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:

  1. You held either a working holiday (417) or a work & holiday (462) visa that was granted before 20 March 2020.
  2. 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.
  3. Your last Work & Holiday visa expired before 31 December 2021.
  4. You are not older than the applicable age limit. 30 or 35 depending on your country of passport.
  5. You are outside Australia when you apply for your replacement visa.
  6. 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.