Changes to the Working Holiday Maker program
Visa changes designed to help bushfire affected areas
Foreign backpackers and those on working holiday visas are being encouraged to help bushfire affected areas get back to some normality.
The Australian Government has introduced new rules for working holiday visas meaning that these visa holders can now work in regional businesses for up to 12 months with the same employer in disaster declared areas.
Amendments to Working Holiday visas
The Australian Government announced that amendments would be made to the Working Holiday Maker programme to include paid or volunteer bushfire recovery work as ‘specified work’ for the purposes of a second or third year subclass 417 or 462 visa.
The government stated that including construction work in a disaster declared area as specified work meant “working holiday makers can help rebuild homes, fences and farms, they can get onto properties and help with demolition, land clearing, and repairing dams, roads and railways”.
Summary of working holiday maker (‘WHM’) changes
- The time a WHM can work with the same employer has been extended from six months to 12 months for those assisting with bushfire recovery efforts.
- The definition of ‘specified work’ is revised to ensure construction work in a disaster declared area is included.
- Paid and volunteer disaster recovery work in declared areas impacted in the recent bushfires will count towards the “specified work” needed to apply for a second or third year subclass 417 or 462 visa.
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Please note that this article was prepared by Zoë Brereton of Bell Legal Group for general information only. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.
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