Visa Changes From Working Holiday Visa Maker Helps COVID-19 Recovery

Upcoming changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program will provide more support to the tourism and hospitality sectors still recovering from COVID-19 disruptions.

WHM visa holders working in the tourism and hospitality industries in the northern, remote and very remote areas of Australia will be able to count this as specified work, which will make them eligible for a second or third visa. WHM. This option will be available for WHMs applying from March 2022 and will take into account the work undertaken in the tourism and hospitality sectors in these areas from today.

As announced in October 2020, offshore WHMs who were unable to come to Australia or had to leave earlier due to COVID-19 will be able to apply for a replacement visa with a zero visa application fee (VAC) from July 1, 2021.

Current and former eligible WHMs in Australia will also be able to apply for a replacement WHM visa with a zero visa application fee (VAC) from March 2022, providing another opportunity to meet the work requirements specified for a subsequent WHM visa.

Former WHM visa holders who have switched to another visa, such as the COVID-19 pandemic event visa, may also be eligible to apply for a void VAC replacement WHM visa.

As announced on May 8, 2021, tourism and hospitality have been added to the list of critical sectors for COVID-19. This allows all WHMs employed in the tourism and hospitality sector to work more than six months for an employer without asking permission and gives more flexibility to tourism and hospitality employers to meet their needs in workforce.

Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Minister Alex Hawke said the changes build on those introduced from April last year to support visa holders WHM affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We recognize the important contribution that Working Holiday Makers have made to critical sectors of the Australian economy throughout the pandemic,” he said.

“COVID-19 travel restrictions and economic shocks have disrupted the plans of many visa holders. These additional measures provide the opportunity for a reset – by helping Working Holiday Makers stay and work in Australia, ”he said.

“We will continue to monitor and adjust temporary visa conditions to ensure we have the right parameters in place as Australia emerges from the pandemic,” said Minister Hawke.

More information on the changes to the WHM program will be made available on the Home Office website as new arrangements for tourism and hospitality, specified work and void WHM VAC visas are released. set up at

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