How would you like to travel around the whole of Australia in a year and earn money while you’re doing it?
Did you know? If you are between 18 and 30 years old there is a visa you can apply for which gives you the chance to do just that!
The Australian Government has a Working Holiday Program which enables young people to have an extended holiday and to engage in short-term employment, by which they can finance their stay. In fact, this scheme encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between the countries involved by allowing young people to have an extended holiday supporting themselves through short-term employment!
It sounds easy enough to get a visa which you can apply for on-line; it costs $270 Australian dollars, but you have to meet certain requirements:
- you need to be between 18 and 30 years old
- you need to have a valid passport that will not expire during your stay
- you need to have enough funds to support yourself when you get there (you might be asked for a bank statement to show this or to show that you have enough money for the fare back home)
There are also certain health and character requirements that you need to meet, for example you may be refused a visa if you have real medical problems, and what is more you must not have any major criminal convictions. 😉
With the visa you can enter Australia within 12 months from when you are granted it, and you can stay in Australia for up to twelve months; you can leave and go back there as many times as you like while the visa is valid, but all within the 12 months; this doesn’t extend your time there! You can work in Australia for up to 6 months with the same employer and you can study for up to 4 months.
You can find temporary jobs doing almost anything, but you cannot work with the same employer for more than six months. If you do at least 3 months (88 working days) of work you can apply for an extended visa. Specified work means for example picking or packing fruit or vegetable crops, feeding and herding cattle on a farm or even painting the exterior or interior of a new construction!
Although it might be fun picking mangoes, apricots, grapes or bananas (you name it, it grows there!), these can be very physically demanding jobs that you have to do outdoors and in extremely hot temperatures, so bear in mind that you need to be quite fit!
If you are interested in fruit-picking then check out the National Harvest Guide, as it can help you plan a trail around Australia because it tells you about crops, work conditions, accommodation and transport.
Applications for a Working Holiday Visa can be made on-line to on the Australian Government website: http://www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/
Good luck for your “aussie” gap year and enjoy your stay!