This visa is for people aged 18 to 30 years of age, who are interested in a working holiday of up to 12 months in Australia.
This visa allows you to supplement the cost of your holiday through short-term employment. However, if your primary reason for travelling to Australia is to participate in the work force, you should consider a visa designed for that purpose.
How does this visa work?
Any time spent outside Australia while on your first or second Working Holiday visa does not extend the length of the visa.
First Working Holiday visa
If you are granted your first Working Holiday visa you can:
- enter Australia within 12 months of grant (this cannot be extended or deferred)
- stay up to 12 months
- leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid
- work in Australia for up to six months with each employer
- study for up to four months
Second Working Holiday visa
The table below outlines how long you can stay in Australia if you are granted a second Working Holiday visa, depending on your circumstances at the time of application.
You can do any kind of work in Australia. However, you can only work with the same employer for up to six months.
If your main reason for coming to Australia is to work you should consider applying for a visa intended for work purposes, such as a business visa.
You can study for a maximum of four months.
If you want to study in Australia, particularly for a longer period of time, it may be helpful to check if there is a student visa option that is more suitable to your needs.
Extending your stay
You must depart Australia when your visa ends unless you apply for another visa to extend your stay.
If your Working Holiday visa ends and you have not departed Australia or applied for another visa you risk being detained and removed from Australia. You may also be subject to a period of exclusion from Australia.
If you are in Australia and your visa has expired you should contact the department to regularize your status.
A first Working Holiday visa cannot be extended beyond the 12 month validity period. However, if you have completed three months of specified work in regional Australia on your first Working Holiday visa you may be eligible to apply for a second Working Holiday visa.
There are other visa options for remaining temporarily or permanently in Australia at the end of your working holiday. However, your eligibility depends on your circumstances and intentions.
Note: If you apply for a Tourist visa while in Australia on a Working Holiday visa it can only be granted in exceptional circumstances, such as being unfit to travel.
Visa application process
You can apply online, by post or by courier. If you have dependent children you will need to apply using the paper application. European Union and national identity cards cannot be used to apply for a Working Holiday visa. You must apply using a passport from an eligible country. If you lodge an application using an identity card, your application cannot be accepted, and you will need to lodge another application using your passport.
Activating your Working Holiday visa
If you applied for your Working Holiday visa outside Australia your 12 month stay period starts when you enter Australia. This includes entering Australia as a transit passenger, on an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), Crew Travel Authority (CTA), or a Maritime Crew Visa (MCV). When you have started the stay period on your Working Holiday visa it cannot be delayed or deferred.
If you do not want to start your 12 month stay on your Working Holiday visa and you plan to transit through Australia or enter on an ETA, CTA or MCV, you should consider cancelling your Working Holiday visa. You will then need to apply for an alternative visa before you travel to Australia. Information about visa options when transiting through Australia is available from the departmental website.
To have your Working Holiday visa cancelled contact the Working Holiday visa processing centre. You may apply for another Working Holiday visa in the future but will need to pay another visa application charge.
Note: If you wish to travel to Australia on an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), Crew Travel Authority (CTA) or Maritime Crew Visa (MCV) before activating your Working Holiday visa, you should first cancel your Working Holiday visa. Cancelling your Working Holiday visa after obtaining an ETA, CTA or MCV will also cancel the ETA, CTA or MCV.
- be outside Australia when you apply and, when your visa is granted
- not have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday (417) visa
- not have previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (462) visa
- be aged between 18 and 30 years (inclusive) at the time of applying
Your age will be determined as the age you are in Australia at the time your application is lodged (Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) or the Australian Eastern Daylight Savings time (AEDT)). Because of this time difference you are advised not to wait to lodge your application until you are about to turn 31, as the system will take the current date in Australia as your application date.
- be applying no more than 12 months before you intend to travel to Australia
- not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during your stay in Australia
Note: A dependent child is the child, or step-child, of you or your partner who:
- is not married, engaged to be married, or in a de facto relationship
- has not turned 18
If you would like a dependent child to join you in Australia you must apply for a different visa such as a Tourist visa. If you have dependent children who will not accompany you at any time you must apply for a Working Holiday visa using the paper application. You are not able to apply online.
You must hold a passport for a country or region participating with Australia in the Working Holiday program.
All applicants are required to meet health criteria. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to undertake a medical examination which may include a chest x-ray, HIV, Hepatitis B and/or Hepatitis C test.
All required health examinations must be completed before a decision can be made on your visa application.
If you need a medical examination, the cost is not included in the visa application charge you pay when you lodge your application.
Note: Some health requirements such as x-rays can take several weeks to be processed, therefore, please take this delay into consideration when planning your travels. You should not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised that your visa has been granted.
Medical treatment in Australia can be very expensive. As a tourist, you are not covered by Australia’s national health scheme, unless there is a reciprocal health care agreement between Australia and your country. Health care for visitors to Australia is explained on the Medicare Australia website.
It is recommended that you take out health insurance for the duration of your stay in Australia. You can obtain health insurance through a health insurance provider or travel agent in your country of residence.
To be granted this visa you must meet character requirements.
You must have access to sufficient funds to support yourself for the initial stage of your holiday. Generally, AUD5000 may be regarded as sufficient, but the amount may vary depending on your length of stay and the extent of your travel. You should also have a return or onward ticket or the funds for a fare to depart Australia.
Australian Values Statement
You must declare that you will respect Australian values and obey the laws of Australia. For this visa, the values statement is included in the general declaration section of the application form. When you sign the application form it means you will also be signing the values statement. You will not be required to have read the Life in Australia book, but may do so if you wish.
Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 187
You must activate your visa by entering Australia within 12 months of your visa being granted. If you do not activate your visa within this period the visa will cease. If your visa ceases and you still want to travel to Australia under the Working Holiday program, you will need to reapply.
You must comply with all your visa conditions while in Australia on a Working Holiday visa. In addition to the work and study limitations, additional visa conditions may be imposed on your first or second Working Holiday visa. Any conditions will be included in your visa grant notice. A breach of any of these conditions may result in your visa being cancelled and you may have to leave Australia.
You must not study in Australia for longer than four months. If you study while on your first Working Holiday visa, you may return to the same institution if granted a second Working Holiday visa.
Four months means 17 weeks of actual study excluding holidays and orientation periods.
If you are considering studying in Australia, for a period of time longer than four months, it may be helpful to check if there is a student visa option that is more suitable to your needs.
If you hold a Work and Holiday visa the main purpose of your visit must be for an extended holiday. You can do any kind of work over the course of your 12 month stay in Australia; however, all Work and Holiday visa holders are limited to a maximum period of six months work with any one employer. This limitation applies to all employers and all forms of work. The six month work limitation applies to full-time, part-time, casual, shift and voluntary work.
If you hold a second Working Holiday visa, you may return to work for a further six months for an employer with whom you worked on your first Working Holiday visa.
Extending the work limitation
Requests to extend the employment period beyond six months are only granted in exceptional circumstances. An extension may be allowed for a very short period of time (less than one month) and only if there is very strong justification to grant it.
Exceptional circumstances must be extraordinary and unforeseeable, and relate to an Australian permanent resident, citizen or business.
If you obtain a new passport
If you plan to get a new passport you should do this before applying for your Working Holiday visa.
Your visa is linked to the passport number you used in your application and you must use the same passport to travel to Australia.
If you get a new passport after applying for your Working Holiday visa you must advise the department of the new details before you travel to Australia. Otherwise, you may experience significant delays at the airport and could be denied permission to board your plane.