Changes to The Australian Working Holiday Visa Program You Need to Know

On 5 November the Department of Home Affairs announced the changes to the working holiday maker visa program in Australia.

The sole purpose of the changes is to give farmers immediate access to workers in major regional areas of Australia.

What are the changes to the Working Holiday Visa Program?

The changes include:

  • From 5 November 2018: expanding the regional area where subclass 462 visa holders can undertake agricultural* work to be eligible for the second-year visa. Currently, only applicants who had worked in Northern Australia are eligible.
  • From 5 November 2018: the period of time where sc 417 and sc 462 visa holders can stay with the same agricultural* employer is increasing from 6 months to 12 months.
  • Third-year visa: After 1 July 2019, if you undertake 6 months of specified work in a specified regional area while holding your second year sc 417 or sc 462 visa, you will have the option of applying for a third-year.
  • Increase annual caps: over the coming weeks, the Department will be offering an increase in the annual caps to a number of countries that participate in the Work and Holiday visa subclass 462. 
  • Increase age from 30 up to and including 35 years old: Applicants aged up to and including 35 years old from Ireland and Canada are now eligible to apply for the Working Holiday visa subclass 417.

*Agricultural work includes plants and animal cultivation

Plants and animal cultivation for Regional Work Include:

  • the harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
  • pruning and trimming vines and trees
  • general maintenance crop work
  • cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
  • immediate processing of plant products
  • maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce
  • immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing, and tanning
  • manufacturing dairy produce from raw material

Changes to Address Regional Workforce Shortages

The Working Holiday Maker visa program was amended to address the workforce shortages in regional areas of Australia.

The Department has announced that the changes are aiming to increase the number of sc 417 visa and sc 462 visa workers available for seasonal work needs.

In addition, the changes from 6 months per employer restriction to “12 months per employer” will enable regional employers to retain trained and experienced workers doing plant and animal cultivation work.

The changes allowing the possibility of applying for a third-year visa will attract workers to work longer in regional areas of Australia.

Extending Regional Areas for Working Holiday Maker Visa Program

Regional areas will be extended from 5 November 2018. Regional areas will be extended in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia, and all of Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia.

The following are eligible postcodes for regional work:

States and Territory Postcodes
New South Wales 2311 to 2312;

2328 to 2411;

2420 to 2490;

2536 to 2551;

2575 to 2594;

2618 to 2739;

2787 to 2898

Norfolk Island All postcodes in Norfolk Island
Victoria 3139;

3211 to 3334;

3340 to 3424;

3430 to 3649;

3658 to 3749;






3778 to 3781;




3810 to 3909;

3921 to 3925;

3945 to 3974;


3981 to 3996

Queensland 4124 to 4125;



4270 to 4272;





4307 to 4499;



4515 to 4519;

4522 to 4899

Western Australia 6041 to 6044;

6055 to 6056;



6083 to 6084;


6121 to 6126;

6200 to 6799

Northern Territory All postcodes in the Northern Territory
Tasmania All postcodes in Tasmania
South Australia All postcodes in South Australia

Eligible Countries for the Working Holiday Visa Subclass 417

Belgium Italy
Canada Japan
Republic of Cyprus Republic of Korea
Denmark Malta
Estonia Netherlands
Finland Norway
France Sweden
Germany Taiwan
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders) United Kingdom
Republic of Ireland

Eligible Countries for the Work and Holiday Visa Subclass 462

Argentina San Marino
Austria Singapore
Chile Slovak Republic
China, People’s Republic of Slovenia
Czech Republic Spain
Hungary Thailand
Indonesia Turkey
Israel USA
Luxembourg Uruguay
Malaysia Vietnam
Peru Portugal

How Can Crux Migration Help

If you are unsure about your eligibility for the subclass 417 Working Holiday visa or subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa, we can help you.

Our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents at Agape Henry Crux (Also know as Crux Migration) can assess your eligibility and help you understand all requirements involved.


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