5th November 2018

Changes to the working holiday visa programme

Changes have been made to raise the upper limit of the working holiday visa to Australia from 31 to 35 for holders of Canada or Ireland passports, effective 1st November 2018 . Additionally, changes have been announced to allow some working holiday visa holders the opportunity to apply for a third working holiday visa from 1st July 2019. Other changes have been announced which relate to regional or specified work for working holiday visa holders and an increase in the annual caps applicable to subclass 462 (work and holiday) visas.

Who will be affected?

Applicants for working holiday visas primarily. There may be some tangential benefit to employers.


In September 2016 the Australian government announced that there would be future changes to the working holiday visa program which included provisions to raise the upper limit to 35 for specific countries on a bi-lateral basis. Other changes are designed to assist farmers to access a larger pool of overseas workers.


Canada and Ireland passport holder may benefit directly from the increase to the age limit.

Other changes which have a regional impact include:

  • additional priority areas to be added for plant and animal cultivation for second working holiday visa eligibility;
  • the extension of the period working holiday visa holders may work with the same agricultural employer from six to 12 months;
  • the option of a third WHM visa for applicants who complete six months regional work while holding their second working holiday visa.

Santa Fe analysis:

Whilst these changes can clearly benefit working holiday visa applicants and holders, there may also be benefits for employers who engage working holiday visa holders in their businesses. Should you require further clarification please contact Santa Fe directly.

For further information or assistance please contact:

Simon Delmo
Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation Australia
Registered Migration Agent No. 1066328
T: +61 3 9554 7393
E: Simon.Delmo@santaferelo.com

Byron Lewis
Regional Immigration Manager
Santa Fe Relocation Hong Kong
D: +852 2586 6023
M: +852 9023 3109
E: Byron.Lewis@santaferelo.com

Soumeya Messadi
Head of Immigration Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa
Santa Fe Group, Singapore
D: +65 6398 3520 / +65 9169 6061
E: soumeya.messadi@santaferelo.com

To read more immigration updates, click here.

About our Immigration Services
Our immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.

About us
Santa Fe Relocation is a global mobility company specialising in managing and delivering high-quality relocation services worldwide. Our core competence is providing services that help corporations and their employees relocate and settle in a new country, assisting them with immigration, home and school searches, language and cultural training, property rentals, and domestic and international household goods shipments. We provide these services to a consistently high standard, locally and globally. A key strength is our ability to manage these services through our own operations around the world. Santa Fe Relocation is wholly owned by the Santa Fe Group, which is listed on NASDAQ in Copenhagen, Denmark. For more information, visit us at www.santaferelo.com

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