Government announces changes to the working holiday and holiday maker visas

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison whilst touring Queensland today (5 November 2018) announced significant changes to the Working Holiday Visa Programme.

The Working Holiday Maker programme has two types of visas: Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417) and Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462). Depending where you are from will depend which visa you can apply for.
You can apply for the Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417) if you are from the United Kingdom, Canada , Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Ireland, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Korea, Sweden and Taiwan.

You can apply for the Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) if you are from Argentina, Austria, Chile, The People’s Republic of China, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Uruguay and Vietnam.

These visas allow you to stay and work in Australia in all types of full-time, part-time, casual, shift and voluntary work for up to 12 months. You can leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.

You can also study for a maximum of four months in Australia in addition to working during your holiday.

You must meet certain health, character and financial requirements and declare that you will respect Australian values and obey Australian laws before a visa is granted.

You should also have a return or onward ticket or the funds for a fare to depart Australia. Health insurance from your own country is also recommended.

It should be noted that the Working Holiday Maker programme is not suitable for those seeking permanent employment, or full-time study in Australia.

If your primary reason for coming to Australia is to seek employment or study, you should enquire about a business visa or student visa which may better suit your needs.

Changes to Working Holiday Maker visas

Under the proposed amendments if you are on a Work and Holiday maker (subclass 462) visa you will be able to undertake regional plant and animal cultivation work in additional priority areas to become eligible for a second visa.
If you are on a subclass 417 and 462 you will be allowed to work with the same agricultural employer from six to 12 months.

There will be an introduction of a third year visa option for subclasses 417 and 462 visa holders from 1 July 2019 onwards, if you complete six months of regional work in the second year.

The Government has also announced it will increase the number of these visas granted in each calendar year.
A strict workforce test is to be applied to ensure Australian workers are given the first opportunity for work.
If you have any questions regarding the Working Holiday and Work and Holiday visa, please contact our team of registered migration agents today.

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