New reform announced for Working Holiday Visas
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New reform announced for Working Holiday Visas

A growing concern from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection about possible exploitation of the current Working Holiday visa programme has resulted in the introduction of a new reform. ┬áSenator the Hon Michaelia Cash announced the change on the back of “The current arrangements can provide a perverse incentive for visa holders to agree to less than acceptable conditions in order to secure another visa.” ┬áThis comment is specifically relating to existing Working Holiday visa holders who apply for an additional 12 months visa.

Visa applicants who are wanting to apply for the second visa after their initial Working Holiday Visa has expired, need to be aware of the following:

  • Applicant must be aged between 18 – 30 years old
  • Applicant must undertake at least three months work in particular mining, construction and agricultural roles in regional Australia
  • Applicant will be required to produce official payslips from their employer
  • Volunteer work will not count towards eligibility for a second visa application
  • Applicant is still able to participate in volunteer work but it will not contribute towards the application

The applicants themselves are the ones who will benefit from the new reform for working visas (such as the subclass 417) in the sense that they will be offered more ‘protection’ against the small minority of businesses who are taking advantage of foreign workers.

Minister Cash reiterated the importance of these changes “I recognise that the majority of operators are doing the right thing, however it is unacceptable that some employers have been exploiting vulnerable young overseas workers and damaging the reputation of this important social and cultural exchange programme.”

“As is the case with all visa programmes, it is essential that integrity in the Working Holiday Visa programme is maintained so as to prevent exploitation and ensure public confidence in the system is upheld.”

The changes that are expected to be gradually introduced over the coming months. If you have any queries about visa applications for working and living in Australia, contact our qualified migration team today.

 

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