How a Working Holiday Visa works


G’day, mate!

If you are planning on travelling, working or living in Australia? Don’t  really have a clue what to expect? Here is some helpful advice for you! After spending the past year in Australia I would like to share my knowledge with you! Find out everything about visas and working the Aussie lifestyle! Don’t worry I won’t tell you where to go and what to do. I know you are a backpacker. You don’t want to follow a strict schedule or a fix route. Working in recruitment in Sydney, Australia, I know what kind of information backpackers are looking for, to make sure you get the right information, here’s a collection of the most important things you should know.




If you would like to legally work and live in Australia for up to a year, the visa you might consider is the (417/462) Working Holiday visa depending on where you live. The Working Holiday and Work and Holiday programs encourage cultural exchange and closer ties between arrangement countries by allowing young people to have an extended holiday supplemented by short-term employment. The visa application can be filled out online and it takes about 20 minutes to answer the questions. After the application has been submitted it can take a couple of hours up to a couple of weeks until you find out whether your application has been granted or not. Once the application has been granted you are allowed to work for the same employer for up to six months. After six months you are legally obligated to change employer.
Once your visa has been granted you have 12 months to enter the country. From the day of your first entry the visa is valid for 12 months. Within these 12 months you can leave the country as often as you want and re-enter again. However, if you leave the country for let’s say a month you DO NOT get an additional month at the end of the year.

Both programs also offer the possibility to extend your stay for another year. In order to do so you have to meet a number of requirements. You will find an exact list of what is required. If you do meet all the requirements you can apply for the second year visa while you are still in Australia or while you are outside the country. If you’re first Working Holiday visa has been expired but you still haven’t found out whether your second year visa has been granted  you are allowed to stay in the country on a  bridging visa until you get notice.


TFN refers to the Australian Tax File Number and is essential if you would like to work in Australia. You can apply for the TFN online and it can take up to six weeks until you’ve been provided a TFN. If you have applied for a TFN and you haven’t got your number yet but still would like to work in the meantime it is also possible to give to your employer once you receive it. You have up to 28 days to provide a tax file number to your employer.  In order to apply for the TFN you need an Australian residential address which can  be the address of the hostel/ hotel you are staying. The TFN will be sent to this address and will not be provided online. Make sure you don’t leave the hostel/ hotel before your TFN has arrived or make sure that someone can forward you your TFN details.


Finding a job in Australia can be difficult but those who are really keen on working will find a job. Of course there are a few points that are extremely important when looking for a job:

  • An up to date CV is required with references
  • You have to be flexible on location
  • You have to be flexible on contract duration
  • Salary will reflect your experience and availability for a role.
  • Reliability and efficiency will also go along way

Keeping these points in mind, let’s move on to the next big question. Where can I find a backpacking job? Most hostels offer notice boards where all kinds of jobs are offered. But to be honest emailing your resume to Recruitment agencies stating the following will help speed up the process.

  • Job you are looking for
  • Duration you will be in this location
  • Available start date
  • Salary you seek
  • Any holidays planned
  • Finally be patient as finding a job right for you is not easy and may take some time

Many agencies specialise in certain fields so just sign up with as many job agencies to give you the best possibility. Another way to get one of these popular jobs is simply type in to the google search the field you are interested in, e.g. traffic control and the city you would like to work in and the results will most likely provide you a few names of companies.

Finally if you decide to make the move enjoy the plane ride and maybe I’ll see you down under! Hope you enjoy it as much as I am.





Paul Cullen Recruitment consultant

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