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Can I Reapply For The Australia Working Holiday Visa?

A few years back I applied for my Australia Working Holiday Visa (WHV 417) but I never ended up getting on the flight to Australia – I was then left wondering whether I could reapply for my Australia Working Holiday Visa as I hadn’t used it. Now here I am having travelled to Melbourne, Sydney and currently off up the East Coast of Australia.

I searched far and wide for an answer to whether I could reapply for my Australian Working Holiday Visa and I couldn’t come up with a definitive answer. Been posts on Reddit, Twitter and the Australian Immigration Website I had no idea whether I would be able to reapply for my WHV.

Finally, I decided the best way to get an answer was to top up my Skype account and then ring the Australian Immigration Department from England and get a legitimate answer direct from the top!

I told people the answer on Thorn Tree, the LonelyPlanet Forum, and I believe it has helped a few people who are in a similar situation so I thought I would create the blog post to put your minds at rest.

The answer then, to whether you can reapply for your Working Holiday Visa is … *drumroll* … it depends.

It depends on whether you activated your visa or not.

What do you mean by activating your Australia Working Holiday Visa?

After first applying, and being accepted, for your first working holiday visa here in Australia you have 12 months from the date of it being granted to enter the country. During these 12 months, before travelling to Australia the visa is electronically attached to your passport waiting for you to enter Australia.

If you DON’T visit Australia and go through passport control then your visa remains unactivated and after a year it disappears.

If you DO go through passport control and visit Australia your Working Holiday Visa 417 becomes activated and then you can stay in Australia from your first day of arrival (24 months if you complete your farm work).

So can you reapply for Australian Working Holiday Visa?

If your visa is UNACTIVATED and 12 months have passed since it was granted then YES you can reapply for your Australian WHV and backpack around the Land of Oz as long as you still meet the requirements such as the age limit.

If your visa has been ACTIVATED then unfortunately you cannot reapply, once you enter the country you can stay for 12 months then you have to leave. If you leave before the 12 months is up you cannot reapply for your WHV 417.

I hope this was helpful to someone, somewhere, and if it was I would love to hear from you in the comments below!