Plans are materializing. After spending an indefinite length of time (max. 4 months) in Fiji mucking about, enjoying beaches and jungles, making friends, and living, I will head to Australia. Why Australia? Because the whole point of this escapade of mine is to go other places and live and work and be merry. Also because there is growing economy, industry, and demand for people who have intellect to offer. It is fact that the country is actively reaching out and recruiting people with technical skills to support this growth and keep it going strong! How do I know? I read about it in some magazines. More on that later.
For now I want to explain Australia’s Working Holiday visa. The Work and Holiday Visa Subclass 462 (Subclass 417 for non-Americans, but I will not bother with that) is designed for those who want to travel around Australia with the option of working to support their travels, and to encourage cultural exchange. The idea is that this gives the traveler a good idea of the country’s aura, culture, way of life, or whatever, while visiting for an extended period. With this visa, like any other, comes limits and regulations. Important such things follow:
- Enter Australia within 12 months of the visa grant date
- Stay for up to 12 months
- Leave and Re-enter as much as you like within that 12 months
- Work as you like, get paid legitimately, but for no more than 6 months for each employer
- Study for up to 4 months
This is a nice little package, and just about perfect for a migrant who wants to go see what Australia is really all about. No more, no less.
I just applied for this thing, thinking I’d really like to go live a life in the south and east hemispheres. Included in the convenient online application were a number of questions determining your eligibility for this visa. Most of it is quite simple:
- Age: You’ve got to be between 18 and 30
- Passport: You need an American passport
- Kids: You can’t bring your kids
- Education: You must prove that your education level is greater-than or equal-to a high school education
- Funds: You must prove that you have money to actually survive and then depart Australia (5000AUD is recommended)
- Health: You should be in good health, as there are a number of questions inquiring as to your health history and current status
- Character: You are asked about your criminal history, previous deportations, visa violations, and war crimes you have committed
- Fee: the application process will set you back 270AUD which at the moment is about $268.
Applying online is very simple and probably takes ten minutes. Once submitted, wait for any requests for paperwork (transcripts, bank statements…) and relax. You don’t even need to send your passport anywhere to get a stamp, as they will take care of that by storing your info electronically (once you’ve been granted your visa) and waiting for you to arrive.
There are, of course, a slew of other visas available to migrants. Each specializes in education, work, permanent residency, health care and more, and each has it’s own set of requirements and restrictions and fees. Find the Australia visa that fits you best!
Now I will cross my fingers and hope to be accepted. That way I can continue fantasizing about what opportunity lies down under. I’ll keep you posted.