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Working Holiday Maker

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Australia's working holiday maker scheme allows young people to have an extended holiday by supplementing their travel funds through incidental employment, thus experiencing closer contact with the local community and promoting international understanding.

Australia has reciprocal Working Holiday maker arrangements in effect with the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Korea, Thailand, Malta, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China, Finland, the Republic of Cyprus, France, and Italy, Belgium, Estonia, Bangladesh, Chile and Taiwan.

Can I apply for a Working Holiday visa?

Only citizens of the above-mentioned countries are eligible to apply for Working Holiday visas. All visa applications must be lodged overseas. Citizens of Japan, Korea, Malta and Germany must apply in their own country.

What criteria must I pass in order to apply for a Working Holiday visa?

You must be between the ages of 18 and 30 and be single or married without children.

You need to show that:

  • the main reason for coming to Australia is to holiday and that any work that you do is to support yourself while you are on holiday;
  • you have a good chance of finding temporary work to supplement your holiday funds;
  • you have a return ticket or sufficient funds for a return fare and for the first part of your stay; and
  • you intend to leave Australia at the end of your authorised stay.

If you are granted a working holiday visa, you are allowed a stay of 12 months from the date of initial entry to Australia.

You are permitted to study or train for up to three months in Australia if you applied for your visa after 1 July 2000.

As of 1 Nov. 2005, the Working Holiday Maker program has been expanded to help growers get the seasonal harvest labour they need. Working Holiday Makers who have done at least three months seasonal harvest work in regional Australia will be able to apply for a second, 12 month Working Holiday Maker visa. People from all 19 countries with which Australia has a reciprocal WHM arrangement are eligible.

In addition, Working Holiday Makers will be allowed to apply for and obtain a Skilled Independent Regional (SIR) visa without leaving Australia. This measure will significantly expand the pool of people available for sponsorship by state governments and regional authorities under the SIR visa.

What are the working conditions under this visa?

If you are granted this type of visa, you are allowed to do any kind of work of a temporary or casual nature. Since the main purpose of the visit is for holiday and travel, work for longer than three (3) months with any one employer is not permitted. Working holiday makers should be paid according to Australian award rates and conditions.

From which countries do most applicants for this visa apply?

From 1999-2000, working holiday visas were granted to 74,000 young people. The countries of citizenship for most of the working holiday makers who received visas during this time period were United Kingdom (38,696), Ireland (13,155), Japan (8,442), Canada (5,433), Netherlands (4,818) and Korea (1,198).

Please contact using our Australian immigration enquiry form for assistance in applying for this type of visa.