I hope to have everything I need (Money etc) sorted by the end of October to get away to Oz.
I was looking at booking with Oz Intro, but dont really know if its worth it?
Yeah it would be great to be with a group to get to meet people and the help for getting Visa and Bank accounts set up would be good.
Was just wondering if anybody has planned to do the same, or has booked through Oz Intro and can let me know if it is worth it?
Although I have never heard of them before, I have reviewed their website and what is included and it seems to be a pretty good deal. Seems to be a company in the UK running OZ Intro and they do the same in other countries.
It's me again, I have just seen another company with a similar product called UltimateOz which is a division of Travellers Contact Point Australia Pty Ltd. They are also a licenced Travel Agent No: 2TA07886 and have their head office in Sydney! This is good if you have any problems.
Generally I'm of the opinion that these things are not worth it. 80% of what they offer, you can easily do yourself (mostly for free) - the other 20% you don't really need, and wouldn't have done if it was up to yourself. (Really; getting a WHV, setting up a bank account, getting a tax file number, meeting other backpackers - tens of thousands of backpackers do these things each year, mostly by themselves - it's not hard. (And if you do need help with any of them, you can just ask here; or at your hostel's reception, where they're also more than happy to help.)) I personally feel you're depriving yourself of a lot of the confidence you earn by travelling around by yourself if you start the process with that much hand holding.
That said, people who do feel they'd benefit from the initial help offered by these companies (there's several more beyond the two named here already) are generally relatively positive about them afterward. The only complaints I've ever seen here on the forums from people who went with such a company is that it turned out to be unnecessary, and they wished they'd kept their money. And that's a pretty rare complaint, too - mostly it's self-selecting, and people who'd think that already wouldn't go with them. But the service offered is always considered good.
You specifically mention help for getting a visa and a bank account, so let me provide that to you:
Working Holiday Visa: Go here, (maybe read requirements and general information about it first), click on the "First Working Holiday Visa" link in the top right of the table. Fill in the form (all questions should be obvious; expected date of arrival isn't binding). Get an email 2-24 hours later informing you that your WHV has been granted (sometimes this could take up to a week, but mostly it's within a day). You now have up to a year to travel to Australia, and from the date of entry, you can stay in the country for up to a year (you can leave and return during that time, but the clock won't stop). If you do three months of specified work in regional Australia, you can stay for another year afterward.
Bank account: When in Australia, during your first two weeks of being in the country, walk into any bank branch with your passport and AUD $50 for an initial deposit (ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB are the biggest ones, with ATMs everywhere - their basic accounts are nearly indistinguishable, though every so often one or more of them will have an account type you can actually use for free as long as you're very careful with how many withdrawals you make per month - read up on that on their websites beforehand if you feel that's something you'd care for). Tell the people there you're there on a working holiday visa, and would like to open a bank account (they're used to this, especially in Melbourne and Sydney). Fill in some forms, give them your hostel's address to send your debit card to (takes about a week), tell them not to send you bank statements (or to set the frequency of them to once a year, in case that's not possible, though from what I hear, it should be nowadays). Use online banking with your bank at home to transfer your money to your new Australian bank account. (Or get a trusted family member to do that.)
[ Edit: Edited on 17-May-2013, at 04:06 by Sander ]
Thank you, the advice is appreciated.
I applied for my working holiday visa last night and like you said 2 hours later I got an email confirming it has been granted.
Ive spoken to a couple people and they said the same that its more or less a waste of money going through these sites and its easy to do everything yourself.
Now its just a case of saving the money then get away to Oz.
Again thank you and cant wait to get my trip started.