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I was a little intimidated when I began researching Australia’s Working Holiday visa. I suppose it’s just “official” government processes that make me intimidated but it’s actually an easy process. If you’re American, you can apply online and it is very easy.

*Disclaimer: please refer to the Australian Immigration website for full information. This is meant only to provide an account of my experience!*

The application process:

  1. Gather your passport, credit card etc
  2. Create an online account at https://online.immi.gov.au/lusc/login
  3. Take 20 minutes and begin the application. If there is something that stumps you, just save and come back to it later.
  4. If you have questions, call for help! It will take some searching but there is an actual phone number that you can call to ask questions and speak with a human.
  5. Complete the application and hit submit!
  6. Pay for your application – it cost me about $350USD.
  7. Wait for a response… It took only 8 hours for me to receive an email with my visa approval information!

Notes:

  • You should only need to provide medical documents if you are randomly selected. I did not have to provide any medical documents during or after the application process.
  • You do not need to have medical insurance coverage for Australia prior to lodging your application. In fact, I was not even asked for proof of insurance upon arriving to Australia (but I do have a plane thru Cigna for about $130USD/mo for emergency medical and repatriation).
    I did not have to provide proof of funds while applying for the visa (I was not asked upon arrival either, but I was prepared to show bank statements).
  • There is supposed to be an annual limit to the number of visas approved per country. I happened to apply in the first week of January just by happenstance, but I would recommend applying early in the year.
  • You have 12 months to enter Australia once your visa is granted. Once you enter Australia, you have 12 months to stay in country (if you leave and come back you do not get extra time).
  • I only booked a one-way ticket and I was not asked to show an one ward flight upon arrival.

***I believe the process varies depending on your country of citizenship. I am from USA***

Arrival to Australia:

When I stepped of the plane in Melbourne, customs divided the lines by country. U.S. citizens went to the left with a couple of other countries (I believe it was the UK and at least one other, sorry I don’t remember which) and all others went to the right. That path lead to an electronic system which took a photograph of you before passing through gate. Very modern! Australia is quite impressive with its systems, I have to say. The next area was the baggage claim. I picked up my bag and then I stood in a short line with all of my documentation (immigration card, visa information, bank statement showing proof of funds, proof of insurance). I handed the immi card and passport to the border patrol and was told to head thru a set of doors which turned out to be the exit. I turned around and thought, “oh, no! I’ve done something wrong, that was too easy and they didn’t even ask me for any of my information! Should I go back in?”

No, you don’t need to go back in or do anything else! I’ve spoken with countless people who had the same experience. Australia has their system down and it is quite streamlined. Too good to be true, so much so that I wanted someone to tell me that it was ok and that’s all I had to do. I got over that fast though! It was fine and I hopped on the bus to the CBD.

Comment if you have any questions!

***I believe the process is different for citizens of different countries.***

*Disclaimer: please refer to the Australian Immigration website for full information. This is meant only to provide an account of my experience!*

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