Australia could soon expand its 'Working Holiday Maker' visa programme to more countries including India, according to media reports.
The 'Working Holiday Maker Programme' by the Australian government includes the 'Working Holiday visa’ and the ‘Work and Holiday visa'. It is a cultural exchange programme enabling young travellers to have an extended holiday while earning money through short-term employment.
Australia’s Immigration Minister David Coleman announced the plans, aimed at recruiting workers to solve the labour shortages, particularly on farms.
The authorities are in talks to expand the scheme to include backpackers from 13 countries in order to help regional businesses find workers to work on farms. This was partly due to the fact that the current programme was witnessing a decline, creating labour shortage in some regions of the country.
Besides India, other countries to whom the scheme is likely to be extended include Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Switzerland, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Andorra, Monaco and Mongolia.