Working Holiday Visas Australians
Belgium and Australia signed an Agreement on a Working Holiday Scheme on 20 November 2002 in Canberra. This Agreement came into force on 1 November 2004. It aims at allowing young Belgians to go to Australia and young Australians to come to Belgium, for a maximum period of one year. The main purpose of their journey ought to be holidaying while working is permitted as a secondary occupation to augment their financial resources.
Conditions for benefiting from the Agreement
Young nationals of Australia who wish to take advantage of the provisions of this Agreement should:
- have a holiday in Belgium as their primary intention, employment being incidental and accessory;
- be aged between 18 and 30 years at the time of application;
- hold a valid passport;
- possess a valid return ticket, or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket;
- have sufficient means, i.e. a minimum of EUR 2,500;
- be a first time applicant under this Scheme;
- submit a medical certificate issued by a medical doctor appointed by the Belgian Embassy, stating that they have no disease or infirmity that may endanger public health, order or security (the list of such diseases is annexed to the Belgian Law of 15 December 1980 on Access to the Territory, Residence, Settlement and Expulsion of Foreign Nationals);
- produce a document vouching for their good character;
- it is recommended they have comprehensive medical and hospitalisation insurance for the duration of their stay (see also health care agreement - a valid medicare card is essential).
Documents you have to submit
- Two completed and signed application forms.
- Two recent passport-sized photographs.
- Your Australian passport.
- Application fee. The preferred method is provision of credit card details. Please refer to Payment Options.
- Proof of having paid the Contribution fee.
- An original National Criminal History Record Check (Name check) not older than six months on the day you submit your application, delivered by the competent authority. This document has to be legalised by means of an Apostille. You can obtain the Apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia / Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand. See “Obtaining Documents”.
- A recent medical report has stating that you are not suffering of any contagious diseases; the validity of this report is of 3 months after the date of issue. The medical exam is to be done by a Doctor appointed by the Embassy. A blood test for syphilis and a chest x-ray for tuberculosis must be undertaken first, so that you can hand the results to the designated doctor. If you live 150 km or more away from a designated doctor, you can choose a different doctor. Please ask the doctor to send us a letter on the clinic’s letterhead which states your name and the doctor’s full name and signature. This letter may also be sent to us as a scanned copy by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Embassy will then need to legalise the doctor’s signature. Click here for the fee.
- Proof of sufficient funds (bank statement in your own name).
- A flight itinerary for a return flight or proof of a one way flight plus proof that the applicant has sufficient funds to purchase the return leg.
- Though Belgium and Australia have signed a health care agreement, repatriation will not be reimbursed; neither will the health insurance fund reimburse 100% of costs. It is therefore strongly advised that holders of a Working Holiday Visa take out insurance to cover the out of pocket expenses. Note: if not submitting a medical insurance please provide a copy of your medicare card valid until 3 months after your return to Australia
- A self addressed return envelope (Express Post with signature on delivery, registered post or courier) or postage fee.
Please use the CHECKLIST and put your documents in the same order.
The usual processing time is 1 month, but this varies according to the time of year. If there are complications, e.g. you have offences on your police check, the processing time will be around 3 months.
- You may, if you so wish, engage in study or training programmes in Belgium. The total duration of such programmes, however, may not exceed 3 months.
- There is no maximum period of employment specified in the agreement. Some employers or temp agencies will only allow you to work for them for 3 months, others up to 6 months.
- You do not need a work permit to exercise an activity as a salaried worker in Belgium. Access to some professions, however, may be dependent upon recognition of specific qualifications and any rules of registration for practise in that profession.