How To Be A Digital Nomad In Australia

How To Be A Digital Nomad In Australia Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Does Australia have a digital nomad visa?

Australia does not currently have a visa tailored specifically to digital nomads and remote workers. However, you can still come to Australia on a Working Holiday or Tourist Visa and work remotely, living that sweet digital nomad life! All you need is a job that will allow you to WFO (work from overseas!) and a ticket to the land Down Under. 

What visas can I use to work remotely from Australia? 

The tourist visa option

Can I work remotely from Australia on a tourist visa?

Most travellers are eligible for a three-month tourist visa within a 12-month period in Australia. There are three types of Aussie tourist visas; the Electronic Travel Authority Visa (601), the eVisitor Visa (651) and the Visitor Visa (600), all of which must be applied for and granted before entering Australia.

While travellers on a tourist visa are strictly not permitted to work in Australia, the lines are a little bit blurry when it comes to working remotely. Many digi nomads choose this path for remote work, especially if they are testing the waters in Australia with a short holiday, before returning home and applying for a working holiday visa for a longer stay.

Two women on mac computers at a hostel in SydneyWork from Sydney hostels, taking a Bondi Beach surf break at lunch!

The working holiday visa option 

Can I remotely work from Australia on a backpacker visa?

The working holiday visa is a really popular choice for digital nomads wanting to spend longer in Australia. While this visa is designed for travellers coming to Australia looking for work in the country, there is nothing stopping you from working for an overseas company. The two visas available to digital nomads are the Working Holiday Visa (417) and the Work and Holiday Visa (462), both available for extensions (you can spend up to three years in total on an Aussie WHV).

The one catch is that if you plan to extend your working holiday with a second or third WHV, you must complete 88 days of eligible work. This typically looks like farmwork, fishing, tree farming, construction and similar jobs in regional Australia. So, as long as your hours online are flexible, you can generally squeeze this in if a longer stay is on the cards.

Spaceship van with two women in itTravel the East Coast in a campervan on a working holiday road trip - digital nomad style!

Will there be an Australian digital nomad visa in the future?

While many countries such as Indonesia, Portugal and Croatia (to name a few) jumped on the Digital Nomad Visa train after the pandemic, Australia is yet to name and claim a purpose-built option for remote workers. However, there is a chance of a future Australian Digital Nomad Visa, and plenty of options for working travellers in the meantime!

Do I receive superannuation if I work remotely from Australia? 

This is a tricky question and varies greatly according to your type of work and how long you are planning to stay in Australia.

Superannuation for remote freelancers and contractors working in Australia 

Commonly, digital nomads are freelancers or contractors, meaning they must manage their own superannuation as they are essentially their own businesses. While daunting, most seasoned freelancers are used to putting away at least 10% into a self-managed super fund or in a separate account. However, there is no obligation for freelancers to do this, so remember to think of your super options if you are long-term freelancing.

Superannuation for casual or part-time digital nomads in Australia 

If you are on a tourist visa working remotely in Australia, you’re not entitled to any superannuation from the Australian Government on the money you make while working for a remote company. In short, your employer back home must continue to pay you superannuation as you are not residing in Australia, you’re simply on holiday. If you’re living the digital nomad life on a working holiday visa, however, the situation gets a little more complicated. To understand your overseas employer's obligations to paying your super, we recommend enquiring with them or asking a financial professional, as it really varies case-to-case. 

For more information on receiving superannuation on a working holiday visa (when working for an Australian business), check out our guide to backpacker superannuation in Australia.

A hand over the keyboard of a computer with a coffee

Do I pay Australian tax as a digital nomad foreigner?

If you are in Australia as a digital nomad on a tourist visa, you will continue to pay taxes to your home-country government, as you are just on holiday. The matter is far more complex if you are in Australia on a working holiday visa. While it is clear that you must pay tax to the Australian on earnings made while working for Aussie businesses (e.g. farm work, hospitality, etc.), your tax situation varies for digital nomads.

The question you need to find an answer to here is whether you are a resident for tax purposes, or not.

Australia’s 183-day rule

Most digital nomads will be required to pay Australian tax if they are in Australia for more than 183 days of the income year. This rule is to determine whether you are considered an Aussie resident or not for tax purposes. 

Do I have to pay double tax if I am in Australia for more than half the year? 

This really depends on your home country’s tax regulations, and whether they have a double tax treaty with Australia or not. US citizens are considered tax residents solely for being a citizen. However, answering this question requires in-depth circumstantial information, and we highly recommend going to a tax professional to assess your tax obligations properly. 

Learn more about your tax obligations on money made while working in Australia with our guide to backpacker taxes.

A woman with a book reading at the beachWork from the beach and, literally, get a tan while you earn those dollars!

How to find digital nomad work

The best jobs are the ones that travel with you, in my opinion, so jump on the digital nomad bus with these common remotely-available positions!

  • Copywriter or blogger

  • Graphic designer 

  • Software developer or coder

  • Social media manager 

  • Content creator 

  • Virtual assistant

  • Video editor

  • Transcriber or translator 

  • SEO advisor 

  • Data analyst

  • Accountant

Two people on a hostel bed reading a magazine

Ready to explore the East Coast of Australia? It's all about that work-and-play balance.

Check out our jampacked itineraries designed for digital nomads looking to experience the best of this incredible country! 

All information, advice or pricing provided by East Coast Tours and our affiliates, or through any of our team, is subject to change. East Coast Tours articles and products are provided online for general information purposes only and are intended as guides. Any advice interpreted from information on the website (including but not limited to financial, immigration, employment and tax information) is not specialist advice and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional instruction. East Coast Tours does not guarantee that any information provided is up-to-date or accurate. Please obtain professional advice before actioning any advice, including but not limited to tax, immigration, employment, travel restrictions and finances.

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