Call Our National Legal Hotline

1300 038 223
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 days
Or have our lawyers call you:

This article was written by Sally Crosswell

Sally Crosswell has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Communication and a Master of International and Community Development. She also completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law. A former journalist, Sally has a keen interest in human rights law.

Working Holiday Visas


A Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) allows the visa holder to enter, live and work in Australia. The 12-month visas are designed for young adults from more than 40 countries, who want to work to support their travels in Australia. The visa is governed by the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994, and administered by the Department of Home Affairs.

Working Holiday visa

This visa can be a first, second or third visa. The application must be made online from outside Australia.

To be eligible for this visa, a person must:

  • be aged 18 to 30, or 18 to 35 for Canadian, French and Irish citizens;
  • have a passport from an eligible country;
  • not be accompanied by dependent children.

Conditions include that the visa holder must:

  • not work for any one employer for more than 6 months;
  • have adequate health insurance;
  • have adequate funds for the stay;
  • meet the department’s health requirement;
  • meet the department’s character requirement;
  • have paid any debt owing to the Federal Government;
  • have not had a visa cancelled or visa application refused;
  • not be involved in activities that are disruptive or violent to the community or a group in the community;
  • inform the department of a change of address within 7 days.

First visa

This visa allows the holder to do short-term work to help pay for their holiday, study for up to 4 months, and travel freely to and from Australia.

If the holder does 3 months (minimum 88 days) of specified subclass 417 work, they become eligible for a second Working Holiday visa. After 6 months (minimum 179 days) of specified subclass 417 work, they become eligible for a third Working Holiday visa.

Specified subclass 417 work

The department specifies 7 types of subclass 417 work. There are 5 types which must be done in regional Australia:

  • plant and animal cultivation;
  • fishing and pearling;
  • tree farming and felling;
  • mining;
  • construction.

The other 2 types are bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire-affected areas, and critical Covid-19 work in health and medicine anywhere in Australia.

Second visa

This visa has the same eligibility criteria and conditions as the first one, except that it can be granted only if the applicant has previously entered Australia on a subclass 417 visa and has completed 3 months (minimum 88 days) of specified subclass 417  work. An application can be made online from inside or outside Australia.

Third visa

This visa has the same eligibility criteria and conditions as the previous visas, except that it can be granted only if the applicant has held 2 previous subclass 417 visas and has completed 6 months (minimum 179 days) of specified subclass 417 work. An application can be made online from inside or outside Australia.

Work and Holiday visa

This visa is similar to the Working Holiday visa but there are several key differences. The applicant must be aged 18 to 30 and hold a passport from an eligible country but must also:

  • meet minimum education requirements;
  • have at least functional English language capability;
  • supply a letter of support from their government.

Specified subclass 462 work

The Department of Home Affairs specifies 7 types of subclass 462 work:

  • plant and animal cultivation in northern Australia and specified areas of regional Australia;
  • fishing and pearling in northern Australia;
  • tree farming and felling in northern Australia;
  • tourism and hospitality in in northern Australia;
  • construction in northern Australia and specified areas of regional Australia;
  • bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire-affected areas;
  • critical Covid-19 work in health and medicine anywhere in Australia.

Second visa

This visa has the same eligibility criteria and conditions as the first one, except that it can be granted only if the applicant has previously entered Australia on a subclass 462 visa and has completed 3 months (minimum 88 days) of specified subclass 462 work. An application can be made online from inside or outside Australia.

Third visa

This visa has the same eligibility criteria and conditions as the previous visas, except that it can be granted only if the applicant has held 2 previous subclass 462 visas and has completed 6 months (minimum 179 days) of specified subclass 462 work. An application can be made online from inside or outside Australia.

Country caps

There is an annual limit on the number of first Work and Holiday visas for applicants from 24 countries. The limit ranges from 100 for Ecuador, Luxembourg, San Marino and Turkey, to 5000 for China.

Costs and processing times

The current cost of a Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visa is $485. The department processes 75% of applications within 12 weeks, ad 90% within 4 months.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Armstrong Legal
Social Rating
4.8
Based on 312 reviews
×
Legal Hotline
Open 7am - Midnight, 7 Days
Call 1300 038 223