Australia working holiday visa programme may be extended

by Ray Clancy on February 28, 2013

in Australia Immigration

Australia working holiday visa programme may be extended

Australia working holiday visa programme may be extended

Officials in Australia are considering expanding the working holiday visa programme as a way to fill jobs that Australians don’t want. It would be part of a plan to fill tens of thousands of seasonal jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector which are not long term and generally not highly paid.

The Australian Working Holiday Visa programme is one of the most popular of its kind in the world, allowing young passport holders from almost 30 countries to live and work in Australia for 12 months. Now officials are examining the pros and cons of extending the age limit from 30 to encourage older people to take part and also increasing the number of industries in which people could work.

It is regarded as a shrewd way of benefiting both the backpacking visa holders and the country’s economy. Working holiday visa holders who complete three months of specified work in regional Australia can stay another year. This work is typically in the agricultural industry in regions of Australia which don’t usually benefit from tourism revenue. However, in an effort to convince even more working holiday visa holders to remain in Australia for a second year, Tourism Australia wants the visa extended to tourism and hospitality jobs.

The working holiday visa was introduced in 1975 with the aim of fostering closer ties and cultural exchange between Australia and partner countries, with particular emphasis on young adults. The original handful of partner countries have now expanded to 29 and more are under consideration including the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Poland and the Slovak Republic.

Quote from AustraliaForum.com : “Im planning a working holiday in Oz hopefully from June onwards. The plan is to travel the East Coast for 4-6weeks travelling from Brisbane to Cairns and then flying dwn to Sydney to look for work until mid November. From here i hope to have enough money to travel to NZ and Fiji for a furthur two months. I am hoping to save £3000-£3500 after i have paid for my flight to Oz, does this seem a realistic amount of money for what i have planned bearing in mind i intend on working whilst in Oz. Any advice would be appreciate, thanks”

Of the 29 current partner countries, 19 are Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa arrangements and 10 are Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa arrangements. The key differences between the two visas are that Work and Holiday visa arrangements generally have caps on the number of visas granted annually and additional eligibility requirements.

In considering whether to add new WHM partner countries, the Australian government considers a range of factors, including the ability of the prospective partner to offer reciprocity to Australians, and the strength of any cultural and people to people links.

These visas have eligibility requirements including an age range of 18 to 30 at the time of application, having a passport from an eligible partner country, not being accompanied by dependent children during the stay in Australia, health and character requirements and financial requirements. Applicants must also have functional English, have successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate university study and have a letter of home government support in association with their visa application.

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