Important changes to the Working Holiday visa in Australia

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Changes Working Holiday Visa

In May 2019, the Australian government announced significant changes regarding the Working Holiday visa program. One of the changes is the opportunity to work for more than 6 months for the same agricultural employer. This also includes the opportunity to get a third-year working holiday visa, under certain conditions.

Third-year visa for subclass 417 and 462 visa holders

Before 1st of July 2019, it was only possible to extend your Working Holiday for a second year if you completed 88 days (3 months) of work in certain regions and specific job sectors. Since July, Working Holiday makers on their second year visa can extend their visa for another year. To be eligible, they have to work in a specified job for 6 months in a specified regional area.

To sum it up, you will need to do 88 days of farm work in your first year to qualify for a second Working Holiday visa. Then you work 6 months during your second year to apply for a third year. The type of work you will have to do to be eligible for the third year visa are the same as the specified work for the second year visa.

Important : The 6 months work must all be carried out on or after 1 July 2019. So a successful application for a third year cannot be lodged before January 2020.

More information:

Work more than 6 months for the same agricultural employer

Since 5 November 2018, it is possible to work more than 6 months for the same employer in the agricultural sector.

These jobs include:

  • ” The harvesting and / or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
  • pruning and trimming vines and trees
  • general maintenance crop work
  • cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
  • immediate processing of plant products
  • maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce
  • immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
  • manufacturing dairy produce from raw materials.” (06/11/2018 Homeaffairs)

This new regulation applies to every state and territory of Australia and to every Working Holiday maker in the first or second year. Workers will therefore be able to stay with the same employer for up to 12 months.

The goal here is to increase the workforce available to work in seasonal agricultural jobs. It is not necessary to obtain permission by the government, the regulation has come into effect immediately.

Increasing the age limit to 35

While Australia had announced to increase the age limit for Working Holiday Makers, only Canada, Ireland and France have accepted this proposal.
As a result, Canadians and Irish can now apply for a first or second-year Working Holiday visa until they turn 35 years old. Previously, the age limit for obtaining a Working Holiday visa was 31 years old for Canadians an Irish.
Since the 1st of July 2019, French can also apply until they turn 35 years old.
For all other countries, the age limit remains 31 for now. They might come to an agreement though, we will definitely keep you posted. Those changes to the working holiday visa are very positive.

More information: Working Holiday Visa age limit up to 35 years for Canadians

Additional parts of regional Australia

Since 5 November 2018, the Australian government have added regional areas in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, and all of Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania to the list of eligible work locations.

Source: Homeaffairs

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Updated on the 11th of July 2019. First published on the 6th of November 2018

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