Call for working holiday visa rule change to lure backpackers

November 21, 2015
Australian Forum for Tourism and Transport (TTF) have called on Federal Government to enlarge the working holiday visa extensions which are going to apply in the north of Australia to the rest of the nation.

From 21st November, the visa holders who will take on the job in the Northern regions of Australia would be able to apply to the job for the only employer for one year period, compared to the previous six months.

Call for working holiday visa rule change to lure backpackers

According to the Margy Osmond, TTF CEO, it make common sense to make changes to the working holiday visas. She believed that the six months time was not lengthy enough with single employer when the training of the staff can take up to three months of time.

Margy Osmond also told that the expansion of the job period for working holidays in the Australian northern region was positive, but it required to be extended across the nation, as the hospitality industry was already facing shortage of workers.

The immigration department statistics showed the working holiday visa numbers which are issued every year has dropped down by around 35,000 to 2,15,800 over the previous two years. At the same time, a study reports also revealed that the hospitality industry was witnessing the shortage of around 38,000 workers.

As part of the reforms which was announced in the previous federal budget, from the month of July, the working holiday makers would need to pay around 32.55 tax rather than having a tax free threshold of around $18,000.  They would need to pay 35% tax on the worker superannuation contributions they get when they leave the nation.

Osmond also pointed out that the shortage of employees was expected to raise to 1,23,000 workers by the year 2020 and that the visa change is required to help stop the deficit.

Previous year the Australian Federal Government issued 2,26,812 visas.
According to the Northern Territory chief minister Adam Giles, the backpackers are favouring Canada and New Zealand over Australia and the Northern Territory.

Mr. Giles had called for lowering the price of visas from the present $440 to be much effective against the Canada’s $150 fee, and to raise the age to 35 from 30 and to reverse the planned reforms to the tax-free threshold from 1st July.

Mr. Giles had written to the PM Malcolm Turnbull, Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Northern Australia, and Senator Richard Colbeck, Tourism Minister for expressing other concerns regarding the visa system.

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