Fact Sheet 49—Working Holiday Program
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Australia's Working Holiday Program establishes arrangements to encourage cultural exchange and closer ties between countries, by allowing young people to have an extended holiday, and supplement their funds with short-term employment. The program has a special focus on helping employers in regional Australia to meet short-term employment needs.
The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417 visa) is available to passport holders from Belgium, Canada, the Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
The Working Holiday Program enhances the cultural and social development of young people, promotes mutual understanding between Australia and other nations and is an important part of the tourism industry.
The Working Holiday program helps Australian regional employers by encouraging Working Holiday visa holders to seek short-term and casual work in specified industries in regional Australia.
The reciprocal nature of the program provides opportunities for young Australians to undertake working holidays overseas with arrangement countries.
To be eligible, applicants need to meet the following requirements:
- hold a passport issued by an eligible country or region
- be aged 18-30 (inclusive) at the time of applying
- not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during their stay in Australia
- meet health, character and financial requirements
- not have previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (462) visa
- not have prevsiouly entered Australia on a Working Holiday (417) visa (unless applying for a second visa, see 'Second Working Holiday visa' below)
- be outside Australia when they apply and when their visa is granted (unless applying for a second visa, see 'Second Working Holiday visa' below)
- apply within 12 months of intended travel to Australia.
See: Working Holiday
Applicants who have performed specified work in an eligible regional Australian area for a minimum of three months (88 days) while on their first Working Holiday visa may be eligible for a second Working Holiday visa.
The requirements are the same as for the first visa, however applications can be made while the applicant is located either in or outside Australia. Applicants must have evidence of their specified work.
See: Applicant: Second Working Holiday Visa Eligibility
Applicants who are granted a Working Holiday visa can:
- if applying outside Australia, travel to Australia at any time in the 12 months from the date the visa is granted (this cannot be extended or deferred)
- stay in Australia for up to 12 months from when they first enter Australia (a further 12 months stay is possible if applicants qualify for a second Working Holiday visa)
- 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 in Australia for up to four months.
Working Holiday visa applications may be made online or by filling out a paper application form. Online applications may be processed sooner than paper applications.
Further information on the application process, including access to the electronic and paper application forms is available on the department's website.
See: Working Holiday
Statistical information regarding the Working Holiday visa is available in Fact Sheet 2 and on the department's Visitor Visa Statistics web pages.
Fact Sheet 2 Key Facts in Immigration
Visitor Visa Statistics
Further information is available on the department's website.
The department also operates a national general enquiries line.
Telephone: 131 881
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. Recorded information is available outside these hours.
Fact Sheet 49. Produced by the National Communications Branch, Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Canberra.
Last reviewed September 2012.
© Commonwealth of Australia 2010.