Good News for Young Working Holiday Makers

In the past 12 months The Australian Government has made a number of positive changes that affect young working holiday makers visiting Australia. The changes affect both the Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) and the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462), and will allow more working holiday makers to enjoy the vast range of opportunities that Australia has to offer.

Lets firstly review the countries of which citizens are eligible for these visas:

Subclass 417:

  • Belgium

  • Canada

  • Republic of Cyprus

  • Denmark

  • Estonia

  • Finland

  • France

  • Germany

  • Hong Kong

  • Republic of Ireland

  • Italy

  • Japan

  • Republic of Korea

  • Malta

  • Netherlands

  • Norway

  • Sweden

  • Taiwan

  • United Kingdom

Subclass 462

  • Argentina

  • Bangladesh

  • Chile

  • China, People’s Republic of

  • Hungary

  • Indonesia

  • Israel

  • Luxembourg

  • Malaysia

  • Poland

  • Portuga

  • lSan Marino

  • lovak Republic

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Thailand

  • Turkey

  • United States of America

  • Uruguay

  • Vietnam

Tax Rates

One of the most notable changes is that Working holiday makers only pay 15% tax of income up to $37,000.  This is considerably less than the previous tax rate of 32.5%. Anything earned over $37,000 will be taxed at the standard individual tax rates.

Age Increase

On the 1st of July 2017 the Migration Regulations were updated, and the age ranges for subclass 417 and 462 were increased from 18 – 30 years to 18 – 35 years old for passport holders from specified countries. However at this point in time, the Government hasn’t specified any countries that are subject to the age increase so the age limit remains 18 – 30 for all countries. The legislative framework is in place for the age limit to increase for some countries, so stay tuned for updates.

Employment Condition Update

Previously working holiday makers weren’t able to work for the same employer for more than 6 months. However, this has now changed and working holiday makers are able to work for the same employer for 12 months as long as the second 6 months is worked at a different premises, in a different region. For example: Different hotels, resorts or restaurants that are part of the same chain.

In special circumstances it’s also possible to extend employment beyond 6 months and remain with the same employer in the same location. For example: Au pairs are sometimes able to extend their stay with a family beyond 6 months if a letter of support is provided by the family. This also applies to working holiday makers in certain areas of Northern Australia, as well as some aged care and disability workers. In all other situations extensions will only be approved if there are exceptional circumstances that affect an Australian.

Potential Countries to be added to the Work and Holiday Program

In the past 12 months there have been a number of additional countries added to the Work and Holiday Program including China, Hungary, Israel, Luxembourg, San Marino, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Vietnam. Work and Holiday visas are capped per country per year, with the exception of the USA, which has no cap.

Australia is currently negotiating new Work and Holiday arrangements with the following countries:

  • Andorra

  • Austria

  • Brazil

  • Croatia

  • Czech Republic

  • Ecuador

  • Fiji

  • Greece

  • India

  • Latvia

  • Lithuania

  • Mexico

  • Monaco

  • Mongolia

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Peru

  • Philippines

  • Singapore

  • Solomon Islands

  • Switzerland

Cap Increase for Chilean and Argentinian Nationals

As of the 1st of July 2017 the number of Work and Holiday Visa places for Australian, Chilean and Argentinian nationals under 31 years of age has increased. There will now be 2000 reciprocal Visa places annually for Australian and Chilean nationals, and 1500 visa places annually for Australian and Argentinian nationals.

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About the author

Nick Hansen

Nick has been a Registered Migration Agent since 2016 when he founded Hansen Migration. Since then he has helped many migrants obtain permanent residency in Australia and Australian citizenship.

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