I'm very, very excited about a piece of news that we posted the other day: working holiday visa holders can apply for a second working holiday visa if they work in construction. It's about time!
We find that most of our clients want to go for a second round in Australia. Who wouldn't? It's warm, sunny, and huge! It's hard to cram the entire country into a one year visa, especially when you want to earn a few bucks while you travel. One of the most common questions we're asked is "can I apply for another working holiday visa?" I always hate saying no. Thanks to the new announcement from DIAC I won't have to say no so often.
A few years ago, DIAC caved into pressure from travellers and agricultural companies who needed workers. They allowed anybody who worked for at least three months as a "seasonal worker" in "regional Australia" to apply for a second working holiday visa once their first one expired. (Translated out of government-ese, that means to get another working holiday visa, people needed to work on a farm way out in the middle of nowhere.) Up until now, people who didn't really want to bend bananas in the sun for a few months have been out of luck.
I'm happy to see that construction and building workers are getting in on the act. The construction industry in Australia is so desperate for workers, they successfully lobbied the government to get the same rights as the agricultural sector. Working Holiday Visa holders who work for three months in construction or building can now apply for another Working Holiday once their first visa expires.
As great as it is (and it really is great for a lot of our clients) I want the program to go even further. Construction and agriculture aren't the only industries that need young workers. Working holiday makers make up a pretty hefty chunk of the temporary work force in Australia - and I don't just mean bar staff! Child-care workers, nurses and other skilled pros often call us to head down under on a Working Holiday Visa.
I can't wait for the day when they can apply for another chance to explore Australia.
- Amanda Gripske is a Working Holiday Visa Manager with the Australian Visa Bureau.
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