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Working in Australia

Australia, also known as 'Down Under', has a lot to offer, specially when it comes to working or a combination of working and backpacking. Work is available in all kinds of sectors, from a job in tourism to picking fruit from a farm.

Working in Australia is an interesting experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. It's the best way to really get to know local customs and local culture. Australians are generally open and welcoming and will be happy to introduce you to their country as employees from abroad.

Where do I start?

To work in Australia for a short period (maximum 1 year), you need a Working Holiday Visa. With this visa you can work in and travel through Australia for one year. Some comments on this widely used visa:

- You must be between 18 and 30 years old when you apply for the visa.
- You must have a passport that's valid throughout your journey.
- You may not work with the same employer for more than six months with this visa.
- A Working Holiday Visa is valid for one year and costs 270 Australian dollars.
- The Working Holiday Visa is meant for people who want to travel through Australia and work a few days here and there for a living. If you plan to work for a long period (longer than 6 months at the same employer), or to stay longer than one year, you need a different visa. The type of visa is very dependent on your situation. The wizard on the website of the immigration service helps you in that case a step further.

Some common visas are:

- Business visa : This visa applies when you want to start your own company or take over an existing company. In order to qualify for this visa, you must be able to demonstrate, among other things, that you have successfully led a business.
- Skilled visas : This visa is intended for people with a specific education or expertise. This not only involves highly educated people, but there is also a need for skilled workers (car mechanics, carpenters, etc.). One of the conditions you have to meet is to successfully complete a language test.
- Family visa : This visa applies if you have or will have family ties with Australia in some way (for example, visiting family members or marrying / living with an Australian or a resident with a permanent visa) .
- Occupational Trainee Visa : If you're going to Australia for an internship, you must apply for an Occupational Trainee Visa. This visa is valid for 2 years. You can only request it in cooperation with the employer you're going to work with. In this way, the employer commits to invest in your education and training.

There are plenty of ways to find work. Internet and newspaper ads are a good starting point anyway.

You can also contact:

- Employment National. This organization is funded by the Australian government and has more than a hundred branches throughout Australia.
- Job Search Center in Sydney. This organization not only helps you find a job, but also tests your computer skills. Depending on your score, you'll receive a certificate that you can use for applications throughout Australia.
- WWOOF is an organization of special farms in Australia. You can volunteer at these farms against board and lodging. They are often small family businesses in beautiful locations. For a few Euro you're a member of WWOOF and you can make unlimited use of the address file.

Are you going to Australia for more than a month to work or for an internship? Or are you going to work as an au pair? Then conclude a good travel insurance. A standard (continuous) travel insurance offers no cover when you go to work or do an internship abroad. In most cases, basic insurance can't be used if you're going to work for a longer period abroad. A Globetrotter Insurance for working abroad offers coverage and is specially developed for people who go abroad for (volunteer) work or internship and is also suitable for Au Pairs.

Livelihood in Australia

Australia is a continent of great differences; You see that in nature, in people and certainly in the cost of living. Certainly Sydney, as the largest city, can measure itself in terms of costs with European cities. A two-room apartment in Sydney costs roughly 450,000 to 600,000 Australian dollars, while you may pay 175,000 Australian dollars for the same home in Adelaide. The closer you live to the city center, the higher the prices.

The rents for an apartment in Sydney are between 1000 and 2000 Australian dollars per month. In Perth, you may pay 500 to 700 Australian dollars per month for a similar accommodation. Incidentally, for renting a house you usually have to show an employment contract for a minimum of 6 months.

Australia isn't cheap, the cost of living is high This applies not only to luxury goods, but also to daily expenses for food and drinks.

Apply in Australia

For employers in Australia it's very difficult to estimate the value of a diploma. Australia itself only has universities and employers, for example, don't know how to rate a HBO diploma. Employers therefore prefer to assess applicants for their work experience, language skills or motivation. Pay therefore plenty of attention to your application letter and CV.

Working in Australia

Although Australia has a Western culture, clear differences can be observed on the work floor. Perhaps due to the warmer climate, the atmosphere is generally a bit more relaxed. The motto "If it doesn't come to an end today, it'll be tomorrow" seems to be applicable. Incidentally, this doesn't mean that Australians would not meet any agreements. They are punctual, courteous and friendly.

Australia has an informal way of doing business. You're addressed with your first name and wearing a suit isn't always necessary when you work in an office.

Helpful tips

If you want to work in Australia, a Tax File Number is essential. You can request this number from the Australian Taxation Office .

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