Eligibility for working holiday visas has increased to 35 years of age for Canadian and Irish applicants, while negotiations to increase the limit for other countries are continuing.
An undisclosed number of countries are negotiating with the Australian government on the possibility of increasing the eligible age limit for working holiday visas, after it was announced that a similar deal was reached with Canada and Ireland.
"Reciprocity is a key feature of the program, enabling eligible young people from Australia to also work and holiday in partner countries," a Department of Home Affairs (DHA) spokesperson told SBS Italian. "The department is in negotiations with other countries regarding the age increase and further details will be announced in due course."
SBS Italian can confirm that Italy is among those countries. A spokesperson at the Embassy of Italy in Canberra told SBS Italian that Italian officials are currently negotiating a possible increase in the eligible age for subclass 417 visa applicants from 30 to 35 with the Australian government.
On November 7, the Australian Government announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program to support regional and rural communities.
According to an announcement published on the to the DHA website, the eligible age for subclass 417 visa applicants from Canada and Ireland has increased to 35.
According to the same announcement, the changes to the WHM visa program also include:
- The option of a third-year for subclass 417 and 462 visa holders who, after 1 July 2019, undertake 6-months of specified work in a specified regional area during their second year.
- From 5 November 2018, expanding the regional areas where subclass 462-visa holders can work in agriculture (plant and animal cultivation) to qualify for a second year of stay in Australia. Currently only those who work in Northern Australia are eligible.
- From 5 November 2018, increasing the period in which subclass 417 and 462 visa holders can stay with the same agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) employer, from 6 to 12 months.
- Over the coming weeks, offering an increase in the annual caps to a number of countries that participate in the subclass 462 visa program.
For more information on the announced changes to the WHM visa program, visit the DHA website.