It’s a big step when you decide to up sticks and head half way across the world to start a new life.
For sure, it’s thrilling. It;s going to be a wild ride. And yes, this is going to be an experience that, not only will you remember forever, but maybe, could actually end up altering the course of your life and career from here onwards.
Sounds, very dramatic. But it’s true. As you can imagine, there’s loads to consider, plan and arrange in advance.
To help you get your head around making the big move, I’ve put together this simple guide about working holidays, to help plan those first steps in your new life in Australia.
1: Meet with an expert
Sounds obvious really. You need to talk through the process with someone who knows what they are doing. don’t rely on your mates for advice.
Whether you’ve made the decision to go, or you’re still weighing up your options, book an appointment at a specialist tour agent and have them talk you through the options. Companies like STA are great at this
Many of these Experts have ‘been there’ and ‘done that’ so they’ll fill you in about the good, bad and the ugly of moving overseas.
The other great thing about talking to an Expert is that they can make sure you have everything you need in preparation for your trip. Someone else will be by your side to make sure you arrange your flight, visa, insurance, Aussie bank account, all those other important extras. Plus of course tips and tricks that only someone with first had experience can provide.
Step 2: Get your working holiday visa
If you’re planning to work in Oz then you’re going to need a Working Holiday Visa.
These are the requirements:
– be aged 18-30
– hold a UK Passport
– have no dependant kids
– show sufficient funds for a return fare and the first part of your stay
– be of good character and meet the health criteria ( if you can find your way into a travel agents office then you should be healthy enough ).
How much does the visa cost?
A working holiday visa bought directly from the Australian Government’s website costs AU$420 .
How long does it take to process?
It can take up to 4 weeks to process – so it pays to plan in advance. Don’t leave it until the last minute.
How long to I have to use it once I have it?
Once you have been granted your working holiday visa you can travel to Australia as soon as you like to start your working holiday. Bear in mind you only have 12 months to enter the country and activate it, so if you don’t use your visa within 12 months then you’ll have lost the right to use it altogether, and you don’t get another chance – so be sure you’re ready to go before you apply!
Once you step foot in Australia, you then have a further 12 months to work. If you take part in certain specified types of work such as fruit picking, farm work, fishing or mining (among others) in selected regions of the country, you’ll be able to extend your visa by another year, giving you 2 full years of working holiday fun!
Step 3: Book flights
If you’re trying to save money, the cheapest months to fly to Australia are usually April, May and June. Try booking flights during these months to save a few pounds or dollars.
Should I get a return flight or 2 one ways?
I’d always go for the return but with the flexibility to change dates. It’s worth having the safety and security a ticket home in case things don’t work out. Last thing you want to do is have a crap experience, run out of cash and then find yourself having to sheepishly call home to get your parents to bail you out.
If you have a bit of spending money, then it’s worth booking a ticket with a stopover or two on the way. Chill out on a beach in Goa or Thailand for a couple of weeks before you head to work.
Step 4: Start saving
You’ll need to come with cash to prove to the Aussie authorities that you aren’t a waster and can support yourself without begging on the streets.
The Australian government ask that you have proof of funds totalling AU $5,000 plus additional funds to cover a return ticket (which is approx. AU$1,000) so AU$6,000 total.
Alternatively, if you have a return ticket, you’ll require AU$5,000
If the border authorities have suspicions when you land then you’ll have to whip out a bank statement in order to prove your net worth. I’m not sure how this affects people who work online, the digital nomad types as they usually get money paid straight into Paypal.
( Note: Just had an email from a reader who makes money from the wealthy affiliate review program. All earnings go to Paypal and he just saves screenshots monthly in case he has to prove funds. Only once did he have toi login, fortunately at an airport with free wifi. )
Step 5: Preparing for work
Once you’ve arrived then you’re heads going to be in the clouds and your time will be spent fgetitng ready to explore, meet new people and find a job. But unfortunately uyou also have some practicalities to contend with . . .
– Setting up your Aussie bank account
– Registering your tax number
– Figuring out the best sites to look for work
– Getting a SIM car sorted
How to get a Job
Get on one of the main job search boards eg Job Search Australia . Assuming you’ve spent ther time to write up a Cv before leaving home , it’s just a matter of sending out emails and applying for positions you think you’re suited for.
IT/Web/Skilled Labour (carpenter/plumber etc) – from $28 – $40 per hour
Chef/Bartender – from $20-$29 per hour
Retail Assistant – from $15 – $22 per hour
Call Centres – from $18 – $22 per hour
Fruit Picking – from $16 to $22 per hour
Cook/Kitchen Hand – from $14 – $18 per hour
I still recommend working for yourself if possible. Working online is the way to go in the 21st century and I love to hang out in coffeeshops, working on my sites and watching thew world go by. Far easier than slaving away for minimum wage.
Step 6. Finally, have an awesome time
A working holiday in is a life changing opportunity. Shake up and wake up your life and have some fun and adventure.
You won’t return home the same person you were when you left. And that’s a good thing. Get ready to discover a new and more extreme way to enjoy life and make it worth living.