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Travel Guides / Australia

Which Australia visa do I need to work in Australia?

Geeking out about everything you need to know about securing your WHV visa and getting a job.

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By the power invested in us (and a well known search engine that rhymes with Noodle), here are the most asked questions about getting your working holiday visa and finding a job in Australia.

Which Australia visa do I need?

To do a working holiday in Australia, you need an Australia working holiday visa – or subclass 417 visa. For Irish passport holders, this visa allows you to work for 12 months from the day you enter Australia and allows you to do casual or career work – changing employers every six months.

Who can get a visa for Australia?

Irish passport holders must be aged 18-35, meaning you must have your visa approved by your 36th birthday. You then have 12 months to enter Australia. You can't be in Australia when you apply for your visa, so if you go over on a three-month tourist visa – you're not able to change it to a working holiday visa without leaving the country. For a full list of all other nationalities eligible for the Australia working holiday visa program, click here

Can I apply for a second working holiday visa?

Yes, the good news is that you can apply for a second working holiday visa by doing three months of ‘specified work’ in regional Australia on your first visa. Specified work includes farm work, fruit picking, mining, bushfire recovery, construction in rural areas and more.

This additional year can be an extension of your first visa (allowing you to stay out there for two years), or you can return home and go back out for another year. However, all visas must be completed by your 36th birthday. If you're out in Oz and thinking of doing your second visa, give us a shout and we'll run you through it.

How to get a visa for Australia

USIT is a licensed agent by the Australia government to issue working holiday visas. The cost and processing of your work visa is included in all three of our Work Australia packages. When you book, we'll grab some quick information from you and our team will apply for the visa on your behalf. It usually takes between 1-7 days, and visas are issues electronically. We'll send you confirmation by email, but the visa is electronically tagged to your passport details.

What else do I need to work in Australia?

Support funds When you enter Australia, you may be asked to show proof of AUD $5,000 in funds to support your time there. This is usually required in the form of bank statements, so be prepared for that at immigration.

Australia bank account and tax file number You don't need these to enter Australia or apply for your visa, but you'll need them to start working. (And start getting paid!). All three of our Work Australia packages include the set up of both of these, so that you can hit the ground running when you arrive.

What jobs can I do in Australia?

The Australia working holiday visa is super flexible, allowing you to do casual or career work – anywhere in Oz. Head to the East Coast for iconic cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; to the West Coast and Perth for lower living costs and a more laidback lifestyle; or venture out to the islands of Queensland, vineyards of South Australia, or up to the Northern Territory for an authentic taste of Aussie life.

Casual, seasonal and backpacker jobs Great news for working holidaymakers, Australia is currently crying out for casual and seasonal staff. The original working holiday destination, Australia has a backpacker-friendly culture where employers are used to taking on working holidaymakers. Typical jobs include working in hospitality, tourism, sales, construction, retail and harvest work such as fruit picking. Hospitality and harvest work often include subsidised staff accommodation – making them a great choice to save money, meet people and live in wild locations. (With the added bonus of those jobs in regional Australia contributing towards your second visa).

Career or professional jobs Your visa also allows you to do jobs related to your training, trade or profession. Such as working in beauty, nursing, the trades, marketing, finance, fashion, IT and everything between. You can apply for roles as an Aussie would – via LinkedIn, job sites and recruiters – but just be aware that you can't work for one employer for more than six months without them sponsoring you.

How much can I earn in Australia?

Even though living costs in Australia may be slightly higher than in Ireland (especially in bigger cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane), the minimum wage is also higher – currently AUD $23.23 an hour (approx. €14)*. Although in reality and depending on the role, many jobs will pay more than this – especially trade, construction and professional roles.

How to find a job in Australia

Unless you have a mattress stuffed with dollar bills (which is especially dicey if staying in hostels - those bunk bed slats?), as a backpacker in Oz, you'll burn through your Euros faster than a Tasmanian Devil if you don't work. And then before you know it, you’re on a flight back to Dublin with your tail between your legs and a bag of excuses. “It was too hot”, “the pubs were rubbish”, “there were too many beaches”. Yeah, good luck getting anyone in Ireland to believe that you came home for the weather.

So, to avoid working holiday humiliation at the hands of your friends and family, the answer is simple. Get a job lined up.

Our Essential and Ultimate packages include 12 months' access to our online Job Hub, which is full of hundreds of Aussie employers searching for staff right now. Employers are vetted by our team to ensure they meet minimum wage conditions and health and safety policies. (Seasonal work in Australia can have a bit of a bad rep for supplementing wages with accommodation and the promise of other perks, so it pays to do your homework and be wary of cash in hand jobs). Most positions on our Job Hub are in hospitality and tourism, with roles including chefs, servers, front of house, groundskeepers and more. Think working in surfy Sydney, on the boho sands of Bryon Bay or in the cultural heart of the Red Centre. Wages go up to AUD $40 an hour (approx. €25)*, and some roles will qualify you for a second visa.

Why is Australia in Eurovison?

True to our word, we really were using some of the internet's most asked questions about Australia to write this blog. And this question is ranked remarkably highly. The honest answer? Not a Scoobie. But here at USIT, we're all about inclusivity, crossing borders and a ton of sequins - so Australia, we're happy to have you. <3

Now you have the intel, if you're thinking of making the move Down Under check out Work Australia or call the team for a yarn (Aussie for chat).

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USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

"The original working holiday destination, Australia has backpacker-friendly employers, heaps of jobs and a near permanent supply of Vitamin D."

USIT Staff Blog Image.png


USIT Staff

Our content is shaped by our community. If you also have a way with words and a travel tale to tell, DM us about writing for USIT.

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