11-Nov-2009 Government Crack down on Working Holiday Makers

Government Crack down on Working Holiday Makers

A government crackdown on fraudulent second-year working holiday visa applications has resulted in rising numbers of backpackers withdrawing their applications, according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

DIAC director of working holiday section Deirdre Russack told delegates at the Adventure and Backpacker Industry Conference (ABiC) an Irish backpacker had his visa cancelled after he was found to have submitted a fraudulent application. He bought the visa documentation in a pub for $500, was fined $1,400 and had his visa cancelled.

Russack told Thumbrella that, since the crackdown on fraudulent applications, ”we’ve been having more of them withdrawn”. She refused to comment on industry rumours that up to half of all second year working holiday visa applications are fraudulent.

Meanwhile, Russack told ABiC delegates Australians travelling overseas on working holidays can assist in expanding the number of visas granted to international visitors.

“If we had more Australians going overseas for working holidays then the government would feel comfortable increasing the number of arrangements we have,” she said.