Good News For Backpackers

The UK Government has decided to relax some of the restrictions on Working Holiday Visas for Australian tourists.

The changes are:

1) All work restrictions in the UK will be removed – Previously the rule was you couldn’t work in “an industry or occupation that you worked in for x time in Australia.” That is, you weren’t supposed to further your career under a working holiday visa – just earn a bit of cash for beer. If you were an Accountant at home, you have to work in a pub in England and vice versa.

2) The upper age limit for WHMs will be extended from 27 to 30 – This is especially good news for me, as it means I might actually still have time to do the London thing when I finish my degree.

3) WHMs will be permitted to switch to a work permit visa after one year in the UK – This is probably the most significant change of all. Previously, if you got a job in the UK and parlayed it into the beginning of a career, you had to leave the country and sit through a “cooling off” period before getting a proper work visa. The previous situation made employers very wary of employing backpackers in career-oriented positions, because they got the feeling they were just training them for someone else.

As I said, pretty good news. Also, they are probably too busy looking for terrorists nowadays to hassle us so much at Heathrow. Aussies used to get the very large and blunt end of stick of the profiling there.

(note, this post goes in “Unemployment” because I don’t have a category for “Employment”. Perhaps I should change that…)

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