Pathway to Aus

Working Holiday Visa

If you’re between 18 and 30 years old, hold a passport for a country participating in Working Holiday Maker program, you may be eligible for a 12-month visa which enables you to work while staying in Australia. Check out the list of requirements down below.

WHV Benefits

Working Holiday Visa allows young travelers and backpackers help fund and extended travel period in Australia.

Requirements

You must have a valid passport, between ages 18-31, meet health & character criteria and have enough funds. (Age limit increased to 35 for Canadian’s, French and Irish)

Application Process

There’s a 6 step process, which we have explained in detail down below. In case of questions don’t hesitate to contact us with follow up questions.

What is Working Holiday Visa?

The Australian Government created the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) to allow young travelers and backpackers from eligible countries to help fund an extended travel period in Australia.

You can spend your whole time living in one location or travel cross-country, meet new people, learn about Australia’s culture, obtain new skills and explore the vastly diverse landscapes Australia has to offer.

If you undertake regional work you may be able to extend your working holiday visa. By extending your working holiday visa, you can stay up to 3 years, but with each year there are a few additional requirements that you’ll need to meet.

Check out the requirements down blow and if you have any questions then don’t hesitate to contact us. 

Working Holiday Visa Benefits

The WHV allows you to work and study in Australia

Work for up to 6 months full-time for any one employer

Study for up to 4 months on the WHV.

Enter and leave Australia as many times as you like

Live in one location or travel cross-country

You might consider Student Visa if:

you're mostly interested in studying because Student Visa permits you to work and study in Australia the duration of your course

you wish to work more than 6 months then you might consider a Student Visa which allows you to work 40h per fortnight.

Working Holiday Visa Requirements

We’ve put together a list of requirements with detailed information, but if you have any questions or concerns then don’t hesitate to contact us.
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Valid passport

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Between age 18 - 31

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No previous WHV

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Outside of Australia

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Sufficient Finances

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Meet health requirement

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Meet character requirement

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Meet other criteria

Must have a valid passport

The Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417 or subclass 462) is for citizens of certain eligible countries. Depending on the country you are from, you will need to apply for the specific subclass.

Subclass 417 is for passport holders of:
Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, , Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders), Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport), The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Subclass 462 if for passport holders of:
Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, People’s Republic of Czech Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, Uruguay, United States of America, Vietnam

Must be between age 18 and 31

(or 36 for citizens of France, Ireland, or Canada)

In order to be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417 and 462), at the time of application, you must be:

  • Over 18 years of age; and
  • Under 31 years of age*

If you are a citizen of Ireland, France or Canada, you must be under 36 years of age

If you do not meet the age requirement of the WHV, you may still be able to live, work and study in Australia on a Student Visa, which has no age limits.

No previous WHV subclass 417 or 462

If you have previously held or currently hold a WHV, you may be eligible to extend your time in Australia on a Second or Third Year WHV if you completed certain Specified Regional Work. You can learn more here.

Even if you already had a First Year WHV and do not qualify for the Second or Third Year WHV, you may still be able to live, study and work in Australia on a Student Visa.

Must be outside of Australia

In order to apply for the First Year Working Holiday Visa, you must be outside of Australia at the time of application and at the time of grant.

If you are already in Australia and looking for ways to extend your stay, you may want to consider a Student Visa , which you can apply for from inside Australia.

Must have enough money

In order to be granted a WHV, you must have enough money to:

  • Support yourself for your initial stay in Australia, usually around $5,000; and
  • Purchase a departure ticket out of the country.

Meet the health requirement

Depending on your home country or your travel history or if you have a medical condition or special circumstance, you might have to undertake a health examination before your visa is granted.

It is recommended that you have health insurance for your time in Australia.

The Australian Department of Home Affairs has more information regarding the Health Requirement.

Meet the character requirement

In order to visit or live in Australia, you must meet the character requirements to show you are of good character and will abide by the laws and values of Australia. In some cases, you will be required to provide evidence, such as:

  • Police checks
  • Military certificates
  • Explanations

You can learn more about the character requirement from the Department of Home Affairs’ website here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/character

Meet other criteria

In order to visit or live in Australia, you must meet the character requirements to show you are of good character and will abide by the laws and values of Australia. In some cases, you will be required to provide evidence, such as:

  • Police checks
  • Military certificates
  • Explanations

You can learn more about the character requirement from the Department of Home Affairs’ website here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/character

Applying for the Working Holiday Visa

If you meet the criteria for the Working Holiday Visa, then you can apply now! Here are the Steps to Apply for the Working Holiday Visa

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Prepare to Apply

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Gather the Documents

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Apply for the Visa

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Pay the Visa Application Fee

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Check for Correspondences

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Wait for a Decision

Step 1: Prepare to Apply

Check if there are any caps or limits on the WHV allotment for the year.

Immigration imposes annual limits for the number of First Year Working Holiday Visas available to certain countries each year. Once the limit is reached, no more WHV will be issued for that year. The limits reset every 1 July. You can check the status of the WHV caps here:

  • Subclass 462
  • Subclass 417: there are currently no annual caps for the Subclass 417 WHV

If the cap has been reached for your country, you may still be able to live, work and study in Australia on a Student Visa

Arrange Your Health Exams

  • If you are certain you will be required to undertake a health examination, you can do so before you apply to expedite the process. 
  • If you are unsure whether or not you will need to undertake a medical examination, you can simply wait for Immigration to request it.

Get Assistance with Your Application

  • Click down: While you are not required to hire a Migration Agent to assist you on you WHV application, if you would like assistance, we can help. Contact us today.

Step 2: Gather the Required Documents

You will need to supply certain documents and evidence to support your application. Here is a general list of documents you may need to provide:

  • Identity Documents
    • You must provide:
      • Passport Bio Page
      • Full Birth Certificate, showing parents’ names
    • You may need to provide:
      • Evidence of Name Change, if applicable, such as:
        • Marriage or Divorce Certificate
        • Deed Poll
        • Official documentation of name change
  • Evidence of Sufficient Funds
        • Bank Statement
        • Line of Credit
    • Character Documents
        • You may be required to provide:
          • Police Checks for Australia
            • This is usually requested if you’ve committed a crime and have spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia in the last 10 years since turning 16)
          • Overseas Police Checks
            • This is usually requested if you’ve committed a crime. A police check is required for each country where you’ve resided for a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years, since turning 16
          • Military Service Records
            • This is usually required if you’ve previously served in the military or if you are from a country that has mandatory military service.
    • Documents Specific for Subclass 462
      • Education Documents
      • English Language Documents
      • Letter of Support from Government

*All documents must be translated to English by an accredited translator. The evidence must be organized, clear, in colour, and under 5MB (if submitting the application online).

Depending on your individual circumstances, you will need to require specific documentation and evidence. If you are unsure of what is required, we may be to assist you.

Step 3: Complete the Visa Application

Most Applicants will be required to apply online.

How to Apply Online:

  • Login or create an ImmiAccount.
  • Complete the Online Application Form
  • Attach the Documents

How to Apply on Paper:
Please note: Paper applications will not be accepted from Applicants who are eligible to apply online.

All Subclass 417 Visa Applicants must apply online
Subclass 462 Visa Applicants from the following countries must apply online:

Argentina, Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America, Uruguay, Vietnam

If you hold a passport from the People’s Republic of China, you are required to apply in person at an Australia Visa Application Centre.

Tips for Completing the Visa Application Form
Be truthful

  • Do not lie on the Application.
  • Providing false or misleading statements or information that conflicts with previous visa applications can result in delays in processing or a refusal.

Be thorough and accurate

  • Provide all information requested on the Application.
  • Providing insufficient or inadequate information may delay the processing of your application

Review the Application before submitting

  • Ensure your name, passport number, date of birth, and all other biographical information is accurate.
  • Providing incorrect information may cause issues with the validity of your visa

Step 4: Pay the Visa Application Fee

As of 1 July 2019, the fee for the Working Holiday Subclass 417 and 462 Visa is: $485 AUD.

This fee is subject to change. Please check the Department of Home Affairs’ website.

Online Applications

  • You will be able to pay online at the end of the Application.
  • You can pay via: Credit Card, PayPal, UnionPay, or BPAY (fees may apply)
  • Your application will not be processed until you pay the Application Fee

Paper Applications

  • If you apply in person, you can pay at the time of application.
  • If you mail the application, Immigration will send an invoice.

Step 5: Check for Correspondences and Notify Immigration of Any Changes

If you are required to provide more information or undertake a medical examination or biometrics collection, Immigration will notify you or your nominated agent.

If you made a mistake on your submitted application, if there have been any changes in your circumstances or if you want to change or nominate an agent, you must inform immigration.

Step 6: Wait for a Decision

Processing Time of Working Holiday Visa Applications

Subclass 417
On average, it takes between 17 and 30 days to process a WHV subclass 417 Application

Subclass 462
It takes anywhere from 46 to 62 days to process most WHV Subclass 462 Applications.

How to Speed-Up Processing of My WHV Application

  • While you cannot speed up the processing of your WHV application, you can take certain measures to ensure it is not delayed. Here are some tips to follow to avoid delays in processing:
  • Make sure you are eligible for the visa
  • Apply for the correct subclass
  • Provide accurate, thorough and truthful answers to your visa application
  • Provide all required documentation and evidence
  • Provide clear, colour images of your documents
  • Make sure all documents are in English and translated by an approved translator
  • Undertake your health exams and/or biometrics collections before requested by immigration if you know you will be required to do so
  • Provide correct contact information and update immigration if these details change
  • Check your “Spam” folder in your email for any electronic correspondences
  • Seek assistance from a professional if you are unsure of the application process.
  • In general, we advise against booking your travel to Australia before your visa is approved.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve put together a list of commonly asked questions with answers. Hopefully you’ll find an instant answer to your question, but if your question is not listed here then feel free to get in touch with us.
When can I enter Australia on the WHV?
Once your First WHV is approved, you may enter Australia anytime within one year from the date that your visa was granted.
How long can I stay in Australia on the First Year WHV?
Your WHV is “activated” as soon as you arrive in Australia. It will be valid for 12 months from the date you set foot in Australia.

You should be sure to know the exact date that your WHV expires to avoid overstaying your visa, which can negatively impact your ability to apply for visas to Australia in the future.

What do I need to do once I arrive in Australia?

Once you arrive in Australia, you will need to get a few tasks done before you begin working.

What kind of work can I do on the WHV?

You can undertake any type of legal work in Australia, with certain rights and conditions. Please note, you cannot work for the same employer for longer than six months without permission from the Australian government.

You may be able to work for the same employer for more than six months without permission if:

  • The work is in different locations and work in any one of the locations is not more than six months; or
  • The work qualifies as Regional Specified Work 

Some other things to consider are:

  • The six months is calculated based on the duration of employment and not the number of hours worked.
  • This condition resets when:
    • You have been granted a second WHV, or
    • A bridging visa comes into effect (after your WHV expires)

If you want to apply for the Second Year WHV, you must undertake certain Regional Specified Work. 

No matter what type of work you undertake, you are protected by certain rights and entitlements. Know your rights to avoid unfair wages or work conditions. 

Can I extend my Working Holiday Visa?
The requirements and eligibility criteria are different depending on whether you are applying for the First Year WHV or if you want to extend your WHV into the Second or Third Year.

This article is for travelers who have never before held a WHV. If you are looking to extend you Working Holiday Visa, you will need to meet additional criteria.

What Counts as “Farm Work” for the Second Working Holiday Visa?

In order to apply for a Second Year WHV, you must complete 88 days (or three calendar months) of Regional Specified Work while on your First Year WHV.

Regional Specified Work, often called “Rural Farm Work” is certain types of work in certain industries undertaken in certain areas in Australia. The work and locations will depend on your WHV subclass. The industries are:

  • Subclass 417
    • Plant and Animal Cultivation
    • Fishing and Pearling
    • Tree Farming and Felling
    • Mining
    • Construction
  • Subclass 462
    • Plant and animal cultivation
    • Fishing and Pearling
    • Tree Farming and Felling
    • Tourism and Hospitality

To learn more about what constitutes Specified Work and how to apply for the Second Year WHV, 

Always be sure the work you are undertaking qualifies as Regional Specified Work. If you are unsure, contact us or book a consultation to speak with a Migration Agent.

How can I find “Farm Work” for my WHV?

There are countless options for undertaking regional specified work or seasonal farm work. If you are prepared, you can choose the type of work that is best suited to your preference of location and tasks. For instance, if you do not like the heat, avoid places like the Outback or Northern Territory in the summertime. If you don’t like manual labour, choose a task like fruit sorting, rather than fruit picking.

You can find specified work vacancies through employment pages in newspapers, through job placement agencies, and online job postings.Here are some links where you can search for possible farm work options:

Please be aware that not all jobs posted on the above website necessarily qualify as Regional Specified Work as required for the Second Year WHV.

When do I need to complete my Farm Work for the Second Year WHV?

You must undertake your 88 days/3 months of farm work before your First Year WHV expires. This means, at the very latest, you will need to begin your farm work after being in Australia for nine months.

You can undertake this work either at one place or multiple locations and it does not have to be completed consecutively. 

We generally recommend that you complete your farm work at the beginning of your WHV. There are several thousand Working Holiday Makers in Australia at any given time, meaning the jobs for farm work fill up fast.

You cannot complete your eligible Farm Work on any other type of visa if you plan to apply for a Second Year WHV.

If you didn’t complete your Farm Work in time, there may still be options for you to remain in Australia, such as applying for a Student Visa.

GET IN TOUCH

In case of questions, feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents.

Contact details

Give us a call

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New Zealand: 0800 886071
United Kingdom: 02039 483 865

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info@pathwaytoaus.com

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Shop 9/ 2563 Gold Coast Highway,
Mermaid Beach, QLD, 4218

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London, W5 2NX, United Kingdom

Working Holiday Visa was last modified: October 28th, 2020 by PTA