How to Move and Start a life in Australia on a working holiday visa

If you are a citizen of Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom and you’re aged between 18-30 you can apply for a working visa in Australia.

You don’t any special skills, but you will need around 2,500 (GBP) in your bank account to show you can financially support yourself in Australia until you find work.

To make the application process much smoother I’d recommend not having a criminal record and if you want to make it even easier (unlike me), try to come to Australia before you go travelling – I had to pay an extra fee for a medical. I am 29, so it was my last chance to jump on this amazing opportunity to work in a foreign country.

The ‘NEED TO KNOW’ Basic’s:

If you are thinking of moving to Sydney, I’d highly recommend watching of my favourite travel vlogger’s Backpacking Banana’s and her video called ‘Australia Working Holidays’ who sums up the process & how to’s perfectly.

The 5 items you will need when you move to Australia:

ONE: Tax File Number:

  • You need this to get a job so apply for this first when you get here (or before you come if you know your address)

TWO: Opal Card – This is their equivalent of the UK’s Oyster Card.

  • You MUST tap on AND off. Get one at your local 7/11 and top up (minumum is $10 for adult and $5 for child).
  • The cost of each trip is based on how far you travel. 
  • A cheeky little fact it won’t cost you more than $2.60 on all day on a  Sunday to travel anywhere in Sydney as far as the Blue Mountains.

THREE: Sim Card with Data (or daaatarr as they call it)

FOUR: Australian Bank Account

  • I recommend Westpac, it will cost you $12 (£6.50) receive money from the UK and depending on your bank at home a fee to send. With Nationwide it’s £20 so send large amounts.
  • Other friends use Commonwealth but apparently have a few issues as it’s the last bank to pay you on pay day.
  • Please note: You need to use the relevant Bank Account ATM’s in Aus or you may get charged so worth looking at what banks are near you. But most places take card so we’ve not needed cash yet.

FIVE: Medicare

Medicare covers treatment that is deemed ‘medically necessary’. This means any ill-health or injury which occurs while you are in Australia and requires treatment before you return home.

  • Medicare is the governing body of the Australian public health system. If you are on a Working Holiday Visa 417, then you may be eligible for Medicare cover during your stay in Australia.
  • What I have found is that citizens of the UK, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and NZ are covered for the duration of your approved time in Australia. Citizens of Malta and Italy are covered by Medicare for a period of 6 months from the date of arrival in Australia.
  • You will NEED to find a local Centre care local centre, tell them you are from [insert country] and would like to apply for Medicare. They give you a form and you await an advisor who sets you up and applies for your card.
  • Find a GP that does ‘Bulk Billing’ which means you don’t get charged.

And, I’d also recommend reading  LondonerinSydney, I use for my day to day readings of things to do at the weekend to best cafes but these were super useful to begin with.

Working Holiday Guide to Sydney

Sydney vs. London

How to find a place to live:

  • On arrival, book into a hostel for as long as you need – it’s not uncommon whilst you flat/house hunt. Or if you’re lucky (like we were and are forever grateful for), stay with friends who kindly take you whilst you sort your self out and then show you the hidden gems of the city.
  • Choose the area you want to live in. Now this is a touch one because there’s so many places. However, most Brits like Bondi & Coogee. Then there’s the higher price beach options of Bronte/Tamarama, then the Eastern Suburbs like Randwich. Near the CBS and the quirky places are NewTown & Surry Hills then there’s the inner west – Annandale, Rozelle, Balmain, Glebe – no beaches but nice little villages, markets and more for your money. There’s more places but I’m yet to explore them.
  • To find a place search on http://flatmatefinders.com.au/ (my personal favourite as it filters your matches) and https://flatmates.com.au/ – Make an account on each, filter down and search daily. It’s hard to find a nice place, so be friendly and read the ad before making contact. Also join as many local loops as you can find, we used:

How to get a Job?

  • Figure out what you want to do – Admin, Data Entry, Hospitality? Maybe you’ve had a few years in one line of work and want to try something completely new? Now’s your chance!
  • Get your CV updated
  • Make a few versions of your based on what you want to do
  • Join job websites such as Seek and Indeed.
  • Did you do a specialist job back home? Google the best recruiters or email companies direct.
  • TALK to people – not heard back from recruiters or companies? Just give them a call and arrange a face to face.
  • Join ‘Local Loops’ such as ‘Irish Local loop’ and ‘Bondi Local loop’ these are what we used to found a flat but often temporary jobs are on here.

I hope this helps, and if it doesn’t Google is your friend 🙂

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