PROPOSED CHANGES TO WORKING HOLIDAY VISA
The Australian Tourist Export Council (“ATEC”) has recently proposed to the DIAC five major policy adjustments to the Australian Working Holiday Visa (Subclass 417).
The proposed adjustments are as follows:
- Adding the tourism and hospitality industry into the lists of defined regional industries –after working in these regional industries for 88 days, WHV holders are allowed to extend their visas by 12 months.
- Maintaining or reducing the costs and financial requirements of the visa.
- Raising the applicant’s age limit to 35 (the current qualifying age range is 18 – 30).
- Allowing visitors to gain the visa multiple times, once before the age of 25, and once after (the current rules limit visitors to one visa with a potential second year extension).
- Expanding the programme of the tourism industry to new source countries.
These proposed adjustments are intended to create additional Australian jobs, especially in the tourism industry, and bring significant benefit to Australia’s local communities and the economy.