Tips for Working Holiday Makers
It’s that time of year when working holiday makers start arriving in Australia to escape the winter cold of the Northern Hemisphere, ready to enjoy all Australia has to offer.
Here are some tips to prepare for your trip:
Important Documents Before you leave, ensure you take certified copies and scanned copies of important documents. More often than not working holiday makers decide to stay on in Oz and then find it difficult to track down the supporting visa documentation they need from back home. Ensure you have certified copies of your passport, birth certificate, qualifications, transcripts, work licences and employment references. The Department of Immigration may request further evidence of employment such as payslips or taxation documentation. It is easier to get your hands on these documents before you leave.
Banking The Big 4 banks (ANZ, Commbank, NAB and Westpac) provide migration banking services to assist you to open a bank account from overseas. You can transfer money ahead of your arrival. Your bank statement can then be used as proof of address for rental applications.
Accommodation There are many options for hostel stays or shared rental accommodation in Australia. Rental agencies will usually require at least one month payment deposit to be held as a bond and one month of rent in advance. Ensure you budget and bring references with you if possible. You can search accommodation types on Domain.com.au, Realestate.com.au, Gumtree and various Facebook pages.
Most Australian properties are unfurnished. They will usually have a cooker/stove but no other appliances e.g. fridge/freezer. However there are many websites where you can source cheap second-hand furniture and appliances as other backpackers move on.
Tax All workers in Australia require a Tax File Number (TFN). You are only ever issued with one TFN so it is important that you keep a record. The application process is very simple see www.ato.gov.au. Register immediately to avoid paying emergency tax. From 1 January 2017, as a working holiday maker the first $37,000 of your income is taxed at 15%, with the balance taxed at ordinary rates.
Your Visa Understand your visa conditions. Your Working Holiday Visa is valid for 12 months from initial date of entry to Australia. The visa allows you to study for up to four months.
As a Working Holiday Visa holder you can generally only work six months with one employer. If you are granted a second Working Holiday Visa you can return to an employer that you worked for on your first visa for a further six months.
Ensure you abide by the conditions of your visa. If in doubt, seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent. Overworking can lead to visa issues should you decide you want to stay in Oz.
Work Search for jobs on Gumtree, seek.com.au, indeed.com.au and Facebook. Sign up with various recruiters. You need to be proactive. Australia welcomes thousands of working holiday makers per year, you want your experience and CV to stand out.
If you intend doing bar work you will need a Responsible Service of Alcohol Certificate (RSA). There are many providers online.
If you work in a licenced trade, such as an Electrician, you may need a provisional licence.
Once you start work ensure you keep copies of your payslips and taxation documentation.
Think Ahead If you plan on applying for a 2nd Working Holiday Visa you will need to complete 3 months of specified work in a regional area while holding your first Working Holiday Visa. Check out https://jobsearch.gov.au/harvest Do not leave your seasonal work to the last minute. Our office receives frantic calls weekly as people fail to plan ahead. Consider undertaking your seasonal work in the cooler months – Australia gets hot, hot, hot!
Once you have your 2nd Working Holiday Visa you have peace of mind. You may decide to extend your stay in Australia with a work visa and should have plenty of time to then find a suitable employer and gather your application together for a 457 visa.