What to Consider When Living and Working in Melbourne for a Year

Also known as the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne is popular with working travellers for its excellent infrastructure and healthcare, the dynamic business environment, and endless job opportunities. Are you keen to make friends while living down under? We guarantee that will happen before you know it. Nationals from over 140 countries live in Melbourne, creating a multicultural mix of welcoming communities.

Live and work in Melbourne

But before you dream of watching the skies turn pink with an ice-cold beer in hand, occasionally looking up to the koalas clambering in the trees, remember that Australia isn’t Southeast Asia. Unless you have massive savings to rely on, you’ve got to work. From the working holiday visa (WHV) to an Australian SIM card, here’s what you’ll want to do to live down under for a year.

Apply for a Working Holiday Visa

A Working Holiday Visa allows you to live and work down under for a year. While applying for a working holiday visa is possible online, you need to create an ImmiAccount. Ensure you apply for the correct working visa, as this depends on your nationality, age, medical history, and whether you have family members.

Much easier is to contact an Immigration Consultant, who will sort everything out for you, including getting a tax file number that you need while staying in Australia on a WHV.

Get an Australian SIM Card

Do you want to get a cheap Australian SIM card? Apply online or walk into a supermarket. You can also get one at Melbourne’s international airport.

Find a Place to Stay Long-Term

We recommend you find a place to stay long-term once you’ve settled in and are done exploring your surroundings. Melbourne has many neighbourhoods like Port Melbourne, Carlton, Fitzroy, and St Kilda. If you enjoy mingling with students, Carlton is the place to be. Want to be closer to the city? Then you’ll want to stay in South Melbourne. You can join Facebook groups to find good deals. They’re better than responding to ads like “working hostels,” which you may encounter. Working hostels aren’t the cheapest option.

Open a Superannuation Account

Similar to a pension fund in other countries, Australian law requires employers to pay some amount into a superannuation account each time they pay you. If you don’t tell your employer your superannuation account details, they’ll create one for you. Many people who come to Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa are unaware of this. They end up with many superannuation accounts and never get their money back after their visa expires.

Tell each employer that you already have this account and give them the details to make things easier. That way, getting the money back before you leave will be easier.

Get a Tax File Number (TFN)

Getting a tax file number is crucial when working in Melbourne on a Working Holiday Visa. Before you can work anywhere in Australia, you’ll need to have a tax file number. This is the first thing they will ask for when you start a new job. Your tax file number is comparable to a National Insurance number in other countries like the United Kingdom.

Take a Course That’s Suitable for the Job You Want

You can get many jobs in Australia as a foreigner with a working holiday visa, but specific industries have some requirements. If you wish to work in the hospitality sector, you’ll need to have particular credentials for Melbourne working holiday jobs.

Do you want to work in a cafe? People take coffee seriously in Melbourne. In other words. You had better take a course.

If your employer sells alcohol and is based in Victoria, you must get a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate (RSA). It’ll set you back $60 and takes three to four hours to get it done. The guys will test you at the end. Provided you pass, you can pick up your certificate the next day. While RSA certificates are available throughout Australia, you must take the specific Victoria course in Melbourne.

To work in trades or traffic control, you need a white card. To get that, you’ve guessed it – you need to take a course.

Find some Work on a Working Holiday Visa

Now let’s talk about how to make money with a WHV. If you’re still unsure whether you should work while staying in Australia, let us be frank with you. Holidaying for two weeks in Melbourne can be cheap, but the cost of living is high. If you plan to stay a year, you will have to work.

Did you get lucky and find a job within a week? Congrats! It takes some people a month to land a job. Finding a job combines luck, knowing people, and knowing where to look for work. And once you have a job, you’ll be much more relaxed when you meet people. And apart from that, the experience of working in a different country is exciting.

Buy a Myki Card

The last thing on your to-do list for your year in Melbourne is to get a travel companion called a Myki card. Why bother? Because you need a Myki card to ride public transportation in Melbourne, except in Melbourne CBD, where it’s free.

You can buy and top up a Myki card at any 7/11 shop, station, and online. A one-way ride in Melbourne costs roughly $4.40, and you simply tap your Myki card upon boarding a bus, train, or tram.

Do you have any questions or need assistance getting a Working Holiday Visa? You can get in touch with us here. The legal consultants of UIS Australia can also help you if you need another visa, like a Family Visa, Australia Business Visa, Australian Tourist Visa, or Student Visa, to name a few. As an aside, we also offer job search services.

Ron Ford

Ron Ford immigrated with his family to Australia in 2005 to work as a social worker. Following their difficult immigration process, he slowly turned to blogging and creating content about immigration: "…As a family of 5, we struggled to make ends meet. I was working around the clock and Clarissa was working in housekeeping any time she could spare. The move to Australia completely changed our lives, but it cost us a lot of money, time, and tears. Ever since I've wanted to help others on their journeys the way I wished someone had helped us".

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