Ireland leads growth in working holiday visa applications

by mfafadmin on December 21, 2011

in Australia Immigration, Jobs in Australia

Ireland leads growth in working holiday visa applications

More young people are being granted working holiday visas for Australia with Ireland leading the growth, the latest’s statistics show.

As of 30 June 2011, the latest available data, there were 107,978 working holiday visa holders in Australia (combined first and second visas), an 8.7% increase over the number a year before.

This marks a return to positive growth from the decline experienced in 2009/10 and largely appears to be associated with the wider global economic situation in 2010/11, the Working Holiday Visa Programme Report from the Department of Immigration and Citizenships says.

The most notable visa grant growth has been for First Working Holiday visas from Ireland with an increase of 87.4%. This is due to more young people leaving the economic trouble in Ireland and seeking experience working abroad.

Taiwan recorded the second highest increase, with working visas granted increasing by 41%, followed by Italy at 14.9% and Hong Kong with an increase of 14.5%.

A DIAC spokesman said that with the exception of 2009/10 the programme has grown steadily each year for the last decade. ‘Programme growth is expected to continue for the foreseeable future, but to an extent this will be partly contingent upon the wider global economic situation,’ he added.

The Working Holiday Maker (WHM) programme’s was introduced in 1975 and its purpose is to foster closer ties and cultural exchange between Australia and partner countries, with particular emphasis on young adults. It was initially comprised of a relatively small number of Commonwealth countries, but has since grown to encompass 28 partner nations and regions from across the globe.

Australia has an overarching bilateral agreement, usually in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding, with each partner country. Of the 28 partner countries, 19 are Working Holiday (Subclass 417) visa agreements, and nine are Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa agreements. The key differences between the two visas are that Work and Holiday agreements generally have caps on the number of visas granted annually and additional eligibility requirements.

All Working Holiday Maker visa applicants must be aged 18 to 30 at the time of application, hold a passport from an eligible partner country and not be accompanied by dependent children during the stay in Australia.

They must also have functional English, have completed or be studying towards a tertiary qualification and must provide a letter of home government support in association with their visa application.

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