On Monday, November 5, Australia announced its decision to extend the validity of the Working Holiday Visa. This decision was engendered by the rising shortage of farm labourers in the country.
So with this change, holders of the backpacker visa simply have to spend a minimum of six months in Australia doing agricultural work, and they will automatically be allowed to stay for up to 3 years there.
Before now, the provisions of the “Working Holiday Maker” visa only let travellers who worked in the Northern Territory to stay a second year.
When does it take effect?
Effective from July 2019, holders of this visa can extend their stay for up to 3 years if they work for six months in agricultural regions that are lacking in sufficient labour force.
This visa extension was announced by Scott Morrison, Australia’s Prime Minister, while on a visit to the eastern Australian state of Queensland.
Australia has a rather conservative government that has since last year, been chipping off the length of temporary working visas in a bid to cut down on migration into the country.
Unfortunately, this has affected the agricultural sector in that they lack adequate manpower, especially during harvest.
Between 2017 and 2018, Australia granted more than 200,000 working holiday maker visas. There are 45 countries eligible to apply for this visa, but successful applicants are mostly from Britain, France, and Germany. Singapore citizens are also eligible to apply, but they must be ranging from 18 to 30 years of age at the time of application.
Last week, the University of New South Wales in a survey discovered that most international students and backpack visa holders who work in Australia are paid just a little percentage of the minimum wage.
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