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Can I apply for a working holiday visa while in Austraila?


Would you like to visit Australia for an extended holiday? Perhaps you would like to have the option of completing some short-term work to supplement your income during your stay? If you are aged between 18 and 30 years of age (in some cases, up to 35) and you are a citizen and passport holder of a specified country, you may be eligible for a Working Holiday Maker visa to Australia.

The Working Holiday Maker visa programme comprises two types of working holiday visas, namely, a Working Holiday subclass 417 visa and a Work and Holiday subclass 462 visa. Your citizenship and country of passport will determine whether you could qualify for a subclass 417 or 462 visa and the requirements that you will need to satisfy for grant of the visa.

A Working Holiday Maker visaallows you to reside in Australia for up to 12 months. One of the key benefits of a Working Holiday Maker visais that you will have the option of applying for a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker visato extend your stay in Australia by a further 12 months, if you complete 3 months of specified work in regional Australia.

Changes recently enacted to the Working Holiday Maker visaprogramme will also mean that, commencing from 1st July 2019, you could qualify for a 3rd year Working Holiday Maker Visa, subject to having completed an additional 6 months of specified work in regional Australia during the period that you hold a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker Visa. These changes mean that you could potentially spend up to 3 years in Australia as a Working Holiday Maker visaholder. If you are considering applying for a further visa down the track, you could use this time to prepare, for example, by gaining work experience to later apply for an employer sponsored Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa. Or, you could live and work in a certain State or Territory in Australia so that you may qualify for a State Sponsored visa.

Keep in mind that your primary purpose in seeking to reside in Australia as a Working Holiday Maker visaholdermust be to spend a holiday in Australia as a genuine visitor. If your main purpose is to work, then you will not be eligible for a Working Holiday Maker visaand you should explore skilled visa options. 

Other changes which have also recently been announced will extend the period over which you can work for the same employer on each Working Holiday Maker Visa from 6 to 12 months, where the work is performed for an agricultural employer (you can apply to have the 6-month limit waived in certain circumstances).

As a Working Holiday Maker visa holder, you can also study for a period of up for 4 months, and you can travel to and from Australia on an unrestricted basis over the term of your visa.
One of the most important aspects of applying for a visa to Australia is to ensure that you lodge a valid application. Otherwise, your application will be deemed to be invalid and you will need to re-apply (provided that you are still eligible at that time). This includes applying from the correct location.

Can you apply for a Working Holiday Maker visa while in Australia?

The answer depends on whether you have ever been in Australia as a Working Holiday Maker visaholder.
If you are not currently and have never previously been in Australia as a Working Holiday Maker visa holder, you must be outside Australia to apply.

If you are currently, or you have previously been in Australia, as a Working Holiday Maker visaholder, you can apply for a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker visaeither onshore or outside Australia.

To apply in Australia, you must also either currently hold, or have held, a substantive visa at any time in the 28 days immediately before lodging your application (a substantive visa is any visa excluding a bridging visa, criminal justice or enforcement visa).

Constantine Paxinos is a Registered Migration Agent and Chartered Accountant. He is a director of PAX Migration Australia, a leading, award-winning immigration agency based in Adelaide, South Australia. He has worked closely with international students for the last 5 years and has assisted hundreds of students with graduate and permanent visa pathways and is an active advocate for growing international students.