Good news on visas
DOUGLAS Chamber of Commerce president Helen De Ross has hailed changes in the visa laws which mean visitors on working holidays can now remain with one employer for up to a year, instead of the previous six months.
It particularly affects workers in northern Australia in agriculture and tourism work.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said the changes - an initiative of the Government’s recent White Paper on Developing Northern Australia - would be of significant benefit to the agriculture and tourism sectors in the north of the country.
“These industries are highly seasonal and rely on short term workers to provide labour
flexibility in peak periods,” Mr Dutton said.
The changes will also apply to work in northern Australia in aged and disability care, construction and mining. “This is great news!,” said Ms De Ross.
“People with longer working visas and working and holiday visas are fantastic for this region.
“For any of us working in a customer service industry we know that relationships with our customers are key.
“Being in the region for longer, employees will be able to build stronger relationships that will only support the success of the business they work for,” Ms De Ross said.
“This timeframe also gives the employees more opportunity to explore the area, thus providing more positive experiences to tell their friends/ family about back home or they may even decide to move here permanently.
“The longer term visa also assists people to travel the country with the seasons,” Ms De Ross said.
The Douglas region will now be more likely to see people coming to town after working in Melbourne and Sydney whereas previously they wouldn’t have this time.
“Either way, this helps facilitate the growth of the region.”
Further changes will follow in 2016 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 atleast three months in agriculture or tourism in northern Australia.
“These changes create a significant incentive for young travellers who wish to
experience Australia to visit and work in northern Australia,” Mr Dutton said.
“The changes, along with other initiatives in the White Paper, will help to unlock the immense potential of Australia’s north and help facilitate strong economic growth,” Mr Dutton said.
Chamber president Helen De Ross