Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visas: Country caps explained and the race for visas

In the government’s race to populate Australian farms with young, strong, and foreign bodies to address the shortfall in Australia’s regional areas, many overseas nationals eligible for the Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa are in their own race against their fellow countrymen and women. That race is to grab one of the limited places their country has been allocated for a 462 visa.

One major difference between the 462 visa and their sibling backpacker visa, the Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa, is the limitations placed on the number of visas that can be granted. While there is technically the ability to place a cap on the number of Subclass 417 – Working holiday visas, there is currently none. This is perhaps why it has been widely reported that the government is looking to expand the working holiday visa program to far-flung countries from Mongolia to Monaco: to increase the number of working holiday makers in Australia.

The 462 visa, however, does not have the same advantages. They are subject to caps depending on country. The exception to this is the United States of America which does not have any limit on the number of visas that can be granted. For every other country in the 462 visa program, the cap varies from 100 visas for Turkey, Ecuador, and Luxemburg to 5,000 visas for China.

To keep the public informed, the Department of Home Affairs has created a dedicated webpage with information on the status of each country’s cap. The table will be updated once the cap has been reached to indicate that the 462 visa for that particular country is closed to any new visa applications. If will also state when that country has their program suspended which will occur when that cap is close to being reached.

This webpage will be very useful for countries where evidence of government support is not required and that are also subject to a cap. These countries are Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, Israel, Portugal, Singapore, and Spain. This is because for those countries that do require government support, it would be expected that the relevant ministries responsible for issuing this evidence will regulate the demand for these visas.

It might be best for those wanting to apply rfom countries that do not require evidence of government support to consider applying towards the beginning of any program year, which starts on 1 July, to avoid the possibility of being disappointed if demand outstrips supply.