An Epic Guide to Getting An Australian Working Holiday Visa for Malaysians
UPDATE AS OF 23 JUNE 2016:
It seems that the Australian High Commission of Kuala Lumpur has recently updated their website and it is imperative and utterly important that you visit that website and read about everything you need to know in order to successfully apply for the Australian Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462). Please do not ask me (or the other helpful readers) questions pertaining to the application if the answers are already provided on the website or in the comments below. For goodness sake, don’t be lazy and spend some time reading the website thoroughly! If you can’t even take the initiative to even do that, then I’m sorry, we really can’t help you out. And do bear in mind that I’m not an agent nor am I working for the Australian High Commission. I’m merely an ex-Australian Work and Holiday visa applicant and can only share with you my experiences. Nothing more. If you need clarification on certain things like exemptions, translations, certifications, etc., I suggest that you email the High Commission.
Now, here are the most important links which will tell you what you need to do, how to apply, where to apply, a document checklist and so on.
- Australian High Commission of Kuala Lumpur
- Australia Work and Holiday Visa Document Checklist
- Australia Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) General Information
- VFS Malaysia for Australia
Please note that what I went through in 2013 is different from what you’re going to go through. The other details below (written in 2013) are similar, in terms of pre-lodging. The difference is, you need to schedule your appointment for the lodging of your documents online, instead of lining up outside the Australian High Commission building like what I did.
Online appointments are to be made on VFS’s website on the 11th July 2016 at 9.00 AM. And just to clarify, first you need an appointment. After that, if you *manage* to be the first 100 to secure one, you’ll be given ANOTHER date (the date could range from days to weeks, I guess) to lodge your application in person at the VFS.
To my Malaysian readers who are interested in the Australian Work and Holiday (Subclass 462), here are some tips and insights in how you can go about with your application. If you could follow these steps diligently, then there’s no need for the ensuing anxiety and paranoia which may be understandingly palpable but unnecessary.
Meanwhile, here’s a short run down of eligibility requirements:
After you’ve done that, your next step is to prepare your documents.
PRE-LODGMENT (Try to do this two months before 1 JULY each year)
1) A Birth Certificate
2) A Government Letter of Good Conduct
3) A certified* copy of your University Degree/Evidence of having successfully completed a 2-year undergraduate study
4) Proof of English
5) Bank Statements to show proof of funds
6) A completed application 1208 form (which you can download from the website) + 2 passport photos
7) Visa Fee: RM 930 (cash/credit card) (check for latest updates)
Provide a certified* copy. If you’ve an old birth cert that’s only in Malay, you may need to translate this document. The new birth certs, obtainable from Putrajaya JPN, are in both English and Malay.
A Government Letter of Good Conduct (Terribly important)
Don’t panic even if you’ve no idea what this is all about. The process is fairly straight forward. Go to the Malaysian Consular Website , register yourself as a first-time guest, fill out the application form online, print them and prepare the photos and photocopies of your passport. You can choose to either lodge your application via post or in person in Putrajaya. The processing time is about 1-2 months so if you’d like to get a good night’s sleep, get this done as soon as you can. (Update 2016: check their latest guidelines)
A certified* copy of your University Degree/Evidence of having successfully completed a 2-year undergraduate study
Photocopy your degree and have it certified*. If you don’t have a degree, get your university to write you an official letter stating that you’ve finished at least 2 years of your undergraduate study.
Proof of English
If you’ve previously finished a university degree in English speaking countries, a copy of your degree or transcripts should suffice. If you’ve done your degree in Malaysia or elsewhere, then get an official document from your university to state that you’ve duly completed your degree solely in English. If not, you’d have to show transcripts of your TOEFL or IELTS examination.
Have at least AUD 5000 in a bank account under your name. If you don’t have such money, get your parents, relatives or friends to transfer that amount of money into your account. Once your balance reflects the target balance, have it printed out on official bank templates and get it signed by a bank manager. If not, you can also have the copies certified* officially.
Application Form 1208
Read the form thoroughly and complete the form as honest as you can. You’re not required to have a health insurance though it’s encouraged. Neither are you required to have a contact in Australia or anything. Just be honest and accurate.
Check the websites above to have the most updated information. I paid RM930
Unless you want to provide originals, my suggestion is to get your ALL of your documents photocopied and certified by the Commissioner for Oaths/Notary Publics. To find your nearest Comm for Oaths, check out this directory. A certified page usually costs about RM4-5.
Should you have further doubts or questions, please email the Australian High Commission. They will provide you the information fairly quick.
LODGING OF DOCUMENTS
2016’s process (varies yearly)
Online appointments are to be made on VFS’s website on the 11th July 2016 at 9.00 AM. After 100 appointment slots were given away, the lucky 100 will get a specific date where they were told WHEN and WHERE the lodging of their documents will take place. Health check-ups are done after lodging, not before. You’ll be notified of how you can go about doing so AFTER you’ve lodged your documents.
- Tip: If you happen to be unlucky enough to have missed this deadline, check Australian High Commission of Malaysia website a month later or so and see if all slots have been taken up. Occasionally (though rare), initial applicants may be rejected due to insufficient documents or ineligibility. If that happens, they will announce on the website that they are still accepting applications.
2013’s Process (My personal experience)
The lodging process usually takes place on the 1st working day of July, each year, at the Australian High Commission in KL along Jalan Yap Kwan Seng. The High Commission officially opens at 8.30am but the queue for this particular visa will start 8 hours before. In July 2012, the queue started from 10.00pm or so. In July 2013, you might want to get there about this time or earlier.
Yes, you’ll need to sacrifice a bit of sleep but hey, it’ll be worth it. Bring enough liquids and some snacks with you. Bring a mat, a foldable chair, a book, an iPad, a laptop, friends and family to keep you company. Time passes faster when you’re having fun.
At about 7.30 am, an officer will come by and start passing out the numbers. Once you get your number and your appointment time, turn up punctually for the actual application process itself.
There is no interview for the application process. You basically have to submit your forms, pay the fee, and wait patiently to receive the bio-metrics and medical examination document. The whole process will take about another 2 hours.
Go to VFS/AVAC the earliest soonest possible at Wisma MCA to submit your biometrics. You will receive a receipt after your submission.
Do your chest x-ray examinations at either one of these panel clinics. It’s an e-health visa thing so the clinic admin will submit the examination results on your behalf. Chest x-rays will cost you about RM100-RM110.
Once you’ve done the routine and gone through all the hassle, pat yourself on the back, sit and wait.
I got my visa within 4 working days. Some people got it within 2 weeks. Be patient and it’ll eventually come through.
Good luck and happy travels.
PS-Don’t worry about looking for jobs and accommodation prior to securing the visa. There are plenty of jobs and places to stay once you get here. If you’d like to follow me on how I go about job-hunting in Australia then bookmark/subscribe to this blog to find out.