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UK – Australia Free Trade Deal & changes to Working Holiday Visa

UK – Australia Free Trade Deal & changes to Working Holiday Visa
Photo by Stephen Tafra on Unsplash

Australia and the UK have agreed on a historic trade deal, which could boost the Australian economy by up to $1.3 billion each year. It is the most ambitious agreement that Australia had struck since its deal with New Zealand. This agreement will increase trade in goods and services, two-way investment, economic growth and job creation. Among the measures, the age for UK Working Holiday Visa makers is to be increased to 35, specified work will no longer be required. Here are the information you need to know about this agreement.

Entry into Force

31st of May 2023

Age limit increase

Since 1 July 2023

Work requirement removed

From 1 July 2024

Commencement of the agreement

The Australia-UK FTA entered into force on 31st of May 2023. The agreement implies that more than 99 per cent of Australian products will enter the UK duty-free. On the other hand British products including cars, whisky, confectionery, cosmetics etc. coming into Australia are expected to be cheaper.

But the FTA is also bringing massive changes for Working Holiday Visa Makers (subclass 417)! Under the new arrangements, UK passport holders will be able to be granted up to three Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements from 1 July 2024.

Moreover since 1st July 2023, they can now apply for a Working Holiday visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive.

The new arrangements applies to all Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa applications for UK passport holders lodged from the date of implementation.

Since 31 January 2024, Australians up to the age of 35, up from 30, are able to apply for working holidays in the UK and stay for a maximum of three years instead of two.

Working Holiday Visa changes for UK passport holders

Age limit increased in July 2023

The working holiday visa in Australia allows UK citizens to travel and work in the country. Following the entry into force of the agreement, the age limit for UK working holiday visa makers is increase to 35 years old (inclusive). UK passport holders are therefore able to lodge an application for a visa up until the day before their 36th birthday. Since July 2023, UK passports holders are able to apply for a Working Holiday Visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive.

Australians are also able to apply for the visas up to the age of 35, instead of 30, and stay for three years instead of two in the UK.

Specific work requirement removed from July 2024

Currently, Working Holiday visa holders can stay three years in Australia under three separate visas granted for 12 months each. These arrangements will not change. When the new arrangements commence, a visa may be be granted for up to 3 years without the need to undertake farm work from 1 July 2024.

You can choose to apply for a first, second and third visa at any time as long as you comply with the eligible age requirement. You do not need to stay in Australia for three years in a row.

IMPORTANT: If you have already spent one or two years in Australia on a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa before the new arrangements commence, you will be able to apply for the remaining visas under the new arrangements. This will enable you to access the maximum of three years in Australia.

Photo credit: The Conversation

Consequences of the agreement on visa holders

In order to understand the consequences of the agreement on current and future WHV makers, here are a couple of scenarios extracted from the immigration website.

If you had to leave Australia because of the pandemic

Example of Bridget who was in Australia on 20 March 2020 when COVID-19 travel restrictions started. She was on her first Working Holiday visa (a ‘COVID-19 affected visa’). She returned to the UK without completing any specified work. Her visa ceased before 31 December 2021.

Alternatively, with the new arrangements, she is able to apply for a second and third visa. She does not need to meet any specified work requirements.

If you came to Australia in the past without completing specific work requirements

Example of Doug who held a first Working Holiday visa in Australia in 2017. He returned to the UK before the COVID-19 pandemic. If he wishes to apply for another Working Holiday visa before the new arrangements start, he will have to meet the specified work requirements.

With the new arrangements, he will be eligible to apply for second and third Working Holiday visas, up to the age of 35 years. He will not need to meet any specified work requirements. He can apply from in or outside Australia.

Other changes included in the Free Trade agreement

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Australia and the United Kingdom, marks a significant milestone in the economic relationship between the two nations. This landmark agreement aims to enhance trade and economic cooperation by eliminating tariffs and reducing trade barriers. It covers a wide range of sectors, including agriculture, manufacturing, and services, opening up new opportunities for businesses on both sides. By fostering stronger trade ties, this FTA is expected to boost economic growth, create jobs, and promote innovation while strengthening the historical and cultural bonds that have long connected Australia and the UK. It represents a promising chapter in the ongoing collaboration between these two Commonwealth nations and paves the way for even closer ties in the future.

Therefore as part of the deal, the Australian government will scrap tariffs on a range of British goods. This includes whisky, pharmaceuticals, cars, machinery and tractors. British products including cars, whisky, confectionery, cosmetics etc. coming into Australia are expected to be cheaper. Britain will also gain greater access to Australian markets for services.

More than 99 per cent of Australian products will enter the UK duty-free. These include some of Australia key exports, such as wine, short and medium grain rice, sugar, honey, nuts, olive oil and food supplements. Britain has agreed to liberalise Australian imports of beef, sheep meat and sugar, increasing their tariff-free threshold and tapering tariffs over time.

For more information, see Trade Minister & Australian Immigration websites.

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236 COMMENTS

  1. Hi,

    With this due to come into force in July 2022, will any application I do now fall under the old rules or the new one? My ideal moving date would be the end of 2022.

    Also, is there any talks of the 6 month working for the same employer limit being scrapped?

    Thanks,

    Gary

      • Hi there,

        My current plan from reading more of this is to apply for I turn 36 this year which is November but I won’t travel out until next year which I believe is under 12 months option agreement?, given I can actually apply right up until the day before I turn 36.

        I have some other places I want to tick off first before I return

        • Hi Gary,
          For now the FTA is not into force so the age limit still at 30 inclusive. However when the agreement will start for WHMs, UK passport holders will then be able to lodge an application for any Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa up until the day before their 36th birthday. Cheers

  2. Hi, thanks for writing this article!

    Do you know if the Farm work requirement will be removed by July 2022 Also?
    I can’t seem to find any info on a timeline anywhere.

  3. Hello,

    Great article and very positive stuff. How confident are you with the proposed date of July 2022?

    I saw on the government website that it said it “should be in place within 5 years”, I appreciate you don’t have a crystal ball, but obviously there is quite a difference in the two timescales.

    I’m currently 32 and will be 34 by July 2022, so I have time, but I’m also conscious that if the date drags on I will be eating into my chances of applying before I’m too old. Saying that, it says at the top of the article that I can still apply at 35? so assuming as long as I apply before I’m 36 ill be ok?

    Thanks alot.

    Mike

  4. Hi

    Where could I find more info. I am 30yo British, just had my 2nd WHV approved. Due to depart end of 2022. Would i be able to get a 3rd year if the agreement came into place to up to 35yo whilst I am in Australia? Nervous about giving my life up here if I only get one year in Aus due to my age.

    • Hi Victoria,
      We cannot give you a definite answer on this but it seems you ll be able to get a third year after that TBC. You can always call the immigration but as the FTA is not into force as yet, I doubt they ll be able to give you more info. Cheers

  5. Hi,

    I was in Australia in 2017 on a WHV but didn’t complete my farm work. I am hoping to travel back in 2022 as soon as possible.

    Do you think the new rules of no farm work will include those who previously held a visa before the changes came into effect and therefore make me eligible again?

  6. Hello,

    Do you know when the next update is due about the visa situation?

    I’m hoping its not long and they are on track for the July deadline.

    Thanks

    Hazel

  7. Hello,

    Thank you for your info! I’m wondering if you know the process for application for the WHV for the UK in this instance. Say the changes do come into effect July 1st 2022 as predicted, would we be able to apply for the visa beforehand in anticipation, or wait until after July 1st to begin the application? Also, do you have any idea of the usual process time for these visas? There is a course I’d like to do in the uk, however it starts in September and I’m not sure whether that would be enough time to get the visa sorted. Thank you!

  8. Hi,

    I was in Oz in 2020 for 2 years on WHV from Ireland. I have dual citizenship and also have a British passport. Do you know if I would be able to apply on my British passport when the new deal begins and have another 3 years?

  9. Hi, how certain are you that you can transfer over from the current whv to the new one please? I’m 31 at the end of June and I’m unsure about heading out before then and activating my current visa incase the one in July is for first time visa holders only. Thanks

    • Hi Hannah,
      If you have already spent one or two years in Australia on a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa before the new arrangements commence, you will be able to apply for the remaining visas under the new arrangements. This will enable you to access the maximum of three years in Australia.

  10. Hi I’m wondering if anyone could help me. I did my first working holiday visa in 2017/18. I didn’t at the time but now I regret not doing my farm work and I would love to go back. Would I be able to apply for a 2nd year visa when these new rules scrapping regional work comes into play in July ?

  11. Hi, I was going to go in late July this year on new visa terms but did not know visa changes were coming later in the deal, if I go in January 2023 and still on ‘Old terms’ visa would it be safe to do the full year without farm work or best to do farm work just in case the new term visa has not come into play?

    • Hi Aaron,
      When the new arrangements commence, you will be eligible to apply for second and third Working Holiday visas, up to the age of 35 years. You will not need to meet any specified work requirements. You can apply from in or outside Australia.

  12. Hi,

    I applied for a WHV due to go to Australia in August. I presume I’ll still have to do my 88 days as I’ve lodged it before the application date but then would I get an additional 3 years on the new visa? (so 4 in total).

    Thanks

  13. Hi I’m 31 in November and am hoping to get to Australia before then. Is it best to wait for the regulations (this could be up to 2 years) or go over on a WHV now before turning 31 and renewing when the new deal comes in? Would I still need to complete farm work? I’ve been waiting to go over since 2020 but with the pandemic not been able to and I feel time is running out! Thanks

    • Hi Belinda,
      As we do not know when the agreement will come into force, it can be safer to apply before turning 31. But it is really a personal decision for you to take. When the new arrangements commence, UK passport holders will not have to do their specified work when applying for a second or third Working Holiday visa. Cheers

  14. Hi,

    This article is very concise and well written. However, I was just wondering about sourcing for claims surrounding Brits being able to return to Australia for their third year, even if they have previous used a 417 visa under the old scheme. I can’t find any official source that confirms this is the case.
    Maybe you could point me in the right direction?

    Thanks

  15. I have had a work holiday visa back in 2009 when I visited Australia for a period of 4 months, I didn’t work only traveled.

    I am now 33 years old and would really like to return to Australia on a second working holiday visa and id like to work while im in country. Is this possible from July this year?

    If so, this is exciting!!!

  16. Hi,

    I have a WHV 417 granted and plan to arrive mid July. If this scheme were to go ahead from July 1st, would I be able to take advantage of it and not do any farm work for my second year visa as I already have my visa granted?

  17. Hi, I applied for my first Working Visa 417 before I turned 31 in 2020. It was granted in December 2021 but the borders didn’t open until February 2022 I believe. I have till this December to activate my Visa but I am not ready. Is there a way I can extend my activation date or will I have to cancel it? If I do cancel it I may re-apply again as the age is being extended to 35. Will I be able to do this? Thanks, Becky

    • Hi Becky,
      Borders reopened for WHV makers in December 21. Once your visa is approved, you have 12 months to enter the territory and activate it. Regarding the age limit, we do not know for sure when it will enter into force, hopefully soon ! Cheers

  18. Hi, I have a tricky one…
    I did 3 years whv from Feb 2019 – 22 (affected by pandemic) and am now 31. If the deal goes through this year, could I go back over on an eVisa and then apply for an Onshore nil VAC visa before 31st December?
    Thanks!

  19. This is really good news to me, as I have just been offered some contract work out in Australia, In my field of work but then my age got in the way of getting a visa. Hopefully this comes in to play in July and I can get out there

  20. Hi,

    This question I’m about to ask might well have already been answered but I’m just looking for extra clarification..

    I turn 31 in August 2022, I’m planning on applying for a working holiday visa around about now and travelling to Australia in summer 2023 but I’m now wondering whether I should wait for the new visa regulations to happen before I do this or whether once I have the first Visa granted I’ll still be able to apply for a 2nd and 3rd with the new Visa changes implemented. Thanks

    • Hi Ollie,
      As we do not know when the FT A will enter into force you should definitely apply before you turn 31 unless there is no rush in your travel plans. You will be able to renew and apply for year 2 & 3 once your first visa is granted. Cheers

  21. Hi, I’m also waiting for them to change the age range to 35 and the 3 year working with no farming. I have read that there’s issues with the government not accepting the free trade deal will this still go ahead. And do you think it will be sorted soon ? Thanks

  22. Hi

    I was in australia from may 2019 to February 2022. My first year was on 417 visa. I had done the 88 days before May 2020. (In March the covid visa was not in place plus the government said to use the 88days first) However part of my farm work was a scam (which I didn’t know until the refusal letter) from May 2020 I was on Bridging visa then when I appeal the decision I was still on a Bridging visa until it was finalised this January 2022) (Sadly didn’t win) so I was 12 days short for the 88days requirement.

    My question is will I be able to apply for the new visa without using the 88days requirement.

    Thanks

  23. Hello I’m going to go in January on the old visa terms from the UK if no deal is in place, problem is if in Australia on old terms can I slot on the ‘New’ terms after the first 1 year within Australia as technically is a new visa with rules?, or do I have to go back to the UK to apply for the new visa terms?

  24. Hey guys, been researching everyday for months. Understand there has been no updates but looks like trade deal is moving forward more and more. Any ideas if this might happen this year??
    Was in Australia in 2018 and I actually did 3 months rural work but was a bad situation and I left with no proof of anything (long story) been dreaming about returning for so long now.

      • hi thanks for the reply! yes hopefully things will go forward this year or start of next!!
        and when you say i can lodge application to renew whv what do you mean?
        i went early 2018 from northern ireland and only spent 3-4 months in oz and 3 months i worked in an outback bar but left suddenly and then left oz, i would love to reapply again or apply for 2nd..is this possible? like i said i have no proof really that i work 3 months..please let me know if you have any help it would be greatly appreciated!
        thanks scott

  25. Hey guys, with the deal supposedly ratified in the UK on Wednesday have we any extra information on when the visas will come into play?

  26. Hi,

    Read the previous comments so I’m assuming no new updates. However, was just wondering about the ‘no more than 6months with the same employer’ status. Do we think that will be removed? If not, by your knowledge, does that make it difficult to stay employed throughout your time in Aus?

    Thanks 🙂

  27. Bit of news, just met Ian Botham (UK trade envoy to Australia) at a golf club.
    He says both sides are desperate for this to be in action by the end of the year “as Australia are desperate for it” and more details will be coming out soon!
    Was a bit star struck but managed to get some details out of him at least!

  28. Hi,

    I was out in Australia from August 2019 – December 2021. I worked my 3 months to be eligible for my 2nd year however I found it difficult due to the pandemic and didn’t manage to get enough work for my 3rd year so I decided to come home.
    Once the new Visa comes into place will I be eligible for the full three years or the remainder of my final 3rd year?

    Thanks!

  29. Still no news about dates? I am on my first WHV which expires in February. Hopefully I know pretty soon because I will have to fit in 3 months of farm between now and Feb otherwise to get my 2nd visa!

  30. looking on the Australian gov website it looks as if the specified work being scrapped could take up to 5 years.
    I am heading to Australia with my partner in September this year (who is originally Australian). I don’t know if anyone could help with suggestions on to get around doing the specified work as I really don’t want to work remotely. I know a friend who went before who just applied for a second and third year visa without doing any farm work at all and it was never checked, but obviously I do not want to risk it.
    Orrr, if anyone has heard any more updates on when the free trade agreement could come into affect.

  31. If I apply for a whv from the uk now and then the new visa comes in will you still have to do it or would it be gone for me too ?

  32. Hi there,

    Do we have any update on when the FTA will come in to effect? Can’t seem to find any on google so assume you won’t know much but worth a shot!
    Currently doing my 88 days but it is dragging haha

  33. Hi Guys,

    Any update on this going through date- wise? I done my first WHV back in 2018 also completed my farm work but my whole second year which got granted I couldn’t do anything due to covid, I was going to do my 6 months for an extra year which I obviously couldn’t, im 32 now 33 next month and want to get back over there. Any information would be greatly appreciated!

    Tom

  34. I turned 31 this year so at the moment, I am too old. Hoping the deal goes through soon so I can apply for my 1st WHV. If I go on the 1st WHV, and work, how easy is it after the 3rd one to gain residency for someone who would be classed as an unskilled worker?

    I live in the UK and am desperate to leave and make a new start for myself. I am single, no kids and no commitments etc. I’ve heared mixed things on how easy it would be or not be to apply for permanent residency. Thanks.

    PS.. I hope the people who are close to the 35yr old mark get it all done in time 🙂 Just need this trade deal to be signed now and it’ll be go time!

  35. Hi, Is there any updates when this age limit will increase to 35 for the UK ? Do I need to wait until after this is officially updated on the Aus home affairs website before I can apply for a holiday visa ? I’m 33 from UK.

  36. Hi, how confident are you guys on this still going ahead? Considering the lash up of prime ministers in the UK and the change of prime minister in Australia…

    My girlfriend and I are currently in oz and looking for farm work, but contemplating taking the risk of not doing it in anticipation of this all being signed off. Really hoping it gets sorted!! Would be incredible!

  37. Hi,

    Very informative article thank you, I do have a couple of questions:

    1. I note the given examples of people who held a previous working holiday visa and didnt complete the 88 days, yet are eligible to apply for a second year visa under the new rules, are people who left Australia pre-covid. I have been in Australia on a 1st year WHV since March this year (so post covid). Will I still be eligible to apply for a 2nd year WHV when the new rules commence if I haven’t completed the 88 days regional work?

    2. Are these new visa rules expected to come into place as soon as the FTA enters into force? Or will it be from up to 2 years from the FTA coming into force?

    Thanks so much,
    Rupert

  38. I have a UK and Irish passport. I’m 29 and looking to go on the working holiday visa in May 2023. Il be 30 in August 2023

    If I apply for my first working holiday visa with my Irish passport can I then apply for a second and third working holiday visa using my UK passport when this bill gets implemented?

    It would save me having to do farm work and hopefully remove the 6 months in 1 company restriction

  39. Australian Backpackers Guide, do you have any thoughts on my above suggestion?

    I appreciate the efforts you make to keep people up to date but not all the information you have provided has been accurate. You claimed the age change was expected to happen in July 2022 for example without citing any sources.

    Do you think you could reach out to Australian immigration and try to get some info directly from the source regarding when the WHV changes for Brits might occue?

    This will not only give us all waiting for it some clarity but also make your site the first to report it.

  40. Hey guys, I know you are probably sick of replying to these questions but I’m wondering if you have heard any updates on when this might come into effect yet? So frustrating! Even if it’s another year I would just love to know! Cheers

  41. Hi,

    Myself and my partner will be travelling to Australia in March on a WHM visa. We are aware that under the current requirements we will have to complete the 88 days farming/other specified work, however with the trade deal hopefully coming into effect over the next few months we are unsure on whether to complete them or not. DO you think it would be worth the risk?
    Also will our visa change automatically to a 3-year visa or will we have to pay and reapply for a new visa on top of our current one. Any help with these matters would be appreciated!

    Thanks!

  42. I have both a British passport and Irish passport but I already visited Australia in 2017 under my British passport is there a chance I could enter now under my Irish one?

  43. Naw Scott didn’t bother to try but did notice that New Zealand just passed there new law of having a 3 year visa today so surely Australia can’t be to far away now

  44. Hi,

    Regarding ‘The new arrangements will start for WHMs within two years. The new arrangements will apply to all Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa applications for UK passport holders lodged from the date of implementation.’ Does this mean that the arrangements will start two years from the signing on 17th Dec 2021, or up to two years from when the FTA comes into force (so therefore possibly another three years from now..)?

    The wording is slightly confusing on the government website and I am trying to figure out if I will need to do my farm work for my visa ending in jan next year, or whether to risk it.

    Many thanks,
    Alex

  45. Hi, great news,
    Do you know if that includes Irish passport holder or would I need to get a British passport for this to work? I’m from NI?
    Thanks!
    Laura

  46. Hi, i applied for my first Working visa when I was 29, I turned 30 in October 2022 and entered Australia in November 2022. I’ve just completed my 88 days for my second working visa before my 31st birthday. If the age limit doesn’t increase will that affect me applying for my third year as I will be 31 ? Thanks

  47. To everyone looking to know the royal assent has just passed today which means everything has been passed and signed between the two countries so this is definitely going to happen good chance very soon

  48. Hi team! Sorry to bother you as I know you’re getting inundated with comments!

    I was planning to visit Australia to see friends and explore in May/June. If the visa comes out on 1st July, can I apply from within the country? (I know I’d have to stay in Australia in July, which would be OK.)

    I’m British and did my first Aus visa in 2018/19. Since then have been living in NZ on their WHV, so I’ve been back to Aus as a tourist on the ETA a couple of times too! I don’t want to delay the trip, but also don’t want to do anything that will harm the application. 🙂

  49. Hey guys. Thank you for this information. I was wondering if anyone has got an update on this? An inmigration agent told me there are high chances of this becoming active on July! Fingers crossed

  50. Hi. In your recent update it says we should have good news by April. Is that when you expect everything to be fully in place and the ability to apply for this visa will be open? Many thanks.

    • Hi Georgia,
      No, April was for the royal assent, which is all good now. Our guess would be to get some news by the end of the month with the 1st of July being the date when people will be able to apply for the Working Holiday Visa with the new conditions/ agreement. But it’s just a guess to be honest. Generally most changes to visa conditions in Australia are being rolled out on 1st july (being also the first date of financial year).
      Cheers

  51. Hi guys,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to collate this information and reply to all of our comments! I’m currently planning on applying for my first year WHV and happy to do my 88 days initially, regardless of changes. If, however, I apply before the changes are implemented, would I then still have to complete the subsequent specified 6 months work for year 3, or will the changes also apply to those who applied prior, once they are eventually introduced?
    Thanks again!

  52. I have formerly completed a two year WHV in Australia on my Irish passport, however I also have a British passport. By the looks of it- I should be eligible for a third year of the WHV. Do you think this is the case?

      • Hi,

        Many thanks for your reply.

        Based on this:

        “Example 1: Amanda came to Australia on her first Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa in 2015. She was 25 years old. Amanda returned to the UK in 2016. Amanda is now 32 years old. She cannot apply for another Working Holiday visa as the age limit for applicants is 30 years.
        When the new arrangements commence, Amanda will be able to apply for second and third Working Holiday visas. She can apply from in or outside Australia, up to the age of 35 years. She will not need to meet any specified work requirements.”

        Do you not think it would be possible, as a result of not having done a third working holiday visa? Or does this simply mean you are only allowed to apply if you have done one WHV, but not a second?

        Thanks!

  53. Hi,
    Just wondering if there has been any update regarding the 6-month work limitation – does it look like this is going to be removed completely with the new trade agreement? I know from reading the aus goverment website that currently as it stands the 6 month work limitation is coming back into play in July. Do you think this will be removed again when the new agreement comes out?

  54. Hi,

    I have seen the new rules are to be implemented within 2 years of the FTA entering into force. Is the FTA due to enter into force this summer? And would that mean we would need to wait for up to 2 years from this summer for the agreement to be changed?

    Have completed 2nd year so looking for a 3rd.

    • Hi Tom, the FTA is to come into force by the end of May. Changes should be implemented straight away but this is not certain at this stage (as usually Australia makes visa changes on 1st of July – new financial year). Cheers

      • Hi,

        The working on the government website states as follows ‘New arrangements for Working Holiday Makers are expected to be implemented within two years of the FTA entering into force.’

        With the FTA entering into force at the end of this month (apparently) does that mean the WHV changes wont come into play until May 2025? Or do you believe this will happen quicker?

  55. Hi guys. Are we still hopeful on July 1st in line with NZ? Any inkling when this might be announced? Also why do you reckon July? Why is it taking them so long to implement?! It’s soul destroying haha. Thanks!

  56. Hey guys been following this for over a year now I’m sure like many others.
    Just wondering if there is anymore info yet? do you think this July the visa could change or know if any info that it could be?
    Thanks again!
    Scott

  57. Hi,

    The news has broken that the FTA will come into force on 31st May 2023. Are we expecting that the WHV changes will also come into effect on this date (or potentially 1st July2023) or is there an expectation of delay to this too?

    Thanks!

  58. Hi,

    They’ve announced the FTA is coming into place on the 31st of May – do you know if this includes the Visa changes? It’s not 100% clear. The visa changes will be coming in for people in New Zealand.. surely they won’t bring in the new zealand ones and not the Aussie one at the same time

  59. Hi,
    With the news today it still seems very unclear on when the changes to the WHV will come into force. Is this likely to be on the 31st May as some sources suggest or “within 2 years” as other sources do?

      • The immi site states it’s 2 years within entry into force? (May 31st)

        Still not convinced it will come into place this in June, maybe the age change but doubtful on the removal of regional work

      • This isn’t true, you might want to check your official sources before stating false information. The 2 years isn’t being signature in 2021. It’s 2 years from entry into force I.e 01/06/2023 to 31/05/2025.

        I’m desperate for the visas to change but unfortunately we might have time to wait and need an official announcement from gov on the date.

    • Yeah this is frustrating… it could be that he misspoke entirely – or he could be correct and it’s just not formally confirmed.

      I know there are a load of emotions around this and it’s fair to be frustrated. We’re all annoyed. But to those who talk about the “last two years” – I get it; but if you have been banking on the change before this even went through the UK parliament then you were always going to be disappointed. Yes it was stalled – but it was never coming into force before it had gone though the UK commons.

      The period we are in now is fundamentally different.

      My gut tells me that July is still the most likely – I personally think the NZ change is a good barometer. It’s also when Aus have historically made changes to Visa rules and when the Quotas reset.

      Maybe it won’t be – there is definitely still the potential for an absolute shocker for us all – but cautious optimism is fair for now I think. The constant repetition of the two years does give me a little niggling doubt though.

      The Aussie federal budget gets released tomorrow (Tuesday). It’s possible this is wrapped up in that.

      Keep your fingers crossed for now guys!

  60. I know I’m actually getting frustrated with it all now. Don’t know why it’s all so secretive. I’m a nurse, they’re crying out for them and I can’t get over because I’m 31 unless I pay £3000 for a visa!!

    • Yeh it’s ridiculous. The NZ changes were done quickly and efficiently. Why can’t the Australian changes be done as well?

      • There must be something going on in the background – even if they just said ‘it will be implemented by xxx date’ then it would be helpful so people can start making arrangements. If its going to be 2 years, I need to start getting my skilled visa sorted because I’m supposed to be going over in October. Im in limbo, do I wait to see if its implemented in the next few months or go down the other route!

  61. Looks like my dream is shattered as I’m 35 now and it won’t happen before I’m 36.

    Well I’ll just enjoy the few weeks in Australia I have left and go back to normal life in UK

      • March next year but I only have enough money to last another month here if the visa isn’t happening by July. With no update I’m not going to spend all of my money here. It’s a big shame as I really want to stay here

      • No idea? I don’t have a trade or anything that Australia will be interested in lol

        How do those visas work mate?

        • Loads of employees have the ability to nominate you for a ‘skilled’ visa and you stay in the country – often it doesn’t have to be on the skilled list. I have 4-5 mates who have stayed all the way to residency/citizenship who work in pretty average jobs.

          • I think it’s really hard to get nominated or a job offer when on a tourist visa as I’m not allowed to work.

  62. So are we still in that limbo stage, again…?

    Looks like it’s radio silence again on the age changes, another arduous wait to see if this thing actually happens. Ridiculous

  63. Yeah the silence is frustrating, I guess the next date to pin some hope on is the 31st of May – but we might still be waiting beyond that. I emailed the Aus government about the Albanese statement about May 31st, their reply doesn’t have anything helpful in it (as per usual) – but does confirm that there STILL isn’t a date. Getting even a hint of a timescale is like getting blood from a stone from either the Aus or UK Governments.

    “Thank you for your email of 9 May 2023 regarding the timing of implementation of changes to Australia’s Working Holiday visa program arising from the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement.

    The precise timing of implementation of changes to Australia’s Working Holiday (subclass 417) visas are still under discussion between the Australian and UK governments.

    Details of implementation dates will be posted online once this information becomes available. Otherwise, please monitor the Department of Home Affairs website by following this link: ​New Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa arrangements for UK passport holders​. For information about the UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme, please visit: Youth Mobility Scheme visa: Overview – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

    I trust this information is of assistance.”

    Trying to be a realist – this still isn’t necessarily bad news. July is still plausible – they don’t HAVE to announce that it’s happening before it does. July still makes sense for the reasons said before: the start of the Aus financial year and when the Visa quotas reset/and historically when they have implemented changes in the past.

    FYI, the change for Canadians was announced at the end of August 2018 and went live in November 2018, that’s a lead time of 4 months. https://www.australia-backpackersguide.com/working-holiday-visa-age-limit-35-years-canadians/#:~:text=Finally%20some%20good%20news%20for,visa%20(from%20Nov%2018).

    Don’t be too down on it yet.

  64. I just received the same email from them. I am giving it to the beginning of June and fingers crossed they announce 1st July being the date. Hopefully they are keeping it all hush to prevent everyone giving up on their farm work straight away.

    • Haha I like the petition, have just signed. Keep the pressure up – I’ve emailed my MP with the petition too.

      We might be disappointed eventually but it’s not inevitable based on info so far. I’m guessing quite a few FTA statements/documents are due to release in the run up to 31st May.

      At the least it would be nice when to expect news – they could at least say “On the 31st of May we’ll confirm when the visas will go live ” even if it’s November time they change.

      • Exactly mate, I just want to know when we will find out the date so I can plan around it haha. I’m holding out to 1st June for more information

  65. Yeh I just got the same reply as above, also including this in the response:

    “As announced by the Australian and UK Prime Ministers on 5 May, the Australia-UK FTA will enter
    into force on 31 May 2023, following the expected completion of UK domestic processes.
    Enhanced opportunities for Working Holiday Makers, including eligibility for UK citizens up to (and
    including) the age of 35 to apply for up to three Working Holiday (subclass 417) visas without the
    need to undertake ‘specified work’, will be implemented within two years of this date.”

    Seems like the UK still has stuff to finalise, maybe they don’t want to say anything until they have done so. Who knows. Hopefully 31st May is the time

  66. I have emailed both Australian immigration & the minister for trade nd tourism in Aus – senator Don Farrell. Both replied with the same generic email as before stating two years after implementation date. I reckon you could be onto something Jonny. Maybe they’re saying nothing as a lot of people would drop out of their farm work. But who knows? Praying there will be some update on May 31st.

  67. Guys, it’s at the stage now where both governments need to simply decide what date to implement the visa changes… I think we all need to contact and email our local MP’s and push for an update on when they plan to make the decision… I have emailed mine simply requesting to find out when they will be having the discussion and making a decision. Let’s all do it and get others to do the same. Just an idea haha

  68. Do we think there will be more information on 1st June or more than likely we will be kept in the dark for the foreseeable?

  69. I just had a reply from UK in Australia on twitter and they quoted this…

    We are working to make the final arrangements for bringing this into force. Announcement soon…!

  70. Hi everyone,

    I have formerly completed two years WHV under my Irish passport, however I also have a British one.

    Based on this:

    “If a UK passport holder has already spent one or two years in Australia on a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa before the new arrangements commence, they can apply for the remaining visa(s) under the new arrangements from 1 July 2024. This will enable access to the maximum of three years in Australia.”

    It would seem that I should be eligible for a third and final visa- however I’m not sure because of the situation of having entered with another passport.

    Is anyone else in the same boat or do they have any information about this? I’d love to go back and have other visa options (although not where I’d like to live ideally), but I don’t want to wait another year to find out I’m not actually eligible!

  71. Hi, what about the 6 month work limit has this been removed?
    If so has this just been removed from when the new visa rules come into place ?

  72. Hiya

    I had a WHV granted in 2021 but i never arrived in Australia at all
    I am now 32 and want to apply again in July of this year, I just want to make sure this is possible?
    My original visa was never activated but it was granted, i just never used it.
    If you could confirm that would be great!

  73. If you’ve already had 3 WHV between 2019 & 2023 (and did your agriculture work to get them) …can you apply for these new visas as well? Or not?

  74. Hi there

    I’m moving to Australia 20th September 2023

    I got my visa and it will be starting from 12 months after I enter

    So my visa expires September 2024

    My question is relating to the new law which commences 1st July 2024

    Does this mean I don’t have to do any farm work at all ? as long as I apply for the second year on or after the 1st July 2024 my second year should be granted with the new rules ? Or do I have to stick to the old visa rules and complete farm work?

    The government wasn’t clear at all about people who have visa’s starting before July 1st 2024

    I’m for certain staying up to 3 years in Australia if I can if I can.. but I want to make sure I definately don’t need to do any farm work from September 2023’ onwards if I can wait till July 1st 2024 and apply for the new second year visa under the new rules

    Please if I can get a response

  75. Hi having read the recent announcement (31st May 2023)
    Having had a 1st year WHV in 2015 but didnt stay the duration or do farm work.

    Now currently just turned 34, do i have to wait till July 2024 to apply for my 2nd year when the specified work is removed or can i do this when the new age increase changes commence in july 2023?

    Thank you

  76. Hiya

    I had a WHV granted in 2 years ago but i never arrived in Australia…
    I am now 32 and want to apply again in July of this year, I just want to make sure this is possible?
    My original visa was never activated but it was granted, i just never used it.
    If you could confirm that would be great!

  77. Hi my daughter is currently on a 417 visa, she arrived in November 2022. Am I right in thinking that she will have to do her farm work for the second year under the old rules and then apply for a third year under the new rules? Thank you for your help. Natalie