You will soon be able to take a legitimate working holiday in Australia, if your idea of working is picking fruit, tilling land and other serious farm work. The country plans to expand the ‘Working Holiday Maker’ visa programme to over a dozen countries, including India, to solve its growing labour shortage problem.
The ‘Working Holiday Maker Programme’ is a cultural exchange that enables young travellers to extend their holidays and earn money through short-term employment.
The programme has two categories: 417 (Working Holiday) and 462 (Work and Holiday). Immigration Minister David Coleman told ABC ‘Work and Holiday’ applicants must meet minimum requirements before a visa can be granted, including having a functional level of English. They also must hold a tertiary educational qualification or be studying towards it.
The ‘Working Holiday’ visa, on the other hand, has no such requirements. However, to qualify, you must be between 18-30 years of age. You must prove that travel is your chief purpose for being in Australia, and the work is incidental. And that you have enough funds to sustain your stay. This visa is typically granted for a year of a ‘working holiday’ in Australia. As about the nature of work, it typically involves farm work and other forms of physical labour.
Besides India, the Australian government plans to extend the scheme to backpackers from 13 countries—Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Switzerland, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Andorra, Monaco and Mongolia—to fill in job openings in regional businesses as well as farms.
Nearly 150,000 people were on the visa in Australia until March. However, the programme has shrunk over the past few years, creating a shortage of workers in regional parts of the country. It has also been noted that the working holiday visa guests are mostly in the regional areas, and when they spend, it tends to improve regional economies.
Lastly, depending on the skilled occupation list, you may also be eligible to apply for a Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa later under certain circumstances. You can check it here.
So, well, now you have this beautiful country to work and travel for a short amount of time while earning money as well.