Australia’s Work & Holiday Visa

Did you know, if you are between the ages of 18-30, you are eligible to work and travel in Australia for up to one year?!  Thanks to a friend of mine, I learned about this visa option in December and, as of July 4, 2015, I have been approved!

The application process was fairly straightforward, took about 45 minutes to complete, and was approved in 4 hours.  Interested?  Here’s everything you need to know about Australia’s Work & Holiday Visa.

The United States has developed partnerships like this with a few countries including Ireland, New Zealand and Australia.  The idea is that “young travelers” can experience another country and culture with the option of remaining in the country for longer than the typical 90-day tourist visa. 

The Work & Holiday visa allows you to gain employment to fund your travels; it is not meant for people who want to move to a new country or find a more permanent job.  Australia actually offers visas like this to people from several countries around the world, many of which include the option to extend the visa for a second year.  Unfortunately for Americans, this is not an option — we have to make do with just one year in Oz.

The following details about Australia’s visa are specific to citizens of The United States.  More information about all of Australia’s visa options can be found on their Immigration page.

Requirements of the Work & Holiday Visa (subclass 462) as of July 2015:

  • Are at least 18 but not yet 31 years of age
  • Don’t have a dependent child with you at any time during your stay in Australia
  • Have a passport from:
    • Argentina
    • Bangladesh
    • Chile
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Spain
    • Thailand
    • Turkey
    • USA
    • Uruguay

Visa Specifics:

  • Stay in Australia for up to 12 months
  • Work in Australia for up to six months with each employer
  • Study for up to four months
  • Leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid
  • Cost: $440 AUD + $4.75 for processing (at the time of this post)

Important Details:

  • Citizens of The United States can apply online after creating an ImmiAccount here.
  • Applicants have 1 year from the visa grant date to enter the country.  The 12 months begin on the day you enter Australia, not the day you receive the visa.
  • You are entitled to getting your taxes back or, rather, access your retirement savings (superannuation) when you leave Australia.
  • Neither health exams nor health insurance are required for United States citizens.  You will be asked about both on the application.  I selected “no” for each and was approved.  The Immigration website explains that you do not need these but they are strongly encouraged.

See you on September 23, ‘Straylia!

Published by Ali Gaffey

An American girl full of life and adventure!

3 thoughts on “Australia’s Work & Holiday Visa

  1. You’ll have fun in Australia, but whatever you do – don’t overstay your visa!
    Australia can bar you from re-entering the country if you are still in the country when your visa runs out.
    When you get to Australia, you’ll notice pretty quickly that the Government really frowns on people who are in the country unlawfully.


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