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Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program

​​​​​Onshore nil VAC WHM applications​​

Who can apply

You must be in Australia to apply for an onshore nil VAC WHM visa.

You may apply if you held a ‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’. For the purpose of an onshore nil VAC WHM application, a ‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’ refers to the WHM (subclass 417 or 462) visa you held on 20 March 2020, or if you held a WHM visa before 20 March 2020, it was the last substantive visa you held.

Applicants who hold or have held another WHM (subclass 417 or 462) visa after the COVID-19 affected WHM visa held on or before 20 March 2020 are still eligible to apply for a nil VAC WHM visa. 

You must apply for your nil VAC WHM visa before 31 December 2022.

Eligibility requirements

You may be eligible for an onshore nil VAC WHM visa if all of the following apply:

On 20 March 2020 you were in Australia, and:

  • held a subclass (417 or 462) visa that was in effect on that date, or
  • had held a subclass (417 or 462) visa as your most recent substantive visa.

At the time of application you are in Australia, and:

  • hold a substantive visa, or
  • hold no visa, but held a substantive visa in the past 28 days, or
  • hold a bridging visa of any class.

To be granted a nil VAC WHM visa, you must:

  • ​be in Australia at time of grant
  • hold a valid WHM eligible passport (subclass 417 or subclass 462)
  • meet the age requirement at time of application for your country of passport (subclass 417 or subclass 462​)
  • meet health and character requirements
  • not be accompanied by dependent children.

Onshore nil VAC WHM visa applicants do NOT need to meet eligibility criteria related to the previously held WHM (subclass 417 or 462) visa (e.g. English language proficiency or specified work). 

Visa period

For most visa holders, an onshore nil VAC WHM visa will be in effect for 12 months from the date the visa is granted.

Bridging visa A (BVA) holders

If you are a Bridging Visa A (BVA) holder and have applied for an onshore nil visa application charge (nil VAC) WHM, the department will grant you a Bridging Visa C (BVC). The BVC will only become active if your BVA ends before the finalisation of the nil VAC WHM.

You must read your BVC and BVA grant letters for full details on your bridging visa conditions, including whether  this visa allows you to work in Australia.

Note that:

  • The visa conditions on your BVA remain in place while your BVC is inactive.
  • The visa conditions on your BVC only apply once your BVC becomes active.

What you can do when you have this visa

With this visa you can:

  • 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
  • undertake 3 or 6 months of Specified Work to become eligible to apply for a second or third WHM visa.

How to apply

You must apply for this visa online. You must be in Australia when you apply.

You must include details of your ‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’ in your application. Include the details of​ the WHM (subclass 417 or 462) visa you held on or before 20 March 2020.

Processing times

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

For more information, see Visa processing times.

The Department receives a high volume of onshore nil VAC WHM applications. We are unable to expedite processing or provide the time taken to finalise your application.

Applying for subsequent WHM visas

If you hold or have held a COVID-19 affected WHM visa, that visa will not count towards the maximum of three WHM visas you can hold. This means that nil VAC WHM visa holders have an opportunity to undertake specified work to meet the requirement for a subsequent visa if they choose. For example, if you had already held two WHM visas in Australia before you were granted an onshore nil VAC WHM visa, the onshore nil VAC visa replaces your second visa and you can choose to carry out six months of specified work while holding your onshore nil VAC WHM visa to be eligible to apply for a third visa in the future. 

If you want to apply for a subsequent WHM visa, you will need to complete a new period of specified work while:

  • holding your onshore nil VAC WHM visa, or
  • while holding the BV we granted you in association with your nil VAC WHM application).

You cannot count any specified work you may have undertaken while holding your COVID-19 affected WHM visa.

No VAC refund available

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