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Three Year Working Holiday Maker visas announced!

Migration news

5 November 2018:

In migration news the Australian Government today announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program to target genuine workforce shortages in regional Australia, without displacing Australian workers.

The changes are intended to assist farmers access a larger number of overseas workers. The number of visa holders will be increased and those visa holders will be allowed to increase their stay in Australia by undertaking agricultural work in new areas across Australia.

These pragmatic changes address the problem farmers have of filling work-force shortages in the Australian farm sector.

Changes to Working Holiday Maker visas:

  • Work and Holiday makers (subclass 462) will be able to undertake regional plant and animal cultivation work in additional priority areas to become eligible for a second visa.
  • Extension of the period a WHM (subclass 417 and 462) may work with the same agricultural employer from 6 to 12 months.
  • Introduction of a third year visa option for WHM (subclasses 417 and 462), who from 1 July 2019 onwards complete six months of regional work in the second year.
  • Increase the number of places available for Work and Holiday Maker program (subclass 462) by lifting annual caps available to a number of countries participating in the subclass 462 visa program.

These changes require a strict workforce test to be applied to ensure Australian workers are given the first opportunity for work.

Changes to the Seasonal Worker Program:

  • Increase work period in Australia to nine months for all workers (currently six months for some countries).
  • Increase validity of labour market testing prior to recruiting workers from three to six months. This is to better assist source local Australian workers first before recruiting WHM visa holders
  • Reduce out of pocket expenses for employers (workers repay their full travel costs except for the first $300; a reduction from the previous $500).


Contact Bell Legal Group today for professional migration law advice

Bell Legal Group’s dedicated migration team can assist you with all of your migration law needs. If you have a query regarding the new changes or need help from migration law experts please call us on +61 7 5597 3366 or fill out the ‘Contact Us‘ form below.



Please note:

Please note that this article has been prepared by Bell Legal Group, for information purposes only. It is not legal advice nor should it be relied upon as such.