Backpacking to Australian Permanent Resident

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“For many people taking a gap year, the Australian Working Holiday Visa is the perfect way to earn some extra cash to fund their travelling. However, for many, it is the beginning of a life-changing adventure.”

“The internet is full of people’s stories about how a working holiday visa has changed their lives. This is true for me; I am one of those stories.

If the thought of leaving Ireland at 30 years old was not nerve-wracking enough, I also had to think about saying goodbye to family & friends and giving up my job. These thoughts made planning moving difficult.

Flying off into the unknown is scary at any age, but at 30, it was daunting because I should already have my life together, right?

When the day came to leave, I thought of what lay ahead. It was frightening but also exciting. It was my last chance to make a change and do, well, whatever I wanted to with my life.

Perth, Western Australia was my chosen destination, and I couldn’t have been happier. The laid-back lifestyle, climate, stunning beaches and incredible wildlife made settling in compulsory, how could it not!

My first few months were spent exploring my new surroundings and meeting new people who like me were searching for something new. This period of my life was incredible, just one long extended holiday. Like all holidays this vacation had to come to an end as money started to dwindle quickly.

As I was two months shy of my 31st birthday when I arrived in Perth, I knew that I would not have time to complete the mandatory three months regional work before turning 31. Extending my working holiday visa for the second year was out of the question due to my age. I remember feeling low at the thought of returning home because astonishingly after only three months in Perth, it already felt like home.

My professional background is sales and marketing, so this was the perfect place to start my job search. I saw dozens of positions within my field advertised on Australia’s leading recruitment site, but nine out of ten times these adverts were accompanied by the words “no working holidaymakers.” I decided to market myself by posting an advert on Gumtree for potential employers to read. Within 24 hours I had an interview and a start date. My new employer only had three months work available. This position opened doors and allowed me to network, promoting the business and also my skills. By the time my three months were up, I was being headhunted by many companies in Perth.

I took a six-month contract as a marketing specialist with an established Perth business. It was a fantastic opportunity that allowed me to progress in my field. After a few weeks on the job, my employer offered me a full-time contract if I could apply for a new visa. My dream was coming true, but how would I be able to continue my visa?

I researched all my options online, and I joined every Australian visa discussion group on Facebook, which confuses me further. I heard from some people I would be eligible for a 457-temporary work visa. Discovering if I was qualified, what this pathway entitled, how much would it cost and how to apply for this visa was my next challenge.

I was feeling intense pressure at this point. I had three months left in Australia, a job offer to stay but no visa. I contacted a migration firm that friends had suggested. Myself and my employer attended the consultation, and we were delighted to travelling, yes, I was eligible, yes, the company could sponsor me, and yes, they could help us with our application. We left that meeting overjoyed with the thought that I was one step closer to making Perth my new home. On an adrenaline rush, I carefully went through the notes from our consultation with the migration agent and emailed all requested documentation immediately.

One week passed with no word, two weeks passed, and my emails went unread, and phone messages went unreturned.

Did the agency not want our application? Did they tell us the wrong information? Had they already started work? I did not know.

The pressure was building as the clock kept ticking. I had two months left and was still none the wiser.

Then I was referred to EasyMigrate. Again, I went with my employer to another consultation, where I learned that I was eligible, yes, the company could sponsor me, and yes, they could help us with our application. I explained my worries to EasyMigrate, and they reassured that they would support us through the whole process.

The following day I received a questionnaire, and the rest is history. I started my application last week of July,  with a positive outcome on 10th September 2014.

It is now coming up on five years since I moved to Perth and my life is everything I wished it could be without knowing. I live in my perfect home with my partner, I cycle to the train station every morning and then enjoy a 10-minute scenic train journey on my way to the office watching the sunshine on the Swan River. Most weekends are spent outdoors with friends. Life is good!

I now work as a marketing specialist with EasyMigrate.

I am about to start my permanent residency application with EasyMigrate. The highlight of my professional career with EasyMigrate is meeting people like me daily; people who dare to dream about living in Australia and who can let others help them with their journey”.

– by Emma Gallagher Marketing Specialist at EasyMigrate

If you are aged 18 to 30 from an eligible country, you can apply for a working holiday visa which allows you to work while travelling for one to two years in Australia. You are entitled to earn the same amount of money as an Australian worker and have the equal rights.

If you are interested in other pathways to Australia, complete our free eligibility assessment and discover your pathway. You never know, you could be following in Emma’s footsteps!