March 15, 2024

Two Decades of French WHV Adventures in Australia

 

Originally designed for young people from the United Kingdom, Australia’s Working Holiday Visa (WHV) program, has expanded to include many other countries, including France. It has now been 20 years since this bilateral agreement has allowed young French people to live an unforgettable Australian adventure, giving them the right to work and travel across this continental country.

 

What is the Working Holiday Visa (WHV)?

a person wearing a hat and looking at a Uluru in Australia

The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) in Australia is a type of visa that allows young adults, typically aged 18 to 30 (and up to 35 for some countries), from eligible countries to travel and work in Australia for up to one year. This program aims to promote cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and participating countries, enabling visa holders to experience life in Australia, explore its culture and landscape, while also having the opportunity to work and support their travels.

The WHV program includes two subclasses: subclass 417 for citizens of certain countries with a specific agreement with Australia, and subclass 462 for citizens of other countries with a different agreement. Both visas offer the chance for cultural exchange, personal growth, and international work experience.

 

Origins and Expansion

a large metal globe with persony wires around it

The program’s inception dates back to 1975, with the subclass 417 being the traditional Working Holiday Visa for residents of the United Kingdom. Over the years, the WHV program has significantly expanded, both in scope and scale. Eligibility extended beyond the UK to include other nations, reflecting Australia’s evolving foreign relations and its desire to embrace a broader spectrum of cultures. Countries such as Canada, Germany, and Japan were among the early participants added to the list.

France joined the ranks of these countries in 2004, marking a significant milestone in French-Australian relations and enabling countless young French citizens to explore the vast landscapes and diverse cultures of Australia. The subclass 462 visa, introduced later, targets a different set of countries, expanding the program’s reach.

 

The Dual Role of Australia’s Working Holiday Visa

a group of people putting their hands together

 

The Working Holiday Visa’s primary purpose is to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding by allowing young people to gain international work experience and immerse themselves in the Australian way of life, thereby strengthening international bonds and fostering global citizenship.

Economically, the program contributes to the Australian economy by filling short-term labor gaps, particularly in the agricultural and hospitality sectors, and by boosting tourism revenue through the spending of WHV holders. Socially, it enriches the cultural fabric of Australia by bringing diverse perspectives and cultures into the country, promoting multiculturalism and strengthening ties between Australia and the participating countries. The WHV program thus plays a significant role in Australia’s economic vitality and social diversity, making it a valuable initiative for both the country and its international visitors.

 

The Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417)

The Working Holiday Visa is a temporary visa allowing young people from eligible countries to explore Australia over a 12-month period.  It costs AUD635 (applicable in July 2023) and can be renewed up to two times under certain conditions. 

This visa offers the chance to travel across Australia and its neighboring countries, working along the way to support your travels. Additionally, it provides the privilege of studying for up to 4 months, presenting a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the language and culture.

Conditions for obtaining the first WHV (subclass 417)

  1. Possess a valid passport from a country included on the list of eligible nations
  2. Be 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries)
  3. Not have previously entered Australia on a subclass 417 or 462 visa
  4. Apply online from outside Australia
  5. Not be accompanied by dependent children or family members
  6. Have enough money to support yourself while you are in Australia and leave Australia at the end of your stay. This amounts to approximately AUD5,000 for your initial stay.
  7. Meet the health and character requirements

 

The Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)

As well as the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) is a temporary visa allowing young people from eligible countries to explore Australia over a 12-month period.  It costs AUD635 (applicable in July 2023) and can be renewed up to two times under certain conditions. 

This visa provides the same benefits as the Working Holiday Visa, enabling you to travel, work, and study for up to four months.

Conditions for obtaining the first Work and Holiday (subclass 462)

In contrast to the WHV, the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) comes with more extensive and stringent requirements.

  1. Possess a valid passport from a country included on the list of eligible nations
  2. Be 18 to 30 years old (inclusive)
  3. Not have previously entered Australia on a subclass 417 or 462 visa
  4. Apply online from outside Australia
  5. Not be accompanied by dependent children or family members
  6. Have enough money to support yourself while you are in Australia and leave Australia at the end of your stay. This amounts to approximately AUD5,000 for your initial stay.
  7. Meet the education requirement
  8. Have at least Functional English.
  9. Have a letter of support (for certain countries only)
  10. Meet the health and character requirements

 

How can True Blue Studies assist you with your Working Holiday Visa?

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True Blue Studies is here to support you before, during, and after obtaining your Working Holiday Visa, ensuring a seamless experience from dreaming about your Australian adventure to living it. Initially, we guide you through understanding the eligibility criteria and assembling the necessary documentation for your WHV application, ensuring you’re well-prepared for success. During the application process, we offer advice on fulfilling financial requirements and tips for planning your stay in Australia, including potential employment and accommodation options.

Once your WHV is secured, True Blue Studies doesn’t stop there; we continue to support you as you embark on your Australian journey. We provide resources and advice on how to find work effectively, understand Australian workplace culture, and make the most of your travel opportunities across the country. This comprehensive support includes access to our Backpacker Pack, a suite of services tailored to enrich your backpacking adventure without overshadowing the primary goal of facilitating your WHV journey.

If you are interested in this type of visa or have any questions about it, feel free to contact us.

What to do after a Working Holiday Visa?

As the end of your working holiday visa in Australia approaches, you may find yourself at a crossroads, unsure of what steps to take next. Fortunately, there are several avenues you can pursue to continue your adventure Down Under or transition back to your home country. Here are three viable options to consider:

  • Return Home and Leave Australia:

Returning home after a fulfilling stint on a working holiday visa is a common choice for many travelers. Whether it’s to reunite with loved ones, pursue career opportunities, or simply embark on a new chapter in life, heading back to your home country can be a bittersweet yet logical decision.

Upon returning home, you can leverage the skills and experiences gained during your working holiday to enhance your career prospects. Highlighting your international work experience and cultural adaptability can make you a more attractive candidate to potential employers. Additionally, the friendships and connections forged during your time in Australia can serve as valuable networking opportunities in the future.

  • Extend Your Working Holiday Visa:

a map of Australia with a toy boat and pinsIf you’re not ready to bid farewell to Australia just yet, extending your working holiday visa is a viable option. Depending on your country of origin, you may be eligible to apply for a second or even third year on a working holiday visa.

Extending your visa allows you to continue exploring Australia’s diverse landscapes, immersing yourself in its vibrant culture, and furthering your personal and professional development. Whether you choose to spend more time working in bustling cities like Sydney or Melbourne, or venture off the beaten path to discover hidden gems in the Outback or along the coast, the possibilities are endless.

Before applying for an extension, familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria and application process outlined by the Australian Department of Home Affairs. Be sure to plan ahead and submit your application well in advance of your current visa’s expiration date to avoid any disruptions to your stay. 

  • Staying in Australia on Another Type of Visa:

a group of people in graduation gowns and capsFor those who wish to remain in Australia beyond the limitations of a Working Holiday Visa, exploring alternative visa options is worth considering. Australia offers a range of visa pathways catering to various purposes, including skilled migration, family sponsorship, student visas, and more.

One popular option is the Student Visa (subclass 500). Enrolling in a degree program at a recognized institution not only allows you to continue your stay in Australia, but it also opens up opportunities for academic and professional growth.

Regardless of which visa pathway you choose, it’s essential to research and understand the requirements and obligations associated with each option. Consulting with a migration agent or seeking guidance from the Department of Home Affairs can help ensure a smooth transition to your new visa status.

How can True Blue Studies help you?

Jules Evgenii and Thibaud from TrueBlueStudies

 

Whether you’re looking to extend your stay in Australia to continue your work and travel adventures or to embark on academic pursuits by switching to a student visa, True Blue Studies provides personalized support every step of the way. With our deep understanding and wide range of services, we evaluate your specific needs, identify the most appropriate visa pathways, and navigate the intricate application procedures for you. We help you comply with all necessary eligibility requirements, assist in compiling required documents, and provide guidance to meet the conditions for a successful visa application or renewal, keeping your Australian adventure alive.

If you are interested in this type of visa or have any questions about it, feel free to contact us.

 

 

 

Written by Emma, intern at True Blue Studies