There was a bit of a ‘love in’ between UK prime Minister Boris Johnson and Australian Prime Minister Scot Morrison this week. Part of their discussions focused on a new trade deal which will enable Aussies to buy Penguins, Marmite and other key foodstuffs without additional tariffs being imposed.
This was all very interesting, however of more interest was the announcement that they are going to be making some changes to the current Australian/UK Working Holiday Visa arrangements including an increase in the age limit cap on working holiday visa applicants to 35 years old (from 30). Note, this relates to travellers down under from the UK only with the agreement still being an “in principle” agreement at this time.
What are the current Australian working holiday visa rules?
Covid pandemic restrictions aside, British travellers aged 30 and under are eligible for a working holiday visa (417) in Australia. This enables them to stay in the country for up to 12 months and to work while they are in Australia
Eligible Brits can also extend this visa by applying for a second, and then a third working holiday visa, which enables travellers to stay for an extra year apiece. However, to be eligible for the extension, they must complete three months and six months respectively of “regional specified” rural work in an industry such as farming, fishing, mining or construction.
What changes after the trade deal?
The age of Brits eligible for the working holiday visa is being extended to those under 35 years old, widening the opportunity to hundreds of thousands more people.
The deal also looks set to strike off the requirement for those looking to extend their visa for another year to undertake mandatory manual labour in one of the aforementioned industries.
Although Australian farmers are said to be against the move as it will deprive them of much-needed cheap labour, the UK trade secretary, Liz Truss, reportedly argued in favour of dropping the clause as there is no equivalent requirement for Australians in Britain.
The details as shared in the UK government’s statement on the deal are somewhat vague, but it does promise that
“Brits under the age of 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia more freely, opening exciting opportunities for young people.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the visa in London, after providing details of the in-principle free trade agreement between the two nations.
“In Australia it means that we will be moving forward with an agriculture visa, that is something I’ve had a positive view on for some time, we look forward to that occurring,”
“One of the biggest challenges we have, particularly in COVID when there’s such restriction on movements of people, we need to meet workforce challenges to ensure our primary producers, in particular, can make the most of the linear agreement we’ve agreed here today.”
Here’s a little more on the story as reported by ABC News Australia.
All we need now is for Covid to be cured and borders to be open… Here’s hoping!
Would a WHV be on the cards for you? Let us know in our comments below.