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Living/working in Australia/NZ/Canada, anyone done it?

(46 Posts)
Mrspotatohead18 Tue 07-Feb-17 14:12:37

Hi there, I wasn't sure where to post this.
I was just looking for any advice/tips from anyone who has knowledge on this subject.i am looking on obtaining a working visa (not permanently emigrate) I've done loads of reading and have a little book with visa info/entry requirements etc. These are the 3 main countries I am interested in although I would definitely be open to trying other places (I have travelled a lot of Europe and would like to experience somewhere further across the world ideally)

Is the process a pain?
How hard is it to find a job? ( I don't have a 'trade' or a degree, I have diplomas in hospitality, supervision & management)

Any info on personal experiences/ how you did it would be amazing if anyone has any.. And if I get any replies, thankyou in advance 

TheFirie Wed 08-Feb-17 05:20:11

I am in Australia, if you are under 31, you can apply for a Working holiday visa and work (but no longer than 6 months for the same employer), if you are older, it becomes very very complicated.

The other visa need sponsorship from either a business or a state/region. There are specific forums loaded with info about immigration and visas, such as, or

once you have solved the visa option, work is not very difficult to find but pick your city carefully, Sydney is uber-expensive, especially accomodation.

doggle Wed 08-Feb-17 05:37:53

BUNAC - same for Canada, think if you are under 30?
The visa quota usually goes really fast every year though, so you have to be in the right place at the right time.
Your other option is to seek out employers that have a waiver for the LMO/ TWP issuing process, such as high volume tourist areas (ski resorts) that hire seasonal staff. They usually have recruiting fairs once a year and attract young people from all over the world. These seasonal jobs are not well paid, but your qualifications would stand you in good stead (and you get a free ski pass lol). Some of the major hotel chains also recruit worldwide - not sure on their work permit status <Fairmont etc> but generally hospitality types are in high demand in tourist towns <think national parks etc> especially this year with Canada 150. There have been some changes to the TWP process over the last couple of years, so if you qualify for BUNAC or similar, you have a much wider chance of finding good employment <and travelling around a few jobs during your year>. Lots of our local staff will work the winter season at a ski resort, and then move on somewhere else for summer.

beingsunny Wed 08-Feb-17 05:45:47

I'm in oz, I think they just upped that WHVisa age to 35 in January.
You wouldnt have trouble finding work here, although we are heading towards the end of summer so may be worth timing your trip to avoid back to back winters.
Where you choose to locate yourself may be more about the kind of experiences you would like to have here, how important work is versus social and spare income etc, happy to give more advice if you have any ideas

SuperBeagle Wed 08-Feb-17 06:07:31

Depending on how much you like the heat and how you handle being relatively isolated, it might be worth (considering your qualifications) looking into work on one of the islands in the Whitsundays: Daydream, Hamilton etc. My cousin from NZ did this and loved it (at the time she had no qualifications), and I have a friend who's from the UK who's gone there to work now, and she earns more doing that than she did working in a solid real estate position in England.

But, the downsides are that it is hot virtually all year, and it's even more isolated than mainland Australia.

Mrspotatohead18 Wed 08-Feb-17 15:31:22

New Zealand would actually be my first choice, I did have a read about Canada and the 'pooling' of applications, 5000 quota I think it was? I would be looking to travel towards the last 2-3 months of 2018, and travelling alone, I will be 26 at the time I plan on going, so no age restrictions with visa aged 30 limit smile

specialsubject Wed 08-Feb-17 17:07:36

The whv to nz is a well trodden path. I was too old so worked here and holidayed there, which is great as there is so much to see and do.

As always, make sure you have the right insurance (not a £30 multi trip policy as in one recent case), have a plan for return, then just save and go. Enjoy!

Mrspotatohead18 Wed 08-Feb-17 17:22:19

I was planning on applying for the 12 month visa with the option to extend whilst I'm there, and having the funds for a ticket home instead of pre booking one. Do you think there's any one place that id be more likely to find work? I'm aware some areas are more in demand for building workers and tradesman fixing up the mess the earthquakes have left behind, and I'm
Not skilled to do that. Although I would take anything I could get

SuperBeagle Wed 08-Feb-17 20:15:01

I believe NZ is the easiest of the three countries to emigrate to.

Places like Aukland likely have the most jobs, but it's also by far the most expensive place in NZ and their wage isn't on par with the cost of living.

Queenstown is great if you're interested in seasonal work. It's a resort town, essentially, but there's plenty to do in summer too. It's the most beautiful place in NZ, IMO, and the only place I'd be willing to live to (as I live in the mountains in Australia).

Would avoid Christchurch and that wider area like the plague at the moment. But Dunedin is quite nice. I have family there. Cost of living is good, and there is a city center (depending on your definition of a city) that would provide work opportunities, I would think. It also has one of the best universities in the country, so that likely means greater opportunities too.

Biking007 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:28:18

I worked for an English ski package company but in Colorado so got a job set up before I left the UK, and had food & accommodation, car and lift pass/skis, plus small salary paid into UK bank account. It was hard work though.
I've also worked under the SCA student conservation programme in several national parks in USA as a "volunteer park ranger" which was fun as I got housing and $50 a week which covered groceries so it didn't cost me anything and was great work experience. NZ national Parks used to do some similar placements

Biking007 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:29:12

I also did BUNAC 20yrs ago and worked at a ski resort just walked in mid season and got a job in hospitality the next day with housing.

SuperBeagle Wed 08-Feb-17 21:06:08

Vail Resort now owns Perisher in Australia, so I'd imagine that'll open up work opportunities both here and in the US for workers in that industry. smile I think many of their jobs provide accommodation etc. too.

Mrspotatohead18 Wed 08-Feb-17 22:57:44

Oh that's brilliant thankyou!! With the minimum $4200 needed, how much extra would you recommend? I obviously know the more the better,grin I'm just wondering, basic accommodation and food, no huge expenses (nights out, clothes etc) I am sensible with money, but I've also read that it could be a struggle to find work compared to AUS which worries me slightly! I'm not naive. I don't expect to just land in NZ and walk into employment, but I'm also worried about being unable to find work and having to return home once my money dries up sad

CrikeyPeg Thu 09-Feb-17 04:24:24

If you have hospo skills you should be able to find work quite easily here in NZ, esp if you're a good barista! Or, do you have any experience with horses Mrspotato? At that time of year the studs are looking for sales prep staff and most offer accommodation. It's hard yakka and you'll need to be comfortable/capable with handling young stock etc. Studs will also be looking for nightwatch staff but t hat's from the beginning of August.

GrassWillBeGreener Thu 09-Feb-17 05:26:27

I'm intrigued at the comments about the limits on Canadian visas - my mother went to Australia and NZ on a working holiday visa when she was about your age, had hoped to go on to Canada but from NZ there was no hope of a visa; she went back to Australia and somehow never made it to Canada yet!

No constructive help to the OP - but good luck with your plans, hope you have a great trip wherever you end up.

Mrspotatohead18 Thu 09-Feb-17 10:26:36

@CrikeyPeg - I'm actually manager of a coffee shop.. Making coffee is probably my biggest talent - I'm a dab hand at a flat white grin would I have more of a chance of employment as a barista in somewhere like Auckland? I obviously want to move around the country, but I would like to nail down a job as quick as and then make plans once I have some income! . Unfortunately no experience with horses sadare there also better places to look for work at certain times of the year? A PP mentioned queenstown for winter - I found somewhere saying my best chances of employment there would be to 'walk in' and apply from around May as the jobs fill up quickly. Do you know if this is accurate?

Thanks for all your help everyone smile

Mrspotatohead18 Thu 09-Feb-17 11:05:55

I'm also likely to have about $10,500 NZD when I arrive (my return ticket price is part of this money so probably nearer to $9500 )

If I live carefully and trump for cheap accommodation, will this tide me over for long if I am struggling to find work?

TwoTicketsToTeesside Thu 09-Feb-17 19:56:48

$10k sounds very doable to live on for a bit. You should find a job quickly anyway if you're proactive. Have a look at, you can look at rents/flatshares in your chosen city. It's the main job site, too.

I recommend Wellington, it's the coolest city in NZ, and the cafe capital. Loads to do and cheaper to live in than Auckland, not to mention easier to get around.

SpaceDuck Thu 09-Feb-17 20:15:57

I went to NZ for 18 months about 6 years ago now. I stayed in Wellington. If you want to stay there, it's best to stick to the surrounding areas (Petone, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt) as accommodation is really expensive in the city. Its easily accessible on the train though. Goes right around the harbour, such a lovely journey.

I managed to get a job relatively quickly (retail - had lots of pervious experience). I think it took a couple of weeks. There are coffee shops EVERYWHERE!! You will easily be able to find a job. I would set up a bank account and register for an IRD number (like national insurance number) as soon as you get there so it's all sorted for when you start job hunting.

I think NZ is more straight forward with getting a visa and working as you don't have to keep changing jobs every 3 months. Do bare in mind you can only work for a maximum of 12 months. So even if you extend your visa for another year you can still only work for 12 months over the 2 years! This can be with one employer though (this is what I did).

Keep some money aside for a medical also if you think you might want to extend it, couple of hundred dollars will do.

There is so so much to do, make the most of it wink

SpaceDuck Thu 09-Feb-17 20:18:01

Also NZ indeed is a good place to look for jobs and PP said, trade me is good for looking for accommodation and I think they advertise jobs on there too.

Mrspotatohead18 Thu 09-Feb-17 20:24:17

Ah that's amazing thankyou! It would be likely that I will be flying into Auckland as its the most direct route for a reasonable price from UK. Going straight to wellington seems to connect in Singapore, then Sydney and onto Wellington (42hrs!!!!!!)

I'd be likely to take my chances in Auckland then move my way down - sooner rather than later if I'm not having any luck. I've made an appointment with a travel company, I'm actually going to be seeing someone who has travelled NZ so I'm sure I'll get an abundance of information. What's the best way to travel? I don't drive so car hire isn't an option. Are internal flights expensive? I don't mind travelling on bus/coach for a good few hours if it's saves a lot of $! I'll only be taking a backpack and the bare essentials.

I just want it to be now I hate waitinggrin

Mrspotatohead18 Thu 09-Feb-17 20:30:52

Ah SpaceDuck I'm so jealous! Is it worth it?! I have researched all the relevant info like IRD numbers etc.

Anywhere you recommend on going/anything in particular to see?
I'm glad about the coffee shops  it's very reassuring, I got knocked down a few pegs before I posted this as I'd read sooooo much saying that I'd walk into a job in Oz and NZ would take me foreverrrrr, and that it was better to go to Oz. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to go there too. But I've always had my heart set on New Zealand.. And I can't believe the ball is finally rolling 

vvviola Thu 09-Feb-17 20:40:38

Internal flights are quite pricey, but Air NZ have a thing called "grabaseat" where you can get cheap deals (particularly on early morning flights).

I certainly remember seeing excellent deals on buses - but do remember the distances are pretty big (I was a bit naive coming from Ireland and it took me a bit of time to get my head around the distances - I suggested to DH that we could live in Wellington and visit his Mum near Hamilton "for the weekend". It's an 8 hour drive!)

Auckland is expensive to live in - although I loved it! Trade me is a brilliant research point - they have job ads and accommodation so you can get a feel for the prices. The public transport in Auckland is a bit patchy, so if you aren't driving, you'll need to make sure you are on a good bus or train to where you might work.

Personally, my favourite places were Rotorua and Taupo. I'd live there if I had the choice again. But I couldn't tell you anything about the jobs market grin

SuperBeagle Thu 09-Feb-17 20:51:14

I think it'd be easier to find a job in NZ than it would be to find one in Australia at the moment. The reason many in NZ come to work here is because the wages are better, not because there's a shortage of work over there.

But I have to laugh vvviola at the distance thing. grin NZ looks tiny to me.

SpaceDuck Thu 09-Feb-17 21:21:26

Definitely worth it.

I don't remember internal flights being all too expensive (though that may of changed in the past few years). I flew to Auckland and then got an internal flight to Wellington as it was the quickest and cheapest route.

I knew someone who owned a car yard over there so he gave us(me and DP) a car to use the whole time we were there so we could just hop on the state highways. I'm not too sure what the transport links further a field are like to be honest. In and around Wellington the buses and trains are good. The ferry is a good way of getting from the north island to the south.

I'd definitely recommend getting over to Oz though if you can, even if just for a week here and there. That's the one thing I wish we'd have done.

The bay of islands is a must if you're into water sports. Scuba diving, sailing, fishing, whale watching etc.

Waiheke Island or Martinborough if you're into wine. Lots of lovely vineyards. We went on a bike ride and get ver ver drunk grin

White Island (active volcano) - you can take a helicopter ride - absolutely amazing!! Stinks a bit though lol. Lake Taupo, Tongariro nation park and Rotarua are volcanoey places which are lovely and stinky too! Went horse riding up a mountain in Rotarua - the views were magnificent!! Forgot our camera though didn't we blush

Queenstown - good of you're an adrenaline junkie, skydiving, skiing, bungee jumping, jet skis, rafting, cliff jumping etc. I was too chicken to do most of it though haha.

Franz Josef glacier - again, helicopter ride, ice climbing, hot pools. There's loads more lovely similar places, particularly in the South Island! Milford Sound is meant to be beautiful too but we didn't get chance to go.

Cape Pallisar - about 2 hours from Wellington, loads of seals chilling on the rocks there! If you climb to the top where there's a lighthouse the view is glorious!!

Mount maunganui is one of the best beaches in nz! Climb to the top of the mountain, the views are amazing, you won't be disappointed!

There's a little town I can't remember the name of it, hobbit something I think, but if you're into lord of the rings then go! It's a replica of the shire. There are tours around Wellington also where they filmed a lot of it.

There's so much more to do, any of the hundreds of national parks are good places to go. Please research and just go everywhere you get the chance!

You're making me want to go back and do it all again sadsadsad

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