Working in Australia gets easier for thousands of Scots after visa change

A change to the working holiday visa means 16 million more Brits will be eligible to apply and head to the southern hemisphere for work.

Living and working in Australia has just become a lot easier for millions of British people.

The working age for a working holiday visa has been raised (from July 1, 2023) and conditions changed so those wanting to work in the southern hemisphere “don’t have to go and work on a farm”.

Working holiday visas have been extended to those aged 35 (up from 30) and next year the existing two-year limit will be upped to three years.

The agreement also benefits Australians looking to come and work in the UK.

The changes mean 16 million more people will be eligible to head to Australia with a working holiday visa.

Surfers on Bondi beach in Australia. / Credit: AP

When the agreement was struck trade minister Nigel Huddleston said the changes would make it more “flexible” for Britons to choose what sector they work in, meaning those wanting to find employment in the southern hemisphere “don’t have to go and work on a farm”.

Officials have also said the new rules would mean for the first time, UK service suppliers including architects, scientists, researchers, lawyers and accountants, will have access to visas to work in Australia without being subject to Canberra’s changing skilled occupation list.

Similar arrangements are due to be introduced in New Zealand with the increase in length of visas next July and a rise in the annual cap on UK Working Holiday Scheme to 15,000.

As part of the Wellington agreement, UK professionals, such as lawyers and auditors, will be able to work in New Zealand more easily, and bring their families with them, according to the department.

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