Here’s how to score a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462).
If thinking Australia is a long way to travel for a few weeks, your customer might have pondered applying for a Work and Holiday visa. This lets them stay for longer, earn a bit of money along the way and enjoy the sense of community when taking on a job. It’s the best way to take full advantage of a gap year, be it heading to the reef, spending some time in Sydney or setting themselves up working on a property. The options are endless.
On this page, we’ll provide all the details needed to apply for a Work and Holiday visa (WHV) subclass 462, which is available to visitors aged 18 to 30 and hold a valid passport for any of the following countries: Argentina; Austria; Chile; The People's Republic of China; Czech Republic; Hungary; Indonesia; Israel; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Peru; Poland; Portugal; San Marino; Singapore; Slovak Republic; Slovenia; Spain; Thailand; Turkey; USA; Uruguay; and Vietnam.
Those with passports from Argentina, Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Slovak Republic, Spain, United States of America or Uruguay can apply for their WHV online.
Nationals of Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and the People’s Republic of China, should print out and fill in Form 1208 and lodge it in person at an Australian visa Application Centre.
Go to the Australian Immigration Office if applying from Indonesia, Thailand or Turkey.
If holding a passport from Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders), Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport) or the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, they’ll need to apply for a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417). All the details for that can be found here.
To apply for a WHV 462, they need to either go online, create an ImmiAccount and fill out the details or attach the following documents to a paper application.
They'll need a number of documents on hand to aid in the process, including:
Anyone who can’t provide a birth certificate should provide a copy of one of the following documents:
If they’ve ever changed their name, they’ll also need to provide a marriage or divorce certificate, change of name documents from a relevant overseas authority, and documents showing other names they’ve been known by.
In addition to these documents, they’ll need to provide details of their educational qualifications and proof they have a functional level of English. There are a number of tests they can take either before they apply or while the application is being processed. To find out scores needed, check out this page and go to ‘Gather Your Documents/Show Steps’, then ‘English Language, See How’.
Unless they’re from Argentina, Israel, the People’s Republic of China, Singapore or the USA, they’ll need a letter of support from their government. Malaysian citizens are also exempt, but must supply a Malaysian Good Conduct Certificate from the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
They'll be required to show they have enough money – generally, this is the equivalent of AUD $5000 – to support themselves during their travels. A return plane ticket or the extra funds to buy one at the end of their stay is also needed.
They may be asked to provide character documents, including military records, but someone will contact them if needed.
Neither the online or paper form used to apply for a WHV 462 is difficult to fill out, but it may take a couple of hours to complete it and add all the documentation required.
For those eligible to apply online, they’ll first need to create an ImmiAccount and confirm their email address. Once they’ve started the application, they can save it and go back to it later to finish filling it in.
The paper application can be downloaded here.
All documents attached to the application must be in English. Those that aren’t have to be supplied with a translation.
They will need clear, colour scans or photographs of each of these documents. If a document has more than one page, it should be saved as a single file.
If applying using the paper form, suggest they keep a copy of their application. All documents should be certified and attached only once.
Their only other obligation is to sign the Australian Values Statement. This is a document that confirms they agree to respect the Australian way of life, and obey Australian laws while they're in the country.
About three-quarters of applications are processed within 24 days, but it can take longer, especially if applicants don’t fill out the form correctly or forget to attach the right documents. Ninety per cent of applications are processed within 32 days.
When applying for a WHV, they'll have to pay AUD $450. They may also have to pay for extras like health checks, police certificates or biometrics (facial photograph and finger prints).
If applying for a WHV from a country with a high risk of tuberculosis, they may need to undergo a medical examination and chest X-ray.
They should also note that they are responsible for any health debts they run up while visiting Australia. Ensure they take out sufficient travel or health insurance to cover illness and accidents during their stay.
Since they're only taking on work for a portion of the time they’re in Australia, they should have saved and be prepared to show proof of the equivalent of AUD $5000 in their bank account. On top of savings, they'll need a return air ticket or enough funds to pay for a flight home.
The WHV allows your customer to stay in Australia for 12 months from the day they enter the country. During that time they can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as they like, but once the visa is activated it can’t be extended. All that really means is that if they spend a month somewhere else that time won’t be added to the length of time for which their visa is valid.
The idea of the WHV is to allow for short-term and casual jobs to fund travels and help pay for their holiday. For the most part, they can stay in one job for a maximum of six months, although this can be extended with special permission if working for the same employer but in different locations, in animal or plant cultivation (everything from picking fruit to shearing sheep), or in certain industries (such as aged care and construction) in northern Australia. Check out the full list of exemptions from the six-month rule here.
If they fall in love with life in Australia (and who could blame them?) it is possible to extend their time here. If they do at least three months of specified work in eligible northern and regional areas of the country they can apply for a Second Work and Holiday visa that will give them another year to explore and top up their funds. To find out how to do it, head to our information page here.
When applying for a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462), they need to be aged between 18 and 30. There is a little leeway – if they apply for the visa when they’re still 30, but turn 31 before the application has been approved, the visa may still be granted.