Internships in Australia – what type of visa will you need?


If you’re thinking about doing an internship, chances are your main objective is to gain valuable work experience in industry. If you do yours in Australia, you can work in your chosen industry AND have a fantastic travel adventure! Intern Options can certainly help you find an internship placement in Australia, but we are not a migration agent, so you’re responsible for organising your own valid work visa.

Even though the internships are unpaid, under Australian immigration rules you are not allowed to undertake an internship on a standard tourist visa, as you will be working full time! This is why all our interns will need to ensure that they have a valid working holiday visa (or an Australian passport…) for the duration of their internship.

Working holiday visas are a very popular travel option for Australia, and no doubt you’ve already heard a bit about the scheme through friends or family. To go about applying for one, you need to first of all be within the specified age range of 18-30. That is, at the time of visa application you should be at least 18, but not yet turned 31.

Your visa will be valid for 12 months from the date that you enter Australia, so given that the average length of one of our internships is 12 weeks, you will still have a further 9 months in which you will be able to work and travel in Australia before leaving. However, you must bear in mind that the working holiday visa is designed to allow you to “supplement the cost of your holiday through short-term employment“, which means that if you are offered any “permanent work” during your stay in Australia, you will need to apply for a different kind of working visa.  Under the working holiday visa scheme you can only work up to 26 weeks (6 months) for any one employer, which is why this is the maximum length of placement we are able to offer.  Intern Options can make absolutely no guarantee that taking part in an internship in Australia would enable you to stay in the long term.

However, make the most of your internship and don’t be afraid to meet new people and make contacts, as you never know where they might lead you… Good luck!

The Facts:

There are two subclasses of working holiday visa that are valid for doing an internship, these are:

Subclass 417 and Subclass 462 (for applicants from Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA)

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