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NIL VAC Working Holiday Maker visa (subclass 417 and subclass 462)

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Australian border closure, the Australian Government introduced the NIL Visa Application Charge (VAC) Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa option to both offshore and onshore applicants.


Anyone who held a subclass 417 or a subclass 462 visa on or before 20 March 2020, being the so-called ‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’, may be eligible to apply for the NIL VAC WHM visa. There is no fee applicable for applying for the NIL VAC WHM visa.


Alternatively, there is no requirement for you to complete specified work in regional Australia to be eligible for the NIL VAC WHM visas.


Both offshore and onshore NIL VAC WHM visa options are available only until 31 December 2022 – so, if you are eligible, then wait no longer an apply immediately.

 

Offshore NIL VAC WHM visa


Location: You must be outside Australia at the time you apply for this visa and at the time the visa is granted to you.


‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’ requirements:

  • The last WHM visa you held was a subclass 417 or 462 visa granted before 20 March 2020;

  • Your WHM visa expired between 20 March 2020 and 31 December 2021 while you were outside Australia; and

  • You did not travel to Australia on your WHM visa OR departed Australia before your visa expired.


Eligibility requirements:

  • You must hold a WHM eligible passport for either the subclass 417 or subclass 462 visa;

  • You must meet the age requirement at the time of application, being 18-30 years (inclusive), except for applicants who are citizens of Canada, Denmark, France, Republic of Ireland and Italy who can be 18 to 35 years old (inclusive);

  • You must meet the health and character requirements.


Visa period: 12 months from the date you enter Australia.


Applying for subsequent WHM visa: If you hold or have held a COVID-19 affected WHM visa, that visa will not count towards the total number of three WHM visas you may hold. This means, that if you complete the required specified work whilst holding the NIL VAC WHV, you may be eligible to apply for the second of third WHV.


 

Onshore NIL VAC WHV


Location: You must be in Australia at the time you apply for this visa and at the time the visa is granted to you.


‘COVID-19 affected WHM visa’ requirements:

  • On 20 March 2020, you were in Australia:

    • as a holder of subclass 417 / 462 visa that was in effect on that date; OR

    • you held a subclass 417 / 462 visa as your most recent substantive visa; AND

  • At the time of application you hold:

    • a substantive visa; OR

    • no visa, but your substantive visa expired in the past 28 days; OR

    • a bridging visa of any class.


Eligibility requirements:

  • You must hold a WHM eligible passport for either the subclass 417 or subclass 462 visa;

  • You must meet the age requirement at the time of application, being 18-30 years (inclusive), except for applicants who are citizens of Canada, Denmark, France, Republic of Ireland and Italy who can be 18 to 35 years old (inclusive);

  • You must meet the health and character requirements.


Visa period: In most cases, 12 months from the date the visa is granted (but we have seen visas granted for 12 months from the expiry of the current substantive visa).


Applying for subsequent WHM visa: If you hold or have held a COVID-19 affected WHM visa, that visa will not count towards the total number of three WHM visas you may hold. This means, that if you complete the required specified work whilst holding the NIL VAC WHV, you may be eligible to apply for the second of third WHV.


 

Not eligible for the NIL VAC WHM visa?


If you are not eligible for a NIL VAC WHV, then you may have an option to request a VAC Refund from here.


Alternatively, you can look at applying for any other visas that you may be eligible. If you wish to learn more, then please book a Migration Consultation with our Registered Migration Agent Kristi Georgeson (MARN 1793357) from here.


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