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  • Writer's pictureDessie

Good news for the Australian Working Holiday visa program

Whilst Australian borders remain closed for Working Holiday visa holders and the visas lodged over the past 18 months have not been processed, there is some good news for those interested in the Working Holiday program.

Hospitality and tourism

Working holiday visa holders who are in Australia and are working in tourism and hospitality anywhere in Australia are able to work in that sector for up to 12 months without seeking special permission to work beyond their 6 months work limitation. As of 22 June 2021 work undertaken in this sector in the Northern areas of Australia and areas considered remote could claim the work as specified work for the purpose of applying for their next second or third Working Holiday visa, as long as they lodge their application for the visa after March 2022. Northern, remote and very remote areas of Australia will be able to count this as specified work, making them eligible for a second or third WHM visa. This option will be available to Working Holiday visa holders who lodge their new visa application within the Working Holiday program from March 2022.

No fee Working Holiday visa application

Current and formers holders of Working Holiday visas who were offshore and could not travel to Australia or those who had to depart from Australia because of the pandemic are granted an opportunity to apply for another visa without a fee to replace the visa that was impacted and grant them an opportunity for further 12 months visa, if they make their application online between 1 July and 31 December 2021.

Some of the Working Holiday visa holders who moved onto the Pandemic Event visa may also be eligible to apply for further Working Holiday visa without an application fee from 22 March 2022 which would give them an opportunity to reside and work in Australia for further 12 months beyond they Pandemic Event visa. Citizens of the UK up to the age of 35 to be considered for the Working Holiday program

Until recently only citizens of Canada, Ireland and France were eligible for the program up to the age of 35 and most recent announcement is that a reciprocal agreement in principle is now reached with the United Kingdom could enjoy the same increase in the maximum eligible age from 30 to 35 for those who would like to access the Working Holiday program. This is exciting news for many who miss out on the opportunities for further Working Holiday visa due to turning 31 years of age during the pandemic. However, the changes are expected to take place over the following five years, so watch this space.

Contact one of our experts at Assent Migration Lawyers to assist you in navigating the Working Holiday program in these uncertain times.

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