Australia relaxes Working Holiday Visa rules for UK passport holders
New rules for UK passport holders will make life easier for those looking to travel to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. The Australian government has announced two important changes to the rules governing their Working Holiday Maker visa programme, also known as a backpacker visa.
Age changes to working holiday maker visa for UK citizens moving to Australia
The Australian government has raised the upper age limit of Working Holiday Visas to 35 years. From 1 July 2023, UK passport holders can apply for a Working Holiday Visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive. The upper age limit was previously 30 years old, so this is a change that will be welcomed by many British citizens.
Regional work changes for WHV requirements for UK passport holders
Currently, to be eligible for a second or third Working Holiday visa, you need to show that you have done at least three months of specified work to extent your working holiday to two years or six months of regional work to extent to three years.
From 1 July 2024, UK passport holders in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa will not have to do regional work to qualify for a second or third year visa.
While regional work is a great way to meet friends and experience new parts of Australia, this news will be welcomed by travellers who have not been enthusiastic about the prospect of completing their 88 days.
What is the Working Holiday Maker programme?
Australia’s Working Holiday Maker program (WHM) has been in place since 1975. It was established to allow young adults to have an extended holiday and support themselves by working in temporary jobs. It is a reciprocal arrangement, with similar allowances for Australian citizens wishing to work and holiday abroad in partner countries.
There are now 47 countries in the Working Holiday Visa program. The program includes visa subclass 417 and subclass 462 and allows you to work and holiday in Australia for a year, with opportunities to return for a second and third year if certain requirements are met.
Quick recap on rule changes to 417 visas
- From 1 July 2023 – UK passport holders aged 18 to 35 years old can travel to Australia on a working holiday visa.
- From 1 July 2024 – Regional Work requirements will be dropped for UK passport holders for 2nd and 3rd year Working Holiday Visas.
- These changes are only applicable for UK citizens and do not apply to Irish and other passport holders in the Working Holiday Visa programme.
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