Visa News

 Latest Visa News [August 2017]

Latest changes to the visa system in Australia:

  • The subclass 457 Temporary Work Visa is due to be abolished and replaced by new temporary work visa options. Full details are not yet available.
  • The changes to Working Holiday Visas have been implemented but…there has been no change to the limiting age criteria for applicants (from 30 to 35) as originally proposed.
  • The government has presented a bill to tighten Australian Citizenship requirements. These changes are currently being debated in Parliament, but the government is having a tough time getting their reforms approved. Au Visas will keep you posted.

If you have any questions about Visas, Migration or Citizenship please fill out an inquiry form, email us ( / or call.

  • Good News – Latest on Working Holiday Visa changes [December 2016]

The proposed changes to Working Holiday or ‘Backpacker’ visas has been passed by the Australian Parliament last week. The visas affected are: the Working Holiday (sc 417); and, Work & Holiday (sc 462) visas.

The backpacker’s tax has been reduced from an initial 32.5% to 19%…………but after much debate and posturing ended up at 15%, effective from 1 January 2017.

The upper age of eligibility for these visas also looks to be changed from 30 to 35. We are awaiting official confirmation of the age change.

At present the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have the following posted on their website re age of eligibility changes:

Age of eligibility – Government announcement

The Government is considering options for expanding the upper age of eligibility from 30 to 35 years, including timeframes, legislative requirements and engagement with partner countries. Reciprocity of arrangements for Australian citizens remains a key feature of the programme. The current age of eligibility (18 to 30) will remain in place for the time being.     


When the age changes come into place Au Visas will post details.


  • Government Changes mind on Working Holiday Visas – Great News for many who may soon qualify!!!!    [October 2016]

The Government has decided to put through a Bill (proposed law) to change Working Holiday Visas (WHV). The main changes include: a turnback on the controversial 32.5% tax rate for all WHV holders (this is now proposed to be 19%); and an increase in the limiting age for WHVs – from 30 to 35.

Especially welcomed is the change to the limiting age. This means that those who thought they missed out on a WHV because they applied too late now may have a second chance to visit (and if they want to work in) Australia.

The changes haven’t been passed in the Parliament yet, but Au Visas will keep you informed.

  • Good News for Backpackers: Government announces a stay and review on its controversial “Backpackers Tax”               [May 2016]

In the 2015 Federal Australian budget it was proposed that young people on Working Holiday (subclass 417), or Work & Holiday (subclass 462) visas be charged a 32.5% flat tax on all Australian earnings. This measure was due to be implemented in July 2016.

At present backpackers have a $18,200 tax free threshold (i.e. they don’t pay income tax until they have earned a minimum of $18,200).

Many people were concerned that the ‘Backpacker Tax’ would see a significant reduction in young people visiting Australia and make it harder for small businesses to attract short-term workers to rural areas (especially around harvest time). Some rural communities have said they are already seeing a reduction in rural tourism and the availability of temporary workers.

On 17 May 2016 the government announced they have postponed the implementation of this tax, and that it would be reviewed over the next six months. Given significant opposition, especially in rural areas, there is a strong possibility this controversial tax may be relaxed or hopefully scrapped.

Au Visas will keep you informed about any further developments.

Some news reports about the ‘Backpackers tax’ follow:

Please see ‘Government Changes Mind on Working Holiday Visas’ (above) for the latest developments on WHVs.

  • Changes to the Australian Student Visa System from 1 July 2016

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced that the present eight student visa subclasses (types) will be eliminated from 1 July 2016 – being replaced by two new subclasses. This new scheme will maintain the number of courses international students can undertake in Australia, though it will change some of the conditions imposed on international students.

DIBP have said that the changes will simplify student visa applications and improve visa processing.

For more information about these changes please see Au Visas’ Student Visas page.