Australian Working Holiday Visa – good news for longer stays. The Australian government has just made changes which will allow holders of a Working Holiday Visa to stay i Australia for 3 years. The current limit is 2 years.
For this, visa holders need to do 6-months specified work in a specified regional area in their second year. The Government move will help regional agricultural producers (plant & animal cultivation) who are often very dependent on backpacker labour.Also, the changes increase the regional areas which are eligible for Working Holiday Visa holders to do their regional work.
The Government’s key focus is on providing farmers with immediate access to workers in key parts of regional Australia. The changes aim to increase the number of visitors on a Working Holiday Visa who are available for seasonal agricultural work needs.
Another key change is that employers will be able to keep Working Holiday Visa workers employed for up to 12 months instead of the previous 6 months.
The Government believes these changes will assist farmers to retain trained and experienced workers on plant and animal cultivation work. Also, it considers that Working Holiday Visa holders being able to remain with the same employer for 12 months instead of 6 will attract them to staying working in regional Australia for longer periods.
What does plant and animal cultivation include
Plant and animal cultivation includes most agricultural work, such as:
- the harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
- pruning and trimming vines and trees
- general maintenance crop work
- cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
- immediate processing of plant products
- maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce
- immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
- manufacturing dairy produce from raw material.
Additional Regional Areas
With immediate effect, the scheduled of regional areas will be extended to regional areas in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, and all of Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania.
For all information on these changes and all other visa matters, text/phone 0408955770 or email [email protected]