Unlike many countries in Europe, Australia does not have an Au Pair program. But Australia has a ?Working Holiday Program? that promotes mutual cultural exchange that is beneficial to the visa holder and the employer that the visa holder is working for, the program promotes closer ties between those countries that Australia has a ?Working Holiday Program? arrangement with because it allows young people between the ages of 18 and 30 to have an extended vacation in Australia, while supplementing their financial resources with employment while they are exploring the Australian continent.

The two major VISA subclasses for people wanting a working holiday in Australia are the subclasses 417 and 462. The two subclasses are based solely on country of origin for the visa holder.

Subclass 417 is for people applying from:  Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom.

While Subclass 462 is for young people coming in from: USA, Turkey, Chile, and Thailand.

The reason why the Australian government promotes a ?Working Holiday Program? is because it is mutually beneficial for the Australian community and the visa holder, because it promotes mutual understanding and knowledge of Australia, helps the Australian tourist trade, and gives Australian employers in the rural sector a labor pool to call on during harvest time that has a positive effect on the Australian economy.

Not that you have to become a ?farmhand? because the visa program allows for au pairs and young people involved in other forms of employment like the hospitality and tourism industry. But many young people find they do head ?bush? and enjoy the experience immensely.

The ?Working Holiday Program? in Australia has nearly tripled in ten years and the United Kingdom, Republic of Korea, and Germany have been the countries whose young people have made the most advantage of it.

So, how do I get a ?Working Holiday Program? visa?

  • You have to have a valid passport from one of the countries that Australia specifies under the subclass of 417 or 462.
  • You have to be a young person between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • You must have no accompanying children.
  • You have to meet the requirements set by the Australian government in regards to health, good character, and financial requirements.
  • You should not have had a previous visa, unless you are applying for a second ?Working Holiday Program? visa.
  • You need to be outside Australia when you are applying for the appropriate visa.
  • And, you have to apply within 12 months of your intention to travel to Australia.

If you are applying for a second ?Working Holiday Program? visa then you need to have done at least three months of work in a regional Australian area when you were on your first ?Working Holiday Program? visa. You need to have worked in a regional area for a period of 88 days.

So, that is the requirements, now let us deal with what the ?Working Holiday Program ? visa allows you to do: the visa allows you to enter Australia for a period of 12 months, and have the opportunity to extend that stay to 24 months on a second ?Working Holiday Program? visa if you have sufficiently met the stipulations set down in your first visa, the visa allows you to enter and re-enter Australia as many times as you like during the period of the visa, the visa allows you to study in Australia for up to four months, and you can work in Australia for six months with any one employer.

You can apply for a ?Working Holiday Program? visa online or by written application. Talk to your AA Education Agent about your desire to apply for a ?Working Holiday Program? visa and they will gladly point you in the right direction.