Working Holiday visa and the Free Trade Agreement with UK
During his visit to the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced that 31 May is the date of entry into force of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA), following the expected completion of UK domestic processes.
This gold-standard trade agreement will deliver benefits to Australian businesses and create new well-paying jobs. This new deal was in agreement more than a year ago but had to find its way through the Australian and the British parliaments.
“This agreement will deliver significant benefits to Australian exporters, consumers, workers, and our economy more broadly,” Prime Minister Albanese said.
“The Australia-UK FTA represents one of the most comprehensive, innovative and ambitious free trade agreements concluded by Australia to date and strengthens an already close relationship between Australia and the UK.”
UK citizens will not have to complete farm work, which they had to complete to extend their visa in the past. However, there is no start date for changes to the working holiday scheme, but the government expects it will happen within two years. It is not clear if existing visa holders will be able to roll over into a third year. Within two years of entry into force, UK citizens will be able to apply for working holidays in Australia to the age of 35, up from 30, and stay for a maximum of three years instead of two.
Digital trade rules under the A-UKFTA will provide greater certainty and facilitate trade for Australian businesses looking to grow their digital footprint in the UK.
With the entry into force of this comprehensive agreement, there will be no tariffs on over 99 percent of Australian goods exports to the UK, opening up new export opportunities.
The FTA also provides a framework for professional bodies to agree to streamline licensing processes to facilitate the movement of qualified professionals between Australia and the UK. This outcome will help address the skills shortage in Australia.