Australia expands Working Holiday Maker program for Polish nationals

From today, more young Polish nationals will be allowed to enter Australia through the Working Holiday Maker program.

The Australian government has increased the number of Work and Holiday visas annually available to Polish nationals from 500 to 1,500.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the increase is part of the Government’s plan to get more young people working in regional areas, particularly on farms to help with critical seasonal work.

“We know there are some jobs in regional Australia that aren’t being filled by Australian workers, and we are giving regional businesses the immigration settings to help them fill those roles,” Mr Coleman said. “The increase will provide additional support to our regional economies by providing farmers and other employers with access to more workers.”

Coleman continued: “The increase is also a testament to our strengthening people-to-people links between our two nations. It will provide more opportunities for cultural exchange and offer positive experiences for young adults of Australia and Poland.”

The additional places allow up to 1500 young people from Poland each year to enjoy a 12-month holiday in Australia, during which they may undertake short-term work and study.

While on their first visa, Polish nationals who undertake three months of specified work in a regional area will become eligible for a second Work and Holiday visa. If they complete a further six-months specified work in a regional area during their second year they will become eligible for a third-year visa.

The Work and Holiday visa requires first-time Polish applicants to hold or be studying towards tertiary qualifications and to speak functional English.

All workers in Australia have the same rights and protections at work, regardless of citizenship or visa status. Employers must pay the right wages as set by law, and provide a safe workplace.

Australia’s Working Holiday Maker Program currently has arrangements in place with 44 countries across the globe, including the UK.

Article published 1st October 2019