Australia, UK strengthen working visa ties

Australia, UK strengthen working visa ties

Australian businesses looking to hire or retain workers from the UK will be better off from July, as age limits are increased for UK passport holders under new arrangements for the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program.

The new measures kick in as part of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) that entered into force today, alongside similar measures for Australians planning to work in the UK.

Under the new rules, UK passport holders will be able to apply for WFM visas between the ages of 18 and 35, reflecting a five-year increase from the current maximum age of 30. 

From 1 July 2024, travellers with a UK passport will also be eligible for WFM visas for up to a total of three years without having to meet any specified work requirements.

The new arrangements under the UK's Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) will include the same improved age of eligibility provisions for Australians working in the UK, and allow for a third-year visa extension if desired.

"The Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement will not only deliver significant benefits to Australia’s economy and strengthen an already close relationship with the UK, but also increase opportunities for young Australians and UK citizens to live and work in each country," says Senator Don Farrell.

"The Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement reflects the Government’s commitment to diversifying trade and easing cost-of-living pressures for Australians.

"The new arrangements will complement medium and longer-term efforts to address domestic skill deficits through education, training and sectoral reform in Australia."

The contribution of British citizens to Australia's business landscape is substantial, and anecdotally this publication receives numerous story pitches on a weekly basis involving UK nationals who have founded companies here.

In the Young Entrepreneur Awards initiative alone there are countless examples, and whilst we are guaranteed to miss out some very high-achieving UK-born founders, examples include Jonathan Dwayre of Orbitz Elevators, Michael Johnson of Zoomo, Ryan Tuckwood and Jack Corbett of SWISH Sales Coaching, Chris Morrissey of Ever Nimble, James Farrell and Aden Levin of Viral Ventures, Beau Savage of Smart Energy, Ian Cragg and Paul Billing of Send Payments, and Paul Eastwood of Argon & Co.

Other notable British-Australian entrepreneurs include Vita Group (ASX: VTG) founder Maxine Horne, Flora & Fauna founder Julie Mathers, Shark Tank 'shark' Andrew Banks, and many more.

 

 

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