Elin Holm first fell in love with Australia while on a university student exchange from Sweden as a 23-year-old several years ago. She always felt that she wanted to come back but due to her career she didn’t. In 2020, aged 30, Ms. Holm decided she needed a career break, and that was when she realised that, whoa, she’s reaching that age limit and she better do it now otherwise or she will lose her chance. Shortly after she submitted her application, the world was turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Australia’s border closures and a visa processing backlog meant she waited around 18 months to learn that her Working Holiday visa application had been approved, with a year to take it up if she wished. Last month, age 33, Ms Holm finally returned to Australia, and now plans to spend the year exploring the country, working, and following a teenage dream of becoming a life coach after being accepted to study an online course.
Working Holiday visas, often referred to as ‘backpacker visas’, are currently restricted to citizens of eligible countries aged 18-30, and up to age 35 for a small handful including Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and soon the UK. The age restriction for Swedish nationals is 30. The Working Holiday Maker program (WHM) was established in 1975 to allow young adults to have an extended holiday and support themselves by working in temporary jobs. The
program is reciprocal in nature, with similar arrangements for Australian citizens wishing to work and holiday abroad in partner countries.
As industries including tourism and hospitality grapple with worker shortages as they struggle to bounce back from the pandemic, the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTFA) has been leading calls to expand working holiday visas, suggesting that the age limit be raised to 50. TTFA CEO Margy Osmond said, “One solution to help address the skills shortage in tourism is to increase the age limit for working holidaymakers to 50. This would open up a whole new market of workers from overseas with a wider range of skills and experience that could benefit our industry.”
Elin Holm, who just narrowly qualified for a working holiday visa at 33, thinks it’s a great idea. She believes that “People my age … we have different values, I think, than previous generations. We might start with something and then if we realise that, no, this company, or this role, or this life that I’m doing right now, it’s not according to what I want from life, we might not realise that when we are 20, we might realise that when we are 28, or 35, and then to still have the chance to kind of go and explore something else, another country, and maybe explore a different kind of job.”
Here are the summary points of the article:
- Elin Holm, a 33-year-old Swedish national, returned to Australia on a working holiday visa after a 18 months wait due to COVID-19 pandemic
Working holiday visas, often referred to as ‘backpacker visas’, are currently restricted to citizens of eligible countries aged 18-30, and up to age 35 for a small handful of countries
The Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTFA) has called for the age limit for working holiday visas to be raised from 30 to 50
TTFA argues that raising the age limit would open a new market of workers with a wider range of skills and experience that could benefit industries struggling with worker shortages as they recover from the pandemic
Elin Holm supports this change as she believes it allows for more people to make a change, or simply just have a break and come and help out
Working holiday visa program includes visa subclass 417 and subclass 462 and allows to work and holiday in Australia for a year, with opportunities to return for a second and third year if certain requirements are met.
There are now 47 countries participating in Australia’s program, and applicants can apply at a cost of $510. The program includes visa subclass 417 and subclass 462 and allows them to work and holiday in Australia for a year, with opportunities to return for a second and third year if certain requirements are met. In conclusion, the Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTFA) is pushing to raise the age limit for Working Holiday Visa from 30 to 50 to address the shortage of workers in tourism and hospitality industry. This would open a new market of workers with a wider range of skills and experience that could benefit the industry. People like Elin Holm who just barely made the cut-off and are interested in exploring different options and possibilities are in favor of this change.
Talk to the migration team at No Borders Law Group today.
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