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Working Holiday visas increase in 2011

Working Holiday visas increase in 2011

A report issued by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has shown that the popularity of working holiday arrangements in Australia may be on the rise.

The Working Holiday Maker visa program report covers all activity in this particular area for the 12 months till June 30 2011.

Of particular note is the increase in the number of 417 visas issued by the department - with an 8.3 per cent growth rate recorded over the year.

The report notes that the change is most likely a reflection on the recent changes in "the wider global economic situation" as represented by uncertain financial environments in greater Europe and certain parts of Asia.

In fact, the largest areas of growth in popularity came from these regions, with Irish citizens recording an 87.4 per cent increase in migration visas supplied, followed by Taiwan at 41 per cent, Italy at 14.9 per cent and Hong Kong with 14.5 per cent.

The report also shows that the number of international citizens staying in Australia has grown over time.

There were 107,978 Working Holiday visa holders recorded in the country on June 30 this year - made up of both first time and repeat visitors - compared to the same time in 2010 which had 99,367.

This 8.7 per cent increase is obviously a direct result of the increase in the number of grants issued over the previous year - but it still serves to show that people between the ages of 18 and 30 years of age are demonstrating an increase in interest in visiting and working in Australia.

In addition to being in possession of "functional" English skills, these individuals must not be accompanied by any dependent children during their travels - a distinction that tends to limit the use of the Working Holiday visa to backpackers and recent tertiary students, rather than more mature travellers with additional commitments.

Perhaps one of the greater incentives for this choice is the speedy turnaround when applications are finalised.

In the time period covered by the report, 80.43 per cent of Working Holiday visas applied for by first-time visitors were processed with six working days of being submitted.

Because the review procedure is able to deliver a response to applicants on a fairly short turnaround, this allows travellers to experience a certain element of excitement and adventure at what feels like an impulsive decision to travel to a foreign country - a compelling experience for both new and experienced travellers alike.

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