November 3, 2021

Work & Travel in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

The international program Work & Travel is a great opportunity to come to the Land Down Under, learn the language, and get acquainted with the culture. Employers welcome seasonal workers and hire their services for different kinds of jobs. Read the article to know the basics about the program.

Eligibility Criteria

There are several things you should look into before trying to be enrolled:

Home Country

Only 28 countries participate in this international program. If you’re not a citizen of the ones on the list, you can’t partake.

Countries that are included in the Work & Travel initiative:

Denmark, United Kingdom, Turkey, the United States, Sweden, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Poland, Norway, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Malta, Argentina, Bangladesh, Ireland, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Finland, Estonia, Ecuador, Canada, France, Belgium, Chile, and Cyprus.

Age and Competency

You must be 18-30 years old and know at least  Intermediate English. As for qualifications, you’ll need your education certificate and proof of working experience.

Physical Health

You can’t go in the program if you’re sick and a danger to the Australian community. You’ll be asked to show a certificate of medical examination.

Important Steps

Find a Job

There are several job offer portals that help employers and seasonal workers find each other. The most popular ones are:

  • CareerJet
  • SEEK
  • Adzuna

Most participants go for fruit picking, entertainment, catering, and hospitality. Find what suits you most and contact an employer. Some will specifically mention hiring W&H workers only, so it’s better to filter your search to this requirement. It’s best to apply to multiple offers and even double-check by sending an email to speed up the process. If you secure the spot, you’re then going to obtain the invitation necessary for your visa.

Apply for the Visa

Do it online or through the Home Affairs website.

Prepare a list of the following documents to file for your visa:

  • Copies of your international passport
  • A filled-in application form for subclass 417 visa
  • Copies of all the visas you’ve ever had/most recent ones if the old passport can’t be recovered
  • 2 color photos matching Australian visa photo specs
  • A CV in English
  • Medical insurance covering a min. of $41,000 AUD

Pay the fee

Make the payment for the visa services and print out the consular fee confirmation. Your visa won’t be accepted without it, so make sure to keep your ID and all receipts safe.

Getting Everything Done Yourself vs Via an Agent

It takes time to find a job and apply for your visa yourself. However, there are special organizations that can assist you with that. They can help with putting the documents together, give you tips for job hunting, and consult if you need guidance once abroad. If you’re not sure you can do everything right or don’t have time to dive in head first, it’s much better to rely on professionals.

How to Take Australian Visa Photo

You can go the traditional way and use the services of an offline photo center. Photographers will take your photo and print it out in the right format. Note that digitizing the photo will cost extra and take time.

If you want a cheaper and faster option, opt for the online photo editing tool.

The service will:

  • Crop the image to the right sizes (35×45 mm)
  • Improve the background and change it to a plain white without damaging the quality
  • Make the photo 100% compliant and match the specifications

All this costs about $7USD and takes a couple of minutes. Through a download link, you get a digital photo for your online application, as well as 4 pictures as a template for printing. Print it out from the home to get the hard copy if you have the equipment or head to the post office and order the printing service for $0.20-$0.40.

Tips on Having an Interview with a Potential Employer

Don’t worry if employers don’t respond right away to your applications. Get ready for rejections, as there’s huge competition for the positions especially in peak season. When they do respond, you should be ready for the interview. Explain your working experience once again and be ready to discuss your skills, the strongest and the weakest points.

  1. Read about the company and prepare questions to ask about the job and responsibilities.
  2. Do not be late on the day of the interview. If you’re going to chat through Zoom or Skype, make sure your equipment is top quality and the connection is good.
  3. Rehearse the conversation with a friend. Use ready-made lists of questions to act out a potential discussion.

Here’s the gist about the Working Holiday program in Australia. You can go there for up to 12 months, learn the language and earn some cash. Besides, it can be renewed for a second year. Although first things first: get a job, take the perfect photo, and don’t mess up your visa application.

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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