The number of Australian Working Holiday visas that Australia has issued rises significantly

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According to the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, there is a large increase in the number of Working Holiday Visas that were issued during the current year. Australian Working Holiday visas allow young people aged between 18 and 30 years to live and work in Australia for up to one year.

In some cases, those visas could be extended for one additional year. This happens when the visa holders agree to undertake job assignments in some pre-designated rural areas. All applicants must come from such countries with which Australia has signed reciprocal Working Holiday Visa agreements.

The first Australian Working Holiday agreement was established back in 1975 and at that time only three countries were participating – the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland. Since that time Australia has signed working holiday agreements with various other countries. Presently more than 15 countries participate in the program in addition to the three initial participants. As of 1 November 2013 those countries are:

  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Malta
  • Germany
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Denmark
  • Hong Kong
  • Finland
  • Cyprus
  • Italy
  • France
  • Taiwan
  • Belgium
  • Estonia and
  • Netherlands

During 2012/2013 years more than 200 000 thousands Working Holiday Visas were issued to young people from abroad who want to visit Australia. The top five countries of origin for Working Holiday Visa applicants are:

  1. United Kingdom – 38,782 (up 8.6%)
  2. South Korea – 29,614 (up 8.1%)
  3. Taiwan – 28,599 (up 57%)
  4. Germany – 24,687 (up 17%)
  5. France – 22,539 (up 22.6%)

DIAC notes that there were also large increases in the number of working holiday visas granted for Italy (up 64%) and Hong Kong (up 50%).

There were also 38,862 second Working Holiday visas issued in 2012/13 to backpackers who had completed three months working in a designated rural area.

Much of the increase in the number of Working Holiday Visa can be explained by the Global Financial Crisis which started in 2008 and which has led to record levels of unemployment in many European countries.

In addition to the subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa, Australia issues subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visas to citizens of ten other countries. The difference between the both is that the number of Work and Holiday visas that are available each year is capped

People from the following countries are eligible for 462 visas.

  • Thailand (cap 500)
  • Chile (1500)
  • Turkey (100)
  • USA (No cap)
  • Malaysia (100)
  • Indonesia (1000)
  • Bangladesh (100)
  • Argentina (500)
  • Uruguay (200)
  • Papua New Guinea (not yet in force. 100 visas will be available)

Currently Australian is negotiating Working Holiday Visa programs with 13 more countries including Israel, Greece and Spain

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