Hi, it’s me again and I’m gonna write my experience how to get a Work and Holiday Visa (WHV) Australia and tell you how I could survive living there.
I have written this story on my previous blog but I deleted it and was wondering if any of you want to know about what I have undergone.
First thing first, what is WHV?
Work and Holiday Visa is a kind of visa that allows you to live, work and have holidays in Australia for a year. This visa is divided into two subclasses, 417 and 462 . You can click each subclass and find out what is the difference.
Indonesia itself is included in 462 zone and we are only permitted to stay for a year. However, I overhear that starting in January 2017, the regulations change. We can have a second-year visa and the age limit will be 35 (before was 30).
Who is allowed? those who haven’t yet taken this visa on the age of 18-30 years and have a bachelor’s or diploma degree, or at least you have done 4 semesters in your campus.
The answer is simple. It is because Australia is the only country which has this program with Indonesia. Other countries have this kind of visa to other countries, and hopefully, Indonesia will extend this relationship so the youth are able to explore the world through the program. My other reason was because when I was still in Paris in January 2015, I got a message on my au pair profile from a family in Australia and they wanted me to come. I went to the Australian Embassy in Paris and found out if I could apply this visa there, but sadly, I couldn’t and I needed to come back home.
It was in 2013 when a friend of mine told me about this visa. She had traveled to Australia to visit her brother, but she herself hasn’t even had this visa yet. At that time, I was kind of not interested to find out about this visa and I thought it would be too risky if I just lived in someone else’s country without having anybody or any jobs. Then I just put that away.
So, yes, being an au pair was the thing that pulled me there, to Australia. Therefore, living in an English-speaking country has always been my dream. Even though I was not a big fan of Australia, if I had a chance to live there, I thought it would be worth it. And yes, I would never regret to have been there and get myself involved with some Australians and their “unique” language.
Then after returning home from Paris, I figured it out how to apply this WHV and I collected the documents needed.
Here I am listing what I have been through to get the visa
Prior to submitting your visa application, you need a recommendation letter from the Indonesian government, in which, in this matter, is represented by the Directorate General of Immigration (Direktorat Jendral Imigrasi) Jakarta. You need to register on their website to be listed on their interview draft and waiting for your turn. It may take some time, a month or so. In my case, I was waiting for two months to get interviewed.
You can register on their website here .
After registering yourself, you just need to check their website regularly and see if your name is on their list for the interview. They don’t send you any emails or notifications, you just have to be active in finding out about when and where is the interview held.
I still remember that I signed up at the end of January, 2015, and the interview was at the end of March, which is literally 2 months in the waiting list.
I suggest you to collect your documents and get the requirements done before your interview is taken.
Your documents will include:
- your bachelor’s or diploma certificate
- your bank statement (you need to prove that you have $5000 in your account) and bank reference.
- your birth certificate, and/or your family certificate
- your IELTS results, which is, only 4.5 overall score. (in my case, I was still allowed to use a paper-based TOEFL).
Once you are invited for an interview, you should bring all those documents and show them to your interviewer. The interview itself is a semi-formal one and I advise you not to be nervous.
They may deliver the questions in English and you just have to answer honestly and clearly. It might take about 10-20 minutes. When it is done, they will tell you when exactly your letter will be published. It may vary depend on how occupied they are. Mine took two months for that “love” letter. I got it at the end of June, 2015.
Once you get your letter, you can use it for the visa application within a month. You need to lodge your visa at the VFS Global of the Australia Visa Application Centre (AVAC), which is located at Kuningan City Mall, Jakarta. You can check their website here .
Same documents needed to lodge your visa plus your recommendation letter. At that time, it cost me IDR 4.8 Million for this visa. It might not be the same if the regulations change.
When you get your application done, they will give you an HAP ID for your medicals and a list of hospitals where you can do your check-up thing. I chose Mitra Kemayoran hospital in Jakarta as it was the cheapest one, but now they don’t cooperate anymore.
Most of the applicants are only required to do an X-ray check, some might have more depend on their needs. But once I was told that you need to write “casual worker” on your visa application form in order to get the medicals easier and cheaper.
The cost for your medicals will vary based on which hospitals you visit. Once it is done, the hospital will give you a CD of your medical results and they send your results to the embassy. You just have to wait an email of your grant from the embassy, or they will require you to do another check up or you will have a refusal. It’s their call.
If you are granted, your visa will expire within a year before your arrival in Australia, and it will also end within a year after your arrival.
My visa granted on 14 July 2015, and I decided to depart on 27 July 2015. My host family had been waiting for 6 months for my visa to be granted and luckily I still had a chance to work with them.
I ended up living in Canberra for a year and worked as an au pair and a room attendant in a hotel.
Next story will be written on my next chapter.
I really suggest the youth to take this once-in-a-life-time chance to visit Australia, to work and earn money, to travel over this Kangaroo island, to delve your English knowledge and skills and to know yourself that you can survive and live overseas and be more an independent person. It’s worth a try.