Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Australian Second Year Visa - As an American

Have you ever thought about traveling, living, and working in Australia?

Well lucky for you, I've already done it! I've currently been in Australia now for over a year and am currently on my second year Working Holiday Visa.
Now let's start off by saying that this process for the second year was not entirely easy, but I'll go into more depth about that in a minute.


My first year visa was easy enough, as I applied for it and got accepted while I was still back home in the USA. I got my first job as an au pair and had an incredible time living in Sydney for 8 months, until I had to leave and do my work for my second year visa application.

You heard right, you have to do specific work to get your second year visa. A lot of my friends that I met in Sydney ended up being from the UK and got their second year visas situated by picking bananas on a farm. I quickly realized though, that for Americans, we are able to work in hospitality or tourism jobs to qualify for our requirements.

The UK and the USA are on different subclasses of visas, which means that there's a slight difference. Because the 417 and 462 Working Holiday visas have restrictions on what type of work you can do for your second year, it definitely reflects (sometimes) on how easy it is to get work.

Farm work tends to be the easiest choice for most people on the subclass 417 visa. Most people I've known have worked on farms picking fruit or vegetables, worked construction, or did fishery work.
While it doesn't sound like the most fun, you should be able to do this in most regional areas in Australia.
Here's where the other difference comes in. On the 462 visa, you have more specific locations you can work, which have to be above that invisible line called the tropic of Capricorn. Living in Sydney to start meant I would have to move to do my regional work, so I left and moved to Townsville, hoping to score a job as quickly as possible.

Thankfully I found work at a restaurant quite fast and went along with my work.
Throughout the whole process though, I had the owner of the shop leave, new management take over, lost out on some pay and pay slips, and by the end of me working there, I was fighting with management to get paid for hours they had missed on my final slips.


Pay slips are probably the most important aspect of applying for the second year visa and I didn't have 2 of them, which meant I was a bit worried about the outcome. Obviously everything worked out alright, but I would tell anyone that asked me to have more of a plan before going and doing your work. Hospitality and tourism work might be a good option, but you definitely need to be smart about it.

Here's a breakdown on what you should have planned before you go do work for a second year visa:
- Look and see what options are out there for work and make sure they are in the appropriate area.
- See if there are any reviews about the place you might be going (good or bad).
- When you do get a position, make sure you get all the paperwork sorted out (ie. contracts, payslips, and anything else).
- Make sure when your work is all done, you have everything you need to apply for your visa application.

If anyone has any questions about the Working Holiday Visa 462 or about the time I spent doing my work, please let me know!