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Working Holiday Visa in Australia: A complete guide!

Backpackers on a Working Holiday Visa in Australia

Table of Contents

Planning to come to Australia to travel, work, meet new people, and possibly stay for 1 year? Then the Working Holiday Visa might be for you! We’ve put together a complete guide with all you need to know about the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) in Australia.


Who is the Working Holiday Visa for?

To apply for a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), you should meet these requirements:

  • hold a passport from an eligible country or jurisdiction
  • be 18 to 30 years old (inclusive) – except for Canadian, French and Irish citizens who can be 18 to 35 (inclusive)
  • not be accompanied by dependent children
  • be outside Australia
  • not have previously entered Australia on a subclass 417 or 462 visa. If you have previously been in Australia on a subclass 417 visa, you can apply for a Second Working Holiday Visa if you meet the requirements.

Cost of the Working Holiday Visa

The application fee for the Working Holiday Visa is AU$485.

Countries eligible for the Working Holiday Visa

Passport holders from the following countries can apply for this visa:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport)
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

How to apply for the Working Holiday Visa

Applying for the Working Holiday Visa visa is simple and can be done in less than 30 minutes. Remember that if you are applying for your first Working Holiday Visa, you can only apply from outside Australia. Follow these steps to apply:

  1. Visit the DHA website and create an account and password, if you haven’t already.
  2. After signing in, you will be brought to a step-by-step guide. Make sure you fill the form with as many details as possible. 
  3. At the end of the application, you will have to provide the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details, and passport issue and expiry dates.
  4. Lodge the application, pay the fee, and now all that’s left to do is to wait for the application to be assessed!

Also, you may need to upload other documents. Find all the information about required documents here.

How to find work in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa

Your Working Holiday Visa gives you full-time work rights in Australia. That is why you can focus on finding work soon after you arrive. Although, Working Holiday Makers are allowed to work for up to 6 months with the same employer. After 6 months of working for a single employer, you would need to find a different one.

Your visa legally allows you to work in whatever field you choose and for that reason, it is up to you to find your field. Here are some of the fields where working holiday visa holders generally work in:

Bars & Restaurants

These places are often looking for staff. Also, working in hospitality is one of the few fields where you will be forced to improve your English language level as speaking with guests and clients is one of the main duties of the job, and you may even get some tips! 

Construction

Construction companies are generally open to working holiday visa holders. To get a job in this field you will need to have a white card. It is a certificate that shows that you have the knowledge in construction, that you know the safety standards and know how to act in case of emergency.

Recruitment

There is a competitive career opportunity for you in Australia if you have worked in recruitment before.

Retail

Retail stores can be also a great option for those looking for work. With a constantly rotating roster, the more touristy shops are always looking for employees.

Regional work

If you are planning to renew your working holiday visa for a second or third year, you will have to complete regional work. We’ll talk more about this below!

Admin or Internship opportunities

Want to improve your curriculum and skills overseas while you discover and travel around Australia? Then doing an internship may be a great opportunity for you. To find employment in this area, you will need to have a great resume and know how to network. 

For more tips on how to get a job in Australia, make sure to check out our guide!

Tax on a Working Holiday Visa

If you are on a Working Holiday Visa and plan to work in Australia, you will have to pay tax. 

Applying for a TFN on a Working Holiday Visa

The first step is to register for a Tax File Number (TFN). Your TFN is your personal reference number in the government’s tax system. You can apply for a TFN online once you have your Working Holiday Visa.

Your TFN will generally arrive within 28 days after submitting your TFN application. If after 28 days, you have not received your TFN you can contact them by calling 13 28 61.

Tax Rates for the Working Holiday Visa

Fortunately, the tax rates for working holiday visa holders are fixed at 15% rate if you make up to AU$45,000 per year. However, to be taxed at this rate, your employer has to be registered with the government to provide work for working holiday visa holders. 

For that reason, make sure you mention to your employer when you start working that you hold a working holiday visa, or else you will be taxed as a foreign resident at a 32.5% tax rate. 

Filing a Tax Return

In Australia, most people need to lodge an annual tax return at the end of every financial year, which is the 30th of June. Here, you can declare how much income you earned and how much tax you pay.

You do not need to lodge a tax return if ALL of the following apply to you:

  • You received all of your earnings as salaries and wages while you were on a working holiday visa.
  • Your total taxable income for the income year was less than:
    • $37,001 in 2019–20 and earlier income years
    • $45,001 from 2020–21 and later income years.

Superannuation

Your employer also has to pay superannuation for you if you hold a working holiday visa. When you leave Australia, you can apply to have your super paid to you as a departing Australia superannuation payment (DASP). However, you would need to pay tax on any DASP made to you. The tax rate is 65% for payments made on or after 1 July 2017.

If you want more information about taxes on a working holiday visa, make sure to visit the ATO website.

Medicare

Medicare is the health care system available for Australian residents and citizens. If you are on a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) in Australia, you will be eligible for Medicare insurance.

Who is eligible for it?

Residents of the United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium, Republic of Ireland* and NZ* are covered for the whole period of the visa. Also, residents of Malta and Italy are covered by Medicare for a period of 6 months after their arrival in the country. 

What is covered?

Medicare provides coverage for what is considered ‘medically required’. This means any illness or injury which occurs while you are in Australia and requires treatment before you return to your country.

On the Medicare scheme you will be covered for:

  • Free treatment in a public hospital
  • Access to subsidised medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • Medicare benefits for medical treatment provided by doctors through private surgeries.

How to apply:

  • Visit the Medicare website to review your Medicare entitlements
  • Download an Enrolment Form for Medicare. (Irish and NZ travelers don’t need to register) 
  • Take your completed form, passport, visa, and one other form of ID to your nearest medicare office center. 
  • You will be issued a Medicare Card that will arrive by mail when your application is accepted. 

For more details about Medicare, visit their website and you will find information in your language!

Second Working Holiday Visa and 88 days

If you came to Australia on a working holiday visa and would like to extend it, you would need to complete 88 days of specified work in a regional area.

This type of employment, also known as regional work, for purpose of the second and third working holiday visa includes paid work in the following fields:

  • Plant and animal cultivation
  • Fishing and pearling
  • Tree farming and felling
  • Mining
  • Construction

Voluntary work is not accepted as ‘work’ for the purposes of applying for a second or third Working Holiday Visa.

Additionally, your employment needs to be completed in a regional area, and not in the capitals. You can discover where this is available by looking at this link

Also, critical COVID-19 work in the healthcare and medical sectors and Bushfire recovery work were recently added to the list of activities valid for the Second and Third WHV.

How to count the work days on a Working Holiday Visa

‘3 months’ means a period equal to the 3 shortest ‘calendar’ months of the year, which means a minimum of 88 calendar days and can include weekends or rest days during your work period.

How to find Regional work on a Working Holiday Visa

Regional employment also pays well and you will be able to save with accommodation, plus you can meet incredible people along the way!

If you are looking for work in agriculture, you need to take in consideration that different parts of Australia have different harvest types and seasons. 

A great resource to find what type of harvest is currently in season is the Harvest website. It has all the information about type of crops and the cities.

Other great ways to find regional work are searching on job boards. For instance, the website Gumtree publishes many ads and jobs for Working Holiday Visa holders.

Third Working Holiday Visa and 179 days


From 2019, The Australian government introduced the Third Working Holiday Visa, which allows you to extend this visa for the third time by completing another 6 months of regional work.

To be eligible for a Third Working Holiday visa, you must have completed at least 6 months of specified work on or after 1 July 2019. 


In this case, ‘6 months’ means a period equivalent to the six shortest calendar months of the year, or 179 calendar days over your period of work.

Working holiday visa and COVID

Unfortunately for many, due to borders being closed, coming to Australia on a Working holiday visa is not an option at the moment. 

To help the Working Holiday Visa holders, the government implemented a series of temporary updates to the visa. These include:

  • Work performed by working holiday visa holders in critical sectors such as the health and medical sectors can now count as ‘specified work’ and is valid for the purpose of the second or third Working Holiday Visa.
  •  Also, if you are currently working in sectors such as health, aged and disability care, agriculture, food processing and child care, you are allowed to be with the same employer for more than 6 months.
  • Bushfire recovery work: Any work involved in the recovery of land, property, animals or wildlife affected by the bushfires can now be counted as ‘specified work’ and is valid for the purpose of third and WHV visa. 

For more information on all the recent updates, make sure to visit the government website on this link

The Working Holiday Visa opens a lot of opportunities for you to create incredible experiences, meet amazing people, and get to know more about the beautiful country of Australia.

If you need help or have any questions, feel free to send us a message! We are real people here and we would love to talk about anything that’s on your mind.

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