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Working holiday visa - to get it or not to get it?

Travel Forums General Talk Working holiday visa - to get it or not to get it?

1. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hi girls and guys,

I need your advice, because I can't make up my mind.
Scenario is the following:

After I returned from living in Melbourne/Australia on a student visa for a year in 2007 I always wanted to return asap on my working holiday visa to stay for another year at least.
So far, I couldn't return due to personal circumstances. Now, I'm about to turn 31, which leaves me about six weeks to apply for my working holiday visa through the Australian immigration website.
Once it's granted I have one year to enter the country and work for two employers for up to six months.
Generally, I think that's a great opportunity I shouldn't miss, but

I now have a boyfriend who I'm truly in love with, but who won't be able to come along (he's too old for the WHV) and I will start a new great job in Berlin in a month.
My dilemma now is, should I get the working holiday visa anyway (they recently raised the price to 130 € which I would lose if I don't go after all), although I don't know where I'm at in a year or should I just leave it and maybe try to get a skilled migration visa later on?
Just don't know what the right decision is. Should I perceive my long term dream to return to Melbourne and live there for another year and possibly work in catering or other backpacker jobs or should I stick to the decent job in Berlin and a wonderful boyfriend? He said he can understand I want to go and if it's my dream I should do it, but at the same time he would really miss me and vice versa. Anyone been in a similar situation? Or what would you do ?
Thanks in advance for any input!


2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 5174 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

If you can at all miss the $130, I would definitely get the visa. WHVs are a really good deal as far as the cost/benefit ratio goes, and a year is a long time: You'd be kicking yourself if 9 months from now your boyfriends situation with work would suddenly change and he'd be able / want to travel along after all. (He might not be able to get a WHV for Australia, but he could still enter as a visitor for 3 months (and the extension to 6 months is supposed to be really easy to get), or possibly even get a work visa.) Having that visa gives you a kind of insurance. You don't need to make up your mind about anything else for an entire year, so you'll have plenty of time to really weigh options. What is it which makes you want to return to Australia so much? What aspects from life there are you missing in your current life? Can you somehow work to introduce them in Berlin? Or can you awaken the desire for the same in your boyfriend so he'd want to take a hiatus from his work?

Also, decent jobs definitely exist in Australia, too, especially if you have good work experience. (I can totally give you some pointers for where to find graphic design work.)

Long distance relationships are always hard, but as long as both people work at it, they're also very survivable. If at some point in the next year you decide you really want to go live in Melbourne again no matter what, then you could for example arrange things in a way where you'd go for just nine months, and your boyfriend would visit for a month halfway through it. That'd leave just two four month gaps, which are quite bridgeable by skype and email.

There's always a way... Good luck with making up your mind!

3. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Personally, I'd go for it.
I'm making a few assumptions here, but I take it that you're in an on-going job now? 130€ is really not that much- few nice clothes and a night out- buy the visa instead. Like Sander said, if your situation changes you'll kick yourself in the head later, and it'll buy you time to decide.

I just turned 30 as well, so I know where you're coming from. I've been contemplating a work visa for NZ, and I'm still undecided. Sometimes leaving everything sounds harder than it actually is. However, although I don't know much about you, the guy might be worth holding on to, if you feel that way about him :) You can make it work if you really so wish!

You have a new job starting; could you postpone the position for a year? Do you work in an industry where there are lots of good jobs around, so would it be feasible to get another nice post next year? Could you find a job relating to your education/background in Australia- it might actually look good on your CV as well!

Boyfriend- is he actually willing to go to OZ, given the chance? If yes, then think if he qualifies for a work visa on points/if he can get sponsored as a skilled professional. That's actually not quite as complicated as it sounds. Could he save up during this year, and then possibly just follow you on a 6-month tourist visa? I can think of worse things than spending 6 months in OZ doing nothing but surfing Have you talked to him about this in depth and how does he feel?

The way I see it, you still have, what, 35 years of working life left, so I doubt you'll look back at your life and think, damn, I should've spent that extra year at the office instead of enjoying Australia! :) But, in all honesty, I don't know anything about you so I might be a bit insensitive/presumptious/irresponsible telling you to get up and go- it's just, well, what I'd do. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

4. Posted by sunset1999 (Full Member 108 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I don't think missing the deadline will be much of an issue, especially if you meet the requirements to get a highly skilled migrant visa. But you'll need to weigh up the pros and cons of getting the highly skilled migrant visa later on (with more years work experience, earning power, less job restrictions etc) as opposed to the working holiday where you might only be able to get seasonal jobs with low end wages.

Also the question is, you're in your 30's and are you willing to go back and work for minimal wage when you can earn way more than that?

Coming to the UK on the highly skilled migrant visa is a no brainer for me because it allows me to choose who I want to work for and allows me to work and stay longer than a year. Also recruitment agencies here look quite closely at your immigration status and I heard it's harder to find good paying jobs on a whm even with contracting.

I'd say, go to the Aussie immigration website and check out their points system for the highly skilled and see whether that is another option for you. It is never too late to move to another country so even if it doesn't work out with your job or boyfriend, you may still get the opportunity especially if you are employed in a company that is global and can send you there.

Good luck.

5. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Hey Sander, Ofelia and sunset1999,

thanks a lot for your responses, I appreciate, but I'm still confused.
Sander you were asking a few questions, I'm going to answer them first.
What is it which makes you want to return to Australia so much?
It's not Australia but particularly Melbourne I want to return to, because never before I had travelled to a foreign place and started to feel at home instantly. It was a mixture of everything, the life I lead, the people I met, the jobs I worked. Everything was great and I was very happy. I guess the reason why I want to go back now is to find out whether it is still the same?

What aspects from life there are you missing in your current life? To be honest, none. I'm happy with life in Berlin, plus I have a wonderful boyfriend, awesome friends and my family lives close by (a fact that I didn't appreciate much earlier).
Can you somehow work to introduce them in Berlin? They are already here.

Or can you awaken the desire for the same in your boyfriend so he'd want to take a hiatus from his work?
He can't take a longterm leave from work. He's happy to travel to Australia for an extended time (and already has), but living and working there is just not his cup of tea. And since he is most definitely a guy worth holding on to, I'm not sure if I would last a whole year without him. I kind of like the suggestion of going for 9 months and that he could visit for one.

Concerning skilled migration I'm actually not sure, whether I/we would qualify and how much it costs and how long it actually takes until its granted. Would be interesting to hear from someone who's done it, how was your experience?
However, I've heard similar to what sunset1999 says, that it is harder to get good paying jobs on a working holiday visa. Sander, could you pm me your pointers for Graphic Design jobs just out of interest, thanks.

All in all though, you're probably right, Sander and Ofelia, I should just get the visa and worry about it again in a year, but at the moment I'm saving for a holiday in Croatia and can't really spare the 130€, unless I'm willing to cut down on the expenses on our holiday.

As for the new job I'm starting, Ofelia, I can't postpone it and it's a contract for 1,5 years, which means at least until the end of next year. So, if I wanted to go to Australia and stay I'd have to quit. Fair enough, I might not like the job after I started, but at the moment I'm keen because I'd be working in PR and events and no longer just in Graphic Design.
Gosh, I feel like I'm making this a bigger issue than it actually is, but time is counting down.
Why can't the Australia government raise the max. age for the WHV to 35 like it is the case in Canada?