Tuesday 17 January 2017

Australia Wants You! New deal urges 18-30s to work Down Under

Australia Calling

Published 19/11/2016 | 01:00

Outback road mirror reflection, Central Midlands. Western Australia: Photo by May,ll/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Outback road mirror reflection, Central Midlands. Western Australia: Photo by May,ll/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Sydney Opera House and bridge, Australia. Photo: Deposit
A Qantas A380 flies over Sydney, Australia

Australia has ramped up its call for Irish travellers to apply for its Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa programme.

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Applications for the programme have tanked in recent years, with successful Irish applicants falling from 25,827 in 2011/12 to 6,743 in 2015/16.

Now, Tourism Australia and USIT are teaming up to target the Irish market with a €999 package including a one-way flight, visa and travel insurance.

The programme, running through late November and December, aims to inspire potential travellers to turn the dream of an Aussie lifestyle into reality.

It also includes help with setting up a bank account and tax file number.

Australian Working Holiday visas (subclass 417) are available to visitors aged 18-30 - a cohort of younger travellers seen as a key source of labour in the country, particularly in the agriculture, horticulture, tourism and hospitality sectors.

Sydney Opera House and bridge, Australia. Photo: Deposit
Sydney Opera House and bridge, Australia. Photo: Deposit

"Our Working Holiday Maker program provides the perfect launch-pad for a life-changing year, maybe even two, combining travel with temporary work," said John O’Sullivan, Managing Director with Tourism Australia.

"With this campaign we hope to reverse those declines.”

The WHM visa allows eligible applicants to work in Australia for up to two years - with around 5,000 Irish citizens expected to travel on it this year.

Tourism Australia's partnership with USIT is part of a broader package of measures announced by the Australian government to reinvigorate the visa. 

Other measures include a reduction in working holidaymaker tax rates from 32.5pc to 19pc on earnings up to $37,000 (€25,200), from January 1, 2017.

Working Holiday Maker visa applicants must:

  • Be aged 18-30 at the time of application
  • Hold a passport from an eligible partner country
  • Not be accompanied by dependent children during their stay in Australia
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Meet financial requirements

Examples of eligible work include picking fruit, herding cattle on a farm, painting buildings, conservation work, stud farming, landscaping and so on. The work doesn’t have to be carried out with one employer, or in one set block of time.

However, work must be undertaken in rural and regional Australia - which includes parts of New South Wales, parts of Queensland, parts of Victoria, parts of Western Australia and all of Tasmania, South Australia and the Northern Territory.

For more information visit australia.com/workingholiday.

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