The Working Holiday Program provides opportunities for people between 18 and 30 to holiday in Australia and to supplement their travel funds through incidental employment.

The visa allows a stay of up to 12 months from the date of first entry to Australia, regardless of whether or not you spend the whole time in Australia.

You are allowed to do any kind of work of a temporary or casual nature, but work for more than three months with any one employer is not permitted.

Australia has reciprocal Working Holiday maker arrangements in effect with the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Korea, 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 and Taiwan.

Australia also signed a Working Holiday arrangement with Estonia on 20 September 2004. The date on which this arrangement is anticipated to take effect is early 2005.

Frequently asked questions

On this page:
1. Where can applicants apply?
2. How do I apply?
3. Is there a visa application charge?
4. Do I need a return ticket?
5. Do I need to have a medical examination?
6. How long can I stay in Australia on a Working Holiday visa?
7. What are the work conditions?
8. Can I undertake studies on my Working Holiday visa?
9. Do I need travel/health insurance?
10. Can I change to another visa?

1. Where can applicants apply?

The Working Holiday visa cannot be granted in Australia. All visa applications must be made overseas.

Passport holders of 11 foreign countries (the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Italy, France and Belgium) are able to apply for a Working Holiday visa in any country (except Australia).

Holders of the following passports must lodge their application in their country of passport:

  • Japan
  • Malta
  • The Republic of Cyprus
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Germany

Holders of passports issued by the authorities of Taiwan or the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China must apply for their visas in Hong Kong and Taiwan respectively.

2. How do I apply?

Most working holiday visa applications may be made over the internet. If you are not eligible to apply for a working holiday visa over the internet (Cyprus, BNO and Taiwan passport holders), please complete the form 1150, and contact the relevant visa processing office for your type of passport.
See:
Online services – visiting Australia
Form 1150, Application for a Working Holiday visa (PDF* file, 110kb)
Contact Details outside Australia

3. Is there a visa application charge?

Yes. You can check the latest form 990i to obtain up-to-date charges.

Your nearest Australian mission is also able to provide you with information on charges.
See: Immigration charges (fees)

4. Do I need a return ticket?

You are required to possess a return ticket, or sufficient funds for a return fare. You are also required to possess sufficient funds for the initial stages of your holiday.

Please be aware that you may be asked to provide evidence of your return airfare and funds on arrival in Australia. Evidence of funds can take the form of bank statements or savings books.

Further information on funds required is available from your nearest Australian mission.

5. Do I need to have a medical examination?

All applicants are required to meet health criteria. In certain circumstances, you will be required to undergo formal health examinations.

A chest x-ray will be required if you:

  • are a resident of a country considered to be of a very high health risk in terms of tuberculosis (a list of countries is available in form 1163i),
  • have spent more than 3 consecutive months in the last 5 years in a country or countries considered to be of a very high health risk in terms of tuberculosis,
  • are likely to enter an Australian hospital or health care area (including nursing homes),
    or
  • are likely to be engaged in an Australian child care centre (including preschools or creches) as either an employee or trainee.

A chest x-ray and a medical examination, including any specialist reports, will be required if:

  • there is an indication you may not meet the health criteria,
    or
  • you are likely to work or study in a classroom environment for more than 4 weeks and hold a passport from a country considered to be of a very high health risk in terms of tuberculosis.

Additionally, you will need to undergo HIV/Hepatitis B/Hepatitis C testing if you intend to work in the health care industry.
Example: Doctors, dentists, nurses and dental hygienists.

Examinations are conducted by panel doctors. A list of panel doctors can be obtained from this website.
See: Immigration panel doctors

6. How long can I stay in Australia on a Working Holiday visa?

A Working Holiday visa gives you 12 months to travel to Australia from the date the visa is granted, and allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months from the date you first enter Australia.

You can leave and re-enter Australia within the 12 months from the date of initial entry to Australia. However, if you depart Australia during your 12 month stay, you are not able to recover in any way the period of time spent outside Australia.

7. What are the work conditions?

Working Holiday makers are permitted to do any kind of work of a temporary or casual nature. However, if you intend to work in your occupation in Australia, you should be aware that registration or licensing may be required.

Work condition 8108, which is attached to the Working Holiday visa, states that “the holder must not be employed in Australia by any one employer for more than 3 months, without the prior permission in writing of the Secretary (of the Department)”.

The main purpose of your visit should be to holiday and travel. Any work should be incidental to supplement funds; periods of work should be broken up by periods of holiday and travel. Working beyond the three months with the same employer without the required permission may result in your visa being cancelled and you may be required to leave Australia.

For the purposes of condition 8108, DIMIA regards the ’employer’ as the organisation for which you are actually working, that is the organisation where the work is actually done, or the ‘end user’. Where you are referred by an agency or labour supplier to a business, you are permitted to work for that business for three months. The same agency or labour supplier can later refer you to another business where you may work for another three months.

You are not permitted to extend your employment beyond 3 months with any one employer through the use of business affiliates and/or sub-contracting arrangements, or by using different employment agencies (to remain in the same job).

In practical terms, this means that you cannot work for longer than 3 months in the same position, in the same location, doing the same work.

If you are interested in seasonal work in the horticultural industry, you can find information on harvest jobs at the Australian JobSearch website or, once in Australia, by phoning: 1800 062 332.

8. Can I undertake studies on my Working Holiday visa?

Working Holiday visa holders are permitted to study or train for up to 3 months.

9. Do I need travel/health insurance?

Medical treatment in Australia can be very expensive and it is advisable to have both travel and health insurance.

You are strongly advised to take out private health insurance to cover yourself in Australia unless there is a reciprocal health insurance arrangement between Australia and your country of citizenship.

Enquiries about the possible existence of such arrangements should be made when you apply.

10. Can I change to another visa?

You can apply to change your Working Holiday status while you are in Australia if you meet the requirements for another visa.

Working Holiday visa holders are able to meet the criteria for grant of a visitor visa to enable a longer stay in Australia only if exceptional circumstances exist.

People with another type of visa cannot change to a Working Holiday visa in Australia.