Travel time, age limits on Australian working holiday visas relaxed to help backpackers fill agricultural jobs

BACKPACKERS and different guests on operating vacations will be capable of keep in Australia longer below a Federal Govt plan to assist farmers fill process shortages.

Pacific islanders taking on seasonal paintings will be capable of keep 3 months longer and the age prohibit for operating vacation visas for some nations might be lifted to 35.

Backpackers will now not want to go away jobs each six months and can be capable of triple the period in their keep in the event that they do additional agricultural paintings.

The adjustments come after the Nationals didn’t ship a promised agricultural visa and an try to pressure jobless Australians to pick out fruit and have a tendency to animals was once brushed aside by means of the trade.

Top Minister Scott Morrison will define the adjustments in south-east Queensland on Monday.

“Australians filling Australian jobs is my No.1 precedence, but if this isn’t conceivable we want to make sure our farmers aren’t left prime and dry with rotting plants, particularly within the strawberry trade,” he instructed The Courier-Mail.

Deputy Top Minister Michael McCormack mentioned the rural visa adjustments would assist farmers fill vital workforces shortages with versatile labour.

“We don’t need fruit rotting at the vine or plants left within the box and it’s necessary our farmers maximise their arduous paintings and financial returns,” he mentioned in a joint commentary with a number of Nationals colleagues.

A rule that compelled some backpackers to paintings in northern Australia can also be dumped, and they’re going to as an alternative be allowed to paintings in a much wider vary of areas during the rustic.

Australia’s agricultural sector has virtually doubled in price right into a $63.four billion trade over the last decade.

Some 419,000 backpackers visited Australia final yr, spending 1.four million nights in regional spaces the place they spent $920 million.

“Each and every greenback they earn right here, they spend right here, that’s the entire level,” Mr Morrison mentioned.


  • Other people with operating vacation visas (sometimes called 417 or 462 visas) will be capable of keep in Australia for a most of 3 years from mid-2019, moderately than two, in the event that they whole six months of regional paintings all the way through their moment yr within the nation.
  • Visa-holders who need a moment yr in Australia will nonetheless want to paintings in regional Australia for 3 months all the way through their first yr, however there might be extra spaces during which 462 visa-holders can achieve this.
  • Lately they’re simplest in a position to do the paintings in northern Australia, however quickly they’ll be in a position to choose between key regional spaces in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and WA, along side all the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania.
  • Other people benefiting from the brand new regional spaces must carry out agricultural paintings, whilst the ones opting to paintings in northern Australia will nonetheless have the collection of operating in tourism and hospitality.
  • The best age in a position to get operating vacation visas might be raised from 30 to 35 for some nations.
  • The ones with operating vacation visas will be capable of stick with the similar employer for a yr, moderately than the present cap of six months.
  • Extra spots might be to be had for 462 operating vacation visas for folks from plenty of nations each and every yr.


  • A visa enabling folks from Pacific island nations to finish seasonal paintings in some industries, when the employer can’t get native staff (sometimes called a 416 visa), will permit folks to stick for 9 months. This present day, the visa’s cap is six month for some nations.
  • Visa-holders can even need to pay fewer out-of-pocket bills.


  • The adjustments are aimed toward addressing labour shortages on farms in regional and rural Australia.
  • Regional economies also are anticipated to get a spice up from visa holders splashing their money in the neighborhood.


  • In 2017-18, there have been 185,450 first and second-year 417 visas granted and 25,006 first and second-year 462 visas granted.
  • The highest nations of foundation for 417 visas had been the United Kingdom, Germany and France. The highest nations for 462 visa had been the USA, China or Chile.
  • Simply over 6000 folks from the Pacific Islands participate within the seasonal employee program each and every yr.


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