So, what happens if you end up falling in love with Australia and want to stay longer?
You might be eligible for a second 417 visa, but only if you have met certain conditions. You must have complied with the conditions of your first Working Holiday Visa, have not previously held more than one Working Holiday Visa and have completed three months of specified work in a regional area of Australia whilst on your first Working Holiday Visa.
In the past, many backpackers carried out voluntary work on farms in exchange for food and accommodation. However, rules changed in 2015 and backpackers must now provide payslip evidence for the duration of the time they worked, proving they were paid a minimum wage for the role.
Before starting work in a regional area, it’s important that you check the position is eligible under the government’s ‘specified work’ rules and that the location is considered to be a regional area. You don’t want to complete your regional work only to discover that it doesn’t qualify you for a second visa.
You will find a list of eligible postcodes and also examples of eligible work on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website.
Specified work – click here to see what counts.
As well as payslips, we recommend collecting other evidence during your regional work, such as receipts from local shops and photographs of the work you carried out. You can attach this evidence when you lodge your application.
Your specified work must be carried out for three calendar months or 88 days. This can be done with one business or a number of different businesses, as long as you complete the required number of days. To be on the safe side, most people work an extra week or so.
Finding Regional Work
Don’t leave your regional work until the last minute. You may find it difficult to secure a position or you may need to switch jobs half way through, which could end up costing you time. Most people allow themselves 4-5 months to complete the 88 days.
You’ll find plenty of job ads on Gumtree and there are a number of Facebook pages dedicated to finding regional work.
You can also contact hostels in regional areas and find out if they know of any jobs locally. Often workers stay in hostels and travel in and out to work.
Another way to find out about regional work is by calling the National Harvest Telephone Information Service on 1800 062 332. Phone operators can inform you about harvest jobs, accommodation and working conditions.
On the Government’s Harvest Trail website you’ll find a harvest map detailing when and where harvesting takes place across Australia.
Visit the Harvest Trail website.
When you do find work, remember to take all the necessary precautions. Verify the details of your employer, carry out Google searches and let someone know when and where you’re going. It’s also a good idea to print off the forms your employer will need to sign as it may be difficult to access a printer at your place of work.
If you’re currently on a Working Holiday Visa and wish to discuss your eligibility for other visa types, contact True Blue Migration today for a free consultation with a Registered Migration Agent.