Backpackers to down under are many. Australia has always been open and welcoming to the cross-cultural people. They stay for the short duration, earn, learn, mingle with locals, celebrate ethnic diversity and exchange cultural value. The backpackers are good short-time stayers for the economy without burdening the country with their liability.

We often find ourselves explaining to unsuspecting backpackers about the difference between the work and holiday visa and working holiday visa. The intention of both the visas is more or less the same. However, there are some minor variances do exist that mark the difference between both the visa types.

The work & holiday visa (subclass 462) and working holiday visa (subclass 417) both invite young and employable backpackers aged between 18-30 years to come, live, work and travel in the Aussie land for over a year and above if the travelers have engaged themselves in specific occupations in the regional Australia.

The government of Australia is reviewing to extend the upper age limit for working holiday visa from 30 to 35 years. Until it becomes law, the 30 years age limit will continue to apply for the applicants.

The first difference between working holiday (417) and work & holiday (462) visa is the applicant’s home country.

The passport holders of these below-mentioned countries can apply for 417 working holiday visa:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Finland
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • Taiwan
  • UK


Whereas, the applicants for 462 work and holiday visa, must be from any of these countries:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Chile
  • China
  • Ecuador
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Thailand
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Turkey
  • San Marino
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • USA
  • Uruguay

Austria & Czech Republic are the new additions to the work and holiday visa eligible countries, signed on 19th October 2017. Once the program gets implemented, passport holders of these countries can apply for 462 visas.

Second Difference is the English language proficiency and education criteria

Working holiday visa applicants need not meet any requirements regarding education and English language proficiency. Work and holiday visa applicants need to have function English language proficiency and meet educational requirements as specific to each country.

Third difference is Letter of Support from the Government

The work and holiday visa applicants must provide a letter of government support along with their visa application. However, citizens of China, Isreal, USA, and Singapore need not submit such a supporting letter.

The working holiday visa applicants need not provide any such document along with their application.

Fourth difference is eligibility to apply for second working holiday or work and holiday visa

Working holiday visa holders, who wish to apply for 2nd working holiday visa must have completed 3 months specified work in regional Australia, while they are on their 1st working holiday visa.

Regional Australia denotes

  • New South Wales- except Sydney, Newcastle, central coast and Wollongong
  • Norfolk Island
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland – except Greater Brisbane and Gold Coast
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria- except Melbourne metropolitan area
  • Western Australia – except Perth and surrounding areas

Work and holiday visa applicants can apply for their 2nd work and holiday visa provided they have completed 3 months of specified work in the Northern Australia. They must have completed the job during their 1st visa period.

Northern Territory denotes

  • Northern Territory
  • Western Australia, Queensland – All areas to the north of Tropic of Capricorn

Both the visas have similarities as well as differences. DO NOT get confused with the set of requirements. Do contact our migration experts us so that we can help you apply for the suitable visa type.