Working Holiday & Occupational Trainee Visas


The working holiday subclass 417 visa & the occupational trainee subclass 442 visa are great stepping stones to permanent residence via the Subclass 485 Skilled Graduate & subclass 487 Skilled Regional Sponsored visas.

As far as the 417 visa is concerned it is useful to note that as at 31.12.08 there were 89 577[1]working holiday makers present in Australia.

The working holiday visa pathway via the 485 Skilled Graduate is limited as the time of application criteria requires the applicant to have completed the 2 year study requirement within 6 months of application[2]. Almost no working holiday visa holders would be able to meet that. But not so for the occupational trainee visa holder who could use the visa to ain work experience and training and then step into the subclass 485 visa.

A more obvious pathway for both visa holders is the subclass 487 skilled regional visa. Here the time of application criteria states:

(5)   The applicant met the requirements of subitem 1229 (7) of Schedule 1, and:

(a)        if the applicant holds a Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa, the applicant must have held that visa for at least 6 months; or

(b)if the applicant holds a Subclass 442 (Occupational Trainee) visa, the applicant must have completed the traineeship for which the visa was granted.

Here the applicant does not have to meet the requirement that student visa holders have to meet, namely that the student has met the 2 year study requirement in the previous 6 months.

There is also the ability to score only concessional English (5.5) for non-vocational jobs[3] but only for NSW, SA, Tasmania & NT. If one is sponsored by one of those states or the NT.  The concession is additionally available to those sponsored by a person who resides in NSW, SA, Tasmania & NT AND Victoria.



[1] Immigration Update 31.12.07 see

[2] 485.213

[3] See 487.224 & Federal Register of Legislative Instruments (FRLI)F2007L02670, 30.8.07IMMI 07/054

Barbara Davidson