Work in Australia with the Working-Holiday visa (WHV)

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If you are between 18 and 30 years, you have the opportunity to go for a full year (extendable to two years under certain conditions) to Australia to travel and work with the Working Holiday visa. Finding a job is not required, but except if you are rolling in money, you’ll quickly realize that it is a necessity given the cost of living there. The only requirement is not to work more than six months for the same employer and not to attend classes for more than 4 months. Once the visa in hand, you can get in and out of Australia as you want  for one year.

How to get the working holiday visa ?

It’s easy if you have a valid passport. Everything is done online on the website of the Australian immigration office. Simply fill out a form with multiple pages and answer all questions, then you have to pay AU $ 270 (about 200 euros) . Some questions are for information purposes only and will never be verified as the date on which you are traveling to Australia, the type of job you want to find… They will ask you to give permission to a person of your choice to receive correspondence related to your visa! Answer NO because the shipment will be made to that person and not to you!

Once all fields are completed, you will immediately receive a Transaction Reference Number, a number that will allow you to follow the progress of your application online. In my case, a few minutes later I already had my visa (which is actually part of your passport electronically… you will never receive any paper and you do not need to print anything… it’s the power of new  technologies !). Note that I had received no email, so remember to check the status of your application yourself on the website !


It is possible to find any job, but the most common among backpackers who are not fluent in English are server and bartender, distribution of flyers, and of course, fruit-picking.


It’s pretty easy to find a job in a restaurant if you have some experience and you ‘re not too bad in English, but you will often have to get a license to sell alcohol, which costs about $100. Prepare your resume: a page with photo and phone number clearly visible, as well as your availability, then go to the restaurants and distribute your resume. Always ask to see the manager. Do not do this with your friends! Often they will give you a trial and you’ll have to work for one hour for free.

Tips to find a job in FRUIT-PICKING

You can hear everything and its opposite about the fruit-picking in Australia. Do not dream : you will not get rich by picking fruits or vegetables. In general, these are tiring jobs, not so easy to find and not so well paid. In short, you’re going to be exploited ! To find this kind of job, you need to be at the right time in the right place. Get the free book Harvest Guide in most tourist offices or download it on the internet, find a place where the season will start in farms and call to see if they are looking for workforce. If you’re not very good at English and the phone scares you, you can also solicit the firm by email. But the ideal is to have a car and tour the farms to ask them directly.

Unless you have a car, it is better that the farm offers accommodation for its workers (often the case). These homes are often crap. If you do not have a car, consider buying a supply of food before reaching a farm, as it is often a bit lost in the middle of nowhere and it’s quite a business to go shopping.

You can also go directly to the working hostels, which are numerous in some cities nearby farms as Bundaberg and Bowen. These hostels have contacts in the farm and help you find work. Be careful because you will be put on a waiting list and it is not sure that you will work every day! And even if you do not work, you will have to pay the $ 30 per night minimum in these crappy and ugly hostels…

A question ? Other tips to add ?

Share your experience with other backpackers to enrich this article! Feel free to ask questions or leave comments below, we will answer with pleasure!


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