The government has released new regulations enacting changes previously announced to the Working Holiday Maker visa program. These changes affect the Working Holiday subclass 417 and Work and Holiday subclass 462 visa classes. Commencing from 1st July 2019, the maximum number of subclass 417 and 462 visas which may be held has been increased to three (under the current legislative provisions, only a 1st and 2nd year Working Holiday Maker Visa can be held by one person).

To qualify for a 3rd year Working Holiday Maker Visa, you must meet additional work requirements whilst you hold a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker Visa in Australia, or a Bridging Visa that was in effect and was granted on the basis that you applied for a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker Visa. This additional work must be carried out on or after 1st July 2019.

What are the changes?

Under the current provisions, to qualify for a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker Visa, you must complete 3 months of specified work in regional Australia.

The new regulations enable you to qualify for a 3rd year Working Holiday Maker Visa provided you have completed an additional 6 months of specified work in regional Australia whilst you hold a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker Visa. If you hold a Bridging Visa which is in effect and which was granted when you applied for a 2nd year Working Holiday Maker Visa, any specified work completed during this period also counts towards your 6-month work requirement.

What do these changes mean for you?

The effect of these changes means that as a Working Holiday Visa Maker Visa holder, you may now have the option to extend your stay in Australia to a total period of up to 3 years, if you meet the requirements as outlined above. If you are considering applying for a further visa down the track, such as an employer sponsored Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa, and you hold a relevant qualification for a skilled occupation, you can use the time on your Working Holiday Maker Visa to gain additional work experience, in order to qualify for the subclass 482 visa.

Or, if you are looking to apply for a Skilled (Independent) or Skilled (State Sponsored Visa), you can gain extra points for Australian work experience completed whilst you hold a Working Holiday Visa Maker Visa. This is particularly beneficial if you are applying for a State Sponsored Visa in South Australia, which allows you to access additional skilled occupations if you have worked for 6 to 12 months in South Australia before applying.

Things to be aware of

It is important to ensure that you complete the required specified work in regional Australia, to enable you to qualify for a 3rd Year Working Holiday Visa Maker Visa. Be aware that these terms are strictly defined in the migration provisions.

Also be aware that as a Working Holiday Visa Maker Visa holder, you will be subject to a 6-month work limitation for any one employer (there are exceptions). You can apply to the Department to have this period extended. If this affects you, we recommend that you seek further information and advice to clarify how this affects you.

For up to date advice on your eligibility for a Working Holiday Visa Maker, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration agent in Adelaide, and we aren’t expensive! Just ask us!