Working Overseas

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    Working Overseas

    There are many exciting opportunities for Australians wanting to work overseas. Whether you want to volunteer in an African community, teach English in Japan, work at an American summer camp or just head to London to see what life brings, there are plenty of programs and organisations who can help you on your way.

    Check out the YHA Fact Sheet for details on overseas travel and working holidays. 


    Australia is part of the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program along with over twenty other countries. This is a reciprocal agreement which allows WHM visa holders to live and work in another participating country for a limited time. Essentially, the WHM visa allows travellers to undertake temporary work while on holidays.

    There are two types of WHM visas: The Working Holiday Visa and the Work and Holiday Visa.

    Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417)

    • Usually valid for 12 months (the UK is an exception, allowing Australians to stay in the UK for two years and work for up to 12 months)
    • Age and employment restrictions vary between countries

    Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462)

    • Available to people with tertiary qualifications

    The agreement between Australia and the US allows Australians to work in the US for any one employer for up to 12 months. To be eligible for this visa you must be enrolled in a post-secondary course or have graduated from a post-secondary course in the last 12 months. You must also be sponsored by a registered organisation.

    Further information on visas can be found on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website and on Backpacker Essentials. For information about specific countries, contact the relevant embassy or consulate before making any travel arrangements.


    If you're interested in volunteering overseas, International Volunteers for Peace (IVP) is a good place to start. IVP organises people to do voluntary work which has been initiated by local community groups. Enthusiasm and motivation are considered more important than experience and training.

    Basic food and simple accommodation are provided free of charge, however volunteers are responsible for their travel costs, insurance and visas. Visit the IVP website for more information.