Backpackers Are Granted More And More Work Visas In Australia

29 Aug 2013


Immigration News

According to the new immigration data, there is a 1/3rd surge in the number of foreigners that were granted ‘working holiday’ visas since the beginning of the global financial crisis. Latest data shows that during 2012-13, the Immigration Department issued a record 249,231 backpacker visas.

The number of young backpackers from Taiwan, Italy and China who were granted visas during 2012-13 has increased 3 times than compared to the start of the global financial crisis in 2008-09. The number of backpackers has jumped 52% from France, 29% from Germany and 15% from the UK.

These visas are popular with employers in regional areas, who rely on foreign backpackers to work on farms, pick fruit, pour beers, wait tables and clean hotels. At present, Australia hosts nearly half a million working-age migrants who have arrived since 2011 on temporary or permanent visas.

New migrants account for 85% of the 126,900 total increase in the number of workers in Australia during the year. Backpackers from 29 countries can work in Australia for up to a year, as long as they do not spend more than 6 months with each employer.

Individuals who spend at least 3 months working in a remote area may apply to stay for a 2nd year. Under reciprocal agreements, Australian backpackers can also work overseas in the same countries.

This year, Uruguay and Argentina were added to the working holiday program, and the federal government is negotiating with 13 more countries including Vietnam, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Portugal, the Czech Republic and Israel.

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