I booked my flights and visa through USIT Ireland. I previously booked my J1 through them and was very happy with their services so decided to stick with them again.
There are a few agencies in Ireland which provide the visa application, but I found USIT did the best deal. I know many say forget the middle man, you can do it all yourself. However, I was under enough stress with saving money and all the other responsibilities that comes with this big move, I was happy to let someone else organise this one thing for me.
The process is dead simple. Just visit https://www.usit.ie/work-abroad/working-holiday-visa-for-australia and go from there.
Pick the best package that suits you. I would advice the Australia ‘All-In’ package for €999.
USIT regularly do deals and packages, so if this particular option isn’t available, leave it a week or two, keep and eye on the webpage and book when you see the €999 deal appear.
This ‘All-In’ package includes:
-one way flight to Australia
-one year working holiday visa
-12 month travel insurance
-tax file number sorted for you
-bank account set up and ATM card
-access to Australian job database
-cover of flight cost if airline goes into liquidation (you never know!)
After you have picked your desired package, just email USIT offices and the process is all done very quickly.
You must answer three security related questions for insurance, fill out the attached form found on USIT website and also attach a copy of your passport. Your date of departure is also needed as well as your chosen destination, then it’s all done and dusted. USIT do the rest for you.
Depending on the date and route of you flight, you might actually get your package at a cheaper price. My flight was set for June 25th, flying Dublin-Amsterdam-Hong Kong-Sydney. The total price was €985.
If you wish to make pit stops in different destinations first, inform USIT and they will find the cheapest routes and best flights for you. A lot of people stop off in Thailand before carrying on to Oz. I initially wanted to do this, but felt it was the better option to set up base in Australia first. Flights from Oz to Thailand are cheap as chips so I will pick one up easily when I am settled.
USIT are also aware that backpackers aren’t going to have an excessive amount of cash. They do their best to make it as affordable as possible for you, by offering options of paying deposits and instalments.
They are also on hand via email and telephone and are very responsive to queries. They even have a quick chat button on their website, handy for any small questions you may have.
Me being that organised freak I was telling you about, arranged a couple of meetings in their offices in Dublin, all free of charge. I sat down with a lovely girl who is a native Aussie, and she talked me through everything, from lifestyle to job hunting to purchasing a car.
There are a few rules for eligibility for the Working Holiday Visa:
-you must be between the ages of 18-30 on date of your application (meaning you can book while you’re still 30 and go after you turn 31)
-you must have enough funds to support yourself: the Australian government insists on at least $5,000, however I would suggest more. See my money guide for more details.
-you must have an eligible passport, valid for at least one year. I think you’d be crazy to go abroad with only one year left on your passport so make sure it’s well in date before you head off.
-you have NOT been to Oz on a previous working holiday visa before. Only ONE can ever be issued to you, so really think about if this is the best time to go. I know people who have gone and come home after two months, their chance of ever getting another visa gone forever.
-and finally, you have no serious criminal convictions or serious medical issues
USIT were a big help to me in taking out a lot of the stress of organising visas, flights, insurance and everything else. If you’ve any questions about the process, pop a question down below and I’ll try my best best to answer them.