Changes to Work Holiday Maker Visas


On 4 April 2020, the federal government announced changes to the visa system as it applies to Working Holiday Makers (WHMs) (subclass 417 working holiday visas and subclass 462 work and holiday visas).

People with a WHM visa:

  • whose visa is due to expire in six months who have not completed the requirements for a second or third working holiday visa
    as at 4 April 2020 (3 months’ and 6 months’ work in specified work respectively)  

  • and who wish to stay in Australia (and/or are unable to return to their home country)

are able to work in ‘specified work’, which includes dairy farming, if they obtain an extension to their visa via the Temporary Activity subclass 408 Australian Government Endorsed Event (AGEE) stream visa. The “Pandemic visa” is free.

Visit Department of Home Affairs for further information and to apply for the “Pandemic visa” and read the Frequently Asked Questions for WHM Visa

For more information, direct all enquiries to the Department of Home Affairs

Remember: working in Australia without a visa with work rights is a breach of the law by both employer and employee

Check visa conditions online at VEVO

WHMs working in ‘specified work’, which includes dairy farming, are able to work for the one employer for 12 months, rather than six months. WHMs who have completed the 3 month or 6 month requirement for specified work should apply in the ordinary manner for a second or third 417 or 462 visa. Read more about employing new staff, including backpackers during COVID-19

A bridging visa will be provided to enable them to continue to work while the visa is processed.