03 May 2006
Significant changes to Australian Working Holiday Visa
The Australian Federal Government has announced changes its popular working holidaymaker visa program. The most significant change means visa holders will be able to work for any one employer for six months rather than three. Study periods have been extended to four months rather than three. The Government has also widened its definition for qualifying fields of employment for the popular visa ‘extension’ program
From July, backpackers working in several primary industries, including fishing, shearing and forestry, will be eligible to apply for a ‘second’ working holidaymaker visa, thus extending their trip from 12 months to 24.
Prior to today’s announcement, employment was restricted to three months with any one employer and study was permitted for only three months.
Under the working holiday maker visa arrangement, young Britons aged between 18 and 30, with no dependent children, can apply for a working holiday visa. British students, gap year travellers and those looking for a career break account for over a third of all working holiday visas issued for Australia.
The Australian working holidaymaker program benefits industries that rely heavily on casual labour at peak times, especially the hospitality, horticultural and rural industries.
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