The Reality of Work & Travel Visas
So you’ve decided to take the leap and get a working and travel holiday visa in another country! AMAZING! Congrats, you are going to have a GREAT time, and probably learn a whole lot along the way…. good and bad. I’m not going to sugar coat it!
But, that is not to say the good isn’t going to outweigh any hiccups along the way!
Let me share my preparation tips with you.
#1 Look into if you are eligible for a Working Holiday Visa of the country of your choice.
PASSPORT STATUS: Depending on what country you’re from, you may or may not be eligible to apply for a Working Holiday visa in the country of your choice.
AGE: Many Working Holiday visa’s are only eligible to those over 18 and under 31 years of age! Tick Tock…. Soak it up while you can!
#2 Apply at least 6 months before.
This will allow you to pay off the visa application and start saving for your working holiday! Many countries will only allow you into the country with a minimum amount of funds in your bank account. You must show that you can support yourself whilst in the country, prior to getting a job.
ONCE YOU’VE ARRIVED
#3 Open up a bank account and apply for you Tax File number. You will need to show the bank a copy of your Working holiday Visa, so keep multiple copies with you!
#4 Don’t get ripped off renting.
It happens. Often. You won’t even know it’s happening to you until a few months in.
I’ve heard so many stories of people going to other countries, and renting an apartment, only to get ripped off renting.
Some “dodgy” people who are already renting off a landlord, sublet their rooms for a higher price to cover their end of the rent. So many travellers are unaware of this, so it is best to always go through an agent or a friend you trust.
#5 Go job hunting & write your resume before you leave for your trip.
Do some research before hand, and even apply online before arriving in the country. It’s true, when people meet people face to face, rather than e-meet over email, they are more likely to have a better rapport with you, and are more likely to hire you.
So print out some resume’s and put a smile on your face!
Another way to find a job is to go through a job recruitment agency. This is a popular way to find a job, however, they do take a percentage out of every hour of your wage.
#6 Negotiate your wage.
Firstly, do your research into what is the average wage in the country your travelling to, and specifically in the industry you’ll be applying in. Some countries like the USA pay less for waitressing but get tips, and countries like Australia get paid double the wage the the USA but don’t get any tips as it’s not in the countries customs.
So, depending on your level of expertise, you may have the opportunity to negotiate your wage a little bit. Many countries take a university degree into account for a higher wage, and also the amount of experience you have behind you. Be realistic, and know what you are worth, and what your time is worth.
#7 Making friends can be hard.
So if you have opted to get a Work and Travel Visa in a country that you don’t know anyone in, I highly recommend staying at a hostel for a week or so when your first arrive and you might run into some other travellers starting their Work and Travel Visa!
ANOTHER option is getting more than one job. I have made most of my friends after high school through the work place. So if you have a professional job in the day, it would be handy to have a more social job like waitressing or promotional work at night. These types of jobs will allow you to meet different people, and new friends!
#8 Make time to see the country.
Make sure your new home is located near the majority of sights you want to see whilst on a Working Holiday.
You most likely won’t have a car due the the temporary nature of this visa. Map out the transport routes, and make sure all the things you want to see are accessible without relying on taxis etc.
#9 Book Weekend Trips in Advanced.
You will have something to look forward to at the end of every working week! Plus, if you book before you leave, you won’t have to worry about budgeting into your weekly costs.
#10 Have fun!
Yes good and amazing things will happen, you will come across hiccups, rude people, amazing friends and breath taking landscapes. Soak it ALL up. The good the bad and the ugly. This will be an experience you will never forget, and will change your perspective forever.