Working holiday visas - often referred to as 'traveler visas' - are currently limited to nationals of certain countries and between the ages of 18-30 and 35 for some countries. Will the age of eligibility for them be raised soon?
The Work Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program was established in 1975 to allow young people to take extended vacations and support themselves by working in temporary jobs. The program also offers Australians the opportunity to holiday and work in program partner countries.
But at a time when sectors, led by the tourism and hospitality sectors, are competing to attract more workers due to an acute shortage of labor, the Australian Tourism and Transport Forum has led a campaign to expand the scope of the working holiday visa by raising the upper age limit.
"One solution to help address the skills shortage in tourism is to increase the minimum age for this visa to 50," said Margie Osmond, CEO of the forum, to SBS.
I hope that the immigration program will be more fair and available to Middle Eastern countries. It is necessary to attract these creative talents.
Osmond believes that such a change will open up a whole new market of overseas workers with a wide range of skills and experience that can benefit the sector.
The immigration agent, Dr. Talaat Abu Zaid said that Australia really needs a variety of age groups to fill the shortage: "The retirement age will be raised to 70 years, and therefore whoever is at the age of fifty, for example, is still able to produce. We hope that the government will consider this proposal."