Could be yours too!
Aussie, «Australian» or just anything coming from Australia 🙂
– Why not?!
I have always dreamed to come to Australia (if you read the first article I ever published on this blog, Wanderlust is my desease, you know that I already wanted when I was 18) but Life just happens when you less expect it, so I am here now.
Breaking news guys: Australia is far! It’s far from many places, probably close only to New Zealand, and it is expensive flying here so the most affordable option to come Down Under is moving here.
How? Most of European passports can apply to a Working Holiday Visa until 30 years old and get in the country within the 31st year of age. Starting by the 1st July of 2022 the limit for Italian passports was increased to 35 years old.
For me it was great news: I finally applied paying the modest amount of 510 AUD.
The Working Holiday visa allows you to work full time, but not more than 6 months for the same employer.
Application is very easy; you just have to fill a form on the official website of the Australian Government, demonstrate that you dispose of at least 5000 AUD to show you can afford living the Aussie life during the first period in the country and, if you are as unlucky as I am, you’ll have to pay also for a medical examination before getting the “Granted” email.
I’ll explain myself: in the aforementioned form, you are requested to declare where have you lived in the last 5 years prior the application and probably because I had lived in China and Portugal, I received an email with the instructions for a medical check, which must be taken in designated clinics that you’ll find listed on the Australian Government website.
I was told it could cost up to 300€ – money money money – but luckily in Lisbon it costed me only 187€.
I repeat, it does not happen to everybody: my friend got her visa granted after 5 minutes.
In the fortunate case of a medical examination, be aware that you will not receive the results because they will be directly sent to Australia. I kept waiting for days for my visa to be approved until I thought to upload the receipt of my medical examination on my ImmiAccount and – maybe it’s a coincidence – I finally got my Working Holiday.
If for whatever reason you don’t qualify for this type of visa – maybe because you’re older or because you have applied already once and you did not do the farms or regional works to renew the visa and so on – you can still consider to apply to the Student Visa, which still legally allows you to work full time (starting by June 2023 though, the amount of allowed working hours will apparently be reduced to 20 per week).
You got your visa granted, congratulations! Time to book your flight and at least one week in a hostel.
When I arrived to Sydney at the beginning of Summer (November), apartment research was a nightmare: all the backpackers were looking for accommodation to spend summer in the city before moving up north for the farms or regional works; all the houses available were dirty, old and expensive; the more I read posts on the social media, the more I got depressed because people were looking for long-term accommodation since months and the only things available were sublets of people going away for holidays.
My advise: download Flatmates app to look for rooms, get in all the possible Facebook groups for apartment research, be patient and conscious that probably you’ll have to extend the stay at the hostel.
How much does a room in shared flat/house cost in Sydney? An average of 300/350 AUD per week – yes, PER WEEK – plus bond (legally max 4 weeks). If you don’t stay in the city center, you can find something cheaper or maybe even in the city you can find it, but low your expectations.
Ok now that you landed in Australia, what do you need? A sim card, a bank account… It’s funny because the bank requests an Australian number to open the account and to purchase the sim card they ask you for a bank account.
Well, you’ll find your way through it too, don’t worry.
Sim card: most people recommend Telstra especially if you need to spend time in the bushes, but Vodafone has more convenient rates.
Bank account: most people open a Commonwealth Bank account – pretty easy and also the app works well.
TFN or Tax File Number: you need it to get paid, it’s «your personal reference number in the tax and superannuation system» so better navigate the section “Apply for a TFN” on http://www.ato.gov.au.
You will need an Australian address because within a month you will receive the communication by mail – not e-mail 😛
Other important thing to apply for is the Medicare.
Thanks to an agreement between governments, Italian Working Holiday Makers can apply for free as soon as landed; it has a 6 months validity starting by the entry date and it can be renewed a second time for free by going temporarily out of Australia – excellent excuse to travel somewhere abroad.
Another amazing news for Italians: at the moment, you can drive with your Italian driving license in New South Wales for the whole year of working holiday but only for 3 months in the other States, then you’ll have to request the Australian one.
At the moment, if you want to request the Australian driving license in NSW, you just need to pay 62 AUD for the conversion and in 2 weeks you’ll receive it via mail – again, not e-mail.
Please be aware that this might change soon this year so keep yourself posted by checking the NSW Service website or whatever other State.
Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page…
I’ll read ya!