Working Holiday Visas – An Overview
Working Holiday visas are designed to give young people between the ages of 18 and 30 an opportunity to holiday in Australia and supplement their funds by working for up to six months with any one employer. Visa holders are also entitled to study or train for up to four months.
Working Holiday visas have multiple entry facility – they enable the visa holder to travel to, and enter Australia on multiple occasions, either, within 12 months after the date of grant of the visa or from the date of first entry. Furthermore, they entitle the holder to remain in Australia until 12 months after the date of first entry on the visa
Please note that Working Holiday visas are only available to nationals of countries whose Governments have entered into reciprocal arrangements with the Australian Government.
There are currently two separate classes of Working Holiday visas:
- Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417)
- Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462)
Working Holiday Visa – Subclass 417
Which are the Eligible Arrangement Countries-
Australia currently has 19 reciprocal Working Holiday arrangements. To view the full list of eligible arrangement countries, please visit the Department of Immigration website (http://www.border.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/countries.htm).
What do I need to show-
You will be required to meet two separate criteria – one at the time of making the application and one at the time of the decision the grant the visa.
Note that if you had previously held a Working Holiday visa, it is possible to apply for a new Working Holiday visa, however slightly different procedures and criterions will apply.
Time of Application Criteria
At the time of making the application, you will need to show:
- that you are between the ages of 18 and 30.
- that you hold a valid passport issued by one of the countries or regions with which the Australian Government has a Working Holiday arrangement (see above)
- that you will not be accompanied by any dependent children during your stay in Australia
- that you intend to enter or remain in Australia as a ‘genuine visitor- whose principle purpose is to spend a holiday in Australia
- that you have sufficient funds for personal support for the purposes of a working holiday; and
- that you have a reasonable prospect of obtaining employment in Australia. This requirement is assumed to be met by all applicants.
While all of the above is reasonably straight forward, it requires you as an applicant to turn your mind to the need to provide physical evidence that will satisfy the decision maker about each of the above items. For example, you will need to provide evidence that you are between the ages of 18 and 30. A birth certificate would be the most appropriate form of documentation. Many people erroneously think that a passport will suffice; however this is not evidence of your birth.
Time of Decision Criteria
At the time of the decision, you will need to satisfy the Minister:
- that you continue to meet the ‘time of application- criteria (excluding the age criterion).
- that you satisfy the public interest criteria.
- that you intend to comply with any conditions that may be attached to your visa.
You are strongly advised to seek legal advice prior to proceeding with a Working Holiday visa application if:
- you have previously been deported or removed from Australia
- you have had a Australian visa cancelled because of criminal conduct; or
- the Minister believed that you were a person of bad character
How do I Apply for a Working Holiday Visa-
You can apply for a Working Holiday visa by way of online application or paper application.
Online applications can be lodged through Department of Immigration website at www.border.gov.au. The requisite form for online applications is Form 1150E (this is the form you complete online).
Paper applications can be made by lodging the relevant documentation with any departmental office outside Australia. The form you must complete is Form 1150. A copy of this form can be downloaded from the Department of Immigration website (http://www.border.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1150.pdf).
In lodging your application, you will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application charge. Information regarding current Working Holiday visa fees and charges can be found on the Department of Immigration website (http://www.border.gov.au/allforms/990i.htm#payingoustside). Note that these fees and charges may be subject to adjustment at any time.
Where must the Visa Application be Made-
If this is your first application for a Working Holiday visa, you must be outside Australia when you lodge your application.
If you have previously been the holder of a Working Holiday visa, you may be inside or outside Australia at the time you lodge your application.
What are My Obligations under a Visa Grant-Your Working Holiday visa will be issued subject to a number of compulsory conditions:
- you must not be employed in Australia by any one employer for more than six months without the prior permission in writing of the Secretary.
- you must not engage, for more than four months, in any studies or training.
- while you are in Australia, you must live, study and work only in an area specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing.
Case officers also have discretion to impose a number of other conditions as deemed appropriate to the circumstances.
Program Numbers for Working Holiday VisasWorking Holiday visas granted in recent years: 2003-04 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 93 760 110 390 154 418 187 696 The source countries of most of the Working Holiday makers who received visas in 2008-09 were: United Kingdom Republic of Korea Ireland Germany France Japan Canada
Work and Holiday Visa – Subclass 462
The Work and Holiday visa is, in substance, the same as the Holiday Working visa. However countries that have Work and Holiday arrangements with Australia are considered to present a higher immigration risk. Accordingly, applicants applying for a Work and Holiday visa will be subject to slightly more stringent procedures and requirements.
Which are the Eligible Arrangement Countries-
Australia currently has reciprocal Work and Holiday arrangements with six countries. To view the full list of eligible arrangement countries, please visit the Department of Immigration website, (http://www.border.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/462/).
What do I Need to Show-
The Work and Holiday visa criteria are substantially the same as for Working Holiday visas but Work and Holiday visa applicants are required to undergo more rigorous checks. Accordingly, in addition to meeting the Working Holiday visa criteria (see above), you will need to show:
- that you currently hold a valid passport issued by one of the six countries with which Australia has a Work and Holiday arrangement with (see above)
- that the Government of your eligible arrangement country supports your stay in Australia under the Work and Holiday arrangement (unless you hold a valid USA passport)
- that you have, at least, functional English
- that you hold a requisite educational qualification
As above, you will be required to provide the decision maker with physical proof of each of the above criterions. Government support, for example, must be evidenced by including in your application, a letter from your country’s nominated agency, indicating that your home Government has agreed to your stay in Australia under the arrangement. You will also need to produce documentation relating to your current English level and any educational qualifications you may hold.
How do I Apply for a Work and Holiday Visa-
Please note that only USA applicants can apply for a Work and Holiday visa online.
All other applicants are required to apply for a Work and Holiday visa by way of paper application. Paper applications can be made by lodging the relevant documentation with the Australian Government office in your home country. The form you must complete is Form 1208. A copy of this form can be downloaded from the Department of Immigration website (http://www.border.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1208.pdf).
In lodging your application, you will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application charge. Information regarding current Work and Holiday visa fees and charges can be found on the Department of Immigration website (http://www.border.gov.au/allforms/990i.htm#payingoustside). Note that these fees and charges may be subject to adjustment at any time.
Where must the Visa Application be Made-
Requirements are the same as for a Working Holiday visa application (see above).
What are My Obligations under a Visa Grant-
The Work and Holiday visa has the same operation as the Working Holiday visa and will be issued subject to same conditions (see above). Case officers will similarly have discretion to impose a number of other conditions as deemed appropriate to the circumstances.
Please note that under the current Work and Holiday visa arrangement program, there is an agreed cap on the number of visas that may be granted to holders of valid passports for the six eligible arrangement countries.
The current caps for each of the eligible arrangement countries are as follows:
Chile 1 500
Program Numbers for Work and Holiday Visas
Work and Holiday visas granted in recent years: