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Reversal of Policy for Working Holiday Makers in Australia

By 21 December 2023No Comments

In a complete reversal of previous advice, the Department of Immigration yesterday confirmed to us that Working Holiday Makers would again be able to assume permission to work for the same employer for more than 6 months if their work will be:

  • in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months
  • in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia
  • in certain industries, including aged care and disability services, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, construction and mining, in northern Australia only (see website for a definition of Northern  Australia)
  • in natural disaster recovery
  • in critical sectors, including agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care and childcare, anywhere in Australia
  • in the critical sector of tourism and hospitality anywhere in Australia

This remarkable turn-around comes after the immigration industry and employers raised serious concerns about the impacts of the previous policy shift which stated that written permission would need be sought in all cases after 1 January 2024 (see our Alert of 8 December 2023)

Individuals who have lodged requests for permission can continue in their employment until they receive a response. Individuals who have not yet made such a request will not need to do so provided they fall within the circumstances listed above.

This is great news for Christmas for many industries and shows that Government will listen when policies do not make sense for employers, employees and the economy. However as this will be all reviewed in 2024 as part of the Government’s  Migration Strategy we expect the government is looking to tighten up the program and this policy relaxation may be short lived.

As always you should contact your Ajuria team for more information and assistance.

Author Ajuria

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