Okay, so you guys asked for it, so I’ll try to give you a guide of how to apply for a work and holiday visa in Australia.
I’ll try to keep it concise and factual, no fancy writing.
Here we go.
First of all, I highly recommend joining the Facebook group “Austrália – študuj, cestuj, pracuj” by https://www.informationplanet.sk/ who provide you with an in-depth guide of how to apply for the visa and will answer any questions that you might have, this is free!!
What you need:
Conditions when applying for work and holiday visa in Australia
(for Slovakia and Czech republic, UK is different!!!)
These are non-negotiable
1. Be more than 18 and less than 31 years old
2. Have a university degree
3. Have sufficient funds on your bank account (5000AUD which is 3145EUR) – you’ll be sending a bank statement to prove this
4. Haven’t applied for Work and Holiday visa before
5. Proof of competency in English language
6. Have a local (Ministerstvo vnutra Slovenskej republiky) government’s support letter for applying for the visa
– for this, you simply send a letter stating that you are interested in applying for the visa and you are asking for the government’s support;
– this is basically a proof that you are not a criminal etc.
– BUT crucial information is that each country (CZ or SK) can only give out 200 letters every year for the Australian work and holiday visa, so by sending the letter you are basically making sure that there is still a spot free for you, each year opens in July and runs until the spaces run out (I applied in January and still managed to get a spot though)
– I believe I received mine around two weeks after applying
– to find what this should exactly look like, go to the facebook group “files” Austrália – študuj, cestuj, pracuj
K žiadosti je ešte potrebné priložiť:
• písomné a vlastnoručne podpísané čestné vyhlásenie žiadatel´a, že má seriózny záujem zúčastniť sa Programu a že spl´ňa všetky podmienky na udelenie „462 Work and Holiday visa“,
• písomný a vlastnoručne podpísaný súhlas žiadatel´a so spracovávaním jeho/jej osobných údajov na účely Programu,
• notársky overenú fotokópiu platného cestovného pasu
Žiadosti je možné priniesť osobne alebo zaslať poštou na adresu: Odbor zahraničných vecí a európskych záležitostí Kancelária Ministra vnútra SR Ministersvo vnútra SR Pribinova 2 812 72 Bratislava
What you need to provide with the visa application
– photocopy of your passport
– 2 x passport sized photo
– Government’s support letter
– translated university diploma (bachelor’s is fine)
– English language certificate – IELTS (minimum 4.5 score) / TOEFL (minimum 32 points) / CAE (minimum 147 points) or University studied in English (my case)
– paid VISA fee – 440 AUD
I was still sending my visa application by post but since 2018 this is done online and I believe it’s though https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-462/first-work-holiday-462
If you meet all the conditions and send all the documents, there is no reason that your visa shouldn’t be granted. I think I got mine though email around 1 month after applying.
– you are granted visa immediately from the day you receive the email
– you have a year to enter Australia
– from the day you’ve entered Australia, you have a right to stay for a year
– you can only work for 1 employer for maximum 6 months
– you can study for up to 4 months
– you have a right to travel in and out of Australia how many times you want
Further to do list:
– buy flights!!! obviously, try to do this in advance, mine was around 500EUR I believe
– get an insurance for the year of travelling (I got mine through https://www.truetraveller.com/ and I think it was around 200EUR)
– get an international card that you can transfer money to (I have one from https://www.revolut.com/en-GR/)
– book a hostel (or some kind of accommodation for the first week or two after arriving)
When you get to Australia:
– get a SIM card (you can often buy these at the airport already)
– set up a bank account (this was fairly easy, just walk into any bank and tell them that’s what you want to do…you’ll also need some cash to put in)
– if you want to work in a place that serves alcohol in Australia, you’ll need to get your RSA (Responsible Serving of Alcohol) certificate, nobody will employ you unless you have it, so I’d suggest to do it within the first few days, mine was 50AUD and it is usually done in a day, lasts around 4 hours, there is a test at the end but it’s super easy, they really don’t want you to fail, you’ll get your certificate via email)
– get a card for public transport (“Myki” card in Melbourne, can be bought in most convenience stores)
When you’ve settled a little bit:
– start looking for a room in a flatshare
– there is Facebook groups and websites, I found https://flatmates.com.au/ the most useful
– if you’ve looked for a flat in the UK before, you know how it works, you browse the flats, message the ones you like, arrange a viewing, meet them, look at the flat, tell them whether you’re interested and then get it if they like you
– start looking for a job
– you can do this online or you can give out CVs, which is the best way, then you agree to do a trial shift and if they like you, they’ll employ you
Was it easy to find a job?
I personally landed on Friday morning and was already working on Saturday night.
But this depends LOADS on your experience, luck, the city you’re in and the type of job you’re looking for.
Generally, hospitality jobs (bars, cafes, restaurants) are easy to find in major cities (Melbs or Sydney) if you have experience and you’re good.
But I found that hospitality is very competitive here and they just expect you to be very good. (Aka don’t expect to get a barista job if you can’t do latte art).
Also, you’ll be probably employed as a “casual” employee which means you have no guaranteed hours so it might happen that if you’re not that great at your job, you might end up only working two days a week.
Also, beware that Australian “full-time” is usually only 30 hours a week and it will be a bit hard to get more hours.
I also want to stress that there is no point in trying to look for a job (or a flat) in advance, because they will want to see you, they want to talk to you, and if they want to employ you, they want to do it straight away. Don’t be scared and just do it when you get there.
Is it easy to find a room in a flat?
Obviously depends on the city as well but the flats go so fast here that you’ll often find an ad which was posted 3 hours ago and find that you’re the 15th person applying for it, get a viewing 2 days later but then get a message that the flat is taken already.
So you need to be on top of it and check them and message them and keep viewing the flats all the time.
The room that I finally got was the 5th flat I’ve viewed but I’ve messaged more than 50.
It took me a week to move out of the hostel into a flat but that was very quick.
You can also stay in a hostel for longer if you don’t want to rush that much though.
Rough price guide:
First of all the currency conversion at the moment is around 10AUD – 6.3EUR
Accommodation: (depends on location, city, the flat and million other things) but I would say expect to pay 200-250AUD per week on average in Melbourne. Similar or more expensive in Sydney.
Phone plan: 30-40AUD depending on how much data you need in your life, but bear in mind that they don’t have wifi everywhere in Australia as they do in Europe.
Transport: trams in Melbourne CBD are FREE but outside of city centre it’s 4.40AUD for a single fare or 8.80AUD for a day ticket; 30AUD for 7 days and 108AUD for a month
Prices of everyday things:
Coffee around 4AUD
Breakfast around 20AUD
A beer around 10AUD
A glass of wine around 15AUD
A bottle of wine around 65AUD
A cocktail 20-25AUD
A CrossFit membership 55-65AUD / week
A normal gym membership 20-30AUD / week
A swimming pool entry 6AUD
12 eggs – 4.5AUD
Greek yoghurt 1kg – 7AUD
A loaf of bread – 5 AUD
Chicken breast – 14AUD / kg
Almond milk – 1-3AUD
Bananas – 4AUD / kg
Sweet potatoes – 5AUD / kg
Small can of tuna – 1-3AUD
It all might sound a bit overwhelming but once you actually start looking into it, it’s pretty straightforward and way easier than it seems.
Any further questions, ask away.