Australia Working Holiday Visa rules eased in bid to help regional Australia recover from bushfires.
The Federal Government has unveiled temporary changes to working holiday visas which it says will make it easier for backpackers to help rebuild fire-ravaged communities and stay in Australia longer.
The changes allow a person who assists with bushfire recovery efforts to work with the same employer for one year, up from an initial maximum of six months, and paid and volunteer disaster recovery work in declared bushfire-hit zones will count towards the “specified work” needed for second or third-year visas.
Regional employers will be able to hire backpackers for a year under the changes — up from six months
Volunteer work helping rebuild fire-ravaged properties and businesses will also be counted in the visa scheme
BlazeAid’s president believes the changes will help accommodate a flood of young volunteers from overseas
Traditionally focused on farming-related work in rural areas, the changes mean Backpackers are also set to help with demolition, land clearing and repairs to dams, roads and railways.
Construction work in disaster zones, including land clearing, rebuilding fences and homes, and demolition, will now fall under the government’s definition of specified work, which working holidaymakers have to complete if they wish to stay in Australia for a second or third year.
“These hard-working Australians have been hit by the recent bushfires, but from today they can employ backpackers for six months longer, helping them at a critical time in the recovery effort,” Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said.
“It means working holidaymakers can help rebuild homes, fences and farms, and they can get onto properties and help with demolition, land clearing, and repairing dams, roads and railways.”
Applicants for a working holiday visa must be between 18 and 30 years of age and be a citizen of an eligible country. You can read more about how to apply for a working Holiday Visa here. You can also view our current Working Holiday Job Listings here.