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Australia Announces Backpacker (Work and holiday) Visa for Indian Citizens

Apr 07,2022

Australia announces Backpacker (Work and holiday) Visa for Indian Citizens

Australian Government has signed a free-trade agreement with India on April 2, 2022, and this news has left other countries of the world in shock. For a decade and over, India and Australia were struggling to decide for Indian migrants Planning to Work in Australia. But, with this initiative from Australia, a large volume of Indian workers will be able to work in Australia on Work and Holiday Visa.

Highlights:

  1. Work and Holiday Visas will be implemented for Indian nationality holders within 2 years.
  2. Visa Holders can work and stay in Australia for a year.
  3. The Australian government says it will benefit the cultural exchange between the two countries.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that the Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (AI ECTA) will open a “big door into the world’s fastest-growing major economy” for Australians. He further mentioned in his statement that, “this agreement has been built on our strong security partnership and our joint efforts in the Quad, which has created the opportunity for our economic relationship to advance to a new level”.

The Australian Prime Minister also mentioned that “This is expected to contribute to both workforce requirements and to boost tourism to support our post-COVID recovery”.

A longer post-study visa will be granted to top Science, IT, and Engineering graduates, which will open up new opportunities for Indian students.

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What is a Working Holiday Visa?

Young international students will be allowed to Work in Australia and it is an excellent opportunity for them to earn money on a Working Holiday Visa Program.

Under this program, 1000 Indian youngsters will be invited to holiday in Australia, given the condition that they have to work and contribute to Australia’s economy during this period of time. This program will be implemented within two years.

What is the difference between a Working Holiday Visa and Work and Holiday Visa?

A Brisbane-based immigration lawyer Prathap Lakshmanan explained that there are two types of working holiday programs in Australia:

  1. Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417)
  2. Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462).

They have many similarities, but some major differences too.

Working Holiday visa (Subclass 417)

  • Working Holiday Visa does not require any specific educational qualification.
  • Citizens of 19 countries, mostly European and a few Asian countries including Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Hong Kong, are invited by Australia under Working Holiday Visa.

Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462).

  • The Work and Holiday visa requires specific education qualifications and a certain level of English language proficiency as well.
  • However, the Work and Holiday visa is available to 26 countries including the USA, China, Singapore, and Indonesia.

Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Industry Dan Tehan, in a letter written to his Indian counterpart Piyush Gopal, said that the visa will “promote youth mobility and people-to-people ties for young Australian and Indian citizens who wish to visit Australia or India to broaden their professional and cultural horizons.”

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Who will be Eligible?

From a current statement by an Australian Official, it is now clear that “Only those who have completed at least two years of study after their secondary education and possess a functional level of English proficiency are eligible for the visa.”

Other Eligibility requirements:

  • Hold a valid Indian passport
  • Should be outside Australia at the time of visa application
  • Pay the visa application charge
  • Intend primarily to holiday in Australia for a period of up to 12 months
  • 18-30 years of age at the time of application
  • Applicants are strictly not allowed to be accompanied by dependent children
  • Proof of funds, bank statement.
  • Provide health and character certificates
  • Migrants who held any Working Holiday Visa previously are not eligible for this program

What does a Working Holiday Visa Offer?

  • Backpacker Visa holders can work in different sectors in Australia.” They can work in hospitality, so in cafes and restaurants; they can work on farms, they can work on some of our resort islands with their backpacker visa,” he added.
  • It will be a multiple-entry visa, that allows immigrants to stay in Australia for 12 months.
  • International citizens can take up employment in Australia during the visa. It is generally up to six months with one employer.
  • Those who are undertaking minimum periods of specified work will be eligible for applying for second and third work and holiday visas.

Australia invited up to 1,000 multiple-entry first Work and Holiday Visas for temporary stay for twelve calendar months to Indian citizens in its latest trade exchange agreement with India. If India implements any such program in the future, then it will be extended to Australian citizens. This approach will remove cultural barriers between these two countries and strengthen their relationship.

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