2016 has seen some great changes to the Australian working holiday programs and additional changes are planned for 2017. Visafirst.com, our registered visa partners gives us a brief summary below.
The work and holiday visa (462 subclass) has seen some exciting changes recently announced for all those visiting or planning to visit Australia from the USA and those countries eligible for the work and holiday program.
462 Second year visa extension – As of 18 November 2016, work & holiday program visitors can now avail of a second year visa extension. Once you complete 3 months (88 days) of regional work in Northern Australia after 18th November 2016, you may now be eligible to apply for a second year visa extension.
Regional work for the 462 visa program is classified as agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism or hospitality. Northern Australia is classified by postcodes and is considered to be the states of Northern Territories or Western Australia – north of the tropic of Capricorn. This extension will entitle you to remain in Australia for an extra 12 months or return at a later date to avail of the visa extension. Check here for the complete list of eligible countries.
Other changes announced earlier in the year to both the working holiday visa (417 subclass) and the work and holiday visa (462 subclass) are set to take effect from 1 January 2017. These changes are summarised below:
Age limit increase – The age limit for the working holiday maker program will increase from 31 to 36 allowing significantly more people to avail of the working holiday program. This will apply to both those on the working holiday visa 417 and those on the work and holiday visa 462.
Changes to work rights – until recently visitors on the working holiday program were restricted to working for a maximum of 6 months with and one employer. However, from 1 January 2017, this restriction will change and a working holiday maker can now stay with the employer for the full 12 months so long as the second 6 months is at a different location.
Reduced immigration fees – the current immigration fee for the 417 and 462 visa subclasses is set at AUD 440. This is set to drop by AUD 50 to AUD 390 which is great news for anyone considering applying on the program. This price reduction will also apply to anyone who wishes to apply for a second year visa extension also.
Tax rate changes – the tax rate on working holiday makers with income less than $37,000 will be reduced to from 32.5% to just 19%. The usual marginal tax rate will apply for income over $37,000.
Employers will now need to register with the Australian Taxation Office as an employer of working holiday makers for the lower tax rate.
Many working holiday makers apply for skilled visas, are sponsored by an employer or are sponsored by an Australian Partner.
To find out if you are eligible to apply for a sponsorship visa, a skilled visa, a defacto visa or other visa complete this simple form for a free assessment from www.visafirst.com – our registered migration agent partner.