Australia and UK Updates to Shared Visa Schemes

Australia and the United Kingdom have agreed to establish more generous arrangements under the Working Holiday Maker program and Youth Mobility Scheme. This follows the entry into force of the Australia/UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The principal changes are as follows:

  • Effective 1 July 2023, UK nationals will be able to apply for a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa if they are between 18 and 35 years old, an increase from the previous upper limit of 30 years old
  • From 1 July 2024, they will also be eligible for a second and third Working Holiday visa without having to show (as currently) that they have completed at least three or six months of ‘specified work.’ Specified work is undertaken in a ‘specified’ industry and in a specified area of Australia.

UK passport holders can apply for a first, second, and third Working Holiday visa at any time while they still meet the eligible age requirement. They do not need to stay in Australia for three years in a row. Applicants can lodge applications for second and third Working Holiday (subclass 417) visas in or outside Australia.

If a UK passport holder has already spent one or two years in Australia on a Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa before the new arrangements commence, they can apply for the remaining visa(s) under the new arrangements from 1 July 2024, avoiding the ‘specified work’ requirement.

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.

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