Filling out the WHV application
Now, let’s review each page of the form you have to fill out to submit your WHV application.
Step 1 – Terms and conditions
First, you have to tick the box to accept the online process terms and conditions. TL; DR:
- Same-sex marriage has been legal in Australia since December 2017, so if you’re in a same-sex marriage, you can state you’re married.
- You assume all risks associated with use of the website. Information or materials which are offensive, pornographic, unsuitable for minors’ access or otherwise of a criminal or violent nature may be accessible as a result of hacking or material placed on linked websites.
- Unauthorized use of this website could result in criminal prosecution.
- The information you provide may be disclosed to various Australian governments and agencies.
- You can always access the information you provided.
Tick the box and click “Next.”
Step 2 – Application context
Select the country where you are from the drop-down menu. You don’t necessarily have to apply from your usual country of residence or country of citizenship, however, you cannot apply from Australia.
Once you select a country, a drop-down menu will appear under “Current location.” Select your status in the country you’re in:
- Permanent resident
- Work visa
- No legal status
If you’re an EU citizen living, studying or working in another EU country, don’t choose “Work visa.” Select “Other” and enter “EU citizen.”
You have to answer “yes” or “no” to the following three questions:
- Will the applicant be accompanied by dependent children at any time during their stay in Australia on this visa?
- Has the applicant ever been granted and entered Australia on a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) before?
- Has the applicant been granted and entered Australia on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) before?
When answering, remember that:
- You aren’t eligible for the WHV if you’re planning to travel to Australia with your children.
- You aren’t eligible for the WHV if you’ve already had and used a Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) under another citizenship.
- If you’ve already entered Australia on a Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417), you’re not filling out the right application. You must apply for a second-year Working Holiday Visa.
- If you were granted a Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) or a Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 432) in the past but never used it (i.e. you didn’t go to Australia), answer “no” to both questions.
NEW – (From July 1st, 2021) COVID-19 related travel restrictions
If you are eligible to apply for a replacement visa with nil VAC (from July 1st, 2021 to December 31, 2022), you have to answer “yes” and give details of your previously granted Working Holiday Visa.
Proposed arrival date
Note the use of the word “proposed”—you don’t have to travel exactly on this date, don’t worry! If you don’t have set plans yet, just guestimate.
- Your application won’t be processed faster if you’re entering a very close travel date.
- Your departure date must be at most 12 months from now.
Step 3 – Your personal information
The information you enter must match the information on your passport. Remember that you can’t use special characters (é, ê, ç, etc.).
- Family name
- Given Names (including your middle name, if applicable, without comma between names)
- Date of birth
- Passport number
- Date of issue
- Date of expiry
- Place of issue
- Make sure your last name and given names match the information on your passport. Enter your middle name if it appears on your passport, even if you never use it. Any typo at this stage could create big problems at the airport!
- Pay attention when you enter your passport number—“1” and “I” or “0” and “O” can look very similar. Never had to provide your passport number before? You will usually find it in the upper right-hand corner, on the personal info page. You may want to check the number format your country of citizenship uses to make sure you got it right. For instance, a Canadian passport number has two letters then six digits (i.e. AB123456), while a UK passport has nine digits.
If you’re using the wrong number format, i.e. you missed a digit, you will get an error message on the next page.
Go back to the previous page to double check your passport number, this type of error message usually pops up when you didn’t follow the form your country of citizenship uses.
National identity card
All applicants who have a valid and current National Identity Card must provide their card details, including a certified copy of the national identity card (both sides of the card).
Many countries, including Canada, don’t have a national ID—don’t enter your social insurance number or your driver’s licence! Simply answer “no.”
If you have an expired national ID card, select “no” as well.
Note for applicants from Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan:
All applicants from Hong Kong SAR must provide their valid and current Hong Kong Identity Card details. If the applicant is unable to provide their National Identity Card details, they must provide a reason. If the applicant does not provide these details, the application may be delayed whilst further information is sought.
All applicants from South Korea must provide their valid and current South Korean National Identity card (Resident Registration Card) details. If the applicant is unable to provide their card details, they must provide a reason. If the applicant does not provide these details, the application may be delayed whilst further information is sought.
All applicants from Taiwan must provide their valid and current National Identification card details. If the applicant is unable to provide their card details, they must provide a reason. If the applicant does not provide these details, the application may take longer to process and may be asked for additional information.
If you did answer “yes,” click “add” and enter the details as required.
You must provide your family name, given names, ID number, country and date of issue as well as the date of expiry.
When you’re done, click “Confirm”.
Place of birth
You must enter the following information:
- State/Province (Canadians can enter a territory, if applicable)
- Country of birth
Select one of the following options from the drop-down menu:
- De facto (You currently live together with your partner, opposite or same sex, without being legally married)
- Divorced (Your marriage has been legally dissolved by legal authority, usually a family court, and you have documentary evidence to this effect)
- Engaged (You are betrothed to enter into a legally recognized marriage)
- Married (You and your partner have entered into a marriage which is legally recognized and documented)
- Never married (You have never entered into a legally recognized marriage or de facto relationship)
- Separated (You and your partner no longer live together in a marital situation or in a genuine domestic relationship and would normally live apart without having finalized divorce proceedings to terminate the marriage)
- Widowed (Your partner is deceased and immediately prior to their death, you were in a legal marriage or de facto relationship)
There’s no “partner visa” in the WHV program, so even if you’re married or in a common-law relationship, each person must apply for their own WHV. If you’re not married, you can select “de facto” or “never married,” it will have zero impact on your application.
Enter your maiden name or alternative spellings of your name, if applicable.
Answer both “yes” or “no” questions:
- Is this applicant a citizen of the selected country of passport ([YOUR COUNTRY OF CITIZENSHIP])? The answer here should be “yes” if you entered the correct information.
- Is the applicant a citizen of any other country? If you have dual citizenship, tick “yes,” even if you don’t have a passport from your second country of citizenship. If you ticked “yes,” select your other country of citizenship from the drop-down menu appears. To add another country, click the green “+” sign.
Other passports or documents for travel
Specify if you currently hold any other current or expired passports or documents for travel. If you have dual citizenship and hold another passport, tick “yes” and add details as required.
Other identity documents
Enter the details of any national identity documents issued by a government other than Australia, e.g. ID card, birth certificate, driver’s licence, etc. Canadians could provide their drivers license number, if applicable, since there are no national ID cards in Canada.
You must answer “yes” or “no” to the following question: Has this applicant undertaken a health examination for an Australian visa in the last 12 months?
If you took a medical exam to apply for another visa for another country, answer “no.”
If you tick “yes,” you must provide details, including the date and place of the medical exam, as well as the “health assessment identifier” (HAP ID), if available.
When you’re done, click on “Next.”
You may see a message reminding you to enter passport details where applicable, and not national ID details. Click “Confirm.”
Step 4 – Critical data information
This page is a chance to review critical personal information you provided. If the information is correct, tick “Yes” and click “Next.”
Step 5 – Contact details
In this section, you must provide information regarding your country of residence and the different ways to contact you.
Country of residence
Choose your usual country of residence from the drop-down menu. If you’re currently abroad for a short period of time, e.g. on holiday, choose the country where you normally live and have a mailing address.
It’s very, very unlikely you will be interviewed for a WHV application but you still have to choose the closest Australian Government Office from where you live. Note that most offices are in capital cities (Ottawa, Seoul, London, etc.) Most Europeans are closest to the London or Berlin offices.
Enter the residential address in your usual country of residence:
- Select a country from the option list
- For street addresses (number and name) and post office box numbers, enter these into the first address line and leave the second line blank.
- State or Province, etc. from a drop-down menu
- Postal code
Note that the default name is “State or Province” even if your country of citizenship doesn’t use these terms. Pick the appropriate administrative region from the drop-down menu if it appears (e.g. “Hovedstaden” for a Danish address) or enter it in the blank field (e.g. for addresses in Hong Kong).
State if your mailing address (i.e. where mail, if applicable, is sent to) is the same as your residential address. If not, tick “No” and provide your mailing address.
Contact telephone numbers
You must provide at least one phone number where the Department of Home Affairs can reach you if needed:
- Home phone (landline)
- Business phone
- Mobile/Cell phone
Make sure to format your phone number correctly:
- When entering the number, use only digits (0-9). Do not use spaces or other characters.
- Start with the country code, then the area code and your phone number.
You can find your international country code in this list.
- Canadian number format: 12223334455
- British number format: 445566777888
This field is prefilled with the email address you provided when you created your ImmiAccount. By the way, did you confirm your email address yet? Take a second to log into your email and open the one from the Department of Home Affairs you must have received and click on the link!
You can edit the field and use another email if you wish. Note that a change of email address for this application will not change the ImmiAccount email address. The ImmiAccount email address can only be changed using Manage Account.
Step 6 – Authorized recipient
Most, if not all WHV applicants handle the visa applicant process alone so you will probably reply “no” to the question “Does the applicant authorize another person to receive written correspondence on their behalf?” This is a default question mostly relevant when prospective immigrants apply for residency or other more complex visas and may hire a migration agent or lawyer to handle the process on their behalf.
We do not recommend hiring a “visa specialist” to apply for the WHV. The process is very straightforward, it would be a waste of money.
If you do answer “yes” to this question, you must provide the person’s contact details in the new fields that appears.
If you answer “no,” confirm the email address all communication will be sent to—once again, the field is prefilled with the email address you provided when you created your ImmiAccount.
Click “Next” to go to step 7.
Step 7—Occupation and education
Remember that your current occupation and your education have zero impact on your WHV application. Applications from students, unemployed or underemployed professionals or high school graduate will be treated exactly the same as an application from an experienced professional!
Enter your current occupation (in English!). You could enter “student,” “unemployed” or your job title.
Answer the question “Does the applicant intend to work during their time in Australia?” by “Yes” or “No.” Note that WHV holders aren’t required to work in Australia, some of you just want to take a true gap year!
If you answer “Yes,” select the industry you intend to work in from the drop-down menu. This information will be used to determine if you need to take a medical exam. That said, the information you provide now won’t impact your job opportunities once in Australia—you won’t have to work in the field you originally “selected” during the application process.
Select your highest qualification from the drop-down menu. If you don’t have the degree yet, you can still select the applicable level since the Department of Home Affairs is asking for your highest eligible level.
The options are based on levels of education in Australia and they may sound a bit cryptic to you since education systems are very different around the world. Among the choices, you have:
- Doctoral Degree in Science, Business or Technology/Doctoral degree (Other)—This is the highest postgraduate degree, e.g. PhD.
- Masters Degree in Science, Business or Technology/Masters Degree (Other)—Postgraduate degree, usually at least one year of study beyond the bachelor’s degree.
- Honours Degree in Science, Business or Technology/Honours Degree (Other)—This is the highest level of training in an undergraduate degree within the Australian tertiary education system, usually a one- to two-year research program, after the completion of a bachelor’s degree in the same field.
- Graduate Diploma—Normally taken following a bachelor’s degree in Australia.
- Bachelor Degree in Science, Business or Technology/Bachelor Degree (Other)—Undergraduate degree, usually three or four years of study after high school.
- Senior Secondary School certificate — The graduation certificate awarded to most students in Australian high schools.
- Diploma and Advanced Diploma—Usually one and three years of practical study at university, college or community education centres.
- Associate Degree—Courses more academically focused than advanced diploma courses.
- Certificate III (non-AQF)—Skilled training not accredited by the Australian higher education or vocational education and training accreditation authorities.
Don’t lose sleep over it—pick the category that best matches your education level, it’s fairly irrelevant to your application.
Step 9 – Health declaration
For WHV applications, the Department of Home Affairs isn’t very picky about your skills or education. However, you do get quizzed about your health and you should pay close attention to this section. Indeed, you must meet certain health requirement to protect the Australian community from public health and safety risks, especially active tuberculosis, so answer the following eight questions carefully.
- “In the last five years, has any applicant visited, or lived, outside their country of passport, for more than 3 consecutive months? Do not include time spent in Australia.”
If you tick “Yes,” you must list the country visited and the dates in the table that appears below. Tip: if you forgot your exact travel dates, look at the entry/exit stamps on your passport! (This doesn’t work for Europe, though!)
First, select your name (since you’re the only applicant!). Choose the country from the drop-down menu, select the travel dates and click “Confirm.” Select the Add button to add a table row and repeat the process to add another country, if applicable.
Note that if you selected a country which is NOT on the list of countries with low risk of tuberculosis, you will have to take a medical exam.
- “Does any applicant intend to enter a hospital or a health care facility (including nursing homes) while in Australia?”
If you tick “Yes,” a table will appear. Click “Add,” then select your name from the drop-down menu, then a reason (“work,” “training,” “treatment,” “visiting” or “give birth”) and provide details. Click “Confirm” to go back to the health question lists.
- “Does any applicant intend to work as, or study to be a doctor, dentist, nurse or paramedic during their stay in Australia?”
If you tick “Yes,” click “Add” and give details as required.
- “Does any applicant intend to work or be a trainee at a child-care centre (including preschools and creches) while in Australia?”
If you tick “Yes,” click on “Add” and give details as required.
- “Does any applicant intend to be in a classroom situation for more than 3 months (e.g. as either a student, teacher, lecturer or observer)?”
Note that you do have to tick “Yes” if you’re planning to take ESL classes for more than three months. WHV holders can study in Australia for up to 4 months (or 17 weeks).
If you tick “Yes,” click “Add” and give details as required.
- “Has any applicant ever had, or currently have, tuberculosis? Has any applicant been in close contact with a family member that has active tuberculosis? Has any applicant ever had a chest X-ray which showed an abnormality?”
If you tick “Yes,” click “Add” and give details as required.
- “During their proposed visit to Australia, does any applicant expect to incur medical costs, or require treatment or medical follow up for blood disorder; cancer; heart disease; hepatitis B or C and/or liver disease; HIV infection, including AIDS; kidney disease, including dialysis; mental illness; pregnancy; respiratory disease that has required hospital admission or oxygen therapy; or other?”
If you tick “Yes,” click “Add” and give details of the medical condition for which you expect to incur costs, require treatment or medical follow up.
- “Does any applicant require assistance with mobility or care due to a medical condition?”
If you tick “Yes,” click “Add” and give details.
From experience, we’ve seen that each application is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. For instance, in January 2015, a French prospective WHV applicant reached out on the forum because he wasn’t sure whether or not to disclose the fact that he was HIV positive. He decided to be honest and the Department of Home Affairs required different medical exams (Medical Examination, Chest X-ray Examination and, ironically, an HIV test plus an HIV Specialist report). A few weeks later, he was granted his WHV!
Step 10 – Character declarations
One of the WHV eligibility requirements is to “be of good character.” In this section, you will have to answer 17 background check questions regarding your potential involvement with illegal activities.
Tick “Yes” or “No.” If you tick “Yes” to any of the questions, give details. If the matter relates to a criminal conviction, provide the date and nature of the offence, full details of the sentence and dates of any period of imprisonment or other detention.
- “Has any applicant ever been charged with any offence that is currently awaiting legal action?”
- “Has any applicant ever been convicted of an offence in any country (including any conviction which is now removed from official records)?”
- “Has any applicant ever been the subject of an arrest warrant or Interpol notice?”
- “Has any applicant ever been found guilty of a sexually based offence involving a child (including where no conviction was recorded)?”
- “Has any applicant ever been named on a sex offender register?”
- “Has any applicant ever been acquitted of any offence on the grounds of unsoundness of mind or insanity?”
- “Has any applicant ever been found by a court not fit to plead?”
- “Has any applicant ever been directly or indirectly involved in, or associated with, activities which would represent a risk to national security in Australia or any other country?”
- “Has any applicant ever been charged with, or indicted for: genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture, slavery, or any other crime that is otherwise of a serious international concern?”
- “Has any applicant ever been associated with a person, group or organization that has been or is involved in criminal conduct?”
- “Has any applicant ever been associated with an organization engaged in violence or engaged in acts of violence (including war, insurgency, freedom fighting, terrorism, protest) either overseas or in Australia?”
- “Has any applicant ever served in a military force, police force, state sponsored / private militia or intelligence agency (including secret police)?”
- “Has any applicant ever undergone any military/paramilitary training, been trained in weapons/explosives or in the manufacture of chemical/biological products?”
- “Has any applicant ever been involved in people smuggling or people trafficking offences?”
- “Has any applicant ever been removed, deported or excluded from any country (including Australia)?”
- “Has any applicant ever overstayed a visa in any country (including Australia)?”
- “Has any applicant ever had any outstanding debts to the Australian Government or any public authority in Australia?”
Step 11 – Working holiday declarations
You’re almost done! Now it’s time to wrap everything up!
Answer the following five “Yes” or “No” questions (… and you’ll probably answer “Yes”). This is basically a declaration stating that you understand the WHV conditions.
The applicant declares that they:
- “Understand that they must abide by the conditions of the visa.”
- “Understand that the visa they are applying for does not permit them to be employed in Australia with one employer for more than 6 months without prior permission.” (Note that there are legal exceptions to this, read the article WHV in Australia—How to Work More Than 6 Months for the Same Employer for more info!)
- “Understand that the visa they are applying for does not permit them to undertake studies or training for more than 4 months.”
- “Have sufficient funds for the initial period of their stay in Australia and for the fare to their intended overseas destination on leaving Australia.”
- “Are applying for their first working holiday visa and have not previously entered Australia on a working holiday visa (on a passport of any country).”
Pay attention when you tick the box—you won’t get an error message if you answer “No” but a negative answer could seriously jeopardize your application.
Step 12 – Declarations
In this final section, you must tick “Yes” for all 12 questions. Read them carefully.
The applicant declares that they:
- “Have read and understood the information provided to them in this application.”
- “Have provided complete and correct information in every detail on this form, and on any attachments to it.”
- “Understand that if any fraudulent documents or false or misleading information has been provided with this application, or if any of the applicants fail to satisfy the Minister of their identity, the application may be refused and the applicant(s), and any member of their family unit, may become unable to be granted a visa for a specified period of time.”
- “Understand that if documents are found to be fraudulent or information to be incorrect after the grant of a visa, the visa may subsequently be cancelled.”
- “Understand that if this application is approved, any person not included in this application will not have automatic right of entry to Australia.”
- “Will inform the Department in writing immediately as they become aware of a change in circumstances (including change of address) or if there is any change relating to information they have provided in or with this application, while it is being considered.”
- “Have read the information contained in the Privacy Notice (Form 1442i).”
- “Understand that the department may collect, use and disclose the applicant’s personal information (including biometric information and other sensitive information) as outlined in the Privacy Notice (Form 1442i).”
- “Give consent to the collection of their fingerprints and facial image if required.”
- “Understand that, if required to provide their fingerprints and facial image, the applicant’s fingerprints and facial image and biographical information held by the Department may be given to Australian law enforcement agencies to help identify the applicant and determine eligibility for grant of the visa being applied for, and for law enforcement purposes.”
- “Give consent to Australian law enforcement agencies disclosing the applicant’s biometric, biographical and criminal record information to the Department to help identify the applicant, to determine eligibility for grant of a visa and for law enforcement purposes.”
- “Give consent to the Department using the applicant’s biometric, biographical and criminal record information obtained for the purposes of the Migration Act 1958 or the Citizenship Act 2007.”
Finally, you have to declare that you read the information provided by the Australian Government on Australian society and values, and agree to the Australian values statement.
This page is your chance to make sure all the information provided is correct before you continue. If you need to correct anything, click “Previous” at the bottom of the page.
Once you’re done, click “Next” to continue.
Main articles about the WHV to Australia
16 Good Reasons to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa
The Working Holiday Visa Adventure as a Solo Traveller
Applying for a Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417) To Australia: The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide with Screenshots
Globe WHV insurance policy highlights
Your first steps in Australia with a Working Holiday Visa
15 Tips for a Successful WHV Experience
Working in Australia: Opportunities, tips for backpackers and job search advice
Fruit Picking Jobs in Australia: What, Where, How (and Why!)