If you are a Canadian citizen who is aged between 18 and 35 years of age and you would like to visit Australia for an extended period, you may consider applying for a working holiday subclass 417 visa.
This visa will allow you to reside in Australia for an initial period of 12 months, and if eligible, you may then apply for a second year working holiday visa. As a result of legislative changes recently enacted (with effect from 1 July 2019), a third year working holiday visa will also be available, thereby potentially granting you an overall stay period of 3 years in Australia as a working holiday visa holder.
These features make a working holiday visa an attractive option for thousands of Canadian applicants each year, with the annual statistics (for the 12 months to 31 December 2018) placing Canada in the top 10 list of countries for applications lodged under the working holiday visa program.
How do you apply for your first year working holiday visa from Canada to Australia?
To be eligible for your first year working holiday visa, you must:
- Not previously have been in Australia as a working holiday visa holder;
- Intend to temporarily stay in Australia as a genuine visitor, with your primary purpose being to spend a holiday;
- Demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to meet your personal expenses for the first 3 months of your stay in Australia (minimum of $5,000) and for your departure fare;
- Have a reasonable prospect of securing employment in Australia;
- Not be accompanied by dependent children during your stay in Australia;
- Have a good immigration record; and
- Satisfy public interest criteria, including health and character requirements.
You must be located offshore at time of lodgment of your application, which is to be submitted online via ImmiAccount (paper applications are accepted in limited circumstances) with all required supporting documents attached. The visa application lodgment fee is $450.
How do you apply for a second year working holiday visa from Canada to Australia?
Among the key requirements to be satisfied, you must demonstrate that you have completed paid specified work in a designated area in regional Australia for at least 3 months full-time equivalent (88 calendar days) whilst you held your first year working holiday visa (either full-time, part-time or casual).
You must also either currently, or previously, have been in Australia, as a working holiday visa holder. In addition, you must have complied with your first year working holiday visa conditions.
One of these conditions stipulates that you are not permitted to work for any one employer for more than 6 months (unless you received prior approval from the Department). Be aware that under changes recently announced, this period is extended to 12 months in certain circumstances.
You must also not have engaged in training or study for more than 4 months.
How do you apply for a third year working holiday visa from Canada to Australia?
One of the most important requirements is to demonstrate that you have completed an additional 6 months of specified work in a designated area of regional Australia during the period when you held your second year working holiday visa (or an eligible Bridging Visa).
The specified work must have been carried out on or after 1 July 2019.
You must also either currently, or previously, have been in Australia as the holder of a second year working holiday visa. Additionally, you must have complied with your second year working holiday visa conditions (the same as for a first year working holiday visa, as noted above).
Be aware that you may only qualify for a third year working holiday visa from 1st January 2020. To apply for a second or third year working holiday visa, you can do so either onshore (subject to meeting prescribed requirements regarding your visa status at that time) or from outside Australia.
The application is to be submitted online (paper applications are accepted in limited circumstances). A lodgment fee of $450 is payable for each application.
Constantine Paxinos is a Registered Migration Agent and Chartered Accountant. He is a director of PAX Migration Australia, a leading, award-winning immigration agency based in Adelaide, South Australia. He has worked closely with international students for the last 5 years and has assisted hundreds of students with graduate and permanent visa pathways and is an active advocate for growing international students.
Christina Katsouri-Paxinos is also a Registered Migration Agent and director at PAX Migration Australia, with over 15 years of experience. Her profound knowledge on immigration law has allowed her to continuously assist her clients to achieve the best outcomes. She specializes in Partner, Parent, Student and State Sponsored (skilled) and independent skilled visas, and has an excellent track record across hundreds of visa applications.