The Working Holidaymaker (WHM) program is one of the most successful visa programs ever initiated by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). It usually consists of two visa subclasses, but this post will focus on the Working Holiday Visa Subclass 417. With this visa, anyone within the ages of 18 to 30 (or 35 for people from Ireland, Canada, and France) will be able to holiday in Australia and work to support themselves.
You can take three extended working holiday visas at a go. Recently, the DHA announced some changes to the 417 visa Australia to help with the country’s post-COVID recovery. Here are all the facts you need to know.
Reasons Behind the Changes to Working Holiday Visa 417
There are many reasons behind the proposed changes to 417 visa Australia. The primary reason is this will aid in the post-COVID recovery for the nation. The tourism and hospitality sectors of the government will need support to recover from the extended lockdowns and shutdowns. The changes will also increase the age range to 35 from 30 for British applicants. You should make an appointment with the best immigration agent in Perth to apply for a subclass 417 visa.
Changes Made to the Working Holidaymaker (WHM) Program
Here is a brief summary of the exact changes that have been made to the WHM program by the DHA. Understand these properly so that you can lodge a successful application immediately.
1- Free Visas for Travellers Who Were Affected by COVID-19
Working holidaymakers in Australia who had their trips cut short due to the COVID-19 lockdown will be able to reapply at no cost. Usually, the cost of this visa application is AUD 495 in total. However, if you and your WHM trip were affected due to COVID, then you can lodge an application using the nil Visa Application Charge (nVAC) stream. Here are the situations which count as “COVID-affected” –
- You applied for and were granted a WHM visa before March 20 2020. This is valid for both Working Holiday visa 417 and WHM visa subclass 462.
- Your WHM visa expired on or after March 20 2020 – during which time you were not in Australia. This condition also applies if you currently hold a WHM visa that is set to expire before December 31 2020, while you are outside Australia.
- You did not travel to Australia despite holding the WHM visa. This situation also applies if you had to depart Australia before your visa’s expiration due to the COVID-19 crisis.
If you wish to travel, you will be able to start making applications for a new WHM visa from March 2022. If you do not wish to travel anymore, you can begin to make refund requests by December 31 2021.
2- You Do Not Have to Engage in Farm Work
Under the old WHM program, you would have to commit to 3 months of work at a rural farm if you wanted to extend your stay for more than a year. However, the DHA has changed this condition. Under the new conditions, WHM visa holders can choose to work in the realm of hospitality or tourism in some of the selected areas of Australia. For example, you can work in the very remote and secluded areas of Australia’s Northern Territory.
These work experiences in hospitality/tourism will actually count for the renewal of the second WHM visa, which you might want to apply for if you want to stay for a longer time. This means that there are various work options available for anyone with a working holiday visa subclass 417 or 462. They can work at a bar, a restaurant, an outdoor hiking trail, and lots of other options. However, you need to remember that these changes will be effected only after June 22, so you should plan accordingly.
3- Work For the Same Employer For a Whole Year
Under the old regulations of the WHM program, anyone with a working holiday visa 417 couldn’t work for 6 months at the same employer without getting expression permission from the DHA and the government. However, the DHA has revised this rule and changed the upper limit to 12 months. Businesses in the remote areas of Australia will be able to get proper help for sustained periods of time with these changes.
You can now stay and work with the same employer for up to 12 months if you want to use the visa to stay in the country for a much longer time. From March 2022, all of the former or current holders of the WHM visa will be able to make an MVC application for a new WHM visa. This will provide a lot of financial stability for the travellers. You will not have to pay the additional cost of AUD 495 to apply for an extension of the visa.
4- Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Australia
The Australian and British governments have reached a free trade agreement to boost economic recovery, especially in the period of time post the COVID-19 lockdowns and shutdowns. Under the new regulations, eligible British nationals will be able to stay in Australia for a period of 3 years once they have a WHM visa. If you’re a British traveller between 18-35 years of age, you should contact the best visa consultant in Perth. They will help you apply for this visa.
Similarly, the UK has also started a Youth Mobility program, which will allow young people from Australia to travel and work in the UK. They will have unrestricted work rights in the UK and they can stay for a period of 2 years. Australia has similar, if not identical, agreements with Ireland, France, and Canada. If you’re applying from either of these places, then you will be able to stay and work in Australia using the working holiday visa 417.
Eligibility for the Working Holiday Visa Subclass 417
Here are some points you need to consider if you want to know your eligibility for the 417 visas in Australia. If you have any questions, you should reach out and make an appointment with the best Immigration Agent Perth.
- You must hold a valid and legal passport for a country that falls within a specified list of countries. For more info on the list, check out the site of the immigration section of the DHA.
- You need to be between 18 and 30 years of age to qualify for the WHM visa subclass 417. If you are from Canada, Ireland, France, or the UK, then you can be between the ages of 18 and 35.
- You must not have previously entered Australia on the same visa subclass or a different subclass (462) of the same WHM visa.
- You need to have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Australia – which is approximately AUD 5000 and the fare to your destination after you leave the country.
- You need to satisfy the health and character requirements of the DHA.
This has been a concise summation of all the changes enacted by the DHA to the Working visa subclass 417. If you want more information about getting one of these, you should try to get a meeting with the best visa consultant in Perth.