Upcoming Changes to Benefit Working Holiday Makers
The Australian Government has announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker program which will come into effect from 1 January 2017. The changes will be beneficial to people applying for working holiday visas and will also benefit those already in Australia on working holiday visas.
Increase to Age Limit
Currently you must be under 31 to apply for a Working holiday or Work and Holiday visa. From 1 January you can be up to 35 years old. This will open program to people have previously missed their chance to apply for a Working Holiday in Australia.
Change to Work Rights
Working holiday visa holders cannot work more than six months with the same employer.
From 1 January, there will be more flexible arrangements, allowing an employer with premises in different regions to retain employees for up to 12 months, providing the second six months is in a different location.
Reduction in Application Fees
The current application fees are $440. The new application fees will be $390, saving you $50.
The tax rate on working holiday makers with income less than $37,000 will be 19%. This is reduced from the current 32.5%. The usual marginal tax rate will apply for income over $37,000.
The employer will need to register with ATO as an employer of working holiday makers for the lower rate to be applicable. The register of employers will be public and is intended to tighten the integrity of the tax system.
On the other hand the tax on working holiday makers’ superannuation when they leave Australia will be increased to 95% from 1 July 2017. This effectively means working holiday makers will forfeit their superannuation on departing Australia.
Most of this is good news for working holiday makers.
In order to attract more working holiday makers there will be $10 million spent on an international advertising campaign.
Many working holiday makers will look at applying for permanent or long stay visas to extend their stay in Australia. Working holiday makers enjoy a number of advantages in applying for further visas. For instance the best age to apply for skilled migration is 25 to 32 and points are available for skilled work experience in Australia.
Many working holiday visa holders are sponsored by employer or by Australian partners.