How to find a job or farm work in Australia

How to find a job or farm work in Australia

How to find farm work in Australia

How to find farm work in Australia? This is still the most asked question that I get even 4 years after I came back. The answer varies depending if you’re looking for a job in the city (say bartending or waitressing) or if you’re looking for regional work to be eligible for a second year Visa.

For hospitality city jobs it works just like in any other city: you look upon the local ads online (in Australia they mostly use Gumtree ) or print a decent CV an you start the tour of the local bar/eateries with a gorgeous smile stamped on your face. By “decent CV” I mean that if you’re looking for a waitressing job try to stress on similar experiences you had in your Country, even if this means cheating a little bit 😉

 

 

For regional work or farming, things are a bit more difficult. Everyone that wants to extend their Visa needs to complete 88 days of regional work, which means farming, mining, pearling, fishing, working on roadhouses in the middle of nowhere, working in aboriginal lands, etc (full list here). Because of the increasing amount of backpackers who travel to Australia every year, decent farm work (or farm work at all) is starting to be scarce. Scams are also very common. Speaking of:

How to avoid scams

  • Never EVER send money to a possible employer to “pay the accommodation deposit” in a farm or to ensure yourself the job. Those are scams. Stay away from it.

 

  • Do not accept to work without a contract. First, farm work can be very tiring and also dangerous if you work with machinery or livestock. No contract means no insurance: BIG NO. Secondly, you’ll need the contract to have your employer to sign the documents to prove you’ve done your regional work.

 

  • Be aware of fake woofers that will tell you that volunteering in their farm will count for a second visa. This is not true anymore, exactly because the existence of these scammers that exploited backpackers promising to sign their regional paperwork in exchange for free work.

 

  • Beware of farmers that offer you to sign your regional paperwork in exchange of money. Those are scammers too and the Immigration Office will eventually find out. This is also true even if your employer is just trying to help you offering you to sign for extra weeks of work that you haven’t done there. Immigration CAN check your credit card movements to see if they match your permanence in the farm. I mean, have you ever seen Airport Security Australia? Those guys know their shit, don’t try them 🙂

Working hostels, a useful help or a scam?

Working hostels are expensive hostels located in rural Australia that offer to look for farming jobs for you and even to drive you there every morning if you stay at their hostel. The problem is that that you will spend way more time in their hostel than working (because of the great number of backpackers on the same hostel/area). Moreover, when you work, the hostel typically takes a share of your pay. I heard plenty of sad stories about people that are desperate for farm work (because they’re running out of time and they still haven’t completed their 88 days) and end up in these sketchy places.

That’s why when I was in Australia in 2013, me and my boyfriend decided to avoid working hostels completely. We started looking for regional work as soon as we got to Australia (that’s where buying a vehicle straight away comes in handy).

 

So how to find work in Australia?

First thing we made sure that at least one of our CVs (my boyfriend’s) was farm-friendly. Which meant that his dad backyard with chickens became an Italian agricultural business to which he had contributed since he was a child. Don’t be scared to “enhance” your story a little bit, farmers will take you for the least qualified job in their property anyway, but a resume with farm related skills will stand out.

We found our first farming job (Farm hands in Western Australia –  you can read about the experience here) scanning gumtree all day long and calling every farmer that put his number in there, until it worked.

The second one was a little bit trickier to find. We were in rural Queensland driving around farmland to look for mango picking jobs, without much luck. Discouraged by the mango fiasco we gave a try to the yellow pages online. And with “giving a try” I mean that in 3 days we called more than 200 numbers under the “farmers” label on the yellow pages website.

As boring as it can sound, we finally managed to talk to a farmer who had a neighbor that looked for workers in his cattle property. We got the job and we drove 400km (100 of which off road) overnight to get there. You can read about the experience, one of the craziest of my life, here.

 

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OUTBACK AUSTRALIA

Easiest VISA to move to Australia

Easiest VISA to move to Australia

Best visa for backpackers in Australia

Applying for a Working Holiday Visa

The first thing before even try to move to Oz is to check if you meet the Visa requirements. In this post I will mostly refer to the Working Holiday Visa (aka 417).

This Visa allows you to work and travel in Australia for one year and can be extended if choose to do some farm work (more on this here).

To be eligible for this Visa you have to be between 18 and 30 years old

Moreover, you need to hold a valid passport issued by those countries. If you’re very close to your 30th birthday and you still want to apply, remember that as long as the Visa is granted BEFORE your birthday you will still have one full year to activate it entering the country.

The super friendly cost (JK) of the Working Holiday Visa is 440 AUD.

Trying the Student Visa

If you do not meet the age requirements you can still apply for a student visa, but be mindful that this choice is far more expensive than the Working Holiday Visa. The student Visa fee is 550 AUD plus the cost of the school.

Because language schools know that A LOT of foreigners enroll just to have a Visa, they do not come cheap. Typically, even the cheapest option is around a few thousand dollars.

You also have to consider that you will be allowed to work only a few hours a week, which means that sustaining yourself there could be pretty difficult, unless you decide to work cash-in-hand risking your Visa.

More on Australian Visas subclasses, and online Visa application here.

 

Getting your paperwork together before you leave for Australia

Getting your paperwork together before you leave for Australia

paperwork you need before leaving for Australia

No one loves paperwork, but don’t worry, you wont need much in Australia. Compared to Europe (I’m thinking of you, Italy and France) Australia is super organized and digitalized when it comes to documents, permits and general paper work. Thus said, you’re still required to organize the paperwork you need before leaving for Australia.

 

Here are the most important things you have to take care off before moving to Cangarooland.

 

Prior to your departure make sure that:

 

  • Before buying a VISA, check if your passport is valid for the whole length of your stay (renewing a passport while abroad is always annoying, not to mention that your Visa will be attached to your old passport number, which means more paperwork and more annoyances). If it’s not, renew it and then buy the Visa.

 

  • Check if your Health Insurance is also valid abroad. I.e. Italian healthcare system provides 6 months of free insurance in Australia, just check with your local GP or with your insurance company.

 

  • Tell your bank (and your mum!) where you’re going. My experience tells me that when travelling on the other side of the world shit will eventually happen when using your credit cards, but it happens WAY LESS if you let your bank know that you will be using them oversea.

 

  • Apply for an International driving licence. Truth is, Australian police officers are usually ok with European or US driving licences. Thus said, the rule still stands. Anyway it’s not so expensive and it will turn out useful when you’ll be driving a shitty scooter in South East Asia on your way back from Oz and local policemen will find any excuse to fine you.