Many people choose to relocate and call Australia their new home each year – a decision that likely doesn’t surprise many. After all, this is a country renowned for boasting miles of stunning coastlines, some of the world’s most breathtaking landscapes, and cities celebrated for their sociability, work-friendly environments, and entertainment options.
For remote workers, here’s the good news: Australia offers a selection of visa options that, while not specifically tailored for digital nomads, can serve the same purpose. So, if you’re contemplating a remote working lifestyle down under, now is an opportune moment to explore the diverse range of remote work visa options available in the country.
What Visas Allow You To Work in Australia?
Perhaps you’ve always considered seeking greener pastures and moving your professional life abroad, but never pursued the notion on the assumption this would be too difficult a feat. Fortunately, several countries offer visas that can help facilitate this move so you can shift your life, and your work, overseas with ease.
In this regard, Australia is no exception. While Australia does not offer any specific digital nomad visa, it does offer other visa options that can allow visitors to stay in the country while working remotely. These give you the legal right to work remotely away from your country of permanent residence and in Australia as easily as from your desk at home.
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Why Should Digital Nomads Choose Australia?
Australia is becoming an increasingly popular choice for digital nomads eager to experience the many benefits the country offers.
First things first, an obvious benefit of Australia is that, as its popularity as a hub for digital nomads increases, the community of nomads has become larger and larger. So, while being a nomad can be a somewhat lonely lifestyle, there is the opportunity to connect with this wider nomad community in Australia.
Additionally, something that will be music to the ears of any digital nomad is the amount of co-working spaces the country is host to. Depending on which city you settle in, some of the best include Hub Australia, DeskSpace, The Commons, and Spacecubed. And fear not, because any nomad can happily work in these spaces while enjoying a high-speed Wi-Fi service of 88.77 Mbps, according to Wisevoter.
If you’re travelling to Australia as an international student, you’ll need Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) for any medical emergencies as Australia has its own unique health system that uses both Medicare and private health insurance.
Beyond this, perhaps the most prominent reason for settling in Australia as a digital nomad is the country itself. Australia is famous for the stunning scenery and urban space it has to indulge in. Whether it is beaches, mountain ranges, deserts, or rainforests you wish to explore, you can find it all in this eclectic and enthralling country.
Remote Work Visa Options in Australia
There is no one right answer for which visa you should apply for to work remotely in Australia. Although the Visitor Visa is arguably the popular and most accessible option, it’s worthwhile to consider each option carefully to ensure the best choice is made for you.
The Visitor Visa
This is perhaps the most popular visa option when it comes to settling down under, and it may be the best option for digital nomads to apply for.
Australia’s Visitor Visa essentially does what it says on the tin – it offers foreign visitors of all nationalities a permit to visit the country for some time, specifically for up to 12 months. If you wish to stay longer, you must reapply for this visa as an extension is not possible.
While this visa is meant to be for visiting purposes only, it can still be useful to digital nomads. This is because, as a remote working nomad, you won’t be actively conducting business in the country. Instead, you can simply work from your laptop wherever you are, meaning you shouldn’t have any issues working and visiting with this visa.
The Working Holiday Visa
The Working Holiday Visa is specifically tailored for those who wish to come to Australia to work, making it a good option for any nomad who also wishes to undertake some work in the country.
Similarly to the Visitor Visa, the Working Holiday Visa can facilitate a long-term stay in Australia, however, visa holders will be permitted to do work in the country for up to 4 months. The Working Holiday Visa can literally be used to help visitors ‘work’ in order to pay for their ‘holiday’ in the country.
Any type of work is valid on this visa, but it is only available to applicants aged between 18 and 30 years old, or 35 years old, depending on their country of origin. The type of Working Holiday Visa you can apply for is also dependent on your nationality:
The subclass 417 visa allows visitors to stay for up to 12 months, and with it, visitors can do some short-term work to help pay for their holiday in the country. Visa holders may also study for up to 4 months, and they may break up their year stay into as many visits as they like.
To apply for a subclass 417 visa, you must have an eligible passport from one of the countries listed on the government website. This includes the UK as well as several other Asia and European countries.
Applicants may complete 3 months of specified work to become eligible for a second Working Holiday visa.
The subclass 462 visa is relatively similar in all the above aspects. The primary difference is the country of origin from which you may apply. This includes the US and countries within South and Central America in addition to several other European and Asia countries.
As long as visitors complete the specified work on these visas, there’s no reason why they may not indulge in their digital nomad pursuits whilst touring the country in the remaining time.
The eVisitor Visa
As indicated by its name, Australia’s eVisitor Visa is available to EU residents only.
This visa is a little different from a typical long-stay visa. While you may visit the country as many times as you wish within a year, this cannot be for a longer stay than 3 months. However, the eVisitor Visa offers the advantage of being able to stay in Australia as a business visitor.
So, if you are a digital nomad, but also have business to conduct for your work in the country you wish to declare, the eVisitor visa may better suit your travelling needs.
Again, if you wish to extend your visits to Australia for a period longer than one year, the eVisitor Visa cannot be extended, though it may be reapplied for.
The Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
The ETA is similar to the eVisitor Visa, but being a resident of the EU is not a necessity to apply for it. Instead, applicants simply need to apply from outside Australia and with an eligible passport.
Similarly to the eVisitor Visa, ETA visa holders may visit Australia for up to 12 months but only for visits that do not extend beyond 3 months at a time.
A digital nomad can therefore utilise an ETA to visit Australia as a tourist while working on the go. And, if they do need to pursue some business-related activities, the ETA does allow visa holders to undertake some such enterprises as detailed on the government website
Applications for an ETA must be submitted via the Australian ETA app.