If you want to stay in Australia for another year, you have the option to apply for a Second Year Visa. Prerequisite: You must have completed 3 months or 88 days of specified work in a rural area in Australia. How you calculate these 88 days for your second year visa in Australia is a bit complicated, but this article will surely shed light on the matter.
Requirements for the 2nd Working Holiday Visa
The same as when applying for your 1st Working Holiday Visa, you have to meet the following requirements when applying for the Second Year Visa. When applying, you must be between 18 and 30 years old (you can apply until your 31st birthday or 35th if you Irish, French or Canadian). You must have a valid passport. You must have worked for 3 months or 88 days in a specific job in a rural area.
More information here: Apply for second year visa
Calculate the 3 months or 88 days correctly
The Australian government has implemented some rules regarding the 88 days work. Three months means 3 calendar months, e.g. 1 January to 1 April. You can either work :
- in one block with the same employer OR
- several blocks for one or more employers. The different period of work can be performed in different kinds of specified work and different industries. For example, you can work as a harvest helper in the Northern Territory for one month and as a miner in Tasmania for two months.
Number of hours
A day’s work: A minimum of hours spent working in the industry in which you are employed. In Australia, these are usually 35 to 40 hours a week and 7 to 8 hours a day. If you work less than what’s usual, the day is not worth a full working day.
For a full day to be accounted you must work 7 or 8 hours depending on the industry. If you work more than 35 hours per week (hourly rate contract), you can count the weekends in your 88 days. So it will be 7 days worked instead of 5. If you work full-time, the 88 days also includes your days off. Full-time workers can also count sick days during periods where they were in paid employment.
If you are working part time hours, you need to count your days individually. If you work less than 7 or 8 hours per day, you must work more days to reach the number of hours required for your week to be counted. For example, if you work 5 hours per day, you have to work 7 days for your week to be counted in the 88 days.
If you are working on Piece Rate (make sure it is written in your contract), there is no minimum hours needed to work to count a day.
In general, it doesn’t matter whether you are a casual, full-time or part-time employee. The important thing is that you don’t work below the industry standard. For example, if you work two weeks on two weeks off, you can count the full four weeks (28 days). But only if this is common in the industry (e.g. in mining).
In general, the weekends are included when you work full time.
If you are employed part-time or work casual, you only count the days that you actually worked.
If you work for several employers on the same day, only one day counts.
Also, if you work overtime, the day will only be counted as one. For example, if the industry standard is 6 hours, but you work 12 hours a day, you will only get one day.
What about the salary?
Some applications for a second visa were refused because the government considered that the worker had been underpaid. So remember to check that you are paid the legal minimum wage.
Minimum wages for all jobs in Australia are set by collective agreements (awards). They can vary depending on your age and the type of contract under which you are employed (full time, part-time or casual). Casual workers must be affected more than permanent employees (15 to 25% depending on the collective agreement).
To know the legal minimum wage to which you are entitled, it is important to know the professional sector on which you depend. Indeed, the minimum wage varies from job to job because it is set by collective agreements. For example, if you work in horticulture, you will depend on the Horticulture Award. On the contrary, if you work on a construction site, it will be the “Building and Construction General On-site Award”.
The national minimum wage has been set at $19.84 per hour since July 2020 (before tax). This represents $753.80 for a week at 38 hours.
There are several jobs you can do to count towards your second visa. Industries differ depending on your visa type (417 and 462).
For 417 visa holders
Industries approved for specified work:
- plant and animal cultivation
- fishing and pearling
- tree farming and felling
- bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire affected areas only, after 31 July 2019
For 462 visa holders
Approved industries and areas for specified work:
- plant and animal cultivation in northern Australia and other specified areas of regional Australia
- fishing and pearling in northern Australia only
- tree farming and felling in northern Australia only
- tourism and hospitality in northern Australia only
- construction in northern Australia and other specified areas of regional Australia
- bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire affected areas only, after 31 July 2019.
Eligible jobs to renew WHV in Australia
Find out all eligible jobs for a second working holiday visa.
Sick leave, accidents, weather
In the case of illness or an accident, the missed days for full-time employees are still counted. Provided that it was agreed on in advance that sick leave will be paid. In these cases, the employer has to provide evidence.
If employees are unable to work and are not paid due to illness, an accident or weather-related circumstances (such as a storm during harvest), the days are not counted.
Calculate 88 days for your second year visa in Australia – Examples
Examples where the requirements for a 2nd working holiday visa are met:
Examples where the requirements for a 2nd working holiday visa are NOT met:
Firstly, remember to check that the job and the geographical area are eligible. Be sure to check your status when you sign your Tax File Number Declaration when starting a new job (full-time/part-time/ casual) as this will affect your day count. If you are employed on a “casual” basis, we advise you to count only the days actually worked in order to be completely sure that you have completed your specified work.
If you do your 88 days in several instalments, be sure to keep a count of your days so you don’t have any bad surprises.
Each case is unique, so the decision will always depend on the goodwill of an immigration officer.
Remember to keep all documents proving your work (payslips, photos, bank statements, etc.).
In order for your second WHV application to be approved, it is important to know that you must be paid the national minimum wage currently set at $19.84 per hour (before tax). This represents $753.80 for a 38 hour week.
Apply for a third year working holiday visa
Since July 1, 2019 it is possible to do a third year of WHV in Australia!
For this, it is necessary to perform 6 months of specified work in regional areas while being on your second WHV (417 or 462). The types of jobs and eligible regional areas are the same as for the second visa.