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Updated September 2023

Australia is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, bustling urban centers, and rich cultural tapestry. Many individuals who wish to delve into the Aussie lifestyle also aspire to work while experiencing all that this vast and captivating country has to offer. Fortunately, Australia offers an incredible opportunity for adventurers worldwide through its working holiday visa.

In this article, Wego offers a comprehensive guide to the Australia working holiday visa, equipping you with crucial information for an unforgettable adventure in the land down under.

Australia working holiday visa

The Australia Working Holiday Visa offers a diverse range of opportunities for travelers. With this visa, you can engage in short-term employment to financially support your holiday, study for up to 4 months, and enjoy the freedom to travel to and from Australia as often as you like.

While this visa allows you to undertake various types of work, there is typically a 6-month limit for working with the same employer. If your primary purpose in Australia is work-related, it’s advisable to explore other visa options, such as a dedicated work visa. Similarly, if your main goal is studying, you should consider applying for a Student visa that aligns with your educational objectives.

The visa program comprises three tiers: the first, second, and third Working Holiday Visas. Progressing through these tiers involves meeting specific requirements. After completing 3 months of specified work under the first Working Holiday Visa, you can apply for a second Working Holiday Visa. Furthermore, after completing 6 months of specified work under subclass 417, you become eligible for the third Working Holiday Visa.

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Australia working holiday visa eligible countries

Citizens of the following countries and jurisdictions, who hold valid passports, have the opportunity to apply for a 12-month working holiday visa in Australia:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China
  • 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 (including British National Overseas passport holders)

Australia working holiday visa requirements

To be eligible for the Australia working holiday visa, applicants must meet specific requirements set by the Australian government. These requirements may vary depending on your country of passport. Here are the key eligibility criteria you need to consider:

  • your age must fall within the eligible age limit for your passport country. These age limits vary depending on your nationality, ranging from 18 to 35 years
    • Belgium – 18 to 30 years
    • Canada – 18 to 35 years
    • Republic of Cyprus – 18 to 30 years
    • Denmark – 18 to 35 years
    • Estonia – 18 to 30 years
    • Finland – 18 to 30 years
    • France – 18 to 35 years
    • Germany – 18 to 30 years
    • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China – 18 to 30 years
    • Republic of Ireland – 18 to 35 years
    • Italy – 18 to 35 years
    • Japan – 18 to 30 years
    • Republic of Korea – 18 to 30 years
    • Malta – 18 to 30 years
    • Netherlands – 18 to 30 years
    • Norway – 18 to 30 years
    • Sweden – 18 to 30 years
    • Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport) – 18 to 30 years
    • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (including British National Overseas passport holders) – 18 to 35 years
  • if you apply for the visa while you are 30 (or 35) but turn 31 (or 36) before the Australian authorities decide, you can still be granted the visa if you meet all other requirements
  • if you are applying for the first working holiday visa, you must not have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)
  • you must have sufficient funds to support yourself while you are in Australia and to cover the cost of leaving Australia at the end of your stay
    • typically, this amounts to about AUD 5,000 for your initial stay, plus the fare to your next destination after leaving Australia
  • you must meet the health requirement
  • you must meet the character requirement
  • you must not have had a visa canceled or an application refused previously
  • you must acknowledge the Australian Values Statement, confirming your commitment to respecting the Australian way of life and obeying Australian laws
  • should not be accompanied by dependent children or family members

Australia working holiday visa application process

Applying for an Australia working holiday visa involves several steps to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documentation. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application process:

Step 1: Organize health exams

Depending on your specific circumstances, you might need to undergo health examinations. You can choose to complete these exams before applying or wait until you receive instructions from the Australian authorities. It’s essential to find out which examinations you need and how to arrange them if you prefer to have them before you apply.

If needed, you can appoint someone to assist you with your application. However, only registered migration agents, legal practitioners, or exempt persons can provide immigration assistance. You can also appoint someone to receive documents on your behalf related to your visa application.

Step 2: Gather your documents

You will need to provide various documents as part of your visa application. These documents include:

  • identity documents: This includes the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details, passport issue, and expiry dates. Further, provide a copy of your birth certificate showing both parents’ names. If you don’t have a birth certificate, alternative documents may be accepted
  • proof of sufficient funds: You must demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Australia. This is typically about AUD 5,000. You must also show enough money to purchase a return ticket
  • character documents: Depending on your circumstances, you may be asked to provide an Australian police certificate if you’ve spent 12 months or more in Australia in the last 10 years since turning 16. You may also need an overseas police certificate from every country where you’ve spent 12 months or more since turning 16. Military service records or discharge papers may be required if you’ve served in any country’s armed forces

If your documents are not in English, they must be translated. Translators in Australia must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. Translators outside Australia don’t need to be accredited but must include specific details on each translation, such as their name, address, telephone number, qualifications, and experience in the translated language.

Step 3: Apply online

To successfully apply for the working holiday visa online, follow these straightforward steps:

Make sure to note the transaction reference number for your records.

Step 5: Wait for the decision

After you’ve applied, you will receive a written notification from Australian authorities regarding their decision. If your visa is approved, you will receive details, including your visa grant number, start date, and the attached conditions. It’s essential to keep a copy of this notification with you during your stay in Australia.

However, in the event that your visa application is denied, you will be informed of the reasons for the refusal and whether you have the option to request a review of the decision.

Australia working holiday visa validity

The Australia working holiday visa is a temporary visa with specific validity conditions. You must enter Australia within 12 months of the visa being granted, and there is no possibility of extending or deferring this timeframe.

Your visa’s period of stay commences from the day you enter Australia. During this period, you have the flexibility to stay in Australia for up to 12 months and can freely leave and re-enter the country as many times as you wish within this 12-month window. This allows you to explore Australia, work, and travel while maximizing your working holiday experience.

Australia working holiday visa extension

Extending the Australia working holiday visa itself is impossible; you cannot stay in Australia longer by extending this specific visa. If you wish to prolong your stay in Australia, you must apply for another type of visa that suits your intended duration and purpose of stay.

Nevertheless, there is an exception for those who are eligible. If you are on your first working holiday visa and meet specific criteria, you can apply for a second one. This opportunity allows you to extend your stay and continue your working holiday experience in Australia.

Check your eligibility and the requirements for the second Working Holiday visa if you’re interested in this option.

Australia working holiday visa cost

The cost of applying for an Australia Working Holiday Visa is AUD 635. However, in addition to this base fee, there may be additional expenses associated with your application process. These can include fees for health checks, police certificates, and biometrics if required.


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