Working Holiday or Tourist Visa In Australia?

Working Holiday Visa or Tourist Visa In Australia Gap Year Adventures in Australia Work and Holiday Visa in Australia

Working Holiday or Tourist Visa In Australia?

Let me start by acknowledging the obvious: if you’re planning your trip to Australia with Sydney Gap Year, obtaining a visa is an essential requirement for entry into the country.

Visas are the gateway to Australia.

Now, the question is, which visa should you choose: a working holiday visa or a tourist visa? Both options provide a wonderful opportunity to explore and experience the country. It’s important to note that visa eligibility may vary depending on the country that issued your passport. We highly recommend consulting with the Department of Immigration to ensure you meet the necessary requirements before making any bookings.

Now that we’ve covered the legal aspects, let’s dive into the comparison: should you opt for a working holiday or tourist visa in Australia?

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Who Can Get Each Visa?

A tourist visa is generally available to individuals from various countries who wish to visit Australia, although the specific visa classes may vary depending on the nation. For most European countries, the eVisitor visa (subclass 651) is applicable. This visa can be conveniently applied for online, either independently or with the assistance of our services.

Visitors from other regions, such as the Americas, will require a slightly different visa, but fret not—it is still a straightforward process. The Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601) is obtained through an online application, costs $20, and typically takes about a day to be processed. This visa applies to travelers from Canada and the United States, so make sure to consider it if you’re coming from either of these countries.

Also read: Regional Work in Australia – FAQs

When it comes to working holiday visas, there are a few differences. Once again, two visa options are available: the subclass 417 for most European countries (including Canada and Japan), and the subclass 462 for the United States and a few others. It is important to regularly check the complete list of eligible countries on the Immigration website to stay informed about any updates.

For the 417 visa, you can complete the online application form either before your arrival in Australia or while you’re already in the country (provided you have an eVisitor visa if applying from within Australia).

Do I have to Send My Passport Away or Have an Interview?

If you’ve dealt with the hassle of obtaining visas for other countries, such as the United States, you might be concerned that obtaining an Australian visa will be a lengthy process. Fear not, as the system is predominantly online and can be completed within a matter of days.

While you do have the option of visiting your nearest Australian embassy or immigration office or submitting a postal application, the online process is much easier and faster.

Each visa has specific requirements that must be met before you can apply, and a comprehensive list of required documents for each visa can be found on the Department of Immigration website. Once you have submitted your application, the visa confirmation should be issued within a few days. However, the Department of Immigration advises allowing up to four weeks for the application process, just to account for any unforeseen delays.

Once your application has been lodged, you will receive an email decision, and your visa will be electronically updated to your passport. There won’t be a physical visa sticker attached to your passport like in other countries. If you prefer, you can print a copy of your visa decision for your records, although it is not necessary for travel purposes.

How Long Are They?

A tourist visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to three months, while a working holiday visa offers a longer duration, typically at least a year. However, the specific length of the visa depends on the type you obtain.

The 417 visa provides a one-year stay, and if you complete three months of regional work, you can apply for a second-year visa. The 462 visa also offers this option. You have the flexibility to choose when to take your second year visa, whether immediately after your first year or anytime before you turn 31.

What Do They Let Me Do?

The primary distinction, apart from the duration of your stay, is the employment aspect. On a tourist visa, you are not permitted to work, whereas a working holiday visa allows you to work in Australia. As the name suggests, the working holiday visa enables you to engage in employment for up to six months with one employer. Additionally, you have the option to pursue studies for a maximum of four months if desired, regardless of your country of origin.

Another advantage of the working holiday visa is that it grants you multiple entries and exits to and from Australia throughout the visa period. In contrast, a tourist visa requires renewal each time you wish to leave and re-enter the country.

How Much Are They?

That’s a great question! The cost of visas can vary and is subject to change over time, so it’s difficult to provide an exact price.

For tourists from the European Union, the eVisitor visa is currently available free of charge if you apply for it directly. On the other hand, an ETA Visa costs $20.

Working holiday visas tend to be more expensive. If you choose to apply for the visa yourself on the Department of Immigration website, it currently costs $420. However, if you book your Sydney Gap Year trip with us, you can opt for the visa addon. This takes care of the hassle and paperwork for you, and the cost will be included in the overall package. Our experts will handle the visa process on your behalf, ensuring a smooth experience for you.

How Many Times Can I Get Them?

There is no limit to the number of tourist visas you can obtain, but it may raise suspicion if you frequently exit and re-enter the country every three months.

On the other hand, with a working holiday visa, you typically receive only one year unless you engage in regional work, which makes you eligible for a second year extension.

Regardless of the visa type, you have one year from the date of entry to enter the country, and once you enter, your visa period begins.

Which Visa Is Right For Me?

Your choice between a working holiday visa and a tourist visa in Australia depends on your specific goals and plans. If you’re looking to fully experience living and working in Australia for an extended period, then the working holiday visa is the way to go.

However, if you’re only planning to visit Australia for a couple of months as part of a round-the-world trip, then the tourist visa will be sufficient for your needs. And if you fall in love with Australia during your visit, you can always return later on a working holiday visa for a year or two.

It’s important not to waste the opportunity provided by a working holiday visa. If you’re only planning to stay in Australia for a short time, it may not be worth using a year-long visa. Consider the practicality of finding work in such a short timeframe. Just as someone coming to your home country for a month and expecting to work before moving elsewhere seems unlikely, it’s important to weigh your options and make an informed decision about how to make the most of your working holiday experience.

If you’ve got any other questions about your visa for Australia or about living and working in Australia in general, let us know by email, in the comments below or on Facebook!

Also read: Latest Working Holiday (subclass 417) Visa Arrangements for UK Passport Holders​

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