We have some great news for the backpackers community. The Australian department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced some big changes for the Working Holiday Visa. Read on to find out how to benefit from more flexibility with the new upcoming Australian Working Holiday Visa.

Working Holiday Visa changes in a nutshell

1. Working Holiday Visa holders (subclass 462) can get a 2nd Year Visa from working in tourism, and hospitality in Northern Australia.

2. 417 & 462 Visa holders can work with the same employer for up to 12 months in Northern Australia.

3. 417 & 462 Visa holders can work as an Au Pair for up to 12 months with the same employer all over Australia with permission of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

4. Canadian, Irish and French Citizens up to and including, 35 years of age are eligible to apply for a Work and Holiday visa.

5. 417 & 462 Visas holders may be eligible to apply for a third visa from July 2019. Eligible types of work and regional areas will correspond with the requirements for the second visa.

Difference between the 417 & 462 Visa

417 Working Holiday Visas are open to people with passports from Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

462 Work and Holiday Visas are open to people from Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and Uruguay.

The main difference between those visas was that 417 Visa holders were eligible to apply for a 2nd Year Visa if they complete three months of specific working in regional Australia. Whereas 462 Visa holders were not.

What is Northern Australia?

Northern Australia includes Northern Territory and a good part of Queensland and Western Australia. All areas located north of the Tropic of Capricorn

Why Northern Australia?

The government wants to develop the Northern parts of Australia – especially the agriculture and tourism sectors. The sectors in Northern Australia are highly seasonal and employers are dependent on Working Holiday visa holders – especially in peak periods!
It also makes the work more productive, cause backpackers that are already trained work longer in their particular roles.

Work for the same employer up to 12 months

Currently people who work & travel in Australia can only work for one employer up to 6 months.
Since November 2015 holders of the 417 Working Holiday Visa or the 462 Work and Holiday Visa get more flexibility because they can work for one employer in Northern Australia up to 12 months in the following sectors:

  • agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • tourism and hospitality
  • mining and construction
  • disability and aged care.

Since July 2015 Au Pairs also can work up to 12 months for one employer – all over Australia with the permission of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Find more information on the Australian Government Website.

How to get a 2nd Year Visa

417 Working Holiday Visa Holders

Visa Holders of the 417 Working Holiday Visa can apply for a 2nd Year Visa after working 88 days in regional areas all over Australia.
Work includes:

  • Plant and Animal Cultivation
  • Fishing and Pearling
  • Construction, Mining
  • Tree Farming and Felling

462 Working Holiday Visa Holders

462 Visa Holders can apply for a 2nd year Visa by working 88 days in regional areas.
They are also eligible for a 2nd Year Visa by working in tourism, disability care or aged care in Northern Australia for three months.
For more information: Working Holiday Visa 462

More info:

How to get a third year visa

From 1 July 2019, WHV holders who carry out 6 months of specified work in regional areas while on their second Working Holiday visa (subclass 417 or 462) may be eligible to apply for a third visa
Eligible types of work and regional areas are the same as the requirements for the second visa. 

Note: The 6 months work must all be carried out on or after 1 July 2019, so a successful application cannot be lodged before January 2020. 

Updated 01/07/2019. Initially published on 04/11/15.