Published on Jul 21, 2019

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Travellers will have an option to stay in Australia for a third year if they work in the regional areas that need it most, following an expansion of the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program in July.

More places are now available to young people from more countries, which is expected to benefit farmers and regional communities, while fostering closer ties with dozens of countries.

The changes are expected to help with regional labour shortages.

New work and holiday arrangements with Greece and Ecuador began in July, adding 500 and 100 places respectively. Annual caps for Spain, Israel, Peru and Chile have been increased recently, and those for Argentina, Malaysia, Singapore and Portugal, increased in July.

The Federal Government Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon. Simon Birmingham said working holiday makers were vital to Australia’s tourism industry.

“We know working holiday makers who travel to Australia, stay longer, spend more and travel further into regional areas than most other international visitors,” Minister Birmingham said. “They also spend every dollar they earn while in Australia, in addition to the savings they bring here, creating more jobs for Australians in our tourism and hospitality industry.”

Summary of changes to Working Holiday Maker visas:

  • Working Holiday Makers who have completed at least six months specified regional employment in their second year may be eligible for a third year visa. The six months of work must all be carried out on or after 1 July 2019, with applications able to be lodged from January 2020.
  • Extension of the period a WHM (subclass 417 and 462) may work with the same agricultural employer, from six to 12 months.
  • Increase in the number of places available for travellers from, Spain (1,500 up to 3,400), Israel (500 up to 2,500), Peru (100 up to 1,500), Chile (2,000 up to 3,400), Argentina (from 1,500 up to 2,450), Malaysia (100 up to 1,100), Singapore (from 500 up to 2,500) and Portugal (200 up to 500).
  • Greece (500 places) and Ecuador (100 new places) added to WHM visa program, taking the total number of eligible countries to 44.
  • The maximum eligible age for French applicants has been raised to 35 years.

See the full media release


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