Getting an engineering job in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa 417

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Are you a Civil Engineer who is interested in working and holidaying in Australia?

Kai-Julian Hendler is a South African with a British Passport who came to Australia on the 417 Working Holiday Visa. Through ConsultANZ, he secured a six-month placement with one of our clients before heading off to Lisbon in Europe.

What’s Your Story?

I came to Australia for the first time in February 2018. All I knew was that I was going to spend a couple of days in Sydney and then head four hours south to a town called Eden, with a population of 4000 people, where I would be working on the construction of a wharf for cruise ships as a site engineer for the next six months.

ConsultANZ had recruited me to Waterway Constructions, a Sydney-based construction company and main contractor on the Eden Breakwater Wharf Extension Project.

Upon arrival in Sydney, together with some of the other new recruits, we went through a company induction to learn the systems of Waterway Constructions and get to know some of our new colleagues. A few days later, we flew south to the pristine town of Eden and joined the site team for the upcoming project.

We quickly got to work on the planning aspects and received guidance from our senior managers on the way things worked in Australia. The team was very diverse and from all over the world: England, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Wales, South Africa, and of course many Aussies!

I joined the local soccer club which welcomed me with open arms and made friends with the surfers. The warmth and openness of the Aussies were something that was a very pleasant surprise to me.

We also had a great spirit amongst the site crew and would go to the local pub after a long day of work for a beer and some banter! The project was an extremely interesting piling project with diverse aspects and challenges that required innovative solutions.

This was by no means an easy task and required a lot of hard work and cooperation with other colleagues to find the optimum answers to our problems. However, this made it even more rewarding once the results became visible.

Having had the opportunity to work with and learn from such an experienced and skilled team is something that I am very grateful for. Overall, my time in Australia was an enriching time that helped me grow professionally and personally and I will always look back at it with fond memories!

Are you a young person who wants to holiday and work in Australia?

The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) is a temporary visa for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.

The Working Holiday Visa 417 allows you to:

  • stay in Australia for up to 12 months
  • work in Australia, generally for up to six months with each employer
  • study for up to four months
  • leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.

New Working Holiday 417 visa arrangements for UK passport holders

Recently, Australia and the UK have agreed to put in place new arrangements under the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program and Youth Mobility Scheme following entry into force of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (Australia-UK FTA).

From 1 July 2023, UK passport holders can apply for a Working Holiday visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive. Working Holiday visa holders can currently stay three years in Australia. This stay consists of three separate visas granted for 12 months each.

From 1 July 2024, UK passport holders can also be granted up to three separate Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements such as hospitality or farming.

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are aged 18 to 30 years of age (except for Canadian and Irish citizens up to and including 35 years of age)
  • do not have a dependent child accompanying you at any time during your stay in Australia
  • have a passport from an eligible country.

417 Working Holiday Visa  – Eligible countries and eligible age limit (last updated 07th June 2023):

You must be a citizen of and hold a valid passport from one of these countries/jurisdictions:

    • Belgium – 18 to 30 years
    • Canada – 18 to 35 years
    • Republic of Cyprus – 18 to 30 years
    • Denmark – 18 to 35 years
    • Estonia – 18 to 30 years
    • Finland – 18 to 30 years
    • France – 18 to 35 years
    • Germany – 18 to 30 years
    • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders) – 18 to 30 years
    • Republic of Ireland – 18 to 35 years
    • Italy – 18 to 35 years
    • Japan – 18 to 30 years
    • Republic of Korea – 18 to 30 years
    • Malta – 18 to 30 years
    • Netherlands – 18 to 30 years
    • Norway – 18 to 30 years
    • Sweden – 18 to 30 years
    • Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport) – 18 to 30 years
    • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland – 18 to 35 *(in effect from 1st July 2023)

To find out more about the 417 Working Holiday Visa and to apply, click here

If you are not eligible for the 417 Working Holiday Visa, you might be eligible for the 462 Work and Holiday Visa

Source: Australian Government, Department of Home Affairs (June, 2023)

Disclaimer: The information in this publication is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, we do not guarantee that the information in this article is accurate at the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future.

If you are a Civil Engineer, a Construction Professional, or a Surveyor heading to Austalia on a 417 visa please register your CV here or apply now

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