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Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Latest news

Options for Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) supporting flood affected communities

Working Holiday (subclass 417) and Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa holders can count paid and volunteer flood recovery work undertaken from 1 January 2022 in flood affected areas as ‘specified work’ for the purpose of applying for a second or third WHM visa.

This option is available for WHM visa applications lodged from 1 July 2022.

For more information on how the Department is supporting flood recovery see Visa options and measures to support flood recovery.​

A 30% cap increase for the 2022-23 program year

For 2022-23 only, there will be a 30 per cent cap increase to the number of places available to working holiday makers from countries with which Australia has a capped Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa arrangement. This one-off cap increase will commence from 1 July 2022.

Age limit increase for Italian and Danish Working Holiday Makers

From 1 July 2022 the age limit for Italian and Danish citizens wanting to work and travel in Australia will increase by five years – from 30 to 35 years of age. Australian citizens up to the age of 35 will also benefit from reciprocal arrangements with Italy and Denmark.

Australia has previously negotiated arrangements on a reciprocal basis with Canada, France and Ireland to expand the eligible age range for WHM applicants to 35 years.

Cap increases for Work and Holiday visa arrangements for Hungary, Austria and the Slovak Republic

In addition to the 30% cap increase for 2022-23, from 1 July 2022 an additional 1,400 places will be available each year through reciprocal increases to visa caps for Hungary, Austria and the Slovak Republic.

These reciprocal cap increases will provide ongoing opportunities for citizens of Australia, Hungary, Austria and the Slovak Republic to travel and work abroad.​

New Work and Holiday Maker arrangement with Mongolia

Mongolia has become the 46th country to have access to Australia’s Working Holiday Maker visa program.

Commencing on 1 July 2022, a new Work and Holiday Maker (WHM) arrangement will allow up to 100 young Mongolians and 100 young Australians each year to enjoy a 12-month holiday in each other’s country, during which they may undertake short-term work and study.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, signed WHM agreements with Mongolia on 31 March 2022, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

For more information, see the Minister’s announcement New Work and Holiday Maker arrangement with Mongolia.

Australia opens Work and Holiday program to Brazil

Brazil has become the 47th country to have access to Australia’s Working Holiday Maker visa program.

Young people from Brazil will be able to work, study and holiday in Australia under a new memorandum of understanding for a reciprocal Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa arrangement signed on 31 March 2022.

Commencing on 1 July 2022, the arrangement will allow up to 500 young Brazilians aged between 18 and 30 to stay in Australia each year, for a 12-month holiday during which they can undertake short-term work and study.

For more information, see the Minister's announcement​ Australia opens Work and Holiday program to Brazil​​.

India to access Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa

In the context of the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement, Australia has agreed to extend access to the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa to up to 1,000 Indian citizens each year.

Within two years, Australia will put in place arrangements to allow eligible Indian citizens aged between 18 and 30 to apply for a Work and Holiday visa to visit Australia for one year and undertake short-term work and study while holidaying.  More information on how to apply will be provided closer to the implementation date.

For more information, see Historic trade deal with India | Minister for Trade Tourism and Investment (trademinister.gov.au).

Onshore n​il Visa Application Charge (VAC) WHM applications

From 5 March 2022 to 31 December 2022, eligible current and former WHMs in Australia can apply for a WHM visa with nil VAC. This allows WHMs who experienced disruptions to domestic travel and employment opportunities during COVID-19 to stay longer in Australia. It can also be an opportunity to meet the specified work requirements for a subsequent WHM visa. These arrangements for WHMs applying in Australia build on concessions that commenced on 1 July 2021 for WHM visa holders outside Australia, who were unable to enter Australia or had to depart Australia early due to the pandemic.

There is no VAC refund available for WHMs who are not eligible to apply for an onshore nil VAC visa due to no longer meeting the age requirement.

For more information, see Onshore nil VAC WHM applications.​​​

Further Flexibility for Working Holiday Makers

The Australian Government announced further changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program to assist with Australia’s economic recovery.

From 19 January 2022, WHMs working in any sector anywhere in Australia may continue to work for the same employer or organisation for longer than six months without requesting permission. This arrangement will be in place until 31 December 2022, when it will be reviewed by the Government.

The Government also announced that WHMs who arrived in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022 can request a refund of the Visa Application Charge (VAC) for their WHM visa until 31 December 2022. Further information on how to request a VAC refund is available at Students and WHM refunds form.​

Processing timeframes​

We are currently processing a large volume of Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa applications received since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are processing new and older applications at the same time to minimise processing times for as many applications as possible.

Visa applications that contain all required information may be finalised faster than the published processing times.

Switzerland to access Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa

Switzerland has become the 45th country to have access to Australia’s Working Holiday Maker visa program. 

From 1 January 2022, young people from Switzerland, aged between 18 and 30, can apply to stay in Australia for one year and undertake short-term work and study while holidaying. 

The Swiss Government has also announced that Australians can travel to Switzerland without a visa from 1 January 2022.

For more information, see the Minister’s announcement Switzerland to get access to work and holiday program​​.

Offshore nil Visa Application Charge (VAC) WHM applications

From 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2022, eligible holders and former holders of a COVID-19 affected WHM visa who are outside Australia can make an offshore nil VAC WHM application online. This includes WHMs who were unable to come to Australia or had to leave early because of COVID-19.

For more information, see Offshore nil Visa Application Charge (VAC) WHM applications.

If you no longer meet the age requirement to apply for an offshore nil VAC WHM visa, you can request a VAC refund. To do this, use the COVID-19 travel restrictions VAC refund request form. VAC refund requests must be made on or before 31 December 2022. There is no review available if we refuse your request for a refund.

For information about VAC refund eligibility, see Refunds and waivers of Visa Application Charges.

Working Holiday Maker visa changes helping COVID-19 recovery

The Minister has announced further changes to the WHM program to assist with Australia’s economic recovery.

From 8 May 2021, WHMs working in the tourism and hospitality sectors anywhere in Australia may now work for up to 12 months with the same employer or organisation without requesting permission.

From 22 June 2021, work undertaken in the tourism and hospitality sectors in northern, remote or very remote Australia can also be counted as specified work towards eligibility for a second or third WHM visa. This option is available for WHM visa applications lodged from 5 March 2022.

For subclass 462 visa holders, the previous definition of tourism and hospitality continues to apply for applications lodged before 5 March 2022 and to any work carried out before 22 June 2021 (regardless of when the application is lodged).

Australia and UK Free Trade Ag​​reement

On 17 December 2021 the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA) was signed ‘virtually’ but has not yet entered into force. 

New arrangements for Working Holiday Makers are expected to be implemented within two years of the FTA entering into force. The new arrangements will allow UK citizens to:

  • apply for a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa up to the age of 35 years
  • be granted up to three Working Holiday visas (not including any “COVID-19 affected visa”) with no requirement to undertake any ‘specified work’.

Australia has previously negotiated arrangements on a reciprocal basis with Canada, France and Ireland to expand the eligible age range for WHM applicants to 35 years.

Other partner country arrangements under the WHM program are established through bilateral negotiations and will not be affected by the Australia and UK FTA.

For more information, see ​New Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa arrangements for UK passport holders​.