Changes to the Seasonal Worker Program
• Increase work period in Australia to nine months for all workers (currently six months for some countries).
• Increase validity of labour market testing prior to taking on workers from three to six months.
• Reduce out of pocket expenses for employers (workers repay their full travel costs except for the first $300; a reduction from the previous $500).
Working Holiday Maker Visas – third visa amendments
Legislative Instrument – F2019L00196 – Migration Amendment (Working Holiday Maker) Regulations 2019, increases the maximum number of Subclass 417 and 462 visas a person may hold in Australia to three visas.
These Regulations increase the maximum number of ‘working holiday maker’ visas from two to three, where the visa holder meets additional work requirements.
The applicant is required to complete 6 months specified work in specified circumstances in order to be eligible for a third ‘working holiday maker’ visa.
Applicants for third WHV must have undertaken 6 months specified work while holding a second WHV and that this work was carried out on or after 1 July 2019.
This Instrument commences on 1 July 2019.
Subclass 462 – Extra postcodes for areas of work in all states, NT and Norfolk Island
Additional postcodes for NSW, Norfolk Island, the NT, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and WA are specified for the work specified in Schedule 4 of this Instrument. Schedule 4 of this Instrument contains a list of jobs in the agricultural industry only.
Work and Holiday visas – Spain and Israel – increases
In common with general increases in the number of working holiday maker, and work and holiday visa places available, further places have been announced for citizens of Spain and Israel.
The number of places available to Spanish citizens will increase to 3,400.
The number for Israeli citizens will increase to 2,500.
These changes came into effect on 28 December 2018.
Citizens of both countries will be eligible to extend their stay for a second and third year where they meet the criteria for those extensions.
Minister Coleman’s full media release is available here