Australian Working Holiday Myths

Australian Working Holiday Myths

So, you’re considering a working holiday visa in Australia?! That’s a fantastic decision, but let’s not get discouraged by the numerous myths surrounding Australian working holiday visas!

You may have come across stories from distant acquaintances or hearsay from the past that seem to hold some truth about certain aspects of the visa. However, it’s important not to rely on the grapevine for accurate information (the grapevine tends to spread misinformation!). Everything you need to know about the working holiday visa can be found on our website or by simply asking one of our team members!

At Working Holiday Guide, we’re here to debunk all the myths surrounding the working holiday visa. We’ll provide you with the facts and clear up any misconceptions that might be floating around.

The Government Are About to Update the Visa So It’s Two Years Automatically

This is the dream but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon.

By completing your farm work, you can stay for a second year visa, but the government has no plans to update the visa regulations so the 417 visa is an automatic two year visa.

The Government continues to update the countries that can apply for a working holiday visa (Poland and Uruguay, welcome to the club!) and the visa may change in the future but it isn’t on the immediate horizon.

Keep your eyes peeled on the Department of Immigration website though, all changes will be announced there.

I Can Get More Than One Visa

ONLY if you do the farm work!

If you don’t want to do the farm work, then you’re limited to just one where working holiday visas are concerned.

With 3 months of regional work completed, you are eligible to apply for the same visa again to be used straight off the back of your first one or any time before you turn 31.

Government proposals hope to change this by allowing backpackers to take one working holiday visa before they turn 25 and another after but this is still in early stages though so isn’t on the cards for the near future.

If I Claim My Superannuation, I Can’t Come Back To Australia

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of superannuation, it essentially refers to a pension fund where your employer contributes 12% of your wages on your behalf. The amount is deducted from your salary and deposited into a designated account that you cannot access immediately. While it’s a beneficial system if you plan on retiring in Australia, it can be inconvenient for those on a working holiday.

However, there’s no need to worry! When your visa expires and you leave the country, you have the option to apply for a refund of your superannuation. Some people mistakenly believe that closing their superannuation account prevents them from returning to Australia, but this is not the case.

By law, employers are obligated to make contributions to your superannuation account. If you come back to Australia on a different visa that permits you to work, you are free to open a new superannuation account and resume working. Just ensure that your visa allows for employment, and you’ll be all set to start earning again!

Also read: Changes to Backpacker Tax in Australia

I’m only a Backpacker, I won’t pay tax

That’s not entirely accurate. While it’s true that you will pay taxes when working in Australia, you have the opportunity to claim them back at the end of the tax year.

When you join us at Sydney Gap Year/Melbourne Gap Year upon arriving in Australia, we’ll assist you with the essential tasks before you start working, such as setting up a bank account and helping you apply for a tax file number (TFN). For UK citizens, the TFN is similar to the National Insurance number, and for US citizens, it is similar to the social security number.

Having a tax file number not only grants you the right to work in Australia but also ensures you are on a lower tax bracket. Without a TFN, you will be subject to a higher tax rate of approximately 50% for the first month of work. That’s definitely not desirable!

Once you have obtained your tax file number, your tax rate will decrease to around 29% (depending on your earnings). As mentioned earlier, at the end of the tax year in July, you can claim back a portion, if not all, of the taxes you paid, depending on your income level.

Got any more questions? Get in touch with us and we’ll do our best to help you out!

Also read: Getting Your Tax Return When Leaving Australia

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