Free Replacement visa for Work and Holiday Makers affected by COVID-19
If you held a Working Holiday visa (417) or Work & Holiday Visa (462) and you had to return home because of COVID -19 or you were not able to come to Australia due the Australian border closure you will soon be able to apply for a free replacement visa.
During the initial lockdown that was caused by COVID-19 more than 50,000 backpackers are estimated to have left Australia to return home earlier than planned. Additionally, thousands of work & holiday visa holders were prevented from arriving in Australia to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
As soon as the international border reopens, the Australian government wants those Work & Holiday Makers to return to Australia. From 1 July 2021, Working Holiday Makers (417 & 462) that were affected by COVID 19 will be able to apply for a replacement visa for free.
Free replacement Work & Holiday visa eligibility
To be eligible to apply for a free replacement Work & Holiday visa (417 or 462) you will need to meet the following criteria:
- You held either a working holiday (417) or a work & holiday (462) visa that was granted before 20 March 2020.
- Due to COVID-19, you were not able to arrive in Australia or you departed Australia before your Working Holiday Visa (417 or 462) expired.
- Your last Work & Holiday visa expired before 31 December 2021.
- You are not older than the applicable age limit. 30 or 35 depending on your country of passport.
- You are outside Australia when you apply for your replacement visa.
- You must apply for your replacement visa before 31 December 2022.
If you held a COVID 19 affected W&H Visa you will be able to apply for a replacement visa without paying the usual Australian Visa Application Charge (VAC) of $495.
If you are eligible to apply for a replacement Working Holiday Visa, the visa that was COVID affected will be treated as it never existed. For example, if you were on your second Work & Holiday Visa (462) you will be deemed to be applying for a replacement second Work & Holiday visa and will still be able to apply for a third Work & Holiday visa later.
The result of these regulatory changes is that it could be possible to hold up to four W&H Visas (417 or 462) if any one of the previous visas were COVID affected.
VAC Refund Request
If you have passed the age limit to apply for your replacement Work & Holiday visa you may be eligible to apply for a refund of the VAC that you paid for the visa that was COVID affected. You can submit your application for a refund on the refund request page of the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) website: DHA REFUND REQUEST
If you have any questions about Australian Work & Holiday Makers visas feel free to Contact Us and we will happily answer your queries.