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For those of you that have read a few of my posts will know that this website is mainly centered around the 1 or 2 year working holiday visa but for those that fall outside of meeting the criteria, there is a second option…. The Australian holiday visa, although you cannot legally work while visiting on a holiday visa, it is still an amazing way to spend a good amount of time in the country and see a fair chunk of it.
Meeting the criteria for this visa and much is it going to cost me?
First off what is the cost?? Absolutely nothing, well as long as you apply for it online. A big tick for the Australian visa bureau there. Now who can get one of these tickets to adventure!? Anyone from a qualifying country:
Hong Kong (SAR)
Republic of San Marino
United Kingdom (British Citizen)
United Kingdom (Overseas)**
United States of America
Who also posses a valid passport with enough time left before the expiry date. These visas usually last for 12 months from the date granted and allow 3 months of travel/holiday in any of the 7 states for up to 3 months from date of entry, not bad for free eh!?
So what’s the catch? There ain’t one, well unless you’re over 75 then you may be required to have a valid medical assessment certificate upon arrival. You may also be asked to show evidence of sufficient funds to get you through the time you plan on staying in Australia, maybe even a ticket for your return flight.
How long does it take to receive my visa?
This is the best bit about this visa. If you go to the Australian Visa Bureau website, you can apply online, which should only take around 10 – 15 minutes. Once successful it is instantly attached onto your passport. So when you book in at the airport and they scan your passport, your visa will show up on their computer, also when Australian immigration at the other side scan the passport they will see you have a valid visa. Isn’t technology amazing!
3 whole months on holiday…. Now that’s living the dream!
For most people, 3 months on holiday will only ever be a dream. I mean with all the commitments the 21st century living thrusts upon us, is it really a possibility? Well that I suppose is a question only you can answer. The most popular ways to do this would be either, on a gap year, sabbatical or retired. For the lucky ones out there that are in a position to spend up to 3 months on holiday or visiting family and have stumbled across this blog who are contemplating embarking on this adventure… Get it done! You will not regret it!
One thing to think about, which may put a dampener on it which needs careful consideration is the cost implication. Now this depends on what you want to see and the level of luxury you’d like to experience. If you just want to see a couple of the main cities and a few tourist sights then no where near 3 months is required, a few weeks in hotels and a scattering of greyhound bus journeys would suffice. Once in Australia, internal flights are very reasonable for example flying from Sydney to Perth (across the whole continent) can be done for less than $400.
For someone looking to stay around 4-8 weeks and see a fair deal of rural Australia on a fairly modest budget I would recommend hiring a campervan. For the entry level campervan, you’re looking around £35 a day plus petrol which the most economical van will do 100km for 10 litres of petrol. The more comfortable vans will set you back closer to $100 a day and do 100km for 15 litres of petrol. Average petrol price I found was about $1.20 – $1.45 a litre, (much more in rural locations) which isn’t bad but the scale of Australia is something else, you can drive all day long, look at the map and you’ve only moved an inch.
If you’re looking to do the whole 3 months (you rock star!!) and see as much as possible then I would probably recommend buying a campervan. 3 months on the road in a campervan and you’ll see a great deal of the real outback plus all the tourist hot spots. For $5000 – $6000 you should get a “pop top” campervan with internal kitchen (godsend as the novelty starts to wain), you could easily put 20,000 kms on the clock and still sell for the same price you bought it for when you come to leave Australia.
Would I recommend a tourist/holiday visa?
To answer this, you’ve got to look at what is on offer from up to 3 months in Oz. First off, the tourist infrastructure is second to none, there is always something for holiday makers to do, adventure everywhere you look. Unbelievable scenery, wildlife and people. The backpacker community is vast, tens of thousands of people from all over the world doing the exact same as you. 90% of the time the sun shines, and we all know how much happier people are when the sun’s out. So yes I cannot recommend it enough, well apart from a full 2 years working holiday visa, please take my advice and get it booked.
If you’re one of these people that’s had the dream for years (and there are many out there) that says “i’ll get there one day” the truth of the matter is you won’t, unless you go out and book it!!