The Working Holiday and Work and Holiday visas are very similar programmes although the Working Holiday visa is more flexible and usually easier to get.
The main difference is that the Work and Holiday visa is available to people who have completed a university or other tertiary qualification, while there is no minimum educational qualification for the Working Holiday visa. Also it is possible to apply for a second Working Holiday visa if you have done seasonal work (such as picking fruit) in regional Australia.
Working Holiday visa
Citizens of Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom aged between 18 and 30 are eligible to apply for a Working Holiday visa (visa subclass 417).
This visa lets you work for of up to 12 months in Australia to supplement the cost of your holiday.
The Working Holiday visa allows you to enter Australia within 12 months being granted the visa, stay in Australia for up to 12 months (an extension of an additional 12 months is possible), leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid, work in Australia for up to six months with each employer and study for up to four months.
The application fee for the Working Holiday visa is $420 ($500 if applying through an embassy or consulate).
Citizens of Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United States of America and Uruguay are not eligible to apply for the Working Holiday visa, but they can apply for the similar Work and Holiday visa.
Applying for a second Working Holiday visa
If you have worked as a seasonal worker in regional Australia for a minimum of three months (88 days) while on your first Working Holiday visa, you may be eligible to apply for a second Working Holiday visa.
To qualify for a second Working Holiday visa you need to have completed at least three months of work in specific industries in regional areas. The approved industries include construction, fishing and pearling, mining, plant and animal cultivation plus tree farming or felling. If you can get construction or mining work then you’ve hit the jackpot as this work pays well and often includes accommodation and free flights, however most travellers who want to qualify for a second visa end up picking fruit, which is hard work that pays very poorly and usually involves accommodation in the worst hostels in Australia although the work is easy to get.
The approved work is rather specific and it is best to check with the Australian Immigration Department’s website before taking a job. For instance picking grapes on a vineyard means that you’ll be eligible for your second visa, but providing wine tastings at the same winery will not.
There is no requirement to do further seasonal work on the second visa and you may return to work for a further six months for an employer with whom you worked on your first visa.
Work and Holiday visa
Tertiary educated people aged between 18 and 30 from Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United States of America and Uruguay can apply for the Work and Holiday visa (visa subclass 462), which is a similar programme to the Working Holiday visa. The scheme will soon be extended to citizens of Greece and Israel.
This visa lets you take up temporary and casual employment for up to 12 months to supplement your travel costs. Most countries that participate in this visa programme have an annual limit of 100 Work and Holiday visas per year.
If your application for the Work and Holiday visa is successful you can enter Australia at any time within three months of the visa grant date, stay for up to 12 months in Australia, leave and re-enter Australia any number of times in the 12 months from the date of first entry, undertake temporary employment in Australia (a maximum of six months per employer) and study for up to four months.
The application fee for the Work and Holiday Visa is $500 ($420 for citizens of the USA who apply online). You must apply for this visa outside Australia and you must apply with the same passport that you will use to travel to Australia (if you are due to renew your passport, you must do this before applying for the visa).
Applicants for the Work and Holiday visa must show that they have access to at least $5000 and applicants from non-English speaking countries must provide evidence of a functional level of English (usually in the form of a CAE, IELTS, OET or TOEFL language test). Applicants for this visa (with the exception of US citizens) also need to provide a letter of support from their home government. You can find more information about this visa on the website of the Australian Department of Immigration.
Citizens of Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan and United Kingdom are not eligible to apply for the Work and Holiday Visa, but they can apply for the similar Working Holiday visa.