In November 2018, the Department of Home Affairs announced a number of changes to the Working Holiday Maker visa program, including the option of a third year in Australia for subclasses 417 and 462 visa holders under certain circumstances.
Eligibility for a third-year visa
Australia is currently the only country that allows Working Holiday Visa (WHV) holders to apply for a second-year visa. To apply for a second one-year Working Holiday visa (subclass 417), you must have already completed at least three months of specified work in regional Australia. For a complete overview, including approved industries and how to calculate specified work, check out Specified work for Working Holiday visa (subclass 417).
As of July 1, 2019, subclasses 417 and 462 visa holders who undertake 6-months of specified work in a specified regional area during their second year may be eligible for a third-year visa.
Note that this “specified work” in a “specified regional area” must have been completed during your second year in Australia. For instance, if you worked in construction for over 9 months during your first year in Australia, you can apply for a second-year visa, but these 9 months won’t count toward a third-year visa.
This is a great opportunity for WHV holders:
- Who are currently in Australia on a second-year visa and can undertake specified work in an approved industry for at least 6 months as of July 1, 2019.
- Who are planning to apply for a second-year visa and to undertake specified work in an approved industry for at least 6 months after July 1, 2019.
Don’t forget that any specified work in an approved industry done before July 1, 2019, doesn’t count toward third-year visa eligibility.
The option to work for up to a year for the same agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) employer
As of November 5, 2018, you can work for more than six months for the same agricultural employer (plant and animal cultivation). Basically, the six-month work limitation is waived Australia-wide for this specific industry and you do not need to request permission to stay with your employer for more than six months.
Eligible jobs include:
- harvesting and/or packing fruit and vegetable crops
- pruning and trimming vines and trees
Note: This must be your primary employment task and directly associated with the cultivation and commercial sale of plant produce, such as fruit and nut crops (commercial horticultural activities). General garden maintenance is not eligible.
- general maintenance crop work
- cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
- immediate processing of plant products
- maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase Note: Maintaining animals for tourism or recreational purposes is not eligible.
- immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning. Note: Secondary processing of animal products, such as small goods processing and retail butchery, is not eligible.
- manufacturing dairy produce from raw material
Note that supporting work in any industry described in the list above does not meet the definition of specified work. For instance, you’re not eligible if you work as a nanny on a farm or if you have a customer service job selling farm products.
For more information regarding the employment period visa condition, read Working Holiday Visa in Australia — How to Work More Than 6 Months for the Same Employer.
How about the WHV age limit increase to 35?
On November 1, 2018, Australia announced an increase in the age limit to 35 years for Irish and Canadian citizens (on July 1, 2019 for French citizens) applying for a WHV to Australia. Apparently, negotiations to increase the limit for other countries are continuing—the WHV program is a reciprocal program, which means that other countries must accept an age increase for Australian citizens as well for the change to be effective.
Stay tuned to pvtistes.net for the latest news and keep your finger crossed for more flexible visa eligibility!