So you have decided to move to Australia. Great!
We have put together this complete working holiday visa Australia checklist.
We went through the process ourselves of moving to Australia not so long ago and decided to help you with this ‘Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist’.
After you obtain your visa and book your flights, there are still few other things you need to think of before you get on a plane.
Although it is a fascinating time, packing your bags and saying goodbye to all your friends, you need to know what to do before and after you arrive.
We have outlined each point in detail below, and you can click on any to bring you directly to that section:
Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Before moving to Australia – Working holiday visa Australia checklist:
When you arrive in Australia – Working holiday visa Australia checklist:
- Transfer money to Australia – We recommend CurrencyFair, and you can get your first five transfers for free with this link.
Documents To Take – The Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist:
Valid passport – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
You probably know that already: your passport is the one most important thing to take.
If you had to obtain a new passport after your visa was granted, you have to notify the Australian Government.
You have two options to update your passport details, and you can find more information here.
Granted visa – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Keep in mind your visa is only valid for 12 months after being granted.
The Australian working holiday visa allows you to stay for 12 months from the day you enter the country.
Although your visa is linked electronically to your passport, it might be a good idea to take a copy of your granted permit.
When arriving at the airport, just show your passport to the officer.
You generally won’t receive a visa label placed in your passport unless the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) specifies so.
If you travel through Sydney airport, you can obtain visa sticker there or at any Australian Immigration Office if required.
Proof of sufficient funds – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
The Australian government requires you to have adequate funds to support yourself in the country.
At the border, you might be asked to prove that you have AUD 5 000 to support yourself.
The good thing is that you do not need to hold return air ticket home, but you must have enough funds to purchase one.
Bring some AUS $ in cash – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Make sure to order some Australian currency before your trip and have the cash handy after landing at the airport.
We do not recommend taking a lot of cash, but enough to get you through the first few days in Australia.
Have about $500 with you (anything above that could be risky), in case you need to pay a taxi driver or for the accommodation.
We booked an Airbnb for the first few nights in Australia. If you are new to Airbnb here’s $54 discount off your first stay. Enjoy.
Also, read our guide on five essential tips for booking your first Airbnb.
Have appropriate travel insurance – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Although it is not required to have a proof of travel insurance at the border (unlike moving to Canada), it is wise to have one.
Medical treatment can be expensive in the country. Therefore there is no question about whether you should buy travel insurance before leaving home.
Some countries have a reciprocal agreement, but they won’t cover you if you have bad flu and need to visit a doctor.
To find countries participating in the reciprocal agreement go to the Australian Government website here.
Unlock your mobile phone – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
It might be something you won’t think of first, but once you land in Australia, you will quickly learn that you need your phone and data.
Make sure to unlock your phone before getting on the plane as it will make your transition just a bit easier.
Drivers licence and/or international drivers licence rules in Australia – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Australia drivers licence rules vary from state to state.
Some states allow you to drive on your foreign license for the first three months, others aren’t as strict, and you can drive on it as long as it’s valid.
Depending if you are going to WA, NSW, QLD, etc., different rules will apply and to find out up to date regulations go here.
Have copies of all essential documents – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Things do happen, and it’s best to have copies (best certified) of all relevant documents.
Make sure to take pictures/copies of your passport, drivers licence, government documents you are taking with you.
Always keep copies separate to your original documents in case they get lost or stolen.
Things To Do After You Land In Australia – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist:
Get a Tax File Number – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
You can apply online for a TFN after arriving in Australia.
All you need is your valid passport, and the ATO will verify your details with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) records.
After you apply, your TFN will arrive within 28 days to the Australian address you have provided.
You can start a job while waiting for your Tax File Number.
Open a bank account – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
It will probably be your priority to open your bank account with the best bank in Australia and start using it.
We went with the Commonwealth Bank, but there are many other great options out there.
It is very straightforward to get a bank account, and many banks will give you the option to open an account before you arrive.
Don’t wait too long with opening your account after arriving as having an account makes everything much more manageable.
Visit your preferred bank website to find out more and get started.
We do recommend to shop around first as many banks do ‘no monthly fee’ promotions for newcomers.
Transfer funds from home account to your new bank account – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
After you choose the best bank in Australia, you are probably looking at the best way to transfer your money.
We went through the same process and made the biggest mistake of just transferring our funds between accounts.
The banks overcharged us in fees and exchange rates for over $500.
Again, there are other money transfer companies which we have examined carefully in the International Money Transfer Guide.
Set up Superannuation account – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Earning more than AU$450 a month on a Working Holiday Visa in Australia?
Great, your employer will contribute an amount equal to 9% of your wage into a superannuation account for you.
After your WHV comes to an end, you can access your contributions, although the money will be taxed.
It is a good idea to set up superannuation account yourself; if you don’t specify it to your employer, you most likely will end up with multiple accounts.
If you have multiple jobs, make sure to ask your employers to contribute to a super account specified by you.
Do not forget to claim the money after your visa expires (your visa must be terminated or cancelled to apply).
Get Australian phone number – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Once you land in the country, you will quickly realise that you need to get an Australian phone number.
There is many ‘pay as you go’ options out there.
When deciding on the phone provider, we recommend making sure that you will have coverage in the place you are going to.
Many outback areas have insufficient coverage, and only Telstra works there.
Begin job hunt – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Depending on the city you are going to, employment options vary. We do recommend to apply for any job first to keep the $$$ coming.
We have spent the first eight months in Perth, and it took a month of constant interviews to get ‘a’ job (nothing fancy).
In Melbourne, we got good jobs within the first week. Obviously, bigger city = more opportunities.
If you are looking for a hospitality job first, make sure to sign up with as many agencies as possible.
Pinnacle People, Spotless, Hays Recruitment, etc., they all have contracts with big hotels, restaurants, offices and you can have a full-time job with them.
Keep in mind all hospitality jobs require RSA certificate (Responsible Service of Alcohol) and each state has different rules on how to obtain it.
Make sure your CV/resume is relevant to the job you are applying for.
To help you started, you may like to see the 101 Things We Wish Had Known Before Moving To Australia.
Begin flat hunting – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Whether you are planning to settle in one place or keep moving around, you will need some accommodation.
Hostels can be great for the first few weeks, but after a while, you will probably be sick of them.
Gumtree is a great option to find an apartment or a room.
If you are looking to rent out an apartment, keep in mind that most leases are minimum for a year and apartments come unfurnished.
You are also required to put down months rent upfront with deposit. Therefore the best option might be renting out a room in an apartment or a house.
Australia is also popular for housesitting (mainly in rural areas though) so keep this in mind.
Airbnb can be handy if you aren’t on a tight budget and looking for a convenient start.
Get a Myki card – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
Myki applies to public transport in Melbourne; Sydney has Opal, Go Card is in Brisbane.
Depending on where you are, different cards are in various cities.
If you are for example in Melbourne, you can go to 7/11 or Spar shop and ask for a Myki card.
You can top it up at most tram stops. The card is convenient and is the only way you can pay your fare on public transportation.
Get a YHA membership card – Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist
The card gives you 10% discount on the accommodation.
The YHA fee is currently at $15 for a yearly membership but is worth it if you are going to move between places and stay at hostels.
You don’t have to be an Australian resident or anything like that to get it.
Book one of the YHA hostels, and once you get there, you can pick the card up after paying the fee.
We do hope that this Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist will help you with getting settled easier in Australia.
Please feel free to comment with any questions or recommendations on the Working Holiday Visa Australia Checklist.
Make sure to check out our favourite article on 101 Things We Wish Had Known Before Moving To Australia.