Calls for new working holiday visa rules to be extended across Australia

by Ray Clancy on January 18, 2016

in General Information, Jobs in Australia

Several states in Australia want to expand the working holiday visa so that young people can spend longer working in one location or for one employer.

Last year the Northern Territory benefitted from new visa rules that allowed working holiday makers to work longer for one employer and for the employment to count towards a visa extension.

VISAUS200The rule was brought in amid concerns that not enough working holiday makers were choosing to work in the north of the country which does not have the same draw as places like Sydney and Bondi Beach.

It was also a response to a severe shortage of part workers in a number of industries, most notably the hospitality sector and the farming sector, both of which rely heavily on part time workers.

Under the usual working holiday visa rules young people can only work for one employer for a maximum of six months and a visa extension for a second year is usually only possible if they have worked for three months in a particular area of work as specified by Australian immigration.

Now other states, most notably Tasmania, want the same rules to apply to people on working holiday visas to encourage them to come to the area in the first place and also to work for longer and stay on if they decide to extend their backpacking holiday year.

Industry leaders point out that the severe shortages that prompted the change for the Northern Territory also exist in many parts of Australia outside of popular locations near Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

According to Greg Price of Australia’s Tourism Industry Council (TICT) the issues that resulted in the change for Northern Australia are the same issues that Tasmania is faced with and 8,000 workers are needed in the next few years.

Steve Old, chief of the Tasmanian Hospitality Association, said there are currently hundreds of job vacancies, especially in restaurants and hotels.

Luke Martin, chief executive of the TICT, said that the pressure of staff shortages will only increase over the next two to three years, especially if the Tasmanian tourism industry continues to grow at its current rate.

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said that the new rules for this visa class are still being evaluated and no decision on extending them to other parts of Australia is likely until that process is complete.

However, Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck did not rule out extending the working holiday maker visa programme changes in the future. “I will be taking a package of reforms in the tourism space forward in early to mid 2016 and the Government will consider possible visa reforms as part of that process,” he said.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

gurinder singh January 19, 2016 at 9:13 pm

hloo,,, my name is gurinder singh. am living in italy. i belong to india. i have all documents in italy with my wife. i want to apply the visas for Australia. which docoument require plz tell me. thanx


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