Australia Working Holiday Visa: Australian Visa Bureau
AUSTRALIAN WORKING HOLIDAY VISA:
The main purpose of this visa is to allow you to combine a holiday with work and supplement your funds with incidental work in Australia.
Persons who can apply:
You should read this information if you are applying for your first or second Working Holiday visa.
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.
Important: Applicants must have turned 18, but not turned 31, at the time of visa application.
This visa allows you to supplement the cost of your holiday through incidental employment. If your primary reason for travelling to Australia is to participate in the workforce, you should consider a visa designed for that purpose.
You may apply for this visa if you hold a passport for one of the countries or regions participating with Australia in the Working Holiday Maker Programme.
People who have worked as a seasonal worker in regional Australia for a minimum of three months while on their first Working Holiday visa, may be eligible to apply for a second Working Holiday visa.
You must pay a non-refundable visa application charge when you lodge your visa application.
What does this visa let me do?
If you are granted this visa you can:
- enter Australia within 12 months of grant
- 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 6 months with each employer
- study or train for up to 4 months.
If you hold a second Working Holiday visa, you may return to work for a further 6 months for an employer with whom you worked on your first Working Holiday visa.
Note: If you applied for your Working Holiday visa before 1 July 2006, you may:
- undertake study or training for up to 3 months
- work for up to 6 months with each employer
Important: Your visa will have a condition limiting work with each employer to 3 months however, all visa holders have been granted permission to work for up to 6 months with each employer.
Visa validity period:
Important: If you are granted a Working Holiday visa and an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or Maritime Crew Visa (MCV), you will activate the Working Holiday visa on arrival in Australia. If you want to travel on the ETA or MCV, you must have your Working Holiday visa cancelled before travelling to Australia. However, if you hold a Working Holiday visa and are granted a Tourist (subclass 676) visa, the grant of the Tourist visa will cause the Working Holiday visa to cease, and you would not be entitled to a refund of the Working Holiday visa application charge.
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:
- travel to Australia at any time in the 12 months from the date the visa is granted*
- stay in Australia for 12 months from the date you first enter the country
- leave and re-enter Australia any number of times within the 12 months from the date you first entered the country.
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.
When you applied
If granted a second Working Holiday visa
You were in Australia, and held a first Working Holiday visa
You can remain in Australia for 24 months from the date you first entered Australia on your first Working Holiday visa
You were in Australia, but did not hold a first Working Holiday visa
You can remain in Australia for 12 months from the date your second Working Holiday visa is granted
You were outside Australia You can:
- travel to Australia at any time in the 12 months from the date your second Working Holiday visa is granted*
- stay in Australia for 12 months from the date you first enter the country on your second Working Holiday visa.
*Note: The 12-month validity period cannot be extended or deferred.
You cannot include family members in your application for this visa. If a family member or partner wants to come with you to Australia, they must apply for their own visa to Australia.
See: Visitor visa options
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 the type of visa intended for work purposes, such as a business visa.
Access to retirement savings
You are entitled to access your retirement savings (superannuation) when you leave Australia. The Australian Taxation Office website provides more information on accessing this money. Follow the links for temporary residents.
You can study for a maximum of four months.
If you want to study for a longer period in Australia, you may be able to apply for a student visa.
See: Student visa options
Extending your stay
You must depart Australia when your visa ends, unless you apply for another type of 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 regularise your status.
See: Expired Visas
A first Working Holiday visa cannot be extended beyond the 12 month validity period. However, if you have completed three months seasonal 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.
Once you leave Australia, you may be eligible to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA)
These pages provide information about the requirements that must be met to support a visa application.
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. 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 or undertake training in Australia for longer than four months. If you study or train while on your first Working Holiday visa, you may return to the same institution if granted a second Working Holiday visa.
Four months is interpreted as 17 weeks of actual study excluding holidays and orientation period.
Note: If you applied for your Working Holiday visa before 1 July 2006, you are limited to three months of study or training.
You can do any kind of work in Australia and may work with the same employer for up to six months. The six month work limitation applies to full-time, casual or shift work.
Important: If you applied for your Working Holiday visa before 1 July 2006, you may work for up to six months with each employer. Your visa will have a condition limiting work with each employer to three months. However, all visa holders have been granted permission to work for up to six months with each employer.
The ’employer’ is the business for which you are working directly.
If you are referred by an agency or labour supplier to a business, you can work for six months for that business. The same agency or labour supplier can refer you to another business where you can work for another six months. For the purpose of the six month limitation, the ’employer’ is considered to be the business for which you are working directly, even if you are being paid by an agency or labour supplier.
Workplace-based training is considered to be work. You are able to undertake workplace-based training with each employer for up to six months.
If you intend to work in your own occupation, you should check if you need to be registered or licensed by contacting the relevant assessing body in Australia.
You cannot stay in the same job beyond six months by using different employment agencies, business affiliates or sub-contracting arrangements.
However, if you hold a second Working Holiday visa, you may return to work for a further 6 months for an employer with whom you worked on your first Working Holiday visa.
More information is available on finding work, licensing or registering arrangements and employer obligations.
You are entitled to access your retirement savings (superannuation) when you leave Australia. The Australian Taxation Office website provides more information on accessing this money.
Extending the work limitation
In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to extend the period of work with one employer to longer than six months. An extension may be allowed for a very short period of time and only if there is sufficient justification to grant it.
Exceptional circumstances must relate to an Australian permanent resident, citizen or business and must be extraordinary and unforeseeable.
Exceptional circumstances might include remaining in your current job:
- for a very short time (days or weeks, not months) as you are critical to the completion of a specialised project that has unexpectedly gone over time. This generally only relates to highly skilled activities, such as a lawyer in the middle of a trial or a doctor who plans to operate on a patient they have been treating.
- for a period of weeks while a decision is being made on an application for a work-related visa, such as a Temporary Business (Long Stay) Subclass 457 visa.
Exceptional circumstances do not include remaining in your current job because you:
- have the required skills or because of labour shortages
- are required to complete a project in a job that is not highly skilled (eg. retail or administration).
- are not able to apply for another kind of visa.
Submit your request to extend your work limitation in writing the department, at least two weeks before the expiry of the six month employment limitation.
See: Request permission to work with an employer beyond six months on a Working Holiday visa (86KB Word file)
Note: You may be requested to provide a letter of support from your employer.