Australian Working Holiday Visa

A Working Holiday in Australia is a great experience and offers the chance to really live the Australian lifestyle!

The Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program was created to foster closer ties and cultural exchange between Australia and partner countries, with emphasis on young adults. It has been in existence since 1975. This visa lets people 18 to 30 years old (inclusive) – except for Canadian, Irish, Italian and Danish citizens up to 35 (inclusive) – to apply for a working holiday in Australia.

The WHM visa program is comprised of the Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa and the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa programs. Partner countries encompass 47 partner nations and regions from across the globe.

Of the 47 partner countries, 19 are Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa arrangements, and 28 are Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa arrangements. The key differences between the two visas are that Work and Holiday visa arrangements generally have caps on the number of visas granted annually and additional eligibility requirements.

The Working Holiday visa allows you to:

  • stay in Australia for up to 12 months
  • work in Australia for up to six months with each employer
  • study for up to four months
  • leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.

Australian Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa & Work and Holiday (subclass 462) Basic Requirements

  • be aged 18-30 (inclusive) at time of application
  • hold a passport from an eligible partner country
  • are a genuine visitor who wants to have a holiday in Australia
  • have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday
  • have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket at the end of your stay
  • will not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during your stay
  • have not previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 462)
  • meet health and character requirements

Further Requirements for Work and Holiday (subclass 462)

Work and Holiday visa applicants must meet additional requirements, which may (or may not) include:

  • functional English (For further information, access our article about  English Requirements for Australian Visas)
  • Successful completion of at least two years of undergraduate university study (except Israel & USA)
  • a letter of home country/government support in association with their visa application (except Argentina, China, Israel & USA).

Working Holiday Visa Eligible Countries

Working Holiday (subclass 417)

Work and Holiday (subclass 462)

Country Visa 417 Visa 462
Czech Republic
Cyprus, Republic of
Hong Kong*
Ireland, Republic of
Korea, Republic of
San Marino
Slovak Republic
Switzerland  ✔
United Kingdom

*Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
(including British National Overseas passport holders)

Countries with which Australia is currently negotiating new Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa arrangements (as at 30 June 2018) :

Andorra Mexico
Croatia Monaco
Fiji Philippines
India Solomon Islands

Working Holiday Visa Processing Time

The updated processing times are available on  The Home Affairs website.

Second Working Holiday Visa

To apply for a second Working Holiday, you must:

  • have complied with all the conditions on your first Working Holiday visa
  • have not previously held more than one Working Holiday visa
  • have completed six months of specified subclass 417 work

If you are already in Australia, and wish to remain onshore, you should apply for a second Working Holiday visa before your first Working Holiday visa expires.

Third Working Holiday Visa

To apply for a third Working Holiday, you must:

  • have previously held 2 working holiday visas in Australia
  • complied with all the conditions on your first and second Working Holiday visa
  • have not previously held more than two Working Holiday visa
  • have completed six months of specified subclass 417 work

If you are already in Australia, and wish to remain onshore, you should apply for a third Working Holiday visa before your second Working Holiday visa expires.

Latest News

The department has announced that they have extended the relaxation of condition 8547 until 30 June 2023. This change allows Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) to work with any one employer for the duration of their visa without requesting permission, and any work that is carried out before 1 July 2023 will not be counted towards the 6-month limitation period.  This means that from 1 July 2023 onwards, WHMs may work for any employer for up to an additional 6 months even if they worked for that same employer before 1 July 2023.

Employer Sponsored Visa Pathway

The working holiday visa is a good opportunity to gain relevant Australian work experience whilst proving to your employer your worth which may be a good springboard into an employer sponsored visa providing you with a more permanent stay in Australia.

There are two types of sponsorship visas: Subclass 482 and Subclass 186.

The TSS visa, or 482 visa, is a temporary visa that permits the holder to live in Australia, while working full-time for the sponsoring employer, in a nominated occupation which is listed on the Short Skilled List or Medium Long Term Skilled List.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or Subclass 186 visa, is permanent residency visa for skilled workers which enables your employer to sponsor if they can prove a genuine need for an on-going permanent position.

General Skilled Visa, which is a points based independent visa, may also be a way of gaining Australian permanent residency as having Australian work experience will gain you greater points than overseas work experience.  To read more about the requirements, please see Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent Visa) and Subclass 190 (Skilled Nominated Visa).

If you require assistance with exploring your different visa options and your eligibility, feel free to book a consultation with one of our expert Registered Migration Agents here.

Would you like to know more about your prospects for a visa?

Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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