Changes to Australian Working Holiday Visa 417 & 462

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Good news for those working while on holiday in Australia – eligible travellers will now be able to apply for a third Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa to extend their stay for another year! Earlier this year, the Australian Government announced major changes to their Working Holiday Maker Program with the addition of a third WHM visa and an increase in the age limit for applicants. 


The Third WHM Visa 


Effective 1 July 2019, WHM visa holders who complete 6 months of specified work in regional areas while holding a valid second Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa or Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa may be eligible to apply for a third Working Holiday visa. 


Important: to be eligible to apply for a third WHM visa you must complete the 6 months of specified work on or after 1 July 2019. Any work carried out before 1 July 2019 while on the second WHM visa will not be counted. This means that a successful application cannot be lodged before January 2020. 


The 6 months of specified work does not all need to be completed at once – the 179 calendar days (minimum) can be spread across the length of your visa and over multiple employers if needed. 


Specified Work 


As of 5 November 2018, working travellers can now work for the same employer for up to 12 months. Prior to this, the maximum time you could work for the same employer was 6 months. 


As stated by the Department of Home Affairs, examples of eligible specified work for the subclass 417 visa include: 

Picking fruit on an orchard 

Feeding and herding cattle on a farm 

Landscaping the grounds of a construction/house site 

Painting the interior/exterior of new buildings 

Conservation and environmental reforestation work 

Erecting fences on a construction site 


Increased visa applicant age limit 

The second change made to the Australian WHM Program was the increase of the applicant age limit from 31 to 35 years old. Currently, this proposal has only been accepted by Canada, France and Ireland – the age limit for all other eligible countries will remain the same. 


Therefore, as of July 1, 2019, all WHM visa all applicants must be aged 18 to 30 years old with the exception of Canadian, Irish and French citizens who may be aged 18 to 35 years old (inclusive). 


For more details, please visit the Department of Home Affairs website. 

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