Australian Work and Holiday Visa for Americans
The working holiday visa agreement between Australia and the USA came into effect on 31 October 2007. This visa is aimed suitable for under 31 year olds and was designed to encourage cultural exchange and closer ties between the US and Australia. The visa allows young people to supplement their travel with temporary employment.
If you are American and not eligible - read our main visa page for other options.
- What are the eligibility requirements for the Australian/United States work holiday visa?
- What does this work and holiday visa let American citizens in Australia do?
- How much does this Australian Work and Holiday visa cost?
- What are the ‘health and character’ requirements for this visa?
- How do I apply for this visa to Australia?
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US citizens wishing to come to Australia must:
- Travel insurance - required before applying (opens new tab :-))
- be aged 18 to 30 inclusive (so you can apply up until your 31st birthday);
- be outside of Australia when they apply for and are granted the visa;
- show evidence that they are enrolled in a post-secondary course of study or hold post- secondary qualifications, like a college degree (you can be currently studying or even deferred to qualify);
- have a return ticket or sufficient funds for a return or onward fare as well as sufficient funds for the first part of their stay; and
- meet health and character requirements.
If you are granted a Work and Holiday visa you can:
- enter Australia at any time within three months of the visa grant date;
- stay for up to 12 months in Australia;
- leave and re-enter Australia any number of times in the 12 months from the date of first entry;
- undertake temporary employment in Australia;
- study for up to 4 months.
The application fee is $460AUD.
To determine whether you meet ‘good character’ requirements the Australian Government may ask for police certificates from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more over the last ten years since turning 16.
You must provide proof with your application that you have adequate health insurance to cover your entire stay in Australia. Private health insurance funds cover you for treatment as a private patient in private or public hospitals and can include some services such as dental and optical services.
You may be required to have a medical examination. Whether or not this is necessary will depend on your length of stay in Australia, health risks in countries you have visited for more than three months within the last five years, activities you will be undertaking and your existing health condition.
US citizens are able to apply for the Australian Work and Holiday visa online at the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
To process your application, the department may need to get in touch with you to enquire about personal information regarding your health, police checks, financial viability and personal relationships. If you agree, this communication can be done via email.
Need a job when you arrive? - Work and travel companies specialise in assisting travellers and you can also check out our free jobs search
Documents you must include with your application:
- Certified copies of the biodata pages of your passport.
- Certified copies of your birth certificate, showing names of both parents.
- Certified copy of evidence of name change if applicable.
- Two recent passport-sized photographs.
- Evidence of sufficient funds (at least $AUD5000). Certified copy of bank statements are appropriate.
- Certified copy of military record or discharge papers if you have served in the airforce or military.
- Certified evidence of your educational qualifications.
- Evidence that you have obtained health insurance.
What are ‘certified’ documents?
A certified document is a copy (of an original document) that has been authorised or stamped by a person who is the equivalent of a Justice of the Peace or Commissioner for Declarations. All supporting documentation you submit with your application must be in English or include an official English translation if the originals are in another language. Do not send original documents with your application.
On the Australian/United States work holiday visa you are not permitted to work for any employer for longer than six months. If you do so, your visa may be cancelled. You can undertake any type of temporary/casual work.