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International Working Pet Groomer Scheme

Pets Australia has teamed up with a specialist visa lawyer service to help groomers have working holidays in Australia.

The scheme applies to commercial/qualified dog and cat groomers from the USA, Japan, Thailand and the UK and possibly other countries subject to agreements between the Australian government and the government of the country involved.

Australia desperately needs senior/trained professional groomers and some additional Grooming Technician (bather/brusher) level staff in the hot months of the year– September to March. This time period also links with major grooming competitions, summer holidays, and warm weather and is the best time for travel in all parts ofAustralia (except the far north of the country).

The working tourist visa may allow entry into Australia TO WORK and TO TRAVEL for up to 6 months, with not less than 2 employers during the period. You can get work experience in another country and travel, make new friends and enjoy local culture, learn to speak Australian English, discover Australian wines and beaches and all the other wonderful things that Australia has to offer.

The scheme works like this:

1. First, check your eligibility to become a working tourist in Australia, by finding out if a working tourist visa is available to you and the conditions that apply to this visa. You can talk to your local visa experts, or you can contact us and we will refer you to our local expert (fees and conditions apply). Note that some student visas (up to 2 years) will also allow overseas students to work for up to 20 hours per week, if they are studying a government-approved course. Many students study English, or Business courses at their own cost, and then work part time under the conditions of their visa.

2. Now, find an employer/sponsor by registering your interest on the Pets Australia Pet Business Classifieds CLICK HERE FOR ACCESS. Click on the PET PEOPLE AVAILABLE button and place your advertisement. Make your advertisement excellent! Post photos of your work/experience, make sure all your contact details are the ones that you can respond to immediately, and make your advertisement interesting. Use email as your best contact, because there may be timing differences by phone. There is a small charge to access this service. Provide a resume, or access to your resume via Facebook etc. Don’t forget to include whether you are prepared to work anywhere in Australia, or particular states/cities.

3. Once you have found an employer/sponsor, go ahead and arrange your visa. If you need access to a visa lawyer in Australia, we can help ( fees and conditions apply). Make sure you tell the truth in your application and check all forms carefully – Australia has strict laws and we don’t want to see you turned back at the airport. When you are negotating with a potential employer, make sure you are absolutely clear about:

  • whether the employer is able to help with accommodation or whether you will be required to do so
  • the payment you will receive for your hard work
  • the conditions of your employment – the hours you work, meal breaks, start and finish time, weekend work etc
  • your starting date and finishing date

Note that YOU are responsible for your airfares to and from Australia and your accommodation unless your employer/sponsor agrees otherwise. You should also take travel insurance in case of accident or illness while you are in Australia, and you should ensure that you are covered by your regular medical insurance, as free medical benefits may not be available to you in Australia.

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4. Wait for the visa to be processed – this can take some months, so be sure that you allow enough time before you wish to come to Australia. You should keep in close touch with your employer/sponsor during this period.

5. Once the visa is issued, book your trip and come to Australia! Please follow all the conditions of your visa carefully because if you do not, you might not be allowed into Australia for further trips.

6. If you have problems when you are in Australia, you are welcome to contact us at petsaustralia@petsaustralia.org and we will assist where we can. This might include referring you to support services, assisting with workplace issues, or reporting legal problems to the relevant authorities. We will not charge for our services, but the bodies to which we refer you might.

When you are working in Australia, you will be treated in exactly the same way as any other employee in Australia – market wages and conditions, and all the support provided by employment law

These requirements include standard working hours, working in teams, doing pet grooms and some breed grooms as well as bathing and brushing as required by the employer. If the employer provides training, it is expected that the groomer will receive training as well. If Pets Australia is running an course (eg Pet First Aid course) in the salon where the groomer is working, then the groomer will be offered a place in that course for free.

Outside working hours – you are a tourist! You can engage in local culture, meet with friends, and visit tourist attractions. You can fund these from their saved money, or can use their wages to help pay for these social activities

You will also receive FREE membership of Pets Australia for the duration of your trip, allowing you to talk to Pets Australia staff if there are any problems, and receive all member benefits and discounts. If there is a problem between the groomer and the employer Pets Australia will assist, but can’t always guarantee to solve a problem.

The cost to the groomer is:

a) The basic cost of being a tourist – air fares, visa costs, tourist activities etc.

b) the usual ‘cost’ of being an employee – accommodation, meals, transport phone/internet, etc – just as if you lived in Australia (but remember that you will be paid for your work, so this should offset these costs)

Groomers are encouraged to register their interest on the website not later than APRIL each year for the Sept -Mar summer season of that year. The summer season is the peak season in Australia, and many employers are desperate for senior groomers with a good work ethic.

Please feel free to contact petsaustralia@petsaustralia.org with any questions that you might have, and to pass this information on to any grooming schools or groomers that you think might be interested in the scheme.




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