These arrangements allow up to 200 young adults from the Slovak Republic and up to 200 young adults from Slovenia each year to enjoy an extended holiday of up to 12 months in Australia, during which time they can undertake short term work and study. The arrangements also offer reciprocal opportunities for an equivalent number of young Australians to visit the Slovak Republic or Slovenia each year.
Under the program young people aged between 18-30 years may apply to travel to each other’s countries for one year to undertake short-term work and study.
Similar agreements already exist with Israel, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Poland, Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, Uruguay and Vietnam.
The Work and Holiday visa (sc462) differs from a Working Holiday visa (sc417) as it requires applicants to have the support of their government, hold or be studying towards tertiary qualifications and to speak functional English.
The programs grew by close to 16% last year with the grant of over 258,000 visas. DIBP is reportedly looking to expand the program further saying that the program significantly benefits the economy in general and is of particular importance to the hospitality and tourism sectors. DIBP is currently in the process of negotiating new and more liberalised program with 12 new partner countries including Mexico, Hungary, San Marino, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Andorra.
The programs have been a popular stepping stone to the 457 visa and subsequently a permanent residence visa. Many skilled visa holders on this program with carefully prepared and planned migration pathways have successfully made the transition.
Currently, unlike the sc417 program, the sc462 program does not allow applicants to apply for a second year work and holiday visa. However, the DIBP has announced it is considering changes which will allow Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa holders to extend their stay in Australia by a further 12 months if they work for at least three months in agriculture or tourism in northern Australia.