27 October 2008

More Brits holiday on Australian working holiday visas

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According to statistics from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), more young Brits are holidaying in Australia on working holiday visas during the last three months than the same period last year.

The number of Australian working holiday visas granted to young Brits increased by 21 per cent during the months of July, August and September 2008 to 11, 203 visa holders, when compared to the same period last year (9,250 working holiday visas were granted July-September 2007).

The Australian working holiday visa programme allows 18-30 year old nationals from participating countries to live, work and holiday in Australia for up to twelve months, provided they meet certain requirements.  Holders of the working holiday visa are not allowed to work for one employer longer than six months, although if they work in specified parts of regional Australia for three months or longer in the horticultural or construction industry, they can apply for a second working holiday visa.

In a press release from Tourism Australia, general manager of UK/Europe Rodney Harrex said their increased funding and promotions of the working holiday visa in Britain and Europe has worked well to sell Australia to young travellers.

"Australia has a lot to offer young British travellers who are looking to live the Aussie lifestyle and gain valuable work experience overseas," Mr Harrex said.

"With the current economic situation in the UK, many young school leavers and graduates may be struggling to find work and are looking for other opportunities.  The Working Holiday Visa gives them the chance to live and work in Australia for up to two years, and if they do some homework before they go they could land a job which gives them a real CV highlight," he added.
Tourism Australia has been utilising social networking sites on the internet to market the Australian working holiday visa, including Bebo's 'The Gap Year' and MySpace.  Both profiles provide information regarding the visa and travel in Australia.  During May to September this year, more than 6,000 people used the click-through option from the MySpace Australia page to the DIAC website, and over 3 million people have viewed 'The Gap Year' working holiday videos.

"Campaigns are getting cut through with our target audience and the results are showing in the increased applications for, and grants of, the Australian Working Holiday Visa," added Mr Harrex.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian visa application.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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