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Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program

​​​Latest news

Offshore nil Visa Application Charge (VAC) WHM applications

From 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2022, holders and former holders of a COVID-19 affected WHM visa will be able to make a nil VAC WHM application online.

WHMs who are offshore and who were unable to come to Australia or had to leave early because of COVID-19 will be able to apply for a replacement visa with nil VAC.

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

VAC refunds

VAC refund requests must be made before 31 December 2022.

For information about offshore nil VAC applications and 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 COVID-19 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 will be available for WHM applications lodged from March 2022.

From March 2022, eligible current and former WHMs in Australia will also be able to apply for a ​WHM visa with nil VAC. This will provide another opportunity to meet the specified work requirements for a subsequent WHM visa.

Australia and UK Free Trade Agreement

Agreement in principle has been reached between Australia and the UK to increase the maximum eligible age from 30 to 35 years for Working Holiday Maker (WHM) applicants from the UK and Australia. 

While agreement in principle has been reached, no changes have yet been made to existing arrangements. 

The agreement will also provide an ​opportunity for WHMs to stay in the UK and Australia for up to three years, with no requirement to undertake ‘specified work’. Negotiations have not yet concluded, however it is anticipated that these changes will be made within five years.

The UK’s Youth Mobility program already allows young Australians to stay in the UK with unrestricted work rights for up to two years. Australia has previously negotiated arrangements on a reciprocal basis with Canada, France and Ireland to expand the eligible age range for WHM applicants to between 18-35 years.

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

Transitioning earlier to a COVID-19 Pandemic event visa

From 5 January 2021, WHMs working in agriculture can apply for a COVID-19 Pandemic event visa up to 90 days before their current visa expires. They do not need to show that they cannot leave Australia.

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