Working Holiday Australia

Which Australian visa to apply for

November 30, 2022

Which Australian visa to apply for

If you want to travel and work in Australia, you will need to secure a visa that is well-suited to your travel plans. We know that the multitude of visas available and the confusing Australian Government website can be a bit much, which is why Sven is here to help!

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If you are considering coming to Australia to live and work for a few months or even a few years, you will need to apply for a work visa. Without one, you will not have working rights, which means you won’t be able to find employment at all. We know that there are lots of visas to choose from; that’s why we’ve created this quick guide to help you decide which visa you are going to apply for to come down under for an unbelievably fun and rewarding work, holiday, or study experience – or maybe even a bit of everything!

There are several different visas that you can apply for; however, we have carefully selected the most relevant types for young travellers looking to live, work, holiday, and study in Australia. If you feel that your plans for coming to Australia aren’t quite captured by any of the situations we’ve outlined below, that’s totally fine! You should check out this quick Australian government questionnaire to help you get started on your visa search – it’s pretty useful.

Best Overall: Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417 and 462)

The Working Holiday visa is a versatile ticket to at least 12 months of unrestricted travel and work across Australia. 

This visa is offered to travellers aged 18-30, or 35 in some instances, and it grants full working and living rights to those who hold one. The up-front cost is quite low at just 510 AUD, and you aren’t required to present any bizarre documentation or qualifications; you simply have to meet the criteria. 

The criteria are as follows:

  • Hold a passport from an eligible country or jurisdiction.
  • Be 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old in some countries)
  • Apply online from outside of Australia
  • not be accompanied by dependent children
  • Not have previously entered Australia on subclass 417 or 462 visas. If you have previously been in Australia on a subclass 417 visa, see the second Working Holiday visa.

With a Working Holiday visa, you can leave and re-enter Australia as often as you want for the 12 months that it is valid, and there is an opportunity to extend your stay for as many as another two years at the end of your first year. 

To qualify for a second WHV, you need to complete at least three months (88 days) of specified work during your first year in Australia, and for your third WHV, you’ll need to complete at least six months (179 days) of specified work during your second year. You can find the full list of specified work here for Subclass 417 visas and here for Subclass 462 visas. Take note of the recent changes which have now made hospitality and tourism work in remote, very remote, and northern areas specified work! We recommend this visa to anyone who wants to come to Australia on an extended holiday, where you will need to work for a short while to fund your trip.

Best for University Study: Student Visa (Subclass 500)

If you want to come to Australia to study at university, we recommend the Subclass 500 Student visa. 

With a Student visa, you can live and/or study at any Australian university or educational institute and stay up to 5 years in line with your enrolment. Student visa holders can undertake study in University courses, vocational courses and/or English language courses. Originally, Student visa holders were only permitted to work for 40 hours per fortnight. However, the Government has recently announced that work in age, health or disability care, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and/or supermarkets for Student visa holders are no longer capped at 40 hours per fortnight. This means that Student visa holders working in any of the above industries can work as much as possible to financially support their stay in Australia. 

The Student visa has a slightly higher cost than the Working Holiday visa, where its 650 AUD price point is a little steeper for many young people, so if study isn’t your main focus when coming to Australia, then this visa won’t be for you. However, if you want to come to Australia to study, this is the best visa for you!

Best for Skilled Workers: Temporary Skill Shortage visa (Subclass 482)

For skilled workers who focus on coming to Australia to pursue a professional career, we recommend the Temporary Skill Shortage visa. 

With a Subclass 482 visa, you will be able to work and live in Australia for 2-4 years, depending on the industry you are in and the country you are from (Hong Kong passport holders may stay up to 5 years). 

You will be afforded full working rights, and you can bring your family members and/or partner with you, and they can live, work, study and travel to and from Australia as often as they like for as long as your visa is valid. This is an expensive visa, with an application fee of 1,330 AUD, but if you are looking to live and work in Australia, this is definitely the visa you should pursue. Heaps of different skills and professions qualify for a Subclass 482 visa, so be sure to see this list to find out if your skillset qualifies you for one of these visas.

If you feel like the options above do not fit your situation, look at this questionnaire to help get a better idea of what other visa options are available!

The information provided in this article is for your information only. While all care has been taken in the preparation of the article, Sven Global Pty Ltd makes no representation or warranty as to, or accepts any responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, completeness or currency of the information, its usefulness in achieving any purpose or your reliance upon it.

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