5 Mar 2020

Backpackers can choose to stay longer and contribute to bushfire recovery

Australia’s Working Holiday Maker Visa rules are changing to allow backpackers to stay an extra 6 months in Australia to help with bushfire recovery efforts.

These changes will benefit farmers and businesses in bushfire-affected areas as well as young travellers wanting to travel, work or volunteer in Australia, while contributing to communities in need.

The Working Holiday Maker visa program is currently available to young travellers between the age of 18 and 30, or up to 35 for Canadian, French and Irish citizens.

It allows backpackers from 40 partner countries to work and sight-see in Australia for one year, with extensions available in some cases.

There are two visa types in the Working Holiday Maker program. These are the Subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa and the Subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa. A person’s eligibility for a 462 or 417 Visa depends on their country of passport.

Working Holiday Australia | How will visa rules change?

The Government’s visa changes will relax and broaden existing visa conditions under the program. Here’s how the changes will apply:

-Young travellers who are granted a 462 Visa to assist with the bushfire recovery will be able to work in the same job for up to 12 months (rather than 6 months) without requiring approval from the Department of Home Affairs.
-Subclass 417 or 462 Visa holders can extend their visa to help with bushfire recovery work. Both paid or volunteer construction work in declared bushfire areas will count towards the ‘specified work’ needed for applying for a second or third year in Australia.

How backpackers can help

According to Alan Tudge, Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant services and Multicultural Affairs, “Hardworking Australians have been hit by the recent bushfires, but from today they can employ backpackers for six months longer, helping them at a critical time in the recovery effort.”

“It means working holiday makers can help rebuild homes, fences and farms… and help with demolition, land clearing and repairing dams, roads and railways,” he added.

Some of the regions declared to have been the most affected by the fires include areas of eastern Victoria, south-eastern New South Wales and Kangaroo Island in South Australia.

To find out if you are eligible for the program, or to discover how the Working Holiday Maker program can benefit your business, contact Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents at or 08 6263 4406.


Immigracious’ Registered Migration Agents

Business Insider

The Guardian

Migration Institute of Australia

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Uncategorized


Comments are closed.


Follow us