Changes to the WHM visa program include:
- From 5 November 2018, expanding the regional areas where subclass 462-visa holders can work in agriculture (plant and animal cultivation) to qualify for the second year of stay in Australia. Currently, only those who work in Northern Australia are eligible.
- From 5 November 2018, increasing the period in which subclass 417 and 462 visa holders can stay with the same agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) employer, from 6 to 12 months.
The option of a third-year for subclass 417 and 462 visa holders who, after 1 July 2019, undertake 6-months of specified work in a specified regional area during their second year.
- Increase the eligible age for subclass 417 visa applicants from Canada and Ireland to 35.
Employers will be able to retain trained and experienced employees doing agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) work for up to 12-months, rather than the previous 6-months.
The availability of a third-year visa will attract working holiday makers to work for longer in regional Australia.