Many of our clients fell in love with Australia after coming here as part of the country’s Working Holiday Visa (WHV) program.

As you may already know, the idea behind the WHV scheme is that travellers can supplement their expenses through casual work (no more than 6 months for any one employer).

For many people, it’s the first taste of Aussie life in one of our incredible cities – like Perth or Melbourne - that leaves them wanting more!

What happens when the party’s over?

Those who are fortunate enough to have skills and experience required by Australian employers can look at moving from their Working Holiday Visa to another substantive visa.

One of the most common Australian work visas is the Subclass 457, which (in a nutshell) involves an eligible Australian employer sponsoring an eligible overseas worker. It’s a long-stay temporary visa and for some people it can lead to permanent residency further down the line.

We’re often asked about the process of moving from a WHV to a 457 visa. So, we’ve put together a case study to demonstrate the journey from WHV to 457. Naturally, the process can differ for everyone, but this is a pretty standard example.

Case Study

Shane McCarthy came to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa in 2011. He spent his first six months travelling up the east coast of the county, having a ball and not worrying too much about work.

When funds started to run low, Shane found some casual work as a farm hand in regional Queensland. He stayed on the farm for three months, which qualified him for a second Working Holiday Visa.

During his second year in Australia, Shane found work as a welder and fabricator. Shane qualified as a welder back in Ireland and worked in the industry for three years before he took time out to travel. Shane’s employer was impressed by his skills and experience. The business owner found it difficult to recruit and retain good workers like Shane and did not want to him to leave when his 6-month work limit was up.

Shortly before Shane had to leave, he contacted a registered migration agent to discuss his options. The agent provided Shane with a free assessment and confirmed that he qualified for a Subclass 457 visa.

Shane informed his employer that he could move on to another visa, but the business owner was a concerned because he hadn’t sponsored anyone before and his company was relatively small. The employer had read a newspaper article about 457 visas and he was worried about the paperwork involved. Shane’s boss thought the process might be too complicated for a small business like his.

The migration agent reassured the business owner that they would make the process as stress-free as possible and gave him examples of other similar-sized business that became sponsors.

Shane’s boss agreed to go ahead with the sponsorship, but by now he only had 1 month left before his Working Holiday Visa expired.

The migration agent liaised with the business owner on Shane’s behalf and over the course of a week they gathered together all of the information required for the business to become an official sponsor. The agent assisted with complicated matters such as labour market testing and gathering salary data.

The agent also told Shane what he required for his part and worked closely with him to ensure that his application stood the best possible chance of success. Shane wanted to add his partner to the visa as a de facto, and the agent also handled this part of the application.

With two weeks to spare, the application was lodged. The agent completed the online lodgement process for both the employer and the employee, liaising with immigration on their behalf.

By this point, Shane had already worked for six months for that employer, but his bridging visa would not commence for another few weeks, until the Working Holiday Visa expired. He wanted to continue working, so his migration agent lodged a waiver on his behalf. This was approved with a matter of days and Shane was able to continue in his job until the bridging visa commenced.

Two months later, Shane’s visa was GRANTED!

Shane has now been with his employer for two years and recently contacted his agent to find out if he was eligible for permanent residency as he wants to continue living in Australia.

If you want to find out how you can move from a Working Holiday Visa to a 457 Visa, contact True Blue Migration today.