You are on a Working Holiday Visa or are interested in applying for one? Here you will find all relevant changes and news for Working Holiday traveller.
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Working Holiday visa arrangements for UK passport holders (2023)
Australia and the UK have agreed to put in place new arrangements under the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program:
- UK applicants for Working Holiday (subclass 417) visas will increase to 35 years from 1 July 2023,
- UK passport holders will be granted up to three Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements from 1 July 2024.
Tourism and hospitality in northern or remote and very remote Australia
Tourism and hospitality work carried out in northern or remote and very remote Australia will be considered eligible specified work for the purpose of a second or third Working Holiday visa.
Work in a range of occupations that directly provide a service to tourists, including:
- tourist guides and operators
- outdoor adventure or activity instructors
- tourist transport services
- hospitality workers, such as in hotels or other accommodation facilities, restaurants, cafes, bars and casinos.
COVID-19: WHV changes
Critical COVID-19 work in the healthcare and medical sectors is eligible for a second and third year. The work carried out must be critical to Australia’s response to COVID-19 after 31 January 2020. For example:
- medical treatment, nursing, contact tracing, testing and research
- support services including cleaning of medical, health care and quarantine facilities and equipment directly involved in the response to COVID-19
When applying for a second or third year, you must include evidence to demonstrate how your work supports Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Third-year visa for subclass 417 and 462 visa holders
Before July 2019, it was only possible to extend your Working Holiday for a second year if you completed 88 days (3 months) of work in certain regions and specific job sectors. Since July, Working Holiday Makers on their second-year visa can extend their visa for another year. To be eligible, they have to work in a specified job for 6 months in a specified regional area.
To sum it up, you will need to do 88 days of farm work in your first year to qualify for a second Working Holiday visa. Then you work 6 months during your second year to apply for a third year. The type of work you will have to do to be eligible for the third year visa are the same as the specified work for the second year visa.
Specified work in disaster-affected areas
Temporary changes to working holiday visas have been introduced following bushfires and floods in some areas of Australia. This is to encourage backpackers to help rebuild communities ravaged by the fire and floods while being able to renew their working holiday visas. Workers helping in disaster-affected areas of Australia are able to count those days to renew their WHV.
Bushfire recovery work
Work must be carried out on or after 31 July 2019.
- construction, farming, or any other work in association with recovery or restitution of land, property, farm animals or wildlife
- support services or assistance to people living, working or volunteering in the affected areas
Flood recovery work
Work must be carried out on or after 1 January 2022.
- clean-up, construction or any other work in association with restitution or restoration of services, land, waterways, property or infrastructure
- providing support services or assistance to people living, working or volunteering in the affected areas
Volunteer work in disaster-affected areas will also count for the days required to renew your WHV. It will count for a second and third year.
For more information, read this article: WHV specified work in disaster affected areas.
Increasing the age limit to 35
The age limit for Working Holiday Makers is 30 or 35 years old depending on the countries.
Canadians, French and Irish citizens can apply for a first or second, third year Working Holiday visa until they turn 35 years old. Previously, the age limit for obtaining a Working Holiday visa was 31 years old (inclusive).
Since July 2022 the age limit for Italian and Danish citizens wanting to work and travel in Australia is increased by five years – from 30 to 35 years of age.
The age limit to apply for UK passport holders is to increase to 35 years of age from 1 July 2023.
For all other countries, the age limit remains 31 for now. They might come to an agreement though, we will definitely keep you posted.
More information: Working Holiday Visa age limit up to 35 years
Work more than 6 months for the same employer
Since 2018, it is possible to work more than 6 months for the same employer in the agricultural sector.
These jobs include:
- The harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
- pruning and trimming vines and trees
- general maintenance crop work
- cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
- immediate processing of plant products
- maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce
- immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
- manufacturing dairy produce from raw materials.” (Homeaffairs)
This new regulation applies to every state and territory of Australia and to every Working Holiday maker in the first or second year. Workers will, therefore, be able to stay with the same employer for up to 12 months.
The goal here is to increase the workforce available to work in seasonal agricultural jobs. It is not necessary to obtain permission by the government, the regulation has come into effect immediately.
In January 2022, the 6-month work limitation was temporarily relaxed for all jobs. The relaxation of this condition was initially in effect until 31 December 2022, and it has now been extended until 30 June 2023.
This change allows Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) to work with any one employer for the duration of their visa without requesting permission, and any work that is carried out before 1 July 2023 will not be counted towards the 6-month limitation period. This means that from 1 July 2023 onwards, WHMs may work for any employer for up to an additional 6 months even if they worked for that same employer before 1 July 2023.