April 21, 2024

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Australia raises the working holiday visa age limit, attracting over-30s

The age limit for working holiday visas in Australia has been raised to 35, opening up new opportunities for millions of British citizens. Previously set at 30, the extension means that approximately 16 million adults from the UK are now eligible to live and work in Australia.

This change is a significant component of the free trade agreement that was established between the two countries last year. Additionally, Australians will find it easier to work and travel in the UK, as a similar agreement was reached between the UK and New Zealand to expand working holiday visas for individuals up to the age of 35.

Under this new scheme, British citizens can now reside and work in Australia for a maximum of three years. By 2024, various restrictions on the type of work permitted for visitors will be lifted, allowing for greater flexibility across industries.

Previously, British working holidaymakers were required to complete 88 days of agricultural work for each additional year they wished to stay in Australia. These rules are being relaxed to enable visitors to work more freely.

It is important to note that the three-year allowance does not need to be consecutive and can be utilised at any time until the age of 35. Sally Cope, the UK regional general manager for Tourism Australia, expressed enthusiasm for the upcoming major sporting events in Australia, such as the FIFA Women’s Football World Cup and the 2032 Olympics in Brisbane, stating that these events provide temporary contract work opportunities that young visitors seek.

Tourism Australia reports approximately 35,000 arrivals from the UK on working holiday visas each year, with many individuals choosing to stay longer. Conversely, Australians will benefit from eased restrictions as they can now apply for UK working holiday visas until the age of 35, extending their stay to three years instead of two.

Australia remains a desirable destination for young Europeans due to its appealing lifestyle and slightly higher wages compared to many European countries. Currently, Australia’s minimum wage stands at $21.38 (£11.22), while the UK’s minimum wage for individuals aged over 23 is £10.42.