Working holiday visas (subclass 417 and 462) are a very common pathway for couples to live together in Australia for a while as they provide work rights and a long enough time for couples to establish their relationship in Australia.
Couples who meet overseas and would like to repatriate to Australia often use working holiday visas for the foreign partner (if they’re eligible) to see if they want to spend the rest of their lives in Australia.
In many cases that I see now, many couples actually meet while the foreign partner is on a working holiday visa travelling around Australia. This visa is, short of sponsorship, the next best visa type for couples to be together during the processing time.
To be eligible for a working holiday visa you must be under a certain age (depending on your home country) and from an eligible country.
The deal with working holiday visas is that if you do 3 months of farm work, you’ll get an extension to the visa for another year, giving you a total of 2 years of temporary residence in Australia. Now the good news is that you can extend that 2nd year by doing another 6 months of farm work. Once you’ve completed that, you’ll get an extra year with a maximum of 3 years in Australia.
So in total, if you do 9 months of farm work, you’ll get 3 years of working holiday visa in Australia.
Other changes include:
- Raising the eligibility age from 30 to 35 for some countries
- Increasing the intake quotas for some countries meaning more opportunities for people to come and visit and work in Australia
- The ability to work for one employer for 12 months (rather than the 6 months right now)
Overall these are welcome changes to the working holiday visa program and designed to address the labour shortages
Of course it must be said that working holiday visas are not intended for this use and if you apply for them with the specific intention of living with your partner then there could be problems in the approval process. However, it is not uncommon for foreign partners to first apply for this visa and then apply for a partner visa.
Thursday Answers are a response to questions submitted by readers on our regular Ask Mondays posts.
Every Monday I ask people to send in their questions and concerns and I select one to answer. In doing this, I hope you will see that a) you’re not alone in this, b) there are no stupid questions and c) we’re all here to help!
The visa application charge for Australian partner visa applications will increase on 1 July 2018.
The new visa application charge for Australian partner visas will be $7,160.
I urge everyone who can submit their application now to not delay. However be mindful that submitting incomplete applications may not be a good idea.
Once again I’m disappointed in this move by the government. When I first received the notice of this I thought to myself “the Australian government has done it again!”
As if the price of Australian partner visas was not high enough, they’ve decided to index it to inflation.
Whilst this increase is not as high as the previous one, I know couples have to forego a lot, scrimp and save to even get together the visa application charge. Not to mention the other associated fees.
So while this increase is a drop in the proverbial visa fee ocean, an extra $160 may still pose a problem for some couples trying real hard to stay afloat. This is especially true if the foreign partner does not have a job in Australia or due to visa restrictions can only work limited hours.
But like I always say, chin up and don’t be disheartened by this news. Love will find a way!
Full text here: Migration Amendment (Visa Application Charges) Regulations 2018
Australia Has Legalised Same-Sex Marriage And This Means More Opportunities For You
I think it’s time to discuss the impact of Australia legalising same-sex marriages.
I’ve always been a staunch supporter of legalising same-sex marriages because for me, love is love. It’s also the very premise of me writing this book: love is love and not even a government should have any say as to where and how you spend your life with your partner.
So although Australia legalised same-sex marriages in December last year, I’ve been relatively silent on the matter.
In fact, because it was legalised in December and I wrote the revised second edition in November, I wouldn’t have had time to update the book.
But there is a HUGE impact on same-sex couples.
Marriage certificates and proof of relationship
Here’s an interesting one and something that I make clear in the book but I realise I haven’t addressed to the public.
This question came to me by chance. Or rather, a very deliberate spam campaign. Someone was clearly mass emailing migration agents to see which one would help them out for free. While I would never give immigration advice over email like that I was inspired to write this article on the subject of marriage certificates as the only proof of relationship.