Working Holiday Visas and Jobs in Australia

About a year ago I wrote a post called Backpacking in Australia: A Simple Guide and at the same time gave a big mention for the Working Holiday Visa (WHV).

In this post I am going to talk a lot more about the WHV and at the end of this article, I’ll introduce you to an e-book written by a young man who has had not just one year here, but two years on a WHV.

If you want to get the most out of your WHV here, you may want to consider grabbing a copy of his book. But first…

Working Holiday Visa


Remember me?

This visa allows young people aged 18 to 30 from qualifying countries to come here for a year to work and play. This can be extended to 24 months (under current rules) for those who work a minimum of three months in the agricultural or construction industries.

I think the WHV is a great way for young people to find out what it’s really like to live here in Australia and have a fun time as well. It’s also a great way to find out whether Australia is the kind of place that you really would want to come to and live permanently, and if for you the answer is yes, being young, you would have the time and opportunity to make that happen.

But, I wondered, how easy or difficult would it be to find work while you are here and how much money would a year-long trip like this cost?

With a little bit of searching today, I have come up with some interesting information. First…

Qualifying countries

The Working Holiday Visa and the similar Work and Holiday visas are only available to passport holders from qualifying countries. If you want accurate up-to-date information on this, please search for ‘working holiday visa subclass 417’ and ‘work and holiday visa subclass 462’ and look for the Australian Government’s website, the address will end with

Then look for the ‘Visa applicants’ information and specifically eligible countries.

As at May 2016 they were:

WHV: Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

Work and Holiday Visa: Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America and Uruguay.

How much will it cost?

First off, you’ll need to book some return flights, the cost of which would very much depend on where you are coming from and when. Secondly, one of the conditions of being granted a WHV are that you have at least $5000 AUD in funds available for yourself to call upon if necessary. My understanding is that this can be by way of a credit card limit, but I would suggest it’s a much better idea to physically save that money for your trip.

Finally, how much would it cost you to survive down under?

On one of the sites I found, (more on that later) according to Tourism Research Australia backpackers spend, on average, $71 per night whilst here.

So if you are staying for a year, then you’ll need something like $25,000. Remember though, everybody’s spending habits are different and I am only talking averages. If you’re coming here to hit the bars and nightclubs every night, you will need much much more.

Why you might need more money?

Whilst a budget of around $2000 per month AUD will get you by, I’d suggest it’s the absolute minimum. To fully enjoy Australia you may need more and it also depends very much on what you do here and how you do it.

  • Will you stay in a cheap backpackers in a shared dorm with 8 to 12 beds, or do you want your own room in a hotel?
  • Will you be cooking much of your meals for yourself, getting your food from the supermarket or will you be eating out in restaurants and bars?
  • Will you be travelling by greyhound bus or by train, or do you want to buy a cheap second hand car and drive around in that?
  • Will you be going on guided tours to some of Australia’s iconic locations like Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef or will you just spend most of your time hanging out on the beaches for free?
  • Will you be drinking cheap boxes of wine (less that $20 for 4 litres) or will you be drinking beers in bars at $8 a schooner?

Here are some additional articles worth looking at that go into backpackers budgets in more detail. Please check the dates at the top of each of these articles and adjust for inflation to bring them up to date:

Let’s go jobhunting for backpackers

Update November 2016: Scams

Before we go job hunting, a warning.

I received a comment on this page from Reggie who provided some information he’d found online, suggesting that one of the advertising boards I did have here is a scam. He posted his message October 30, 2016, 11:05 pm if you want to look for it below.

I hate scams, but sometimes it is difficult for me to know which companies are scamming and which are genuine. Originally I posted three links here to 3 different, apparently free, job boards. My understanding was that only the employers needed to pay to advertise jobs, jobs search was free.

Having heard what Reggie had to say, I checked all three links and indeed two of them did, either immediately or after trying to find the contact details of an employer, ask me for money, including the one that Reggie warned me about.

I have now, therefore, removed these links. As far as I am aware, all the links that are left here are genuine. The message I would like to give any of you seeking casual work on a WHV is this:


If you are asked to pay any money in advance, no matter how small, on the promise of being introduced to or given the contact details of somebody who may be able to offer you a job, you are very likely being scammed. Please keep your money in your pocket.

It very much saddens me to say that WHV workers here in Australia, especially those looking for work on farms in order to extend their visas, are being ripped off and taken advantage of all too often. Please be sure to read my further update at the foot of this page about that.

If you do come here on a WHV, I urge you to research thoroughly; join every forum, social media site, meeting place and website that you can find that is all about backpacking and connect with as many other backpackers as possible.

Knowledge is power, forewarned is forearmed.

Job search

This site called backpackerjobboard appears to be free and there were 1728 jobs on offer when I looked in 2013, including…

  • Chefs
  • Housekeepers
  • Brickies labourers
  • Pool installer/labourer
  • Door knockers
  • Painters
  • Kitchen staff
  • Fruit pickers
  • Furniture removers
  • Racing stable workers

So, as you can see, quite a variation of jobs on offer and quite a few opportunities.

Agricultural work

According to a recent article in ABCNews, there has been a 25% increase in the number of people trying to do agricultural work in order to qualify for that second year.

Jackie Jarvis, who works for the Harvest Labour Service, says “I think if you speak to any farmers anywhere in Australia, where it’s a known agricultural or horticultural region, what’s happening is they’re being literally inundated“.

Who are the Harvest Labour Service? They help backpackers find agriculture work through this website…

So that’s who you need to go to if you want to try and extend your visa. From what I’ve seen though, a lot of farm jobs don’t pay a very good wage, sometimes you are working just for the food, accommodation and those precious three months agricultural work so you can extend your visa.

Update: I am pleased to say that Jackie Jarvis from Harvest Trail has added further information in the comments below. Jackie has also provided a freephone number for those seeking work, please be sure to read the full comment here.

Backpacker numbers down

According to an article in The Australian from August last year, the Australian backpacker industry is in crisis.

‘The numbers of International backpackers staying in hostels were down in every state in the year ending March 2012, Tourism Research Australia figures show.

There was a 20 per cent fall in backpackers from the UK – Australia’s largest source market – since 2010.


On the one hand backpackers are flooding the agricultural market looking for jobs in order to extend their visas, but on the other hand maybe there are more non-agricultural jobs to go around with the falling number of backpackers generally.

The bottom line though, I think, is this: Do your research before you come, make a few enquiries and try to find out what is likely to be available work wise when you arrive. Remember, as a rough guide and assuming you have $5000 start off money, you’ll need to earn a further $20,000 in the year to survive.

That, roughly speaking, is working six months full time or part time for the whole year, providing you are earning about $20 per hour. It is possible to earn that kind of money with casual labour, but I have also heard of people being paid as little as $12 an hour.

Here’s another interesting fact from Tourism Research Australia, backpackers stay in Australia, on average, for 78 nights. So, not too many people last the full year, is that because they run out of money?

Hopefully I’ve given any of you considering backpacking here are a few links to check out to help you find work. More importantly though, I hope I’ve shown you the need to plan your backpacking trip with care, otherwise your time here in Australia may not be all you had hoped for.

Don’t forget to pay your tax!

There was a lot of discussion in 2016 about suggested reforms to backpacker taxes here in Australia, and I believe that changes have been made. I don’t know what they are or how they work, but I do want to make you aware that you should ensure that you pay your taxes while you are here.

You will find that there are many tax agents around Australia that work out of very small offices, sometimes even booths in shopping malls, and they will prepare your tax return for from $99.

There is a chance that maybe, just maybe, you won’t pay tax at all and you will instead get a refund. Either way, you should make sure that you look into this to prevent problems later. If you do not want to pay for an accountant, you can always phone the Australian Tax Office for advice.

Beware of getting ripped off by employers!

Update November 2015:

More bad news.

As you probably know, if you do three months work in, for example, farming, you can qualify for a second years WHV stay. Unfortunately some unscrupulous employers are taken advantage of this and ripping people off.

I wrote a post about it a while back and I was reminded of it by Dave’s excellent comment below offering people some advice about this kind of thing. As he says, do your research, be aware, get advice from people who have already done this and try to find out a bit about your potential employer before you commit.

The sad truth is, the situation is probably far worse than even Dave thinks it is. Check this out…

Visa Assessment Service
{ 83 comments… add one }
  • Alex May 6, 2023, 5:05 am |

    Hello, I am preparing to move to AU (Queensland) on a WH Visa coming from the US.

    Does the visa WH visa start exactly on the day the visa application gets accepted or when I come in to Australia? I want to best use the 12 months during my stay and don’t want to waste a single day.

    Additionally, am I able to bring in my personal goods (import) through a port with a WH visa?


    • BobinOz May 9, 2023, 5:59 pm |

      Sorry Alex, but I don’t keep up with all the rules and regulations surrounding the many different visa types that Australia offers. You will find answers to all your questions over at the government’s website, and click on the link that says Visas.

      I really don’t think you need to panic about not getting your full 12 months here though, I’m pretty sure day one only happens when you enter the country.

      Good luck and enjoy your time here.

  • Greg August 10, 2017, 9:38 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I just came back from a working holiday in Sydney, and I loved it! I decided to create a job board for fellow travellers who want to go on a WHV in Australia. I’m adding new jobs everyday to help backpackers and working holiday makers earn a bit of money to finance their trip! It’s totally free, so I hope you don’t mind if I share it here:

    • BobinOz August 10, 2017, 8:54 pm |

      Glad to hear you had fun on your WHV, and good luck with your website. Cheers, Bob

  • Monoka July 30, 2017, 4:06 am |

    Thanx 4 such a info. 2ndly if person age above 30 can he apply. O am indian can i appky whv visa.

    • BobinOz July 31, 2017, 8:29 pm |

      I believe a 30-year-old can apply, but once somebody hits 31, it’s too late. Last time I checked the list, those from India could not apply on this scheme, but that was back in May 2016. You need to check with the Australian government for the latest list of countries who can apply.

      Details of how to do that are given in the article above.

  • Juan July 10, 2017, 12:21 pm |

    Hey Bob really like the website.
    I’m a 21 year old male from Canada and would like to visit Australia soon on a working holiday visa. In your opinion what cities would I have the best luck in terms of finding a job. Any job really it dosen’t have to be related to my degree. Thank you

    • BobinOz July 10, 2017, 7:24 pm |

      You will find that the most job opportunities are in Sydney and Melbourne, unfortunately they are also the two most expensive cities to live in in all of Australia. So before you had to one of those places, check out the accommodation rates, they might not be too bad if you go to a backpackers.

  • Francis April 25, 2017, 10:10 pm |

    Hi Bob,
    Amazing blog you created here! I stumbled upon it while researching for a trip to Australia and am so glad to have found your site. I haven’t seen so much information and real impressions about traveling and living in Oz compiled in any other source.

    Not sure whether you answered a similar question before but I didn’t find anything in the comments:
    I am interested in going to Oz on a WHV. Reading a lot about people struggling to find work – not just on a WHV but in general – I was wondering if $20.000/$25.000 AUD, like you recommend in the article, would still be sufficient funds to support myself throughout one year. I’m planning on saving up beforehand in case I’m not getting work there at all. Do you think it would still be a realistic budget for one person to survive on living frugally?

    • BobinOz April 27, 2017, 5:15 pm |

      Hi Francis

      First of all, thank you for the compliments, I always love those 🙂

      Anyway, thanks for your question, I’m glad you asked. This article is quite old, but prices haven’t changed too much here as inflation is very low. I decided to check the figures again though by having a look around online, I still think that yes, you can get by on around $2000 a month.

      I have added an update though which gives more information, you can see above under the heading Why you might need more money? But yes, one person living frugally, as you say, will survive on this budget.

      Enjoy your trip here in Australia.

      • Francis April 29, 2017, 2:51 am |

        Hi Bob,

        Thank you very much for your reply and the update on your article. Good to know that it is still possible to survive on that budget – although trusting your judgment on that being the absolut minimum, I will probably save up for a little longer then 😉

        • BobinOz May 2, 2017, 6:10 pm |

          Yes, that would be very wise 🙂

  • Dan January 5, 2017, 5:10 pm |

    Hey Bob, (hopefully) quick question for you.
    So I am a 28 year old Canadian in Aus now on a 417 visa. I had the intention of doing the visa extension deal but had some things come up back home that require me to leave before I’ll have time to complete the required steps to extend the visa.
    SO, what I am asking is if I return to Canada can I apply for a second whv?
    Will having time remaining on my current visa affect that? Or will the visa run out when scheduled?(the visa is from June-June)

    Thinking logically I feel that applying for a second visa from outside the country would be ok right? If you can extend from inside the country you then should be able to apply for a second and separate visa from outside the country?

    • BobinOz January 5, 2017, 11:23 pm |

      Unfortunately Don, no question like this is quick and easy, simply because it would be illegal for me to give this kind of visa advice, only MARA registered migration agents are allowed to do this.

      What I do know though, and I think it’s okay for me to say it, is that to qualify for the second year of your WHV, you would have needed to have completed three months worth of qualifying work during your first year. You haven’t done that so you would not qualify for a second WHV.

      Of course, sounds like your first WHV runs until June, so maybe you could come back to Australia after you’ve done what you need to do in Canada and do those three months work before your current WHV expires and then apply for the second visa? Possibly, but I really don’t know if those kind of visas are valid for re-entry, so that’s why I think you need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent or a friendly government official from the Australian immigration department to find out.

  • Liam November 15, 2016, 2:41 pm |

    Hi Bob, thanks for the website!

    I’m due to arrive in Perth, WA in the next week on a 417 WHV. I’m staying with friends for the duration of my stay and I understand (well they have told me) work has gone a bit thin in WA, especially Perth, recently so I anticipate it to be tough in the job market especially with a 417 visa. I have a class 2 HGV licence here in the UK, I’d like to know if it will be possible for me to convert/upgrade my truck lorry licence even though I will be on a 417 visa? I know I’ll be able to drive a car for 12 months on my visa but not sure if I’ll be able to gain a HGV licence. I’m willing to pay a truck driving school as soon as I get there to get my licence to convert/upgrade my licence as to increase my chances of getting some temp work.

    Hope you can help



    • BobinOz November 15, 2016, 9:57 pm |

      Interesting question Liam and one I can’t give you an answer to. It’s interesting because most professions need some kind of additional certification to make it Australian compliant, if you like, when people arrive here. Lawyers, electricians, plumbers, they will need to pass something extra to ply their trade here.

      On the other hand, when I came here from the UK on a permanent residency visa, whatever classes I had my UK licence were automatically put on my new Australian license. For example, I had passed my motorbike test in the UK and that was added to my Australian license along with my ability to drive a car. As you are here on a 417 though, I’m not sure you are expected to upgrade to an Australian license, but if you are maybe that HGV class will be carried over as well.

      As I say though, I don’t know, so I think you should have a good look around the following website:

      That’s the Western Australian transport department and if you can’t find a full answer to your question on their website, you can always try giving them a call. Hope that helps. Good luck, Bob

  • Reggie October 30, 2016, 11:05 pm |

    I wouldn’t recommend anyone to use ibackpacker considering how they’ve been scamming backpackers for over an year now. Here’s a screenshot from an active backpacker jobs group on facebook –

    Finding jobs in Australia should be free, especially if they were free offers. To charge applicants for free offers is scamming/fraud irrespective of how we put it !

    • BobinOz November 2, 2016, 6:11 pm |

      I hate scams, I really do, so I can’t thank you enough for posting this information Reggie. When I first put up my links, I did check them out and they were evidently free at that time.

      That certainly doesn’t appear to be the case now, so I have removed all links to job search sites that request money in advance. I have also rewritten a huge amount of this page and added addition warnings. Again, thanks for the heads up Reggie, I appreciate it. Cheers, Bob

  • somnath bk August 2, 2016, 12:19 am |

    der sir I will like to australia in working .thanks

  • Liao April 5, 2016, 5:46 pm |

    Quick questions….
    I just finished my application and paid the fee for 417 WHV. What do I attach in my application? (Besides the medical check-up) My application status seemed to be in “Recieved/Reviewed” for like 2 weeks already…is this common? Am i missing something>?

    • BobinOz April 5, 2016, 9:32 pm |

      I’m afraid I can’t help you with these kinds of questions, only MARA migration agents are allowed to give this kind of advice. Good luck though, Bob

  • Daisy March 10, 2016, 8:59 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I am currently 30 and looking to apply for a WHV later this year. However, what I don’t know is if I need to arrive in Australia before I’m 31, or if (so long as I get a yes on the WHV before my birthday) I can postpone my arrival for a few months, meaning I’ll be 31 when I enter the country. Do you know what the rules are?

    Also, does a WHV start when you get your yes, or when you enter the country? And is there a limit on how long your yes is valid for?

    Thanks so much!

    • BobinOz March 11, 2016, 5:03 pm |

      Sorry, but I do not know the answers to your questions on this one. If you watch the video on my page about Visas it will show you how to find out full information about various visa types direct from the Australian Government. Good luck, Bob

  • Catherine February 27, 2016, 11:26 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I will be graduating with a Masters of Public Health degree in December 2016. I want to move straight to Australia after graduating to find a job, but I am not quite sure if my skills qualify for the skilled visa or not. By that time I will be 27 years old. Would you recommend I get the holiday work visa and network in order to find a sponsored job once I get there or attempt to get a skilled visa.

    I appreciate your help!


    • BobinOz February 28, 2016, 8:59 pm |

      Sorry Catherine, but this is the kind of question I am not qualified to answer, you need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your personal situation. If you need help finding one of those, check out my page aboutMigration agents.

  • Lyndsay January 1, 2016, 2:39 am |

    Hi Bob

    Just been having a read of your website which is great btw. Lots of valuable info.
    Just one question me and my boyfriend are looking to come over on WHV’s but iam 32 years old, could I still get a WHV or do I have to apply for a different visa?? Any info you have on this would be great.
    Thanks and happy new year

    • BobinOz January 3, 2016, 7:06 pm |

      Glad you like my website, thank you 🙂

      My understanding is that at 32 you are over the age limit for a WHV, you would need to speak to a MARA migration agent about your other options as I can’t assist with that kind of thing, see my page Would I Qualify?

      Good luck, Bob

      • lyndsay January 4, 2016, 9:16 pm |

        Thanks bob.

        I will take a look.


  • Dave November 22, 2015, 5:52 pm |

    A couple of things worth considering for people who want to do the harvest trail thing and secure the 88 days..

    I’m 29 and I’ve been here 3 weeks now. I haven’t come out looking for a constant party this time (see last paragraph!) and wanted to use the WHV for it’s true purpose, work and travel with a sprinkling of tours, trips and partying.

    Before I came out here I was hell bent on the two years and had done a fair bit of research into the fruit picking etc. I was game for anything. I looked on the job sites the week I left, and there was a fair bit of work going (mainly banana humping in Queensland) and it was $20 odd hourly pay, not contract, for six months; double what you need. I thought this was great and I’d be able to get straight into it, get the days signed off and come out the other side with some cash saved.

    It hasn’t quite worked like that. What I didn’t do, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to do, is I didn’t research the actual accommodation/employer side of things properly. I’ll not name names but I’ve been to two working hostels in Queensland that I wouldn’t wish on my own worst enemy. You don’t go into this expecting any luxury, sure. But basic hygiene and fair living standards should be a given in my opinion. Especially when you see how much you pay for it week in week out, and especially when the work is as difficult as banana humping. I’m NOT moaning out of turn here by the way, both of these places were like open prisons (one had actual bars on the windows and doors) and there were many people leaving on a daily basis as a result. Employers or hostel owners will warn you that the work is very hard, but not many of them will tell you what you’re walking into with regards to ‘housing.’ Also, the people you end up with will either get you through it or they’ll drive you away, but that bit is luck of the draw.

    I should say that obviously they aren’t all like that, and I do have lots of mates who have had amazing times up that way doing the same stuff, and elsewhere, doing some fantastic work with fantastic farmers and staying in some lovely places. I couldn’t get work with any of them as they were already full up or out of season, unfortunately.

    All I’m saying really is PLEASE do your research. Speak to people, look online, ask questions before you commit out of desperation (it’ll save you and the farmer a lot of grief and money) and spend time on it.

    Also, if you can help it, consider saving more money before you come out and be less picky about contract rate. You’ll make crap money but it won’t matter if you make enough to pay for your digs and a bit of food. You’ll get through the three months a bit easier. Also if you do that, look at the WWOOFING situation.

    I love this country and I’m still determined to get two years out of this, but I’m going to be a lot more choosy about who I work for, and I’ve put the harvest work on hold until there’s more choice kicking about. I’m now applying for everything in every city left, right and centre to get some steady money and I’ll review the farm work situation next year, when other things are available.

    As an aside, this is isn’t the first time I have been over here; I came here for 2 months on a tourist visa back in 2008. I was 22, I was with my mates, and I had £2000 on me with a favourable exchange rate. It didn’t last me anywhere near the full trip and luckily my Dad helped me out, but back then we were younger and dafter and we didn’t consider that while the rate was ~2.2, if something in England costs a quid, but costs $2 over here, the exchange rate doesn’t really help you. So, if like us you were wanting to be a tourist, nail the east coast, take in loads of trips and spend your time hurling goon/lager down your gullet.. Think of a high number and double it. That should save you phoning home 😉

    Great site, Bob. All the best.

    • BobinOz November 30, 2015, 8:05 pm |

      Hi Dave, excellent and very important post you have made here, thanks for doing it. I’m really glad you took the time because it has reminded me about this, it’s true that sadly many employers are ripping off WHV workers, especially when it comes to work that qualifies for getting that second year.

      There was a documentary show about it earlier in the year, it was pretty disgusting some of the tricks some companies were getting up to. So I have now updated the above post to include a link to an article I wrote about it, the more people that know about the potential pitfalls the better.

      As you point out Dave, it is possible to get decent and genuine work here, but the sad truth is there are too many bad employers about as well, so people really do have to be careful. Again, thanks for reminding me.

      Cheers, Bob

    • Mike December 27, 2015, 2:22 pm |

      My wife works at a farm she has a lot of pickers in her team from all common thread is don’t live in employer digs..better off living in a caravan or motel until you get to know other pickers and get a share place together…the farm where my wife works doesn’t have accomodation however some of the not legal farms in the area do…and charge crazy amounts of money to under paid poor english speaking employees for a fetid matress on the floor of a room with 12 other people..

      • BobinOz December 30, 2015, 9:13 pm |

        This is a good tip Mike, thank you. I get the impression though, with some of these farms, that living in their accommodation is part of the plan so they can rip you off? Would they actually allow you to live elsewhere and still give you the work?

  • Dilanthi Silva September 2, 2015, 3:29 am |

    i would like to get work permit to work in Melbourne. Is any way to get sponsorship for that.

    • BobinOz September 2, 2015, 3:16 pm |

      You need to read up on the process a bit, the pages under my Migration Advice section should help.

  • Beverly July 10, 2015, 2:40 pm |

    I just wanted to say how helpful this website was. I am Canadian and had been having a hard time getting the hang of things here; most importantly- finding a job. It is challenging looking for a job on working holiday. I read this specific page and looked into TAW- every job I applied to, I heard back from and it only took 2 days of interviews to get offered a position! I would highly recommend!
    I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with my move that that I’m reading about other foreigners with similar troubles!

    • BobinOz July 10, 2015, 5:26 pm |

      Thanks for the tip Beverly, even if it does sound like a bit of an advert 🙂

      Just kidding…

  • Lawrence King May 29, 2015, 10:40 pm |

    Hi Bob,

    I’m looking at coming to Oz with my girlfriend on a WHV but I would be looking to get a job similar to what I do now which is a Business/Data Analyst. Now with being able to only work for 6 months at a time in the same job, would companies disregard me because of this? I am really struggling to find an answer to this question. Please help.

    Thank you

    • BobinOz June 1, 2015, 3:03 pm |

      I think the only way you will find an answer is by trying. It really depends on the employer and whether they would have a use for somebody on a short-term basis. There is not a yes or no answer to this one.

  • Sakura May 16, 2015, 5:32 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Wow, love your website! It’s very informative and helpful – but I’m a bit confused with what I should do to move there and would LOVE your advice.

    A little background about myself.. I’m a recent mechanical engineer graduate from the U.S., planning to move to Melbourne in August/September 2015. I have studied abroad in Melbourne last year and absolutely loved every thing about it. I also met my Australian boyfriend over there, so I am trying to move over there forever!

    So basically, I’ve been researching the different types of visas and it seems like the working holiday visa is the best option for someone like myself (I’m 21). I do have dual citizenship (Japan and United States), and it seems like if I apply for work holiday with my Japanese visa instead of U.S. visa (for subclass 417), I might be able to stay an additional year if I work at some farms. Working at a farm definitely isn’t ideal since I would love to get into the engineering field right away, so I was also looking at the graduate engineer visa (subclass 476). It seems like that takes 7 months to process though, so I’m thinking of applying for that visa once my work holiday visa expires. OR once I’ve lived one year with my boyfriend, I could apply for a partner visa and will be able to extend my stay there as well.

    So the working holiday visa sounds like the best fit for me, but the downside to that is that I’ll only be allowed to work at one company for 6 months, unless the company decides to sponsor me. I have applied to many engineering firms in Melbourne, but I haven’t had any luck because they all require “Australian residency.” I’m sure once I arrive, the job process would be a lot easier, but I’m actually not sure if I am allowed to work at a engineering firm with a holiday work visa either.

    I apologize for this confusing, long post – but any suggestions or advice would be great! I’m not sure if you’ll know the answer, but I just want to see if I’m on the right track with getting the holiday visa, then either graduate engineer visa or partner visa. Or if you have a better suggestion, please let me know 🙂 ! Honestly, I’m sure things will be alright once I actually get there but I am worried if it’s hard to get an engineering job on a holiday work visa.



  • Sean May 1, 2015, 3:07 am |

    Hi bob,

    Great resource and great read! My girlfriend and I are coming to Aus (most likely Sydney) in Jan 2016 after 3 months travelling. We have pretty good jobs here in London (£45k per annum), I work in PR she works for a charity but we fancy a change and a bit of sun etc, but also wnat to continue and hopefully grow our careers. We are therefore applying for a WHV.

    But I had a couple questions:

    Are we likely to get similar jobs to the one’s we have in London on a WHV or are WHV’s really limited to working in bars, admin, farmhands etc?

    Are there any job sites we should be looking at in particular?

    Any other advice or resources would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks,

    • BobinOz May 1, 2015, 6:56 pm |

      Thanks, Glad you like it 🙂

      Obviously I can’t know what kind of jobs you might possibly get or not get, but I do know that you are not simply limited to the casual type work you mention.

      If you have skills that somebody needs and it suits their purpose for you to work on a short-term contract, I think there is a maximum amount of time you can work for anyone employer, then you will likely get an offer. So there’s no reason why you couldn’t get a job in PR or whatever else it is you can do.

      I have links to job sites on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship.

      Hope that helps, good luck, Bob

  • Mr.Chhai Savann April 21, 2015, 3:07 pm |

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I would like to live and work in Australia because I want to change my life specially my children if i am possible to work as my experience in food and beverage service as Restaurant Manager.I do hope that some day I will have sponsor work from other company In Australia will help me as God.
    Best regards,
    Mr.Chhai Savann
    Kingdom of Cambodia
    Zip Code:14073

  • Oci sitanggang April 17, 2015, 7:24 pm |

    Hello bob
    my name oci, im from indonesia
    N now im working in malaysia as operator,but I have a dreams want to working in Australia! !! But I don’t know how… r u can to help me brother to solve this problem?

    • BobinOz April 17, 2015, 8:11 pm |

      This website gives much guidance about how to get a visa, but I can’t specifically help you to get one, I’m not qualified to do that.

      A MARA agent could assist you, or you need to do it yourself.

  • Sophia March 23, 2015, 10:06 pm |

    Hi Bob, thanks for your reply, I know what you mean about the experience, to be honest I don’t know if law is the career I want to do anymore I’m not quite sure what it is I want to do. I was more pinning my hopes on my boyfriend as he’s degree will be in sports and coaching and whilst doing that he has actually been working for a coaching company for 4 year now getting experience and he also manages his own little children’s team and they play on a Sunday. He’s also got his UEFA B lisence which is a really good thing to have. Whilst we were in Perth visiting my boyfriends family we saw a lot of coaching company’s advertising for trainee coaches to help out with after school clubs, just casual hourly paid. So I was thinking if we went on a working holiday visa and he could get casual coaching work like that, could that lead to him being sponsored for a more permanant position.


    • BobinOz March 24, 2015, 5:28 pm |

      Yes, I would imagine it is possible your boyfriend could get some casual work, that may possibly lead to a sponsorship, but companies who sponsor people have to jump through quite a few hoops, so it’s a major step up from casual work to get offered something like that.

      You might want to speak to a MARA migration agent about your situation as well, because it very much depends on your relationship status with your boyfriend as to whether him getting sponsored will mean whether you can stay or not.

      As for actually getting a sponsorship, I highly recommend you buy a copy of the product available on my page called How to Find a Sponsored Job in Australia, I think you will find it invaluable in your search.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Sophia March 23, 2015, 4:25 am |

    Hi Bob, me and my boyfriend are planning to come to Australia next year once we have finished our degrees at university, we have been planning this since we started uni so we’ve saved up and are very prepared, we will be 22 when we are in the position to come over and my boyfriend wants to do something along the lines of sports coaching as thats what his degree is in and I will have a degree in law. When were on our working holiday visa we are hoping to find a employer who would be willing to sponsor us so we can stay permanently. How would we go about doing this when there? Would it be hard for us to get sponsored whilst there?

    Thank you very much, your website has helped so much!

    • BobinOz March 23, 2015, 5:29 pm |

      I think it would be quite hard for you Sophia, most employers prefer people to have three or four years post grad work experience and as for yourself, you would need to pass further exams in order to qualify to practice Australian law, as I understand it. I don’t know any more about it than that, but you need to look into it, maybe you should Google Australian Law Society or similar to find out how it works.

      These aren’t currently the best times in Australia for finding work, it’s not bad, but it has been much better in the past. Employers can pick and choose, so I think gaining some solid work experience before you come here may be the better way to go.

      Only my opinion though, you may want to speak to a MARA migration agent who could well throw some more professional light on it.

  • Phillip March 2, 2015, 10:21 am |

    Thanks Bob,

    I was just wondering when an Australian guy here in the Philippines came to us to learn those stuff. He is trying to get us there to Australia and give a training to his fellow guards. I just have to look for other ways then. your info is so useful. keep it up.

    • BobinOz March 2, 2015, 8:47 pm |

      The best way to find out what options you might have would be to talk to a MARA registered migration agent or go through my Visa Assessment Service.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Phillip February 27, 2015, 11:12 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Any luck for Filipino Martial Arts Instructors to get there?? thanks.. ^_^

    • BobinOz February 27, 2015, 4:22 pm |

      On a WHV? Philippines is not on the list Phillip.

  • Kimball Edwin Durand February 26, 2015, 6:05 pm |

    I understand Bob. Thank you. I am still cheesed off as of this time and they give us foreigners a bad impression of your beloved country. But i still thank you for your advice. I won’t mention them this time but one giveaway sign they are rip offs is they do not question a guy’s ability to communicate in English which is a major factor to move in. I will pick up the pieces and someday get there. Take care.

    • BobinOz February 26, 2015, 8:06 pm |

      Yes, that’s a pretty good sign, you certainly won’t qualify for anything here in Australia if your English is not up to scratch. When you have picked up those pieces, be sure to start your journey again by talking to a MARA registered migration agent first.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Kimball Edwin Durand February 25, 2015, 3:26 pm |

    I am a foreigner who wants to work in Australia but all my hopes are gone for good. A company supposed to certify me just ran off with my money after I paid the processing fee. They have the website Name removed by admin. They offer short courses for career development and recognition of prior learning, but the recruitment process id full of hidden charges. They are burglars and criminals. They also do not help in getting a visa, so how do I get to Australia without it?

    • BobinOz February 26, 2015, 12:28 am |

      Firstly, I have had to remove the website address you included for these people who you say ripped you off, simply because if they didn’t rip you off and I leave it here, I get sued. Even if they did rip you off, I probably still get sued. Hope you understand.

      Secondly, I feel for you, I’m really sorry that they have taken your money and you have got nothing in return. There are a lot of unscrupulous and downright criminal companies around that are exploiting people’s desire to move to Australia and taking money upfront whilst doing nothing in return.

      Buyer beware, as they say.

      If you still want to take this further, I suggest you contact a MARA registered migration agent and seek their advice. Good luck, Bob

  • Lyndon October 14, 2014, 6:11 am |

    Hi Bob,
    I’m 18 coming over for a WHV. I’m a qualified Hairdresser and I was just wanting to know if the salons would hire someone like me ” a backpacker ” to work for them as this is not the typical backpacker job, is it still possible to get this kind of work in that industry/trade on the working visa, also let’s say I did work at a small Salon would they have the ability to sponsor me for permanent migration even if it’s just part time, or do you have to put yourself on those Sponsorship websites and help for the best?

    • BobinOz October 14, 2014, 1:22 pm |

      Hi Lyndon

      If you have the skills that a hairdressing salon requires and you find somebody prepared to sponsor you, bearing in mind you can only work for a maximum of six months with one employer, then why not? So yes, it is possible.

      As for getting sponsorship, I can’t help you with there, that’s a more complex question and is one that is best answered by a MARA registered migration agent.

      Good luck, enjoy your working holiday here.

    • Regina January 4, 2015, 3:15 am |

      Hi Lyndon,
      I’m also a hairdresser and have a granted WHV. How about your situation now? Have you already got a job in salon? I will be in Australia on early February 2015 and still curious with this question untill now.


  • Lou June 7, 2014, 5:43 pm |

    Hi bob
    On my 2nd whv and have an Australia partner for the last 10mth.
    We are a mth pregnacy and my visa runs out in September. I don’t want to travel outside of oz while prenacy. Baby due in January.What can we do. Is partner visa hard to get in the country? Please help.

    • BobinOz June 10, 2014, 12:42 am |

      Well, no visa is easy to get. To apply for a de facto partner visa, you need to be able to prove that you have lived together for 12 months or more. Whichever visa you go for, it’s very likely you will be asked to leave the country, that’s normal before a decision is made on issuing a new visa.

      You really need to consult with a MARA agent to see what your options are, you may want to consider going through my Visa Assessment Service.

      Congratulations by the way 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Alvin May 27, 2014, 5:05 pm | has helped me greatly to find a job in Australia. It was easy and fast and I have calls within one week of posting my resume. Now I am settled in Australia and owe this to removed again.

    • BobinOz May 28, 2014, 12:24 am |

      Well I took down your link and plug for this company Alvin, because for some reason I don’t believe you and I don’t want my readers wasting the $19.99 it cost to register with this dubious looking website.

  • Harvie February 19, 2014, 10:49 pm |

    Hey bob, good post, I am here now, from listening to other backpackers it appears their are too many people here and not enough work. I get at least 50+ emails daily about people asking about work. I hope its just a quiet period in the harvesting, otherwise sadly I think more people will be going home.

    A common theme seems to be that people dont bring enough money to Aus, and some even end up homeless!

    • BobinOz February 20, 2014, 9:02 pm |

      That’s very sad to hear Harvie, but in no way I’m not overly surprised, I think the job market here in Australia has changed quite a bit over the last year or two.

      Thanks for letting us know, I think it’s important for anyone coming here on a WHV be aware of the pitfalls as well.

      Cheers, Bob

  • Rajeev January 5, 2014, 7:37 pm |

    Hi bob,
    This is Rajeev from india i had completed Aircraft Maintenance engineering from india, i know about to get Skilled worker for aviation in australia is too difficult, because they need too much experience, but now i am looking for some unskilled or low skilled labor jobs or i am looking for labor jobs in mining industry , i don’t know how to get job directly with sponsorship visa for labor…so please kindly give me right idea and suggestion for my career in australia.


  • Lena December 1, 2013, 2:23 am |

    Hi Bob (:
    Thank you for your help, I will search more and get more information about the subject.

  • Lena November 28, 2013, 7:36 am |

    Hello Bob , how are you?
    Thank you for posting all these advice about living in Australia, is really interesting and I really love your blog. I am thinking in going in a work holiday visa to Australia because I love the country and I am hoping some day will live there. I am currently living in Wales but I am Portuguese and I don know if I can apply for one of those visas. I really appreciate if you can give me any advice and how can I do to make my journey amazing (:
    I am 20 years old.
    Thank your very much for your help.
    Cheers ,
    Helena .

    • BobinOz November 28, 2013, 8:55 pm |

      Hi Lena

      I am well, thank you. Great to hear that you love my blog, I appreciate that.

      I assume you are a Portuguese passport holder and looking at my own list, Portugal isn’t on it. I couldn’t tell you if you have other options, I’m not qualified to do that, but it might be worth you looking at the government’s immigration website for updates and/or talking to a MARA agent to see if you have any other options.

      Hope you find a way to get here, it’s worth it 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Jackie Jarvis November 27, 2013, 3:18 pm |

    Just a bit more information about the Harvest Trail. Part of the Harvest Trail is the National Harvest Telephone Information Service. It is FREE to use and backpackers can simply call the National Harvest Telephone Information Service on 1800 062 332 for information on harvest jobs, working conditions or accommodation. See:

    Due to changing weather conditions we recommended that Working Holiday makers contact us on 1800 062 332 BEFORE travelling as availability of work can change significantly from information available in printed guides.

    You may wish to also advise on your website that some backpackers have been targeted by scams on the Gumtree website and we advise everyone to beware of paying money to secure farm work or for accommodation deposits as scams are common.

    As I mentioned all of our services are FREE and funded by the Australian Government.

    I hope this information is of assistance.

    • BobinOz November 27, 2013, 4:26 pm |

      That is great additional information Jackie, thanks for providing it. I have already added an update to the foot of the above post make sure people can easily see your comment.

      Thanks again, and don’t forget to “Like” me with Facebook 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • Tony September 22, 2013, 10:17 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Pretty much interesting stuff. I am definiteley planning to apply for my HWV considering I have an Italian passport. I have some friends over there, so I guess I can stay at their home while paying some rent. I wonder though, If I have a profesional degree (from Colombia) in Business Administration will that help me find a job? Maybe even get sponsored for permanent residency later on? just wondering and expecting an honest answer…

    • BobinOz September 23, 2013, 5:55 pm |

      Hi Tony

      Yes, you can stay with friends, it is possible your degree will help you get a job and it’s even possible it could help you find a sponsorship which might lead to permanent residency later on. It is all possible, although I do not know enough about you to be able to tell you how likely it might be.

      If you are serious about trying to find a sponsorship whilst you are here, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of How to Find a Sponsored Job in Australia. Good luck, Bob

  • Renee Saxby July 18, 2013, 7:24 pm |

    Hi Bob

    If I applied for a Aged Visa in Australia would I be able to stay there until it is granted.

    Many thanks

  • Matheus Ruiz May 31, 2013, 1:10 pm |

    Hey bob what a great text you wrote! Very very good congratulations!
    I’m Brazilian and I’ll travel to Australia next year and i’m so hopeful to find a job!
    Good luck to me
    see you soon

    • BobinOz May 31, 2013, 8:36 pm |

      Yes, good luck to you and hopefully see you soon 🙂

  • Joyce May 30, 2013, 7:56 pm |

    The $5000 can also be waved if one has a letter of invitation stating someone is offering you a roof above your head.
    The main reason the proof of $5000 and a return flight is required is so that backpackers aren’t stranded here if they are unable to find a job or in between jobs end up wandering the streets “homeless”.

    – Joyce.

    • BobinOz May 31, 2013, 8:35 pm |

      That’s very interesting to know Joyce, thanks for the info 🙂


  • Patrick May 30, 2013, 7:34 am |

    Thank you so much for this article Bob.
    Coming soon to Perth on my WHV, I look for as much info as I can find. I prep’d some things already, I opened a bank account a few months ago with (over) the $5000, and found a place to live for cheap on .

    Regional work, as they call it, includes a little more than fruit picking and construction though, as you can see on the form 1263 ( I plan on visiting Monkey Mia and work at a fisherie or the like. Mining is another option…

    • BobinOz May 30, 2013, 2:07 pm |

      Hi Patrick

      Exciting eh! I hope you have a great time when you get here, glad to hear you have done your research before arriving. I have heard of that couch surfing website before, it looks great!

      Have fun and let us know how it goes if you get the chance.



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