How to extend your Working Holiday to Australia

Australia is a pretty cool place to live. We have a warm sunny climate, vibrant capital cities and more than 30,000 of breathtaking coastline wrapped around us that houses some of the best beaches in the world.

With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that Australia is at the top of the list for many young international working holiday-makers. From operating ski lifts in the Victorian snowfields, to fruit-picking in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, each year working holiday-makers flock down under in their thousands for a taste of the enviable Australian lifestyle.

With this in mind, Migration Solutions wanted to draw attention to a couple of little-known facts about the Australian Working Holiday Program which could allow young international travellers to extend their stay down under for longer than they thought possible.

Visa Condition 8457

In 2006, the government introduced a condition designed to improve the flexibility of visa subclass 417 (Working Holiday) and 462 (Work and Holiday). The introduction of Condition 8547 allowed the maximum work limitation to be increased from 3 months to 6 months, significantly increasing the scope of short term employment for workers.

According to the Immigration Department, ‘an employer is the business for which the visa holder is working directly, that is, the end user.’ What this means is that a 417 visa holder can be employed by the same labour hire company or contractor for more than 6 months, as long as they do not provide services to the same end user for more than 6 months.

An example of this would be for a working holiday maker on a 417 visa in the employment of a state or territory Department of Education or Health. The 417 holder could be employed by the Department for longer than 6 months, as long as they were not providing services to the same school.

For the purpose of condition 8547, two closely related businesses (e.g a parent or subsidiary company), will be considered to be the same employer. Generally, if the businesses have different ABN’s they will be classed as different employers.

A visa-holder that wishes to stay with the same employer beyond the six-month limitation may also be able to do so, however they will first need to obtain written permission from the Immigration Department, and will generally be required to prove exceptional circumstances to be able to do so.

Applying for a second Working Holiday visa

Some people have so much fun on their first Working Holiday visa, they just want to do it again! When that’s the case, there are a few criteria applicants will need to have fulfilled during their first visit in order to be eligible for a second visa, so it pays to be aware of the conditions before you arrive.

The first aspect of the criteria that must be fulfilled is for an applicant to have completed three months or more of specified work whilst on their first Working Holiday visa. Specified work is defined as work that is undertaken in an approved ‘specified’ field or industry, which include:

  • plant and animal cultivation
  • fishing and pearling
  • tree farming and felling
  • mining
  • construction

(For more information on approved industries and types of work, click here and look under ‘specified work’).

The second aspect of the criteria that must be fulfilled is for three months of work to have been undertaken in a regional area.

If you’re not really into the great outdoors, don’t worry. Regional doesn’t necessarily mean working somewhere out in the sticks with no electricity, or running water, it simply means areas of slow, or non-rapid growth. This includes the entire state of South Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory, and large parts of New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland.

To find out exactly which parts of Australia are classified as regional, see the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

For more information on how you can extend your Working Holiday visa, book an appointment with one of the experienced migration agents at Migration Solutions today.

Disclaimer: The above information is designed to provide a basic understanding of a range of potential options for Working Holiday visa applicant, and should not be constituted for specific immigration advice. The Australian immigration program is complex and every case is affected by different variables, and therefore applicants are considered to seek professional assistance before lodging an application.

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