How would you like to spend a year in Australia? What if you could finish that year with more money than when you started?
With a 462 visa, you can do both. This visa allows you to live in Australia for a year, with permission to work.
With a minimum wage of 18.93 Australian dollars (14 USD) an hour, Australia is a great place to make money. And once you’ve saved up some funds, you can use the rest of your visit to explore the country.
So how does this visa work?
Read on and learn everything you need to know.
The Australian government puts strict restrictions on who can apply for a 462 visa. Most importantly, you have to have a valid passport from one of 23 countries. Luckily, the United States makes the list.
You must also be between the ages of 18 and 31 on the day you apply.
From there, the requirements get more specific.
- You need to have enough money to support yourself during your visit to Australia (around 5,000 Australian dollars or $3,700).
- You need to meet certain health requirements; they may ask you to take a health exam.
- You need to be well-behaved. They may ask you for a police certificate from any of the countries in which you’ve lived for at least 12 months at any point in the last 10 years.
- You can’t have any outstanding debt to the Australian government.
- You must meet certain educational requirements. If you’re a US citizen, you must have a high school diploma.
If you meet all the requirements, go ahead and apply. But remember…
Applying for a 462 Visa Isn’t Free
The fee for applying for a Work and Holiday visa is 450 Australian dollars (about $334). But that doesn’t include credit card fees and other processing fees. So, expect to pay closer to $365.
American Citizens Must Apply Online
If you’re an American citizen, you can’t apply for your visa with paperwork. You have to apply through the website of the Australian government. Read more here.
The only exception is if you have a child under the age of 18. In which case, you’ll need to contact the Australian Department of Home Affairs
You won’t hear back right away. But you shouldn’t have to wait too long. 75% of 462 visas are processed in 34 days, while 90% are processed in 80 days.
Approval Isn’t Guaranteed
Not everyone who applies for a Work and Holiday Visa receives one. Each of the 23 countries on the list has an annual quota.
The visa year starts on July 1, so apply in July or August if you want to guarantee a spot.
If You’re Approved, When Does Your Stay Begin?
If you’re approved, you will be allowed to travel to Australia any time within a year of the approval date. Once you enter the country, your visa period begins.
You can enter and leave Australia as many times as you want, but your visa will expire exactly one year after it began.
If you don’t enter Australia within a year of the approval date, your visa expires.
What Can You Do During Your Visit?
The primary purpose of the Work and Holiday visit, is as the name implies, to work and vacation for a year.
The Australian government doesn’t necessarily want you to work the entire time, so they restrict you to a six month period with each employer. That doesn’t mean you can’t work longer, but you’ll need to find a different job.
In addition to working, you can study for up to four months during your visit. Your work and study time don’t have to be continuous. For example, you could study for one month, then take some time off to travel, and then study for three months.
You Can Apply for a Second 462 Visa
Under certain conditions, you can apply for a second Work and Holiday visa. But those conditions are pretty specific, so take note if you think you’ll want to stay for longer than a year.
To be eligible for a second visa, you’ll need to spend at least three months of your visit working in an approved industry in Northern Australia.
Approved industries are:
- Fishing and pearling
- Tree farming and felling
- Plant and animal agriculture
You don’t have to work continuously for three months, but you must work for a total of three months. And the work must be paid. Volunteering doesn’t count.
Head to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website to find a list of postal codes that count as Northern Australia.
If you think you’ll want to apply for a second visa, make sure you find work early. Don’t wait until the last few months and risk unforeseen circumstances preventing you from completing the work.
Go to Harvest Trail for a directory of agriculture jobs in Australia. But note that not all the jobs on that site will count toward your second visa.
There is no quota on second 462 visas, so they’re generally easier to get, as long as you meet the requirements.
It’s Different Than the Working Holiday Visa
You may have heard of the Working Holiday visa. The 462 visa is very similar. The major difference is that the Working Holiday visa applies to a different set of countries and has less strict requirements.
Apply Today (or Next July)
The 462 visa provides a great opportunity to live and work in a foreign country, without breaking the bank. If you’re under 31, apply soon. You wouldn’t want to miss this chance.
Remember, applying in July or August gives you the best chance of acceptance.
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