Australia Opens Borders To Working Holiday Visas

Adam Ogle

Posted On 22 November 2021

Today is the day we, and you, have been waiting for. Today’s the day the Australian Federal Government announced Australia will open its borders to working holiday visas from 1 December 2021!

So What Was Said?

At 11.30am on 22 November 2022, Prime Minister Scott Morrison fronted the media to give an update on Australia’s next steps on it’s border policy.

With Australia now at an average of 85% double vaccinated, with NSW and Victoria heading for 95% it has now been deemed safe for Australia to welcome the next group of people into the country WITHOUT a travel exemption from December 1st 2021.

This group includes people on a:

  • Working Holiday Visa (417)
  • Work and Holiday Visa (462)
  • Student Visa (500)

You can see the full list on the Australian Immigration website.

Working holiday visa makers on a backpacking trip on the East Coast of Australia

What are the other requirement?


You will need to be fully vaccinated and your vaccine be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Applying For A Visa

You can apply now for either a Working Holiday visa (417) or Work and Holiday visa (462).

The countries that are eligible are:

417 Visa Working Holiday

Passport holders from these countries

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport)
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

462 Work and Holiday Visa

Passport holders from these countries

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Chile
  • China, People’s Republic of
  • Czech Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • United States of America
  • Vietnam
Passport from different nationalities on a working holiday visa on a welcome to travel tour

How Long Will It Take?

Due to the backlog of visas throughout COVID, the visa processing time is longer than normal. Immigration’s indicator of times are as follows

Working Holiday visa (417)

  • 75% of applications in 85 days
  • 90% of applications in 4 months

Work and Holiday visa (462)

  • 75% of applications in 90 days
  • 90% of applications in 4 months

Other Requirements

  • Undertake a pre-departure COVID-19 test.
  • Obtain your foreign vaccination certificate.
  • Travellers to Australia should complete an Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before departure.

When Are Welcome Tours Running?

Our first Welcome to Melbourne tour is running February 27th and our first Welcome to Sydney tour March 20th.

This gives you enough time for your visa to be processed and for you to be able to organise everything before coming over here.

For all of you lovely people that have been wanting to come to Australia for so long, that have waited for this announcement for so long, it couldn’t have come at a better time for you.

Save Money

On Friday 26 November 2021 our Black Friday sale starts, giving you the perfect opportunity to save some money whilst being safe in the knowledge that Australia is welcoming travellers back into the country. The doubt has gone, it’s just excitement now!

Instead of a normal Black Friday sale, we’re giving you a choice on, how do you want to save?

You can either get:

A free Road Trip Add On (Melbourne=Great Ocean Road and Sydney=Blue Mountains) valued at $265, when you book a Welcome Tour


10% off any Welcome Tour or Mini Pack

The promo codes will go live at 12.01am Friday 26th November and there will be a limited amount. If you want to get ahead of the queue, sign up here and receive the codes in your email 12 hours before everyone else.

You can still choose to book open dated if you don’t want to pick a date but want the discount.

What To Do Now?

  1. If you want to come within the next year, apply for your visa immediately. You have a year to start the visa so you should get your application in now.
  2. Sign up for a Black Friday promo code now.
  3. On Friday 26th November, place a deposit for your Welcome to Travel tour. You can still choose to book open dated if you don’t want to pick a date, but you still want the discount. Win win!
  4. Once your visa has been granted, you can book your flights.

Around the same time as organising those flights, organise your travel insurance. We recommend World Nomads.

Tourist Visa Makers

Although this is great for people coming on a working holiday, we know that some of you might be wanting to come on a tourist visa.

Australia announced it is extending the country it is allowing tourists by adding in Korea and Japan from the 1 December 2021.

If you want to know when your country will be listed then sign up to our Australia Travel Update Newsletter. 

If you have any questions at all, then please get in touch with us here, we can’t wait to hear from you.

We’re so excited for 2022 and beyond, you travelling to Australia is so close you can nearly touch it.

Written By

Adam Ogle

Professional Bants: Co-founder of Welcome to Travel that’s passionate about delivering life changing experiences for travellers visiting Australia. Personal Bants: REALLY like bungy jumping, gin and every sport possible, apart from ones in cars, they’re boring.

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