Australian Travel and Work – What You Absolutely Need to Know

Australian travel and work are popular with many young people that want to take a year off before college. Rather than just travel to Australia for a short visit, often enough, they decide to spend an entire year exploring this amazing country.


A year is quite a long time though and will require a way to support yourself. Working while you’re there is one way to support yourself during your trip. Not to mention, you can gather some work experience in the process.


If you are considering Australian travel and work, there are some important documents you need to have ready in preparation for such a wonderful adventure.


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Australian Travel and Work – Useful Documents to Have Ready

Get a Working Holiday Visa


The first step of your journey is to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). In order to do that, you need a valid passport from an eligible country, see the list here.


For most countries, you must be between 18 and 30 years old, except for France, Canada, and Ireland, where the age limit is 35.


The WHV can be obtained online. Start by creating an account with the Australia Department of Home Affairs. Keep in mind, the process might take up to three months, so apply for your WHV well before your planned trip.


Character Requirements


In order to be granted a visa, you will have to pass a character requirement check, during which you might have to fill out various forms and, most importantly, prove you do not have a criminal record, at least not a substantial one.


If you’ve lived in various countries for up to 12 months, during the past 10 years prior to applying for a WHV, you will be asked to provide evidence of filing an application for a national criminal history record check: full disclosure.


This includes foreigners who have previously lived in Australia. An efficient way to obtain a background check for your previous stay in Australia is to visit the Australian Federal Police (AFP) website or apply via an accredited online agency, like the Australian National Character Check.


By simply filling out your details on the online forms via the AFP or Australian National Character Check website, you will normally receive your National Police Check in a few business days and you can use the document to prove you have not committed any offenses on Australian territory.


Please note, your application will be turned down if you’ve had a previous visa canceled or a previous request for one was denied. At the same time, you might be asked to provide additional military certificates or references from a past employer.


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Prepare for Your Trip


The WHV is an electronic document, but it is advisable to have it in print form as well, in case it might be needed at the airport when you land in Australia.


A WHV can be extended for a duration of another year or even two. So, make sure your passport is valid for the duration of your intended or possibly extended stay in Australia.


Once you arrive at the airport, you will be asked to prove that you have the means to support yourself, at least for a time. You will need a bank statement providing access to funds equal to at least $5,000 AUD, or have a credit card with a limit of the same amount.


At the same time, you will be required to have documents attesting you have booked your flight back to your country, or have enough funds to pay for your trip home.


Australian Travel and Work – What to Look for

Applying for Jobs


When you visit Australia, you will have a number of options available to earn money while you travel. However, you should keep in mind that you should not expect anything that will be very high paying as, after all, you will not have full work rights available.


Common part-time and temporary jobs that people find include working as a barista at a local cafe (Australia has a big coffee culture), a restaurant where you can become familiar with the local cuisine, working casual jobs in retail, or even working as a driver for Uber.


If you are going to Canberra, the capital city of Australia, a very popular option for people to earn money and meet new people is to find a taxi driver job in Canberra. Yes, you will get to travel and meet locals at the same time!


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Accommodation Options


There are various options to choose from when it comes to accommodations in Australia. Many people on a tight budget prefer to stay at backpacker motels/hostels. Another option is to rent an Airbnb (this option will not be cheap).


The most common option that people use for accommodation is a share-house. This means you rent only a bedroom for short term accommodation and pay the house owner the rent for that. It is a cheap option and, best of all, you will get a taste of local culture. 


Once you have all the necessary documents in order and a plan for accommodations, it is time to pack your bags and embark on an Australian travel and work adventure. It’s sure to be the adventure of a lifetime!

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