The Department of Immigration have announced that the maximum age limit for Irish Nationals seeking an Australian working visa will be increased by five years.
Irish citizens up to the age of 35 will now be eligible to qualify for a Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program, following an agreement intended to “promote cultural exchange” between the two countries.
The new age limit officially came into effect earlier this month on November 1st, after the deal was finalised following discussions between the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, and the Australian Immigration Minister, David Coleman.
According to Coveney, the increase to the age limit is intended to help “strengthen” the link between Australia and Ireland.
“From November 1, 2018, the age limit for Irish and Australian citizens wishing to avail of the Working Holiday Programme will increase by five years, to 35 years of age,” Coveney said.
“The purpose of this programme is to promote cultural exchange and strengthen people-to-people links by creating opportunities for young people to travel.”
“This extension of the eligible age not only allows a more diverse group of people to avail of this scheme, but also helps to strengthen those links between our two countries even further.”
The Irish Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan, also added that “since the Working Holiday Programme began in 1975, it is estimated that more than 275,000 young Irish people have spent up to two years in Australia under this scheme.”
‘In 2017 alone, some 8,653 visas were issued to Irish citizens under the Working Holiday Programme.”
“The agreement to extend the age eligibility on a reciprocal basis underscores the wide-reaching success of this programme to date,” he said.
A Senior Migration Agent for Absolute Immigration, Majlinda Lulo, welcomed the increase to the maximum age limit, saying that “this is great news for those who may be seeking to settle in Australia permanently”.
“The age increase will allow for more opportunities to apply for GSM visas.”
“We also know that this age group may gravitate a lot more towards partner visas, not to mention that Australian work experience may assist with working visa sponsorship opportunities with local employers,” she said.
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