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Deciding to move is the easy part – but working out all of the details isn’t. Here’s a rundown of what you might need to consider before jetting off to the other side of the world on a working holiday visa.

Visa Application

It might seem obvious, but applying for a visa well in advance is important. Many applicants leave it until the last minute before realising it can take a long time. The working holiday visa is a good option for young people as it enables them to live and work in Australia for up to a year. The easiest way to start the process is to sign up for your eligibility check here.

You need to be aware that the age limit for entering the country on a working holiday visa is 31. You can enter the country on any date within a year of the application being accepted as long as you are still below this age limit. You will also need to have a medical check prior to moving, so it’s important to bare this in mind.

Tax File Number

In order to work in Australia, you should have a tax file number. It’s not compulsory, but without one, you might have more tax withheld from you. Recruitment agencies will also request that you provide one. You can apply as soon as you arrive in Australia on the Government’s taxation website.

They will send your Tax File Number in the post, so you will need to give them a permanent address. If you are still staying in temporary accommodation, the best option is to have it sent to a friend’s address. The number will need to be set up within 12 months of a move.

Setting up a Bank Account

This is quick and easy and you can either set up when you arrive in Australia or from your home country. You will want to have your salary paid into a local account to avoid the expensive withdrawal charges your home bank will apply. The four main options are Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, ANZ and National Australia Bank. In order to activate online banking you will need a local phone number – which can be difficult to get until you’ve moved.

Mobile Phone

Setting up a tariff can be tricky. Some of the better deals involve signing you up for a longer period than you intend to be in the country, and all of the contract plans require you to demonstrate that you have a steady income stream before they will accept you.

The best way around this is to use PAYG for the first couple of months and then to call up and see if they can find you a deal once you’re employed.


Superannuation is a system of paying tax in Australia that doubles as a pension fund. When you apply for a job, you can select a default superannuation account for your ‘super’ to go into, but it’s far better to set up your own, especially if you think you will have a large number of different employers during your time in Australia.

You can opt for a super account that’s connected to your bank account, which makes it easy to track your super online along with your other account balances.

It’s worth noting that, when you leave Australia permanently, you can claim some of this money back, so it acts as a nice parting gift.

Job Hunting

The main issue is that the visa requirements stipulate that you can only work for 6 months for the same employer. This isn’t an issue if you are happy to take on temporary work but if you are looking for a better paid job they will be reluctant to take you on when they know they’ll have to go through the recruitment process again before too long.

SEEK is the best website for searching for specific jobs, but you should broaden the net by signing up with a number of recruitment agencies with admin and office support roles. Keep an open mind.

If you would rather do bar work, you will need to apply for an RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol) Certificate. They cost around $150 and can be completed in a day.

To apply for your visa eligibility check visit here.

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