Immigration Minister David Coleman is targeting backpackers from 13 countries as he seeks to find workers wanted by regional businesses.
Australia is in discussions about expanding the work and holiday visa to people from India, Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Switzerland, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Andorra, Monaco and Mongolia.
Any places made available to backpackers from these nations would be in addition to the existing caps for other countries.
During early 2019, 150,000 people were in Australia on a working holiday visa, but the program has shrunk over the past five years.
The plans are the latest attempt by the Government to tweak a significant — and contentious — part of Australia’s migration program.
Only this month Greece and Ecuador were added to the program. Places were also increased for some countries, and the option to stay in Australia for a third year was made available to workers.
The Government has also released a series of video advertisements into international markets calling Australia “the best workplace in the world“.
Mr Coleman said the changes were designed to resolve labour shortages in regional areas, in particular on farms.
“We know that working holiday-makers travel further into regional areas than most other international visitors,” he said.
“They also spend substantial amounts, helping to boost regional economies.”