International Travel

Danielle McCarthy

The visa change coming to Australia

The visa change coming to Australia

The Government have revealed that there will soon be important changes to the rules around backpacker and working holiday visas.

Backpackers will soon be able to triple the length of their stay in Australia if they do extra agricultural work and they will no longer need to leave their job every six months.

The age limit for working holiday visas will be increased to 35 for people from some countries, while Pacific Islanders will be encouraged to remain in the country for three months if they undergo seasonal work.

A rule that previously forced some backpackers to work in northern Australia will also be scrapped, allowing them to instead work in a wider range of regions throughout the country.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison flagged the changes as he started a bus tour in Queensland yesterday.

Mr Morrison also promised a workforce test to ensure Australians get the first chance at claiming a job.

Speaking to the Courier Mail, he said: “Australians filling Australian jobs is my number one priority, but when this isn’t possible we need to ensure our farmers aren’t left high and dry with rotting crops, especially in the strawberry industry.”

An estimated 419,000 backpackers visited Australia last year, spending $920 million in regional areas.

The changes follow the Nationals failure to deliver a promised agricultural visa, and an attempt to force jobless Australians to pick fruit.

Last month at the National Farmers’ Federation 2018 National Congress, Mr Morrison defended the idea of an agricultural visa.

“We will work to establish an agriculture visa. That is the long-term solution,” Mr Morrison said.

What are your thoughts on the visa changes? Let us know in the comments below.