Working Holiday Visa Changes

Source: MADEC

Given the importance of backpackers for picking and packing fruit crops, the Commonwealth Government has recently announced some changes that will make it easier to find backpackers who want to work on farms and enable them to work and stay longer in Australia. The main changes are:

-From the 5th of November 2018, expanding the regional areas where 462 visa holders (China, Indonesia, USA, Chile, Argentina) can work to get a 2nd year visa extension – currently they can only get an extension by working in northern Australia.

-From the 5th of November 2018, 417 and 462 visa holders can work with one employer for 12 months, an increase from the current 6 months.

-After the 1st of July 2019, 417 and 462 visa holders will have the option of getting a third year visa if they do six months of specified work in a rural area.

-Progressively increasing the country caps for some 462 visa holders.

-Increase the age of 417 visa holders from Canada and Ireland to 35.

The key focus is on providing immediate access to workers in key rural areas. Employers will be able to retain trained and experienced employees for up to 12 months, rather than the previous six months.