Working holiday visa rules amended to fill labour gap

The government has introduced new requirements for foreign workers

Working holiday visa rules amended to fill labour gap

Visitors to Australia who hold the 417 or 462 visa – otherwise known as the working holiday visas – will be permitted to extend their stay in the country under new rules.

The changes will require foreign workers to serve communities in regional and rural Australia currently experiencing labour shortages.

By mid-2019, working holiday visa holders will be allowed to remain in Australia for a maximum of three years instead of two if they perform regional work, particularly agricultural work, for six months on their second year.

Foreign workers who hold working holiday visas will no longer be required to switch jobs every six months, while the age cap for certain countries will be lifted from 30 to 35 years old.

Pacific Islanders on a 416 visa to do seasonal work will also be allowed to extend their six-month stint by three months.

462 visa holders, who were once restricted to working in northern Australia, will soon be given the option to work in agriculture in the regional areas of New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, and Queensland, as well as Tasmania, South Australia, and the Northern Territory.

“Australians filling Australian jobs is my number one priority,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Courier Mail. “But when this isn’t possible, we need to ensure our farmers aren’t left high and dry with rotting crops, especially in the strawberry industry.”

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