Home » ‘You are a liar’: Chinese wannabe working holiday-makers furious over suspension of visa applications

‘You are a liar’: Chinese wannabe working holiday-makers furious over suspension of visa applications

Nathan Que quit his job in China and waited 10 months for a chance to come to Australia for a once-in-a-lifetime working holiday.

But now he feels “cheated” by the government, along with tens of thousands of other working holiday seekers from China.

Mr Que said many of them had been pondering the same question — “is China being targeted?”

For many young people around the world, a working holiday visa is seen as a precious chance to experience life in Australia.

In 2015, the program opened to 5,000 Chinese applicants annually under a free trade agreement between Australia and China.

The agreement said the program aimed to “increase demand for tourism services and support the development of Australia’s tourism sector, particularly in rural Australia”.

The demand to come to Australia is there, but according to applicants the chance to obtain a working holiday visa has all but evaporated.

No announcement about visa suspension

According to information on the Department of Home Affairs website, when a country’s quota of working holiday visas was close to full, it would be “suspended” and visa applications from its citizens would no longer be taken.

Five countries on the list eligible for the visa have been tagged as suspended: Brazil, China, Switzerland, Thailand and Turkey. 

People in China who wanted a new working holiday visa said there was no announcement about applications being suspended.(Reuters: Edgar Su)

A footnote on China’s “suspended” tag in the Home Affairs documents said the suspension was linked to “a high volume of interest”.

Out of the suspended countries, only China’s annual cap of 5,000 visas is far from being filled.

Altogether, only 406 working holiday visas for new applicants in China have been issued in this financial year, according to Department of Home Affairs records.

It is unclear why applications from China have been suspended when the cap hasn’t been hit.

The ABC has sought an explanation from the government.

Posted , updated