We’ve seen a number of changes to the Australian WHV in the last year. Below is a summary of the most recent updates but remember to always check the official website for any changes or updates related to your specific citizenship or visa conditions!

Natural disaster recovery work now counts for specified work

As a reminder, Australia is unique in that it offers both Subclass 417 and Subclass 462 WHV holders the chance to apply for a Second and Third Year WHV; however, there’s a catch. Unless your citizenship qualifies you automatically (and we’ll get to that below), you have to complete specified work to qualify. You must complete three months of specified work during your First WHV to qualify for the Second Year WHV. You must then complete six more months of specified work during your second WHV to qualify for the Third Year WHV.

To find out what counts as specified work, check the conditions based on your WHV subclass:

The good news is Australia has now added another type of work that counts towards the specified work for both subclasses. As of 2 February 2024, WHV holders are able to count paid or volunteer work for natural disaster recovery work. This includes work in declared areas affected by severe weather events.

This will apply to any recovery work carried out from 31 December 2021 in declared disaster affected areas, bushfire recovery work carried out since 31 July 2019 and flood recovery work carried out since 31 December 2021. More info can be found on the official website.

New countries added to the Working Holiday program

In 2023, Australia announced that both Papua New Guinea and the Philippines would be the newest countries to join the program.

It was also announced that India would be receiving an increase in the quota for the number of citizens allowed to apply for their Working Holiday.

Free trade agreement with the UK

From 1 July 2024, British citizens will no longer need to complete any specified work to qualify for the Second or Third Year WHVs. They will just need to complete the application form and pay the fee.

Another great piece of news for the Brits is the age limit has increased from 30 to 35!

For all the details on the free trade agreement between Australia and the UK, click here.

How about the WHV age limit increase to 35 for everyone else?

Negotiations to increase the limit for other countries are continuing—the WHV program is a reciprocal program, which means that other countries must accept an age increase for Australian citizens as well for the change to be effective.

Last updated May 2024.


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