Working holiday extension a boon for backpackers and employers
Tuesday 1 July 2008
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, today announced a measure to further expand the working holiday visa program in Australia.
‘From today, working holiday visa holders who have worked in the construction industry in regional Australia for at least three months will be eligible to apply for a second working holiday visa,’ Senator Evans said.
‘Extending this concession to construction will help this booming industry by encouraging people on working holidays to undertake short-term construction work in regional Australia.’
Until now, second working holiday visas have only been available to those who have worked for a primary producer in regional Australia for at least three months.
This initiative has helped thousands of farmers across Australia, with almost 12 000 second working holiday visas expected to be granted in 2007-08.
‘This measure will further boost the number of people coming to Australia on working holiday visas to work, play and spend money,’ Senator Evans said.
‘We are seeing a record backpacker program this year, which is great for businesses, especially in regional Australia, and good news for Australia’s tourism industries.’
The number of working holiday makers has more than doubled in the past 10 years, with 155 000 visas likely to be granted in 2007-08 compared to 134 612 in 2006-07.
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship estimates that up to 180 000 visas may be granted in 2008-09.
The department expects this growth to continue, given Australia’s popularity as a working holiday destination, the new measures, and negotiations with possible new arrangement countries.
Young Australians are also able to work and holiday in the 23 countries participating in the Working Holiday and Work and Holiday programs countries.
‘The increasing numbers of working holiday makers will continue to meet the needs of other industries that employ the backpackers and will not be disadvantaged by the extension of the concession to the construction industry,’ Senator Evans said.
Last update: 13 August 2008 at 17:14 AEST