Australian Working Holiday scheme to stay the same

10 February 2005


Australia will not make any changes to Working Holidaymaker arrangements for British nationals, despite changes announced February 9 to the UK working holidaymaker program.

Australia's Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) announced on February 10 that it had concluded negotiations to formalize the Working Holidaymaker scheme with its British counterparts, and that the conditions would remain the same. This is despite changes announced yesterday to the UK program that will only allow working holidaymakers from Commonwealth countries to be employed for twelve months out of the twenty-four month period, and to only take jobs incidental to their holidays.

Under the arrangement, young Britons aged between 18 and 30 can apply for working holiday visas to Australia for up to 12 months. Employment must be incidental to the main purpose of holidaying and you are not allowed to work for one employer for more than three months.

"Both countries have benefited greatly from the arrangement. The program provides young Australians with a chance to gain valuable skills overseas, thereby increasing Australia's competitiveness in the global market, while enabling young people from the United Kingdom to come to Australia on working holidays," Australia's Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone said in a statement.

Australia has Working Holidaymaker arrangements with 18 countries including the UK. Last year 95,750 visas were issued under the program, of which over one third - 35,061 - went to UK nationals.