Moving to Australia
Moving to Australia? I recently moved to Australia as my new home base (note: however at this moment in time i am unsure how long i will stay in Australia). I thought i would share some tips, things you need to consider, and information for you if you are looking to move here on a Working Holiday visa.
Chances are, if you are reading this you are someone looking to do a working holiday in Australia. The Working Holiday Visa program is a very popular means to both experience life working in Australia and allows you time to travel.
The visa itself will set you back around $420AUD. You will have to fill out a questionnaire online. You need to be aged between 18-30, have no children and have at least 6 months validity remaining on your passport after your proposed return to your home country.
Applying yourself online is relatively straightforward, however if you want some support and guidance through the process, travel agencies such as S.T.A Travel can arrange the visa for you for around $670AUD.
The Australian Government recommends you have $5000AUD to support yourself in the initial period before you settle in and find a job. You don’t need to have your return flight booked.
I have not heard of anyone getting their bank statement checked for proof of these funds, however Australian immigration do have the right to refuse you entry to those who refuse to present their bank statement when asked.
The Working Holiday visa is valid for 12 months and allows you to work a range of different job types such as full time, part time, casual and voluntary. The visa also allows you to leave and re-enter Australia any number of times during the 12 months. So while you are in Australia, you can save some money and then visit nearby countries (like New Zealand, Indonesia, Fiji, etc) if you wish.
You can check your eligibility here – http://www.australiaworkingholidayvisas.co.uk/eligability-test.html
For more information about the Working Holiday visa, applying and requirements see http://www.australia.com/en/planning/working-holiday-visa.html
It is an important thing to consider when moving abroad and traveling. I always use World Nomads travel insurance. They offer a full coverage, including medical, emergency, loss of belongings, damaged luggage, cancellations etc. You can purchase a whole year of travel insurance to cover you not only for Australia but the whole world. I mean, it is called World Nomads after all.
Purchasing is easy to do online and you can purchase it anywhere in the world (you don’t need to be in your home country). They have a 24 hour helpline, as well as an online chat service. You can also make claims online.
Getting to Australia
Australia is kind of a long distance from other countries, especially Europe and the U.S.A – two very popular nationalities to live and work in Australia. Finding a cheap flight might be difficult, however be sure to check out low cost carriers such as JetStar, or Air Asia for connections via Asia.
I recently flew with China Southern Airlines from Istanbul to Melbourne, which was a pleasant and enjoyable trip with an overnight stop over in Guangzhou (in China, near Hong Kong).
Here are some helpful cheap flight finding websites:
So you have your visa sorted, plane is booked and now you are left wondering what you need to do next. If you are arriving in Sydney or Melbourne and wish to stay there, you can start looking for hostels on hostel world.com. If you are arriving in high season, or at a time when there is a major event happening in your arrival city, then it is very wise to prebook your hostel before you land in Australia.
Once you arrive at the hostel you can then make your next move. There are a number of hostels in most cities that offer a work exchange for accommodation. If you want to consider that it is best to contact the hostel directly once you arrive.
If you enjoy the city you are in and decide you want to live there, then start looking at rooms and apartments to rent. If you have made some friends in the hostel who are also looking to stay, then why not have a look for rentals on GumTree.com.au.
If you are looking for just your own room there are plenty of rooms for rent advertised on websites such as Gum Tree by other backpackers, travels and young locals.
GumTree always has a range of privately advertised rentals, share houses and rooms available to rent. The benefit of using GumTree and private rentals is that you can rent without a contract. So no need to have to commit for a full year of renting at the one house.
Other share house and room rental websites in Australia that are work checking out are
Flatmates.com – https://flatmates.com.au/
For more information about renting in Australia
Mobile Sim Card
You will need a phone number to apply for jobs and of course to contact those new backpacker friends you made in the hostel.
On arrival it is very easy to purchase a prepaid sim. Any of the supermarkets, mobile stores and a variety of other stores sell these. You do not need ID or any documents to purchase. When you set up the sim, you will be required to enter your details, name, address etc, and this is usually done online.
There are a large range of prepaid plans to choose from, here are just a few:
Vodafone $30 – 30 days – Infinite national calls and text, 1.5 GB data
Optus $40 – 28 days – Infinite national calls and text, 10GB data
Telstra $30 – 28 days – $700 call credit, infinite national texts, 2.6GB data
*It is important to note that many rural areas only have Telstra and Optus service. For more information about the range of phone companies, plans and pre-paid options you can see whistleout.com.au/Compare-Prepaid-Mobile-Phone-Plans
Tax File Number
If you are going to be working in Australia, you will need an Australian Tax File Number. Employers will request this before you start working. This is easy to obtain.
Here is a link to the Tax File Number Australia application form:
You will also need an Australian bank account in order to be paid once you begin working. To open a bank account you will need to show ID such as your passport, license, credit card, a utility bill or rental receipt. If you think you might be working in capital city then you have a wider range of bank companies to choose from.
However, if you plan on living in more regional or rural cities then choosing one of the ‘Big 4’ banks will ensure there is an A.T.M of your chosen bank in the city (to avoid A.T.M charges). However, almost all retail and trade stores offer EPTOS services.
The ‘Big 4’ banks are:
Westpac (Westpac Banking Corporation)
N.A.B (National Australia Bank)
Commonwealth (Commonwealth Bank of Australia)
For more information about comparing bank accounts and companies in Australia check outinfochoice.com.au/banking/bank-account/comparison/
So your in a hostel (or share house), have your sim card, bank account and tax file number – and you’re feeling pretty aussie right now. If you don’t plan on travelling first and want to start working before you explore Australia, then its job search time. Looking for work can be done online, networking at hostels and in person.
It is common for backpackers working in Australia to spend some time working in a rural area. This is a great experience allowing travellers to see parts of Australia they might not normally travel to.
If you wish to apply for a second year Working Holiday Visa (so stay in Australia for 2 years), then you must have completed a set amount of time working in a rural location (88 days).
Rural jobs that backpackers can do include:
Fruit picking, packing
Fishing or pearling
The most popular is by far fruit picking and farm hand work (assisting on a farm with crop or livestock).
If you plan on working at a venue that serves or sells alcohol then you will need a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate (RSA). These are different in some states. For example, if you get your RSA for Victoria but then wish to move to Queensland – you will need another seperate RSA valid for Queensland. (W.A, Q.L.D, S.A and N.T all have the same certification. N.S.W and Vic both have their own).
These courses are simple to complete, and can be done in person at a training organisation (normally a group class taking a couple of hours) or online.
The same situation applies to those wishing to work in venues with gaming machines and casinos. To do so you will need a Provide Responsible Gambling Services certificate.
I have completed an RSA and RSG through Galaxy Training online. The course was straight forward, with an easy to navigate website and allows you to sign in and out if you do not wish to complete the course in one sitting.
However, this combined course takes under one hour – so its easy enough to just register, complete and pay to received your certificates immediately through email. The combined RSA & RSG cost $35.
Where to find jobs
Of course you can approach business with your resume and cover letter, introduce yourself and let them know you are keen and available. If you wish to take a look at the types of jobs available and apply online, then check out some of the job search websites below.
Gumtree – www.gumtree.com.au
Seek – www.seek.com.au
Australian Backpacker Jobs Board – http://www.backpackerjobboard.com.au
Indeed – http://au.indeed.com/
Fruit Picking Jobs Australia – www.fruitpickingjobs.com.au/
Harvest Trail Job Search – https://jobsearch.gov.au/harvesttrail
Jobs 4 Travellers – http://www.jobs4travellers.com.au
Travelling around Australia – Transport
Long Distance Coach Companies
If you are looking to travel Australia’s east coast or Uluru then the cheapest option is the Greyhound coach company. The popular hop-on-hop-off pass is a great option, allowing you to choose a start and end destination and are able to stop off as many tips as you like along the way for just one price.
Flying is another cheaper option when considering flying in and out of capital cities. Carriers such as TigerAir and Jetstar are low cost carriers offering flights to many capital and regional cities. Australia’s national carrier is Qantas – however they are usually more expensive.
Other airlines operating in Australia are Virgin Australia, Sky West (Perth), Rex (regional flights), Air North (Darwin). However – the best option, in terms of price and frequency are Tiger Air and Jetstar.
Camper Van Hires
A very affordable means of traveling around Australia is too hire a camper van. This allows you the freedom to go where you want when you want, and also saves you money on accommodation as you sleep in the camper van.
Australia is very well set up to this style of travel, with toilet blocks, public showers and rest stops for camper vans, caravans and long distance truck drivers.
Travel tips and attractions in Australia
For more information on taking a road trip (yes in a hire camper van) in Australia, see Road Trips In Australia – $1 Rentals, Food, Equipment and Budget Saving Tips.
As always, i hope this post has been helpful if you are thinking of coming to Australia for the Working Holiday visa. Happy and safe travels and much love from Australia xx jasmine
*A big thank you to my sister Courtney for allowing me to use her photos of rural Australia in this article. Love you.