There are 500 annually allocated visas for Greek citizens to travel and work in Australia under the Working Holiday Maker program
Federal immigration minister Alex Hawke announced this week that “Australia is open for business” with an increase in arrival figures for incoming international students and those entering the Working Holiday Maker program.
“Visa application rates have surged in the last week, since the Government’s announcement of a special Visa Application Charge (VAC) refund window for people who travel and arrive in Australia over the coming weeks,” Mr. Hawke said in a statement issued on Thursday.
“We are building back healthy pipelines of Working Holiday Makers, and we are processing these visas very quickly. The Government is seeing a surge in demand from backpackers and we are ready to welcome them to our shores.”
He announced that close to 7,000 international students had arrived during the period from 24 to 30 January in advance of the start of courses at Australian campuses.
Since November 2020, 56,000 students had arrived in Australia. More than 50,000 overseas students had lodged visa applications since late last year.
The minister said visa grants to international students were flowing after he had directed the Department to allocate more resources to processing student applications.
Over the past week, the minister noted a 17-per-cent increase in the arrival of people on the Working Holiday Maker visa program.
Overseas backpackers lodged 2,600 visas (subclass 417 and 462) applications in the week from 24 to 30 January. Since the re-opening of international borders, 28,000 Working Holiday Maker visas were approved. He added that the government has signed new and increased Working Holiday Maker arrangements with a total of 45 partner countries, including 500 (annually capped) from Greece.
“Visa application rates have surged in the last week, since the Government’s announcement of a special Visa Application Charge (VAC) refund window for people who travel and arrive in Australia over the coming weeks,” Mr. Hawke said.
According to recent announcements from the ministry, Working Holiday Maker visa holders (subclasses 417 or 462) who are outside Australia and arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022 are eligible for a VAC refund. Student visa holders who are outside Australia and arrive in Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022 are eligible for a VAC refund.
The minister said that a new $7 million marketing campaign, Work and Play the Aussie Way, had been launched to attract young people from overseas to work and spend their holidays in Australia.
The campaign encourages the uptake of Working Holiday Maker visas in the United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, and Republic of Korea, by giving young travelers a glimpse of the adventures that await them while working and traveling in Australia,”
“ …There are more jobs now available in Australia than before the COVID-19-Pandemic, and there are still many more places available to Backpackers and Students that we are ready to fill, so come on down,” he said.