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Australian Visa - Tourist or Working Holiday?




You've decide to come to Australia now you need an Australian Visa, the next step is which one do I apply for? The question can be answered by determining the length of time you want to spend in Australia, the nationality of your passport and the type of holiday you are looking for. Although there are many types of permits for Australia, the information on this page is related to the working holiday program and short stay tourist options. Australia requires all visitors to have a visa before they can enter the country.


What Type of Visa?


Simple if you want to work in Australia, the working holiday program is for you. This permit type (subclass 417) also allows you to stay for an extended period of time and supplement your trip by working. Employment can range from temp work in a Sydney office, fruit picking along the east coast of Australia or cattle ranching in Western Australia. If you are only planning a short trip to Australia then a tourist application (subclass 676) is probably what you are looking for. These can allow you to stay from 3 to 6 months and also allow you to study during this period if that is your intention.


Am I eligible?


The Australian visa working holiday program is For people aged between 18 and 30 from arrangement countries to have an extended holiday supplemented by short-term employment. The list below does change from time to time so keep checking the Australian Government Immigration site if your country is not on the list.


Australia has reciprocal working holiday visa arrangements currently with 19 foreign countries:

  • the United Kingdom
  • Canada
  • the Netherlands
  • Japan
  • Ireland
  • Korea
  • Malta
  • Germany
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Hong Kong SAR
  • Finland
  • Cyprus
  • Italy
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Belgium
  • Taiwan


To be eligible for the tourist ETA the Australia government also state you must have a genuine intention to visit Australia as a tourist, for recreation or to visit your family and/or friends. There are also other obligations relating to Health, Health Insurance, character and Financial requirements.

How do i apply?


Australian visa online and paper applications can be made if you want to participate in the working holiday program. Online applications can be made at the Australian Government Immigration Site

For paper applications the form (Form 1150) can be downloaded from the same site and lodged at any Australian Immigration office.

Tourist applications can also be made online or by mail and can also be submitted within Australia. However only passport holders from certain countries can apply on line.

How much does it cost?


Australian Visa Working Holiday Program (subclass 417) cost is AU$195.

Tourist Permits (subclass 676) AU$100, however if lodged within Australia this fee rises to AU$215.

If your application is refused these payments are not refunded.



How long will my visa take to process?


Processing times

The following information is service standards for processing Working Holiday applications.

First Working Holiday 6 DaysSecond Working Holiday 21 Days

Processing times will be longer if additional information is required such as medical requirements. To enquire about your individual application, please contact the department.

Tourist applications submitted electronically are normally finalised in less than 2 weeks. In some instances, applications may need to be referred to an Australian Immigration Office for further processing. Applications for extensions of a Tourist visa or extensions of an ETA (Visitor) submitted electronically are normally finalised within 2 working days.



Can I extend my stay?


Working holiday makers who have been employed in seasonal work / specified work in regional Australia for a minimum of three months will be eligible to apply for a second Australian visa working holiday permit, allowing them to stay in Australia for a further 12 months, provided they continue to meet the working holiday eligibility requirements. You can apply to change your Working Holiday status while you are in Australia if you meet the requirements.

To remain longer in Australia than your original application allows, you are required to make another application. If you wish to remain in Australia for tourism or recreational purposes or to visit family or friends, you may apply for a Tourist permit.

If you are refused, you must leave Australia before the expiry of the permit on your passport.



How long can I Stay?


The Australian visa Working Holiday program gives you 12 months to travel to Australia from the date the visa is granted, and allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months from the date you first enter Australia.

You can leave and re-enter Australia within the 12 months from the date of initial entry to Australia. However, if you depart Australia during your 12 month stay, you are not able to recover in any way the period of time spent outside Australia.

Working holiday makers who have been employed in seasonal work / specified work in regional Australia for a minimum of three months will be eligible to apply for a second working holiday permit, allowing them to stay in Australia for a further 12 months, provided they continue to meet the working holiday eligibility requirements.

ETA (Visitor) (subclass 976)

An electronically stored authority for short-term visits to Australia of up to 3 months. Available to passport holders from a number of countries and regions.

Tourist visa (subclass 676)

A temporary permit generally granted for a stay of 3 months or 6 months. In certain circumstances a stay of 12 months may be granted.



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