If you are thinking of heading to Australia you can be sure you’re not alone in your thoughts. Why wouldn’t you go? You get great weather, affordable accommodation, great paying jobs, and much more. It can be daunting to commit to leaving home and flying a day away. Keep reading to check out how to get yourself started on your Australian adventure.
Applying for your Visa
If you are planning on staying in Australia for longer than a year you’ll have to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (417). You can apply for your visa here. You will first have to create an immi account and once you’ve created that you can sign in and begin your application for your visa.
With the 417 visa, you can work short-term to help pay for your travels, study for up to 4 months, travel to and from Australia as many times as you like within the year, and do 3 months (88 days) of specified work in order to qualify for your second-year visa (462). The cost of the WHV 417 is
You can check your eligibility here. A few key things to note if you are Irish; you must be aged 18-35 years and you must have €3,000 (5,000AUD) and the cost of a flight out of Australia in your account when applying for your visa and upon entering. Usually, you get a response to your application within 24 hours. From the date your visa is granted, you have one year to enter Australia. i.e if you are granted April 1st, 2023 you have until April 1st 2024 to enter. Your 12-month visa begins on the date you enter.
I’ve Arrived, What Now?
There are a few things that you have to get sorted out when you arrive. Some of these things can take up to a week to process so best to do them as soon as you can.
Get an Australian sim card
Telstra was recommended to me by fellow backpackers and I have no complaints so far. Great coverage and plenty of different data plans to suit your needs. Make sure you bring a phone with you that is unlocked so you can use sim cards from other countries.
Open an Australian bank account
The four biggest banks in Australia are Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Australian and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), and National Australia Bank (NAB).
The most common bank amongst backpackers is CBA. You can apply online here or head to your nearest branch to set up an account. Make sure to bring your passport with you as you will need identification. The bank will help you set up your mobile app and then they will post your card to you. This can take up to 5 business days to receive.
Apply for a Tax File Number (TFN)
You can apply here. You need a TFN to work. It is sent via post and can take up to a week to arrive. If you want to start working immediately be sure to sort this out sooner rather than later.
Open a Super Account
Super is basically a retirement fund. It is money put aside by your employer over your working life. If you are a temporary resident, you can claim the balance when you leave Australia. You must claim the balance within 6 months of leaving. A popular super account for backpackers is HostPlus. You can become a member here.
Completing my 88 Days
As I mentioned before, you must complete 88 days of specified work in order to qualify for your second-year working holiday visa. This means that different forms of work can count towards your 88 days depending on what part of Australia you are in. You can check out the approved areas and industries for specified work here.
Completing your 88 days can be stressful. Some weeks you will work 60 hours over 6 days and other weeks you will only work 2 days. Although this won’t be great for the wallet it is normal and you shouldn’t worry too much about your 88 days. The Australian government said that so long as you attach 13 payslips where you worked whatever you could you should be approved for your second-year visa.
How do I find work?
There are multiple ways to try and find specified work. If you are looking to work on a farm with plants or animals you can call up the Harvest Trail on 1800 062 332. I would recommend completing your 88 days at the beginning of your visa. If you leave your specified work until the end of your visa you may not complete your days due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather, illness, or lack of work.
The Harvest Trail will help to guide you on what areas can supply the most jobs and accommodation but will not source a job for you. I recommend talking to fellow backpackers when you arrive and getting phone numbers for employers and for accommodation. COVID-19 has had an effect on regional farms so finding a farm to work on now is not as easy as it was before the pandemic. The time of year will also play a factor in what part of Australia there will be work and how much of it.
You can also look for jobs on Indeed, Jora, Workforce Australia, and backpacker job board. If you see a contact number on a website don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. Being eager to work in Australia is better and you’ll get a job before someone waiting on an email.
How do I know what is in season and where?
You can check out what is in season at this website for the time of year that you will be working.
Apps to download
There are a few apps that you should download for your time in Australia. These apps range from accommodation to transport to casual working jobs.
- Tenant App
- Jora Jobs
- Airtasker (Casual jobs)
- Sidekicker (Casual jobs)
- Mad Paws (Pet Sitting)