New rules for Australia-UK working holiday visa

Author Angela Franks
June 6, 2023

Australia and the UK have agreed to put in place new arrangements under the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program and Youth Mobility Scheme following entry into force of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (Australia-UK FTA)​.

The UK and Australia have agreed upon a “historic” trade deal, the British government’s first major deal since leaving the EU.

The deal, which relaxes trade and visa arrangements between the two countries, was agreed more than a year ago, but now having worked its way through both the Australian and British parliaments, it will start taking effect within weeks.

The deal would make it easier for Australians to live and work in the United Kingdom, and for British citizens to do the same in Australia.

The deal will increase the working holiday visa age limit from 30 to 35 and give Australians and Britons a total of three years (an increase from 2 years) to live and work in each other’s countries, as well as removing requirements for UK citizens to work in regional areas to access visa extensions in Australia.

It will also give UK professionals including architects, scientists, researchers, lawyers and accountants access to Australian work visas without being subject to Australia’s skilled occupation list.

Professionals will also benefit from provisions to support mutual recognition of qualifications and greater certainty for skilled professionals entering the UK or Australian labour markets.

Commencement of new arrangements

UK Passport Holders to Australia

  • from 1 July 2023, UK passport holders can apply for a Working Holiday visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive
  • from 1 July 2024, UK passport holders can be granted up to three separate Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements.

Australian Passport Holders to the UK

  • from 31 January 2024, Australian passport holders can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive
  • from 31 January 2024, Australian passport holders will be able to apply to extend the 24-month visa by one additional year, for a total of 3 years.

New Zealand Passport Holders to the UK

  • from 29 June 2023, New Zealand passport holders can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive
  • from 29 June 2023, New Zealand passport holders will be able to apply to extend the 24-month visa by one additional year, for a total of 3 years.

For more details on international relocations, and/or a confidential conversation on opportunities available, please contact our Frazer Jones consultants.

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