How backpackers can find casual employment in Australia

Millions of young people worldwide dream to take at least one year off after they finish school to explore the world and decide upon a future career. Australia is a major attraction as it’s a far away place, full of mystery and potential adventures. The costs of spending a year or two in Australia can be prohibitive for many, but you have the option to work while you travel. Now, before you start packing you need to know a few things about getting a visa for Australia, because going there is not as easy as hopping on the next plane.

Let’s have a look at the visa requirements and what you can expect once you get there.

What are Working Holiday visas?

If you’re between the ages of 18 – 30 you can apply for a Working Holiday visa, which allows you to work legally in Australia while you move from one place to another. Please note that if you are from Canada, France or Ireland, the age limit is 35 years.

There are two types of Working Holiday visas you can apply for, depending on your country of origin. They are known as Subclass 417 and Subclass 462, and you can check your eligibility for either here.

For instance, a subclass 417 visa allows you to work in Australia for 12 months, and you have the option of applying for a second or third working holiday visa if you meet certain criteria. More details here.

What documents do I need to get a visa for Australia?

First of all you’ll need a valid passport from an eligible country. You can apply online for a WH visa and, during this process, you will have to fill in certain forms concerning your background. You will also have to pass a character test. Australia has very strict visa laws meant to protect the population from possible threats.

During this character assessment you will be asked whether or not you have a criminal record in your country of origin. Better don’t lie on your application as you’ll probably be required to undergo a background check and the truth will come out eventually. Background checks in Australia can be obtained from online service providers like the following website (ANCC – 

Also, you’ll be asked if you have a criminal record for any other country you might have lived in for 12 consecutive months, including Australia. This is to ensure that you’re not an absconding felon or something similar. If at some point in your life you’ve spent 12 months in Australia you’ll have to provide an afp police check. That’s not complicated as you can use an Australian online agency for that. You can access such an agency from basically anywhere in the world and you’ll get the results back in 2-3 days.

As you can see, getting a visa requires a lot of paperwork so the whole thing might last up to six months. Plan accordingly.

As you patiently wait for your visa you can get yourself acquainted with life in Australia and discover what type of jobs are available to backpackers. There are plenty of job boards advertising open positions, some of them seasonal, some available all year round. How would you like to be a waiter on the famous Bondi Beach and go for a swim when your shift is done? Not bad, is it?