As of the 1st of January of 2016, 200 Slovaks and Slovenians aged between 18-30 years, will be able to enjoy an extended holiday of a period of up to 12 months in Australia each year. By effect of the new Visa (subclass 462), successful applicants will be able to study and work short term. In turn, 200 young Australians will also be able to visit the countries each year.
Under the requirements of Visa 462, interested applicants are required to have the support of their government, have or be studying towards Tertiary qualifications and be able to communicate sufficiently in English, unlike the 417 Working Holiday visa.
Several countries have already entered similar agreements with Australia, a few of which are Greece, Spain, Israel, Chile, Thailand, U.S.A. and Vietnam.
Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has plans of expansion of the program, as its growth of 16% in 2015 with over 258,000 visas granted have had a very positive influence on hospitality and tourism. 12 new countries are also in the consideration of the DIPB for prospective partnerships.
The importance of the new program and the reason behind its popularity is that it creates a migration pathway for eligible applicants in order to proceed with a 457 Skilled Migration Visa and subsequent permanent residency.