After a 20 month hiatus, Australia has reopened its borders to Working Holiday Makers.  A Working Holiday Maker is an adult, aged up to 30 years old (or 35 for some countries) who visits Australia for an extended holiday, where the purpose of their visit is to holiday in Australia, while working here to fund their trip.

The following visa categories allow individuals to come to Australia as Working Holiday Makers:

  • Subclass 417 visa
  • Subclass 462 visa

The type of visa is contingent on the applicant’s country of citizenship, level of English competency and educational background.  As a general proposition, the subclass 462 visa has stringent eligibility criteria relative to a subclass 417 visa (despite being open to more nations).

On 6 July 2022 the Australian Government relaxed rules surrounding vaccination evidence, whereby Australian citizens, permanent residents and visitors can now enter and leave Australia at any time without needing an individual travel exemption or proof of vaccination status.

What industries and areas can Working Holiday Makers work in?

Working Holiday Makers can work in any industry or area they like! However, to be eligible for a second or third Working Holiday Maker visa, the visa holder must complete 3 or 6 months of specified work, respectively.

The following industries and areas are approved for specified work within regional Australia:

  • tourism and hospitality;
  • plant and animal cultivation;
  • fishing and pearling;
  • tree farming and felling;
  • construction;
  • mining (specifically for subclass 417 visa holders).

Additionally, bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire-affected areas, flood recovery work in declared flood recover areas (undertaken on or after 1 July 2022, for applicants lodged on or after 1 July 2022) and critical COVID-19 work in the healthcare and medical sectors anywhere in Australia would enable further stay!

Talent shortages & an abundance of job opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic had significant impacts on the Australian job market. In some industries, businesses were challenged to digitise their work and business models at unprecedented rates. This proved challenging considering Australia lacked the skilled workers within these sectors.

From the Australian Bureau of Statistics, we note that job vacancies increased by 13.8% (58,200 vacancies) in the three months to May 2022 (seasonally adjusted).  The estimates captured a point in time when many businesses were recovering from the effects of the Omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The level of job vacancies in May 2022 was 111.1% higher than in February 2020, prior to the start of the pandemic.  The ongoing high level of vacancies reflects the pace of recovery in labour demand from the fall in May 2020, as well as businesses across the economy indicating labour shortages and ongoing disruptions to operations.

In addition, Australia has witnessed an exodus of temporary residents as well as Australians, who may have felt some frustration with the government’s response to the pandemic.  Accordingly, multiple industries are impacted by significant shortages – from hospitality to professional services.  The previous reference to specified work encapsulates the dire situation in parts of regional Australia and Australia more generally, where floods and bushfires have caused significant disruption to everyday life.  Notably, Australia is under equipped to manage the post-flood and bushfire recovery work without overseas labour.

Want to work and holiday in Australia?

Our colleagues at Work in Australia can help find you a job and get you job ready before you arrive in Australia!

Work in Australia has an extensive network of Australian employers with job postings on their website. Check out the different packages they offer and connect with them.

Gilton Valeo can answer your questions about Australia’s immigration system

As experts in Australian immigration, Gilton Valeo can guide you in identifying the best immigration pathways to bring people over to start your Australian office, provide you with strategic consulting along the way, and connect you with our partners to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Check out everything we offer on our website, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter!