What is the change? Australia has added China to the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for Work and Holiday Visas.

What does the change mean? Chinese applicants must apply in-person at one of three designated locations in Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai. Online and mailed applications will not be accepted.

  • Implementation time frame: 21 September.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) Visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of the People’s Republic of China who meet other qualifying criteria.
  • Business impact: Employers may hire eligible Work and Holiday Visa holders on a temporary basis.
  • Next steps: Chinese applicants must make an appointment and file their application in-person at one of the three Australia Visa Application Centres in China.

Background: According to a legislative instrument adding China to the eligible countries, applicants holding a passport from the People’s Republic of China will not be required to provide government support for grant of the visa. As part of the eligibility requirements for this visa, Chinese nationals will need to hold tertiary qualifications, or have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate university study, and must also provide evidence that they have a level of English language ability assessed as at least functional.

Work and Holiday Visas are available to a small number of young adults ages 18 to 30 from designated countries, allowing them to work and travel in Australia for up to one year. Australia currently offers Work and Holiday Visas to citizens of Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, the United States and Uruguay.

BAL Analysis: The Work and Holiday program is very popular and is likely to fill up quickly. Chinese nationals are encouraged to apply as early as possible once the program opens as there will be an annual limit of 5000 places for Chinese participants.

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact

MARN: 9683856

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