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Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program

​Offshore nil VAC WHM applications – more information

Who can apply

You must be outside Australia to apply for a nil VAC WHM visa.

You may apply if you hold or held a ‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’. To hold a COVID-19 affected visa, you must meet all of the below requirements:

  • you were granted a WHM (subclass 417 or 462) visa before 20 March 2020
  • your WHM visa expired on or after 20 March 2020 while you were outside Australia or will expire before 31 December 2021 while you are outside Australia
  • you did not travel to Australia on your WHM visa or departed Australia before your visa expired.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for a nil VAC WHM visa, you must:

  • be outside Australia and apply by 31 December 2022
  • hold a WHM eligible passport (subclass 417 or subclass 462)
  • be 18 to 30 years old (inclusive) at time of application, except for Canadian, French and Irish citizens who can be 18 to 35 years old (inclusive)
  • meet health and character requirements
  • not be accompanied by dependent children.

Visa period

A nil VAC WHM visa, like all WHM visas granted to applicants who are outside Australia, is in effect for 12 months from the date you enter Australia.

You will have 12 months to enter Australia from the date your visa is granted.

What you can do on this visa

You can do the same as with any other WHM visa granted to you:

  • have a holiday
  • work in any occupation or industry, generally for up to 6 months with one employer
  • study for up to 4 months
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you like while the visa is in effect, subject to any COVID-19 travel restrictions that may apply at the time
  • undertake 3​ or 6 months of Specified Work to become eligible to apply for a second or third WHM visa.

How to apply

All applicants must apply for this visa online​ and must be outside Australia at time of application.

Processing times

Visa applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis, and processing times can vary due to individual circumstances.

Processing times have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and visa applications may take longer to finalise.

The Department is currently prioritising processing of visa applications for travellers who are exempt from travel restrictions and have an urgent need to travel.

For more information on travel restrictions, see COVID-19 and the border.

Applying for subsequent WHM visas

If you hold or have held a COVID-19 affected WHM visa, that visa will not count towards the total number of three WHM visas you may hold.

If you are not eligible to apply for an offshore nil VAC WHM visa

If you are not eligible to apply for a nil VAC WHM visa, you may be eligible to request a VAC refund or apply for a standard (full VAC) WHM visa.

For further information, see Refunds and waivers of Visa Application Charges.

WHM holders in Australia

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

Former WHM visa holders who have transitioned to another visa, such as the 408 COVID-19 Pandemic Event visa, may also be eligible to apply for an onshore nil VAC ​WHM visa.

More information on the onshore nil VAC WHM visa will be av​ailable on the Department’s website once arrangements are finalised.