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Australia working holiday visa program to include Indians

Australia working holiday visa

Plans are afoot to expand the Australia working holiday visa program by including more than a dozen countries including India. Australia is planning to include more countries in the Working Holiday Maker visa program with an aim to address the labour shortage in the regional areas of the country. Under the program, workers will be recruited to the regional areas of Australia, especially farms, informed Australia Immigration Minister David Coleman.
The Australia working holiday visa program called the ‘Working Holiday Maker Programme’ includes the ‘Working Holiday Visa’ and the ‘Work and Holiday Visa’. This cultural exchange program enables young travellers to enjoy an extended holiday in Australia while earning money through short-term employment.
The Australia government is planning to expand the scheme by including 13 more countries in order to help regional businesses find workers to work on farms. Other than India, the countries which are likely to be included in the scheme are Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Switzerland, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Andorra, Monaco and Mongolia.
Currently, the Australia visa program which allows backpackers to work while they stay in Australia is witnessing a decline, which has resulted in a shortage of workers in the regional areas of Australia. As on March 2019, only 150,000 people work in the country under an Australia working holiday visa program, which means the program has shrunk significantly over the past five years.
Coleman observed that those who hold holiday visa travel further in the regional areas of the country compared to other international visitors. They also spend substantial amounts, which help to boost the country’s economy.
However, the applicants for the Australia working holiday visa will have to meet certain criteria including a functional level or English and tertiary level education qualifications.
Currently, there are two types of Australia working holiday visas under Subclass 417 and Subclass 462. While the 417 visa scheme targets citizens of countries such as the UK, Canada, Germany and Sweden, the 463 visa includes countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Bangladesh. Indians are not eligible under both these categories.
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