I applied for a Working Holiday Visa in Australia (417). It had just been granted and that's OK because I have to go there soon to sort some stuff but I was thinking to stay there working later this year so would be cool to freeze my WHV, apply for a tourist, get there now as a tourist then go away and come back later to work.

I saw the ImmiAccount let me apply for a new visa so I think I can hold two visa in the same account but what happen when I enter the country?

I suppose they'll automatically active the older visa, Right? Is there any chance they'll let me choose?

EDIT: Last time I was there, at the end of my WHV, I applied for a tourist to stay longer and my WHV immediately became e bridging visa, I'm afraid I'll erase my new WHV by applying for a new visa...

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    I would think this is typically the kind of thing that would raise at least a few eyebrows if not red flags. I have no experience with that, though, so I may be overly cautious.
    – jcaron
    Mar 18, 2022 at 23:50
  • They're welcome to check whatever they want, I'm fine. I just don't want to waste working time without working. (I have a friend there and we would probably travel for a couple of months, is sad to waste potential working time without incomes!)
    – Matte.Car
    Mar 19, 2022 at 0:05
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    Changes in intent (the reason for travelling / requesting a visa) are often treated with an abundance of caution. Once you have told them you want to work, if you start telling them otherwise, it’s quite natural for them to treat that with suspicion. Of course YMMV a lot depending on your circumstances (citizenship, wealth, previous travel history…) but the fact you need to request a visa for tourism and the fact you signalled you want to work don’t quite place you in the best position, IMHO.
    – jcaron
    Mar 19, 2022 at 0:15
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    I can't find an official source but the Internet consensus is that you can only hold one Australian visa at a time. The home affairs page on changing visas to me implies it.
    – jcm
    Mar 19, 2022 at 5:28
  • Found it. See answer.
    – jcm
    Mar 19, 2022 at 5:35

2 Answers 2


I am not a migration agent and this is not migration advice. Section 82(2) and 82(2AA) of the Migration Act of 1958 read (emphasis mine)

(2) A substantive visa held by a non‑citizen ceases to be in effect if another substantive visa (other than a special purpose visa) for the non‑citizen comes into effect.

(2AA) Despite subsection (2):

(a) a maritime crew visa held by a non‑citizen does not cease to be in effect if a substantive visa for the non‑citizen that is of a class specified by the Minister, by legislative instrument, for the purposes of this subsection comes into effect; and

(b) a substantive visa held by a non‑citizen that is of a class specified by the Minister, by legislative instrument, for the purposes of this subsection does not cease to be in effect if a maritime crew visa for the non‑citizen comes into effect.

'Substantive visa' is defined in Section 5 which reads:

substantive visa means a visa other than:

(a) a bridging visa; or

(b) a criminal justice visa; or

(c) an enforcement visa.

The text of the Act may be found here


I've never been to Australia, and don't know their immigration law, but I was born in USA but have travelled significantly in South America; in these travels I have acquired permanent residency in Chile and several types of visa in Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.

In my experience, when you (as an immigrant) acquire a new visa in your receiving country, your old visas will be annulled, usually with an obvious stamp in the passport page where the old visa was, or, if the certificate of the visa is separate, on the certificate page.

One reason for this is that different visas have different associated responsibilities and/or privileges. For example, on your first entry to a country you may be granted a tourist visa, but not allowed to work for pay. When you later obtain a visa allowing you to work, and perhaps stay for a longer time period, you will be treated according to the terms of the new visa, not the old. If the tourist visa were not annulled, you would be trespassing its terms. On the other hand, when a temporary residence visa expires, your privileges may be revoked, and you will be obliged to renew your tourist status, and will again be bound by those terms.

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    Of course, work visas often require you to already have a job offer in hand, and most employer's won't consider hiring you unless you already have work permission...
    – Vikki
    Mar 20, 2022 at 10:16

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