Working Holiday Visa expansion has benefits at home and abroad

  • Joint media release
  • Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
  • The Hon David Coleman MP, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs

An expansion of the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program whichtakes effect today will have benefits for farmers and regional communities,while fostering closer ties with dozens of countries.

More places are now available to young people from more countries,and we are giving travellers an option to stay for a third year if they work inthe regional areas that need it most.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services andMulticultural Affairs David Coleman said the changes will further addressregional labour shortages.

"TheWHM program has been running successfully since 1975, and sees thousands oftravellers visit, work in and support regional and remote economies each year,"Mr Coleman said.

"Theprogram also boosts people-to-peoplelinks between young adults from Australia and the 44 countries now involved."

New Work and Holiday arrangements with Greece and Ecuador alsocommence today, 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, will also increase from today.

In addition, the maximum eligible age for French applicants hasbeen raised to 35 years.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham saidworking holiday makers were vital to Australia's tourism industry,

"We know working holiday makers whotravel to Australia, stay longer, spend more and travel further into regionalareas than most other international visitors," Minister Birmingham said.

"They also spend every dollar they earnwhile in Australia, in addition to the savings they bring here, creating morejobs for Australians in our tourism and hospitality industry."

Summaryof changes to Working Holiday Maker visas:

  • Working Holiday Makers who have completed atleast six months specified regional employment in their second year may beeligible for a third year visa. The 6 months of work must all be carried out onor after 1 July 2019, with applications able to be lodged from January 2020.
  • Extension of the period a WHM (subclass 417 and462) may work with the same agricultural employer, from six to 12 months.
  • Increase in the number of places available fortravellers from, Spain (1,500 up to 3,400), Israel (500 up to 2,500), Peru (100up 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 to500).
  • Greece (500 places) and Ecuador (100 newplaces) added to WHM visa program, taking the total number of eligiblecountries to 44.
  • The maximum eligible age for French applicantshas been raised to 35 years.

Formore information visit the Department of Home Affairs website.

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