If you’ve dreamed of spending a year in Australia, here’s how to score yourself a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462).
If you’ve been thinking Australia is a long way to travel for a few weeks, you might have pondered applying for a Work and Holiday visa. This lets you stay for longer, earn a bit of money along the way and enjoy the sense of community you’ll find when you take on a job. It’s the best way to take full advantage of your gap year. Head to the reef, spend some time in Sydney or set yourself up working on a property. The options are endless.
Am I eligible for a working holiday visa in Australia?
On this page, we’ll give you all the details you need to apply for Work and Holiday visa (WHV) subclass 462, which is available to visitors aged 18 to 30 and hold a valid passport for the United States.
What documents do I need to apply?
To apply for WHV 462, you need to either go online, create an ImmiAccount and fill out the details or attach the following documents to your paper application.
You’ll need a number of documents on hand to aid in the process, including:
- the pages of your passport showing your name, personal details and passport issue and expiry dates; and
- a copy of your birth certificate showing both your parents’ names.
Anyone who can’t provide a birth certificate should provide a copy of one of the following documents:
- a family book showing both your parents’ names;
- government-issue identification; or
- a court-issued document that verifies your identity.
If you’ve ever changed your name, you’ll also need to provide a marriage or divorce certificate, change of name documents from a relevant overseas authority, and documents showing other names you’ve been known by.
In addition to these documents, you’ll need to provide details of your educational qualifications and proof you have a functional level of English. There are a number of tests you can take either before you apply or while your application is being processed. To find out scores needed, check out this page and go to ‘Gather Your Documents/Show Steps’, then ‘English Language, See How’.
You’ll be required to show you have enough money – generally, this is the equivalent of AUD $5000 – to support yourself during your travels. A return plane ticket or the extra funds to buy one at the end of your stay is also needed.
You may be asked to provide character documents, including military records, but someone will contact you if they’re needed.
How long will the process take?
Neither the online or paper form used to apply for a WHV 462 is difficult to fill out, but it may take a couple of hours to complete it and add all the documentation required.
For those eligible to apply online, you’ll first need to create an ImmiAccount and confirm your email address. Once you’ve started your application, you can save it and go back to it later to finish filling it in.
The paper application can be downloaded here.
What should I know before I start?
All documents you attach to your application must be in English. Those that aren’t have to supplied with a translation.
You’ll need clear, colour scans or photographs of each of these documents. If a document has more than one page, it should be saved as a single file.
If you’re applying using the paper form, keep a copy of your application. All your documents should be certified and attached only once.
Your only other obligation is to sign the Australian Values Statement. This is a document that confirms you agree to respect the Australian way of life, and obey Australian laws while you’re in the country.
How long until I get a response?
About three-quarters of applications are processed within 24 days, but it can take longer, especially if you don’t fill out the form correctly or forget to attach the right documents. Ninety per cent of applications are processed within 32 days.
How much does it cost?
When you apply for your WHV, you’ll have to pay AUD $450. You may also have to pay for extras like health checks, police certificates or biometrics (facial photograph and finger prints).
What are the healthcare requirements?
If you’re applying for a WHV from a country with a high risk of tuberculosis, you may need to undergo a medical examination and chest X-ray.
You should also note that you are responsible any health debts you run up while you’re visiting Australia. You should ensure you take out sufficient travel or health insurance to cover illness and accidents during your stay.
How much money do I need to save?
Since you’re only taking on work for a portion of the time you’re in Australia, you should have saved and be prepared to show proof of the equivalent of AUD $5000 in your bank account. On top of your savings, you need a return air ticket or enough funds to pay for a flight home.
How long can I stay?
The WHV allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months from the day you enter the country. During that time you can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you like, but once the visa is activated it can’t be extended. All that really means is that if you spend a month somewhere else that time won’t be added to the length of time for which your visa is valid.
What are the work restrictions and requirements?
The idea of the WHV is to allow you to take on short-term and casual jobs to fund your travels and help you pay for your holiday. For the most part, you can stay in one job for a maximum of six months, although this can be extended with special permission if you work for the same employer but in different locations, in animal or plant cultivation (everything from picking fruit to shearing sheep), or in certain industries (such as aged care and construction) in northern Australia. Check out the full list of exemptions from the six-month rule here.
Can I extend my Work and Holiday visa?
If you fall in love with life in Australia (and who could blame you?) it is possible to extend your time here. If you do at least three months of specified work in eligible northern and regional areas of the country you can apply for a Second Work and Holiday visa that will give you another year to explore and top up your funds. To find out how to do it, head to our information page here.
What are the age requirements?
Whether you’re applying for your Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462), you need to be aged between 18 and 30. There is a little leeway – if you apply for the visa when you’re still 30, but turn 31 before the application has been approved, the visa may still be granted.