Why changes to the Australian Working Holiday Visa could work for you

We cover lots of people under  our travel insurance policies, who are lucky enough to be combining a chance to earn some money, with a memorable and unique trip to enjoy all the magic of living and sightseeing in Australia.

The good news is that the Australian Government have recently announced changes to come into effect from 1st January 2017, which should be positive for most people either already downunder on a 417 or 462 Working Holiday visa, or those about to head out there.

Here are the changes in a nutshell, so you can see how they might affect you and your plans (hopefully in a good way) :

The cost of applying for your visa

The cost of applying for your Working Holiday visa has reduced from $440 to $390, so you have an additional $50 to spend how you see fit!

Who can apply

The age limit used to be restricted to those under 30, but this has now increased to under 35’s, so there is still a chance for those of you who felt that you’d missed your chance, due to the former age cut-off.

You can work for the same employer for longer

It used to be the case, that you could only work for the same employer for a maximum of 6 months, which was a shame for many who had become familiar and happy with the company they were working for. This has now been tweaked slightly, as you can now continue to work for the same employer for a further 6 months (up to a year) as long as you relocate to a different region. It’s best to speak to any prospective or current employer to find out whether this is viable in your situation.

Superannuation

When you get a job, your new employer will set you up with a ‘superannuation’ account (a kind of pension scheme) which may sound like good news, but the reality is that you will forfeit your superannuation benefits when you leave the country. The good thing, is that you can have a warm, fuzzy glow, from knowing that the superannuation pot will be helping OAPs in Australia.

Changes to what you are taxed on your earnings

This is definite good news for those who will be earning up to $37, 000, as you will be taxed at a rate of 19%, which is a big reduction in the current 32.5%. If you are on course to earn between $37, 001 and $80, 000, you’ll continue to be taxed at the current 32.5% ‘marginal’ rate.

Australia looks set to remain a popular destination for those heading off on a Working Holiday, and the fact that the country still has the ‘highest backpacker earning potential’ of any working holiday country in the world, is obviously an added bonus! The figures below, show that Australia boasts the highest minimum wage, even when the tax rate is taken into account:

  • Australia (casual jobs) = A$22.013 per hour ($17.92 after 19% backpacker tax)
  • Australia (full-time jobs) =A$17.10 per hour ($14.34 after 19% tax)
  • New Zealand = A$14.01 per hour ($12.54 after 10.5% tax)
  • Canada = A$10.45 per hour ($8.88 after 15% tax)
  • USA = A$9.43 per hour ($8.49 after 10% tax)

Figures from STA Travel

Another benefit of travelling using a Working Holiday Visa, is that it then enhances your chances of getting a permanent or longstay visa to extend your stay in Australia, possibly being sponsored by an employer.

If you’d like to know more about applying for an Australian Working Holiday visa, please click here to visit the Australian Government site. 

Go Walkabout Travel Insurance provides a range of policies for those that are about to head off to Australia (or anywhere else!) on their Working Holiday Visa. 

It can be difficult to identify the best policy for you, so here is a quick guide to help you choose an appropriate policy:

  Only travelling to Australia &/or New Zealand Any part of your trip involves places outside Australia &/or New Zealand
Retail, office, bar or cafe work Medicare Extra, Backpacker or Longstay policy Backpacker or Longstay policy
Another type of work Working Holiday policy Working Holiday Policy

This table is a starting point to help you pick the most suitable policy options for you. If you plan to work in a bar, but think that you could potentially work on a farm, at some point in your time away, you may choose to select the Working Holiday Policy (although not strictly needed at the outset), and adjust Work Packs as needed, whilst you’re away. The Working Holiday policy is the most flexible of the options listed above, and covers a wide range of jobs, which are divided into Work Packs. Read more about it here. You can find out more about the Backpacker and Longstay policies here.

The important thing, is to make sure that your travel insurance policy will cover you whilst you’re at work. Your job may seem low-risk, but accidents can and do happen in both your work and leisure time, and you need to make sure you would be covered for any necessary medical treatment and potential repatriation back to the UK.

Take a read of one of our Customer Case Studies of Simon Slater, who bought a Working Holiday policy, and has set off for his 2 year adventure in New Zealand. Click here to read his experiences. of choosing the right travel insurance for him.

If you’re not sure which Go Walkabout policy is right for you and your plans, feel free to Live Chat on our website (the tab is on the bottom right), send us a quote request with details of what you intend to do or give us a ring in our office. We’re available from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday on 01424 223 964. We’re a helpful and informative bunch, so please do get in touch with any questions or concerns! 

If you want to take other people’s word’s for it, take a look at our genuine customer reviews here via FEEFO to see why we’re a great choice for your travel insurer.

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