Australia extends Working
Holiday visa age limit
to 35

Recent visa changes mean it is now easier for young British nationals to live and work in Australia.

A long-awaited amendment came into force on 1 July 2023, which saw Australia extend the age limit for its Working Holiday visa to 35 – a five-year increase from the original limit of 30.

This visa change was an important part of the trade deal struck between Australia and the UK which came into force in May, which also makes it easier for Australian nationals to stay and work in the UK.

Further changes to the Working Holiday visa will be introduced exactly a year later, on 1 July 2024, when British nationals will be able to apply to live and work in Australia for up to three years without any specified work requirements. Currently, to be eligible for a second or third Working Holiday visa applicants must show that they have completed a prescribed minimum period of work in specified industries such as agricultural labour.

Australia offers many benefits to young Brits wishing to experience life abroad, including a warmer climate, higher wages, low unemployment and no language barrier for English speakers.

Sally Cope, Tourism Australia’s regional general manager for the UK and Northern Europe said: “This five-year age range increase presents a world of openings to these young professionals. And whilst the opportunities are endless, Australia also offers an incredible lifestyle – where else can you be in the boardroom at 4pm and by the beach an hour later? We’re sure there are many 30–35-year-olds who thought they had missed their chance to live and work Down Under who will jump at this exciting prospect; and Australia is ready to welcome them.”

The extended age limit means 16 million more Brits are now eligible to apply for a Working Holiday visa, if they meet the requirements.

What is a Working Holiday visa?

Australia’s Working Holiday visa is for young adults who want an extended holiday and to earn money whilst travelling. To apply, you must:

  • Be aged 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries)
  • Have a passport from an eligible country or jurisdiction
  • Not be accompanied by dependent children.

A Working Holiday visa is granted for a period of 12 months. During this time, you can do any kind of work and study for up to 4 months. You can also travel to and from Australia as many times as you like. If you wish to stay for longer, you can apply for a second and subsequently a third Working Holiday visa, each with a validity period of 12 months.

Australia currently has Working Holiday visa agreements with 19 countries: Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

How to apply for a Working Holiday visa

You must apply for a Working Holiday visa online from outside Australia. As part of the application process, you will need to submit certain documents and show that you have enough money for your stay in Australia.  This is usually AUD5,000. The application fee for a Working Holiday visa is currently AUD635.00.

After you apply, the Australian government will notify you in writing if your application has been granted or refused. 90% of applications are processed within 19 days, although in some cases you may get a decision in as little as 1 day.

Detailed steps on how to apply for a Working Holiday visa can be found here.

The UK’s Youth Mobility Scheme

The Working Holiday scheme is part of a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Australia. This means that Australians can also benefit from a similar visa offering if they wish to live and work temporarily in the UK, under the Youth Mobility Scheme. With a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, you can stay in the UK and work for up to 2 years.

Currently, the Youth Mobility Scheme is open to eligible citizens from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, South Korea and Taiwan.

Help with your visa application

If you are interested in applying for a Working Holiday visa or a Youth Mobility Scheme visa and require support with the application process, Smith Stone Walters can help.

Our immigration experts can assess your eligibility and support you throughout the entire process. To find out more about our immigration services, please contact us today.

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