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Australia will refund travel visas on working holidays if you visit in 2022

Feb. 08, 2022
3 min read
Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia
Australia will refund travel visas on working holidays if you visit in 2022
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Backpackers, rejoice! Australia has promised to refund travel visas for working holidays — so long as you're headed there in the next few months.

Currently, a working holiday visa allows fully vaccinated travelers to travel to Australia, and work for the same employer for more than six months, up to Dec. 31, without needing special permission.

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Since 1975, the scheme has offered school breakers the chance to swan off into the big brave world with little more than the shirt on their back, a pristine copy of "On the Road" in their bag and a thirst for adventure and fishbowl cocktails.

Known in official circles as the “Subclass 417” visa (but to those in the know, just the “backpacker’s visa”) it allows travelers between the ages of 18 and 30 to mix short-term jobs in the country with travel and study.

The scheme was shut down when the pandemic led the Australian government to close its borders in one of the strictest COVID-19 border policies the world has seen.

Related: Australia is reopening to international travelers this month

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week announced its reopening with the words all school leavers love to hear: “We’ve opened the borders to backpackers.”

Speaking to a Queensland radio station, he added: “We’re also now providing a rebate if they come in the next three months. They will get their visa application fee refunded when they get here.”

The news comes as the Australian government revealed it's opening its borders to all foreigners beginning Feb. 21 after almost two years of isolation.

Related: 8 common misconceptions about visiting Australia

Since March of 2020, the Land Down Under has been all but closed off to foreign tourists, in one of the strictest and most sustained COVID-19 border policies the world has seen during the pandemic.

At first, Australia would not even allow its own citizens to leave.

That changed in October of last year as the first Australians were stepped back out into the world after almost two years of international isolation.

And this week, the news finally came that Morrison was considering allowing foreign visitors back into Australia, possibly in time for Easter.

The allowance would effectively mean that those on a working holiday can now travel to any of the Australian states and territories ahead of tourists, business people and family visitors. It allows young people to work for up to 12 months in any sector, anywhere in Australia, except Western Australia which is still under a strict lockdown.

“If you apply for the visa while you are 30, but turn 31 before we have made a decision, we can still grant you the visa,” said the Australian authorities.

The visa application charge is $352 (about 495 Australian dollars). But, according to the new rules, you can have that fully refunded if you arrive before April 19, 2022.

For detailed information on how to apply and the criteria, applicants must meet, visit Australia’s immigration website, or the country’s tourist board website.

Featured image by Uluru (Ayers Rock) Australia (Photo by @wendy.floyd via Twenty20)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases