In 2020, the Government announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program to assist communities to recover from the bushfires of the summer 2019/20 season. This change allows both paid and volunteer work, when the work aids in recovery in a declared disaster area, to count as 'specified work,' and can be used to qualify for a second or third Working Holiday visa. The change gives working holiday makers the opportunity to help local communities and extend their stay in Australia at the same time.
Working Holiday Visa FAQ
Planning to work on your visit to Australia? Here's what you need to know.
If you're aged between 18 and 30 (or 35 in some cases) and hold a passport for a country or region participating in Australia's Working Holiday Maker program, you may be eligible to apply for a 12-month visa which enables you to work in Australia while you are here.
Since 2018, working holiday makers can count 'specified work' in wider geographical areas across Australia and stay with the same agricultural employer for up to 12 months (previously six months). This gives you the chance to experience Australia’s beautiful countryside – or experience an outback adventure – while getting to know the people who live there at the same time.
Frequently asked questions
There are a range of personal and professional benefits to doing the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program.
A gap year is an incredible opportunity for self-discovery, growth and learning. As you travel, you'll meet new people, learn about new cultures and develop new skills and interests.
The Working Holiday Maker program has two types of visas: Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417) and Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) depending on your country of residence. British citizens are eligible for the Subclass 417 visa.
If you intend to participate in Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program, you must apply for your visa before you arrive. These types of visas allow you to stay and work in Australia in all types of full-time, part-time, casual, shift and voluntary work for up to 12 months. You can leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.
You can also study for a maximum of four months in Australia in addition to working during your holiday.
You will need to meet certain health, character and financial requirements, and also declare that you will respect Australian values and obey Australian laws before a visa is granted. You should also have a return or onward ticket or the funds for a fare to depart Australia. Health insurance from your own country is also recommended.
The Working Holiday Maker program is not suitable for those seeking permanent employment or full-time study in Australia. If your primary reason for coming to Australia is to seek employment or study you should enquire about a business visa or student visa which may better suit your needs.
Read the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs visa requirements carefully to determine your eligibility and obligations before you apply. There is a non-refundable charge when you lodge your visa application.
The Australian Working Holiday visa is open to applicants aged between 18 and 30. Citizens of Canada, France or Ireland are eligible until the age of 35. Check working holiday age limits and eligibility on the Department of Home Affairs website.
The Working Holiday visa application requires identity documents such as your passport and financial evidence that proves you have the funds to stay in Australia, usually AUD $5,000. You'll need to meet certain health and character requirements, and you may also be asked to provide a police certificate. All documents must be in English, and any scan or photograph of documents must be clear and in colour. See the most up-to-date document checklists for the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) here.
It costs AUD $495 to apply for an Australian Working Holiday visa, though the price can change at any time. Check the price for the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) before applying.
After you have collected all the necessary documentation, it doesn’t take long to complete the application. Give yourself a few hours to ensure you complete the application accurately. Learn more about the application process for the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) before applying.
Processing times vary. Most applicants will hear a response within 90 days. Check the latest processing times for the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) on the Home Affairs website.
Yes. You can leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.
Your first Working Holiday visa lasts for 12 months. However, there are options to stay for two or even three years on your working holiday if you complete regional or farm work specified by the Australian Government. Learn more about specified work for the Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) here.
If you wish to stay longer and continue your working holiday, you may be able to apply for a second Working Holiday visa which will allow you to stay for an extra 12 months.
To be eligible to apply, you must hold or have previously held a Working Holiday (subclass 417 or subclass 462) visa, and have completed three months specified work in regional areas of Australia while on your first Working Holiday visa. Check to ensure the work you are undertaking and the regional area of Australia is eligible under the guidelines, as specified work eligibility differs between subclass 417 and subclass 462 visas.
You can apply for a second Working Holiday Maker visa either while you still have your first visa or at a later date. Find out more information about applying for a second Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417) here.
There are a few conditions, but the most important is that you’ll need to complete six months of specified work during your second year to qualify. You can check the list of requirements for specified work under 417 visas here.
The Australian Government has strict laws regarding employment of non-citizens and penalties for breaking the law. Don’t try to work without the right visa. If your Working Holiday visa expires and you have not left Australia or applied for another visa, you could risk being detained and possibly removed. You may also not be allowed to return to Australia for a period of time.
There are other visa options if you wish to stay temporarily or permanently in Australia at the end of your working holiday.