The Australian Chamber of Tourism has announced that from 1 November 2018, Canadians up to the age of 35 will be able to apply for Working Holiday Maker visas. This compares with the current maximum age of 30. This will come as welcome news to the thousands of Canadian working holiday makers that come to Australia each year to live and work in Australia. This change will enable many more Canadians to make use of the working holiday visa and potentially springboard to permanent migration under skilled, family or student pathways.

Remember, a second working holiday visa can be obtained after completing the first year and working at least 3 months in a regional area of Australia. Many working holiday makers take the opportunity to complete their 3 months by performing what is known as wwoofing, which stands for “Willing Workers on Organic Farms”. This program provides food and board while holiday makers experience working on Australian farms.

In addition to agricultural work, working holiday visa holders can complete their 3 months regional work by performing any occupation in construction, and even hospitality in certain regions of Australia.

To obtain a working holiday visa, other than being under the age limit, the applicant must be a genuine visitor, have enough starting money to support themselves (around $5,000, have additional savings to afford a return ticket if not already booked, have adequate health insurance or be covered by a reciprocal country health arrangement, be of good character, and have a good immigration history.

When applying for the working holiday visa in Australia, it is often a source of difficulty for applicants to show adequate evidence of having worked for 3 months in a regional area. The requirements have increased dramatically in the last few years, as the government realised massive fraud was occurring in the second working holiday visa cohort. Many people fabricated their work experience in order to meet the 3 month requirement, often farmers were complicit in the process. Also, the government found farmers often did not pay suitable wages and so decided that they would no longer accept evidence if the pay rate was under the legal limit. Therefore, it is imperative as a working holiday visa holder completing regional work, that you ensure your pay is at least the minimum required under employment law (see Fair Work Australia for details). If your pay is too low, or the documentation provided by your employer/s is insufficient, then your second working holiday visa will be refused. This can be difficult to overcome on appeal.

If you need advice on your second working holiday visa, don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with an expert immigration agent to guide you through the requirements and ensure you get that extra year in Australia!