Treasurer Scott Morrison has announced a raft of proposed changes to the 417 Working Holiday Visa. The visa conditions have been reconsidered in order to increase Australia’s attractiveness as a top destination for working holiday makers once again.

The changes would generally benefit working holiday makers and may help Australian businesses with recruitment practices.

The proposed changes in the 417 regime are as follows:

–          Visa holders would be able to work for one employer for 12 months. This is under the condition that they do not work in the same location for each six month period of work. For example, a visa holder could work their first six months at an office in Sydney and then be transferred to work their remaining six months in a Melbourne office.

–          The eligibility age to increase from 30 to 35.

–          The new tax rate for 417 holders set at 19% (it is currently zero)

–          The government would retain 95% of all superannuation contributions. When a visa holder leaves the country permanently they would be entitled to a   super refund of 5% of total contributions.

–          The application charge for 417 Visa to be reduced to $390. A reduction of $50

–          Employers would be required to register as a ‘417 employer’. This is a once-off registration with the Australian Tax Office, designed to boost the integrity of the working holiday maker scheme and prevent exploitation of workers. Employers who do not register would be required to withhold tax at 32.5%

If the changes pass through the senate they are likely to be effective July 2017, with the exception of the new proposed tax rate effective 1 January 2017. If you have any queries regarding the 417 visa please contact simon.devere@stirlinghenry.com