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  • Writer's pictureElan Rysher

Updated Working Holiday Visa Rules for Natural Disaster Recovery

The Department of Home Affairs is providing greater incentives for backpackers to help with natural disaster recovery through changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program.

Under previous arrangements, Working Holiday (Subclass 417) and Working & Holiday (Subclass 462) visa holders who worked or volunteered flood or bushfire affected areas were eligible to apply for a second or third WHM visa.

From 2 February 2024, this work will include other forms of natural disasters such as cyclones or storm surges. This is part of the Government’s response to recent weather events in Queensland. Working holiday makers must have carried out this work from 31 December 2021 in declared disaster affected areas.

The amendments also expand the areas of Australia in which bushfire recovery work can be carried out. The Department will continue to recognize bushfire recovery work carried out since 31 July 2019 and flood recovery work carried out since 31 December 2021.

Further changes to skilled and regional migration, including the WHM program, are being considered as part of the Government's Migration Strategy.

For more information please Contact Us or email

Elan Rysher is a Registered Migration Agent and Qualified Student Counsellor. He is the main Writer for ImmiUpdates and the founder of Rysher Migration. Elan has many years of experience working in immigration, finance and health. Being a former migrant himself, Elan is passionate about helping others fulfil their Australian dream.  


Information (or the lack of it) contained in ImmiUpdates should not be relied on as immigration assistance or advice. ImmiUpdates expressly disclaim any liability, arising at law, in equity or otherwise, for any information published or not published in past, the present or future editions of the blog. People seeking immigration assistance should seek advice from a registered migration agent and those seeking legal advice should consult a lawyer. The copyright in the newsletter belongs to Rysher Migration Services and no part of the blog is to be reproduced by any means without the written consent of Rysher Migration Services.


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