How to move to Australia with a Working Holiday Visa: a comprehensive guide

Hello hello! How are you all going? As you probably already know, or even if don’t, I looooove Australia and have been living here on and off for the past 8 years. In fact, Australia really changed my life! What started as a one year experience on a Working Holiday Visa, turned into a deep love and passion for this country to the point that I come back here every year.

I always try to sell the Australian adventure to everyone I meet because I do believe it’s something that can change your life or at least teach you something. Of course, moving to anew country and especially Australia is not easy. Unless you have incredible qualifications or work in a highly requested field, coming here to work is hard. Moreover, I hate to say this but the type of passport you hold determines which visas you can get and which ones not.

I feel extremely lucky and privileged to be able to hold an Italian passport because it can open me a lot of doors visa-wise. But I do know that this is not the same for everyone. This also applies to the Working Holiday Visa Scheme for Australia which is not available to every country.

I started my adventure down under with this visa so I decided to walk you through how to move to Australia with a Working Holiday Visa, how to apply for a Working Holiday Visa and everything else you need to know about it.

As I’m Italian and hold an Italian passport, I will focus more on this scenario but 95% of the criteria are the same for everyone. What can change depending on your nationality is which visa to apply and the age limit.

Understanding the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) Program

Australia’s Working Holiday Visa program offers an extraordinary opportunity for young individuals holding a passport from an eligible country to explore the Land Down Under while being able to work full time. The program is available for individuals aged 18 to 30 or 35 depending on your passport, making it an exciting option for anyone who is looking to broaden their horizons.

Anyone interested in applying for the Australia Working Holiday Visa must meet specific eligibility criteria, including age requirements, a valid passport, a clean criminal record, and proof of financial capacity. The first step is understanding these criteria, ensuring you meet them, and preparing the necessary documentation.

Finally, there are two different subclasses of Working Holiday Visa depending on where you are from.

Subclass 417 is available to people who hold a passport from one of these countries:

  • Belgium – 18 to 30 years
  • Canada – 18 to 35 years
  • Republic of Cyprus – 18 to 30 years
  • Denmark – 18 to 35 years
  • Estonia – 18 to 30 years
  • Finland – 18 to 30 years
  • France – 18 to 35 years
  • Germany – 18 to 30 years
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – 18 to 30 years
  • Republic of Ireland – 18 to 35 years
  • Italy – 18 to 35 years
  • Japan – 18 to 30 years
  • Republic of Korea – 18 to 30 years
  • Malta – 18 to 30 years
  • Netherlands – 18 to 30 years
  • Norway – 18 to 30 years
  • Sweden – 18 to 30 years
  • Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport) – 18 to 30 years
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including British National Overseas passport holders) – 18 to 35 years

While subclass 462 is for people holding a passport from these countries:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • China, People’s Republic of
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Papua New Guinea (PNG)
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Türkiye
  • Uruguay
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam

For this subclass the age limit is 30 years old for every country.

Eligibility criteria and requirements for the Australian Working Holiday Visa

The main criteria to focus on when applying for the Australian Working Holiday Visa is the age limit. Depending on your passport country, this visa might be available to people aged 18 to 30 or 18 to 35.

If you are an Italian citizen, aged 18 to 35, you can apply for the Working Holiday Visa to Australia subclass 417. However, beyond age, it’s essential to understand and meet the specific eligibility criteria outlined by the Australian government like:

  • Having a clean criminal record;
  • Meeting Australia’s health requirement;
  • Being able to financially support yourself until you can find a job in Australia;
  • Not had a visa cancelled or refused.

However, for the most accurate and up-to-date information on eligibility and requirements, you should refer to the official Australian immigration website (Australian Immigration Website).

How to apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa

Applying for the Working Holiday Visa is a relatively straightforward process.

The first step is to create an account on the official immigration website. You might find online services that will do it for you for a fee but I don’t recommend using them. You are going to waste money on something that’s very easy to do and can do for free (except for the actual visa fee).

Once you have created your immiaccount, gather the required documents and head over to the 417 WHV page and click on Apply now. Simply follow the steps and fill out all the information required. Remember to always be truthful about your current situation and your past. Never try to hide information from Australian immigration because they can and will find out the true and this can prevent you from ever coming into the country.

Once you have filled out everything, pay the visa fee which is currently AUD635.00 (386 Euros) and submit it. You will then receive notifications about the status of your application, and once approved, you can start planning your Australian adventure.

Arriving in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa – The first things to do

Benvenuti in Australia! Quick tip if you are looking for a more affordable way to reach the country: check out Scoot Airline! Scoot is a low cost carrier of Singapore Airlines and oftentimes they fly from Athens to Sydney for a veeery cheap price! I’ve been flying with them for the past 4-5 years and last two times I came to Australia I only paid 330 Euros for a one way ticket!

However, being a low cost carrier means that you have to pay if you want to check in your bag, have food, entertainment and such but other than that, the planes are new and safe and I have never had an issue with them. If you can, give Scoot a go!

Upon arrival, there are a few things you need to take care of in order to ensure a smooth transition into your new Australian life. This includes setting up a local bank account, obtaining a Tax File Number (TFN), getting a sim card and finding a place to live.

Getting an Australian SIM card:

If you want to get an Australian SIM card before coming here and have a phone that supports eSIMs then I highly recommend you go with Amaysim. It’s affordable, you can upgrade or downgrade plan whenever you want and you can get a free eSIM straight away!

Opening an Australian bank account:

To open a bank account in Australia you would need to do it when you get here. There are a few banks to choose from but the main ones are Commonwealth Bank, NAB, ANZ and Westpac. Not all of them accept WHV but I suggest you go with Commonwealth because it’s the biggest and the one I used when working here. You can also open a free Wise account which gives you the possibility of getting Australian bank details or convert your currency into AUD with very low fees!

How to request the Tax File Number (TFN):

The Tax File Number is a number unique to you that you will need to pay your taxes. It’s very easy to apply for it, it’s free but you can only do it once you are in the country. You will also need an address which can be the one of your accommodation. To apply for an Australian Tax File Number simply click on this link, then apply online and follow the instructions.

How to find an accommodation in Australia

Securing accommodation is a really important once you have settled into Australia. The country is filled with hostels or hotels which are perfect for your first weeks here. Some hostels also offer weekly rates if you decide to live there.

However, if you want to find your own place consider using online platforms like Gumtree, Flatmates, or Facebook groups. Personally, I used and found places to live on all of these platforms so it shouldn’t be too hard. If they ask you for a bond, make sure to get a signed documents and don’t give it in cash unless you really know and trust the person.

Navigating Australian culture and lifestyle

Australia has a unique and beautiful culture, and I truly recommend you try to learn more of it, understand local customs and try to avoid looking for people from your own country at first. Personally, for the first 6 months of me living here I didn’t meet nor looked for any Italians and this helped me tremendously. I made some incredible Aussie friends, improved my English and found a job at an Australian company.

Explore the diverse cuisine, participate in community events, and familiarize yourself with Aussie slang. Building connections with locals will not only enrich your stay but also provide insights into the vibrant Australian way of life.

Feel free to check out these other blog posts about life in Australia:

How to find a job in Australia

Finding a job can be a tiring but in Australia there’s usually no shortage of it. If you have experience or want to find a job in a specific field, then create a profile on popular job platforms like Seek or Indeed. If you are looking at opportunities in hospitality, agriculture, tourism, or other sectors then it might be better to pop into a place and leave them your resume. Facebook groups are also super helpful in finding a job. You can also attend local events and meetups to connect with potential employers.

Exploring Australia

While work is a significant component of the working holiday experience, you should not overlook the opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes and vibrant cities that Australia has to offer. Plan weekend getaways, visit iconic landmarks like the Sydney Opera House and the Great Barrier Reef, and immerse yourself in the unique wildlife and natural wonders.

This country is filled with so many incredible paces to explore and make sure to also visit places outside big cities (Exploring Australia’s country towns: Parkes travel guide).


Embarking on a Working Holiday Visa journey to Australia is a remarkable opportunity for personal and professional growth. By understanding the requirements and embracing the local culture, you can make the most of their time Down Under.

From finding a job to exploring the vast landscapes, Australia has much to offer those seeking adventure and enrichment. Get ready for an unforgettable experience, and don’t forget to apply for your Working Holiday Visa on the official Australian immigration website! Safe travels and enjoy every moment of your Australian adventure.

I really hope that you found this comprehensive guide on how to move to Australia with a Working Holiday Visa helpful! I know it can be a bit stressful having to navigate so many new things in a new country and in a different language! Don’t let fear or anxiety stop you from trying this incredible experience and I’m always here if you need more answers!

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