How much is the Australian Working Holiday Visa?

As of February 2021 when I write this, the cost of an Australian Working Holiday Visa is AUD485. This is equivalent to roughly £272, 310 Euros, and $478 Canadian.

5) Applying For Jobs

What sort of jobs to apply for

Depending on skills and experience, you can technically apply for any job you want. However, on an Australian Working Holiday Visa you can actually only work for one place for up to 6 months at a time. Therefore some employers might prefer to choose a candidate who they know will be able to stick around for a while.

Should you apply for jobs before you go?

There’s no harm in applying for a couple of jobs before you leave for your new adventure. Although this might be a bit difficult because most people like to travel around the country a bit first before deciding where to base themselves. You wouldn’t want to apply for loads of jobs in Sydney and then arrive and find it’s not the place for you. Instead, you might decide that Melbourne is much more suitable for you.

However, if like me you already know where you’re planning to base yourself, it might be a good idea to get your name out there to a few different companies.

6) How To Get A Second Year Working Holiday Visa

It’s no surprise that after a year down under, many people aren’t ready to return to their everyday lives. Well! You’ll be glad to know that it is possible to apply for a second year, and then even a third year, Working Holiday Visa. However, there is a catch!

To be eligible for your second year Australian Working Holiday Visa, you must’ve completed 3 months/88 days of ‘specified work’ in the country. These areas and industries that have been approved for this requirement are:

  • Mining
  • Construction
  • Plant and animal cultivation
  • Tree farming and felling
  • Fishing and pearling
  • Bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire affected areas only, after 31 July 2019
  • Critical COVID-19 work in the healthcare and medical sectors anywhere in Australia, after 31 January 2020

Note: the first five items on the list above must be completed in regional areas of Australia.

(For more details on each of these areas, visit the Australian government website:

Additional info on ‘specified work’

  • To apply for a third Australian Working Holiday Visa, you need to have completed 6 months/179 days of regional work.
  • The regional work (whether 3 months or 6 months) doesn’t have to be completed in one go. You could do two months at the beginning of your visit and one month at the end. As long as you log it, it shouldn’t be a problem.
  • A lot of employers in the regional work industry offer accommodation for their workers. It may affect the pay you receive, but at least you don’t have to worry about finding a bed for the night.

I hope this has given you some helpful information about the Australian Working Holiday Visa. I’m not sure when things will be returning back to normal, but I’ve spoken to so many people that plan to get out to Australia as soon as they can! Can’t say I blame them haha.

I’d love to do a year abroad in Australia at some point in the next few years, and it’s something I’ve thought about a lot (hence all the research). When it’s safe to do so, maybe I’ll see a few of you there 😉

If you wanted to read my other Australia posts then you can click here:


  • Hannah Marie

    Ahh, I had never heard of this before! Sadly, I don’t think the US is eligible for this, so I don’t think I could go, but that just means I’ll have to live vicariously through you, lol! Do you know what kind of job you will be looking for if you get to go?

    • Emma

      Although this specific visa isn’t available for US citizens, I think there is a visa very similar that would offer you pretty much the same if you were interested. I think it’s called the Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) 🙂

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