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Statistics on Working Holiday Makers in Australia

Matt Paff
May 16, 2023

The Australian Department of Home Affairs regularly publishes data via the Australian Bureau of Statistics on temporary visa holders, including Working Holiday Makers in Australia. The most recent data comes from March 31, 2022 and it breaks down active visa numbers by country.

There were 2.46m visa holders in Australia as at March 31, 2023 MORE THAN the pre-COVID benchmark of December 31, 2019 of 2.41m

Working Holiday Visa Types For Australia

Australia has two separate visas for Working Holiday Makers, depending on the country with which the reciprocal arrangements have been made and the year in which they were made.

As detailed in this article, the two visas in question are the:

  • 417 - Working Holiday Visa; and
  • 462 - Work and Holiday Visa

Number of Working Holiday Makers In Australia

As of 31/03/2023, there were 136,621 Working Holiday visas active in Australia. This is just shy of the pre-COVID peak of 141,142 recorded as at December 31, 2019. The expectation is that incoming working holiday makers (WHMs) will continue to outstrip outgoing WHMs for the foreseeable future, hence by this quarter's end, we should well exceed pre-COVID levels.

With 25,914 of its young people in Australia on the 417 working holiday visa as at March 31 2023 - the United Kingdom has the most working holiday makers in the country! And this is before the activation of the new arrangements under the Australia/UK free trade agreement, which will see:

  • The age limited go from 30 to 35; and
  • The length of stay extend from a maximum of 2 years to 3; and
  • The removal of the "88 day" regional work requirement for stays beyond 1 year;

The free trade agreement is expected to come into play on June 1 2023, BUT there is conjecture about this.

The French are the second most represented country with 16,792 working holiday makers in Australia as at the end of March.

This is closely followed by the Irish, with 14,989 18-35 year olds on 417 visas in Australia.

The Italians round out the top 4, with 9,865 of their citizens in Australia, also under the 417 scheme.

And in fifth we see South Korea, with 8,890 of its young people in Australia on working holidays at the end of quarter 1, 2023.

Working Holiday Makers in Australia, by country, top 24 countries

Growth by Country of Working Holiday Makers

Comparing to the pre-COVID (December 31, 2019) statistics, we have seen a remarkable growth in Irish citizens in Australia on 417 Working Holiday visas, up 96% on pre-COVID numbers (up from 7,649 as at December 31 2023 to 14,989 on the latest numbers).

The age limit increases for Italians outlined here, has led to a 26% increase in the same comparison period.

With the 30% cap limit increase in 462 visas granted to Indonesia, we've seen a remarkable 145% increase in Work and Holiday makers from there.

But they don't out do Vietnam for growth, with 2,361 Vietnamese on active working holiday visas, up 550% on Quarter 4 2019.

Interestingly, even ahead of the free trade rule changes, the UK has 10% more active 417 visa holders in Australia than pre-COVID!

The significant downturn in German backpackers (down 36%) shows a country hard hit by economic factors including the war in the Ukraine.

South Korea and Taiwan are the most affected of the major sources of Working Holiday Makers, both down 37% vs December 2019.

And surprisingly we've seen a drop of some 31% in Working Holiday Makers from the United States, 24% from Japan, 20% from The Netherlands and 17% from Canada!

Working Holiday Visas in Australia: countries with more than 2,000 active visas, percentage change December 31 2019 vs March 31, 2023

Here’s the full break-down courtesy of

Work in Australia can help!

Are you thinking about a Working Holiday down-under? Why delay, act now and join the rush of like-minded young people heading to Australia. Make the first move and contact us today!

Matt Paff
May 16, 2023