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.