Working in Australia on a tourist visa
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Aug 1, 2012 1:19 AM Last Post By: davidcronk
Jul 28, 2012 7:25 PM
Working in Australia on a tourist visaMy wife is Fijian and I'm an American. We currently live in Beijing. We want to take a break from Beijing and travel a little and work in Australia. I'm 35 years old and American, so I'm guessing that kind of makes getting a working holiday visa a little difficult. Is it possible/likely to find a couple weeks worth of employment on farms with only a tourist visa? Is this done alot or do most farmers/farm owners only employ those with work visas? Do people who have obtained work visas often have a problem with people who are working only on a tourist visa?
I'd love to be able to just travel Australia and not have to work. I worked enough on a farm in Fiji, but Australia is a bit more expensive than we can afford right now....
Any tips for my wife, being from Fiji, on the best way to get a working visa. Does she have to get a job first and then get the visa??? I obviously haven't done my homework on this yet.
Any help or sharing of past experiences (especially in the past couple years with only a tourist visa) would be greatly appreciated.
Jul 28, 2012 7:53 PM
Jul 28, 2012 8:06 PM
2Yeah, in terms of money, we would probably have about US$5000 but this won't last long enough for two people in Australia. With only this in the bank, I'm not 100% certain that we are willing to take the risk of leaving two good jobs in China to go to Australia and HOPE that we both find jobs. I think our situation is kind of difficult: I'm American and over the age of 30 and she's Fijian. I'm sure we could find something, but...
Jul 28, 2012 8:22 PM
3After reading a couple other threads where people from Australian become angry or upset about foreigners working illegally in Australia without work visas (and understandably so) we've kind of decided that we'll either do it the legit way or not at all. Thanks.
One question though, do many Australians who are effected by the recession and end up losing their jobs, willing go work on farms picking fruit? No sarcasm intended. Just curious.
Edited by: lundberg105
Jul 28, 2012 8:34 PM
4No offense meant to your wife (my neighbours are from Fiji along with a few of my clients from work) but unfortunately its hard for anyone travelling on a Fiji passport get visas to visit some countries. It helps if they can supply evidence of reasons to return to where they came from. Job, family, property.
Jul 28, 2012 9:20 PM
5do many Australians who are effected by the recession and end up losing their jobs, willing go work on farms picking fruit?
The thing is, we haven't actually had a recession in Australia. But Australians out of work usually have other options besides picking fruit.
Jul 28, 2012 9:31 PM
6I could see how getting her tourist visa to Australia (especially without a return ticket) could be a problem. I was kind of surprised how easy it was to get her visa back to the States.
We're just about to apply for our visas to Thailand and India and we are hoping that our marriage certificate and exit tickets from Bangkok to Kolkata and then Mumbai to Washington DC will be enough to prove that we are leaving? I won't have proof of employment in China when we are getting the visas, but then again we aren't returning to China. It will be one less thing to think about after we get our visas for these two countries.
Jul 29, 2012 12:15 AM
7Go and watch Border Security, Aust's front line on youtube.com.
You and wife might make it into Aust without being chatted to, but who knows, you might be.
Aust C&BP can be tough.
Apply and come in and do as you please, but if you get asked aside or nabbed working outside your visa conditions, well you have yourself to blame.
Some people never get asked aside at our international airports, some people are magnets for it.
Jul 29, 2012 5:16 AM
8If you have an onward ticket from Australia to back home in Beijing and evidence of financial means of supporting yourself while in Australia I wouldn't foresee too much problems with getting tourist visas. Wanting to work without a working visa though would be seen as a big problem....and could get you in alot of trouble. Personally if I was in your situation I would hold off going until I had enough funds to just enjoy it as a holiday.
Jul 31, 2012 12:11 AM
9Because fruit picking and farm work is seasonal, the work is usually done by those on WHVs.
Also because the fines are high, unless the farmer was going to lose money if the crop isn't picked, i doubt they'd take the risk of employing an illegal worker.
Unlike the USA we don't have extremely low paid work. The minimum wage here is decent, even a bit too low of late, but nothing like the lowest wages in the US where "tips" are used to supplement wages.
Technically unemployment is low right now, but if there is one carrot the conservative political parties in Australia like to dangle is foreigners taking work from Australians, regardless of the truth behind the statement. Many farmers live in conservative voting areas as well.
So I think you've made the right decision.
Aug 1, 2012 1:19 AM
10I won't lecture on whether working illegally is right or wrong.
Employers will want a few things Tax File Number, Bank Account and Working Holiday Visa My thinking is if you don't have these the people who are willing to employ you are going to screw you over with low, low pay and this in an industry where there are shocking stories about the way some workers are treated.
Whether you get in the country might be marginal and I think you will be exploited if you work here illegally.
If I were you I'd do it legally or not at all.
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