Ask LH: Which Visa Does My UK Girlfriend Need To Work In Australia?

Ask LH: Which Visa Does My UK Girlfriend Need To Work In Australia?
To sign up for our daily newsletter covering the latest news, hacks and reviews, head HERE. For a running feed of all our stories, follow us on Twitter HERE. Or you can bookmark the Lifehacker Australia homepage to visit whenever you need a fix.

Dear Lifehacker, I’ve been in a long-term relationship with a UK national for two years. She wants to come to Australia on a one-year work visa so we can spend time together before I move to the UK. However, she gets a bit confused by our government sites. What would be the best visa for her to take as far as working goes? She’s a hospitality worker and doesn’t earn much so I am willing to pay for it all – just wondering what the costs will be? Thanks, Australian Romeo

Dear AR,

Well you certainly picked an interesting time to ask!

There’s a new (shorter) list of skilled occupations, which doesn’t have many options for a hospitality worker but if anyone is interested to check it, they can find it here.

I can certainly see your partner’s confusion with the government websites. After entering those details into the visa finder, it came up with three incorrect suggestions.

What seems like the best option is the Working Holiday visa (417), since the similarly worded Work AND Holiday visa (462) requires a passport from elsewhere. For your sake I hope you’re partner is under the age of 31, because it’s a requirement and things get a whole lot harder for unskilled workers after that threshold.

At that point, it’s time to start training as a superyacht crew member (normal yachts simply won’t do!), or something equally inventive:

You can reapply for the 417 as it nears its completion, but it only lets you work for the same employer for six months. It doesn’t require any sponsorship or nomination, and its $440 application fee isn’t excessively heinous.

Best of luck!


Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].


  • If you have been in a relationship for 6 months, I believe she can apply for a visa as your de-facto spouse. This gives her permanent residence – useful if you wish to relocate here later

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!