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How to calculate the 88 days for your second year visa in Australia

How to calculate the 88 days for your second year visa in Australia

If you want to stay in Australia for another year, you have the option to apply for a Second Year Visa and even a third year visa. Prerequisite: You must have completed 3 months or 88 days of specified work in a rural area in Australia for a second year and 6 months for a third year. How you calculate these days for your second and third 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 are an Irish, French or Canadian citizen).
  • 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

For UK Passport Holders

Australia and the UK have agreed to put in place new arrangements under the Working Holiday Maker program. When the new arrangements commence, UK passport holders will be able to:

  • apply for a Working Holiday visa between the ages of 18 and 35 years inclusive
  • be granted up to three Working Holiday visas without having to meet any specified work requirements.

The Australia-UK FTA has not yet entered into force. We are hoping it will be by the end of 2022.

Calculate the 3 months or 88 days correctly

The Australian government has implemented some rules regarding the 88 days work. Three months is taken to mean a period equivalent to the 3 shortest ‘calendar’ months of the year. This is a minimum period of 88 calendar days, including weekends or rest days during your period of employment. 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. You are free to spread the work over the stay period of your WHV visa.

You can complete the 3 months or 6 months requirement in a variety of ways:

  • working multiple short periods of work in full time, part time or on a piecework rate, which add up to the equivalent of 5 days a week over 3 months
  • working 5 days a week for a continuous period of 3 months (including piecework rate agreement)
  • working less than 5 days a week over a period longer than 3 months

Number of hours

A day’s work: One single day of work is considered to be the normal number of hours per day that is considered standard practice 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.  

For a full day to be accounted you must work 7 or 8 hours depending on the industry. Public holidays and sick days can be counted as a day of specified work if you are paid for that day.

You cannot count work carried out on any one calendar day as more than one day of specified work. For example, if the industry’s standard day is 5 hours, working 10 hours on one day cannot be counted as 2 days of specified work.

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.

Contract type

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, nursing etc).

In general, weekends are included when you work 5 days a week. If you work for several employers on the same day, only one day counts.

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 $21.38 per hour since July 2022 (before tax). This represents $812.60 per week.

For pieceworkers and under the Horticulture Award, a full-time/part-time employee must earn at least $23.38 per hour. For a casual worker, the minimum is $29.22 per hour.

Eligible Jobs

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
  • mining
  • construction
  • bushfire recovery work in declared bushfire affected areas only, after 31 July 2019
  • Critical COVID-19 work in the healthcare and medical sectors, after 31 January 2020
  • Tourism and hospitality in northern, remote or very remote Australia only (from 22 June 2021)

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
  • Critical COVID-19 work in the healthcare and medical sectors, after 31 January 2020
  • Tourism and hospitality in northern, remote or very remote Australia only (from 22 June 2021)

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 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:

Work during the week
Employment: 3 months on a farm
Working time: 5 days a week
Standard in the industry: 5 days a week
Calculated working time: In this case, the days are counted for the weekend, so 7 days a week
Shift work
Employment: 3 months
Working time: Every fortnight
Standard in the industry: irregular working hours, e.g. 1 week of work, 1 week off
Calculated working time: 3 months
In case of Illness
Employment: 3 months full-time
Paid sick leave
Calculated working time: 3 months
Different employers
Employment: 60 days as harvest helper, 28 days as construction worker
Calculated working time: 88 days

Examples where the requirements for a 2nd working holiday visa are NOT met:

Work during the week
Employment: 3 months on a farm
Working time: 4 days a week
Standard in the industry: 5 days a week
Calculated working time: In this case, the days of the weekends are not counted, instead of 7 days a week, you only get 4 days per week.
Employment when you are on another visa
You can only apply for the Second Year Visa if you have a Working Holiday Visa. For example, if you work for 3 months on a farm on a student visa, you will not be able to stay in Australia for another year.
Seasonal circumstances
If you’ve worked on a farm on a number of occasions, accumulated 80 days and you can’t work for another 8 days due to inclement weather before your Working Holiday Visa expires, you can’t apply for a 2nd Working Holiday visa.

Conclusion

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.).

Minimal wage

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 $21.38 per hour (before tax). This represents $812.60 per week.

If you are a pieceworker in the agriculture industry, know that since 28 April 2022, workers paid a piece rate will be guaranteed a minimum hourly wage. Under the Horticulture Award, a full-time/part-time employee must earn at least $23.38 per hour. For a casual worker, the minimum is $29.22 per hour.

Apply for a third year working holiday visa

Since July 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.

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47 COMMENTS

  1. Hi there hope you can help pls…
    We’re working on a farm picking fruit 5-6 days a week on a piece rate agreement but so far have not able to make minimum wage rates.
    Our payslips show $365 made and no tax decided for 5 days in one week worked but not how many hours we worked (40ish). Is this work going to count? Thanks for any advice!

  2. Hello

    I am 31 and actually not eligible for the second year visa as I am from Germany. But should I bother to try to fullfil anyway the farmdays in case Australia will change the age restrictions in the next year’s?

  3. Hi
    I’m working as a casual fortnightly from a Wednesday to Tuesday eg. 16/9/20-29/09/20. I am working at a Corn farm in Gingin casually but do 40hrs a week and around 80hrs fortnightly. Does my fortnight count as 14 days or only as 10 days towards my 88 days?
    Also my payslip only states my worked fortnightly hours, so what if I worked 80hrs but in reality only 9 days instead of 10. No one will notice and it will be counted as 10 or 14 days is that correct?
    Thanks!

  4. Hi there,

    I have worked on a wheat farm usually 5 days a week, but over harvest 7 days a week. There are 4 days in the same week where we couldn’t work because of the rain, do I need to work an extra 2 days to make up 5 total or can some of the hours from the 7 day weeks cover this?

    Also, I have accrued many hours in holidays. Can I take these paid holiday days and they count as a day of specified work?
    Thanks

    • Hi Alice,
      You have to refer to the normal hours in the industry. For example, if you worked 5 days / 38h, week-ends will count towards your second year. You have to add up the days worked. I don’t think you ll be able to add your ‘holiday days’ to reach the requested days. Cheers

  5. Thank you. How will the government know the number of hours as industry standard? Do you know what it is for agriculture?

    I mentioned that about paid holidays as it says on the government’s website:

    “Australian public holidays and sick days (or equivalent worker’s compensation leave days) can be counted as a day of specified work if you are paid for that day.”

    Do you still disagree that the paid annual leave wouldn’t count as a day of specified work?

    Thanks

  6. hi there,

    my partner and I were working 5 days a week at a piece rate but the most we would ever make in a week was 300-500 based on how ripe the crops were that day to pick.
    does that still count even though we weren’t making the minimum based on how low we were picking a day even though it was 8 hour days 5 days a week ?

    thanks in advance

  7. Hi I am supposed to be starting 6 months farm work next week. The job type is casual and I’ll be working 35-40 hours per week. Are my weekends included?

  8. Hi,
    If I am working 80hrs per week can this count as 14 days. Or is there any leniency towards the fact I am working so many hours?

  9. Hey I’m currently working in a packing sheet for my 6 months. I nearly have 26 payslips but for a few weeks I worked under 35 hours. Will those weeks still count as full time since my payslips are weekly?

  10. Hi,
    I am having trouble calculating my 88 days for a second year visa. I do not have my timesheets and I am unsure how many hours are needed to count for a full day. I have worked a total of 438hrs with 18 pay slips. I thought if I divided my hours by 7 (7hr work day) that I would get the correct amount of days worked but its very confusing and I don’t want to apply for the second year without the correct amount. I used the wififarms calculator and it says I have worked 93 days, however I am unsure how accurate this is. Please help! Or is there any government number I can call for more info? Thanks!

  11. Hi , I work in Regional area ( Cairns ) in the restaurant which which open only in the evening. I work about 3-4 hours / 6 day per week. Can these count for 2nd year visa ? Thank you.

  12. Hi I’m on visa 417 from Uk to Australia
    I’m working with the parson who doing a Tiling and I’m working with hem and he paying me a monthly $3500 to my account is it ok to work with hem for 3 months and also he will giving me a payslip for each month and is Accountin managing my tex and I’m working on my TFN number

  13. I have a question regarding to my visa extension.
    I‘ve worked 3 weeks with one employer but need to change it now.
    So in my new job I will work 5 days (40hs), can I count the two day off‘s as well?

    Any help would be much appreciate

  14. Hey, I’m working on a 3/1 shift in the mines to get my 6 months regional work for my Nil Vac visa. It entails on the payslip a 2 day week, two 7 day weeks and a 4 day week. Does my 3 weeks each month count as a month regional done? Cheers!

  15. Hi!
    I’m applying for my second WHV and they ask me how many hours I worked.
    I was working on a piece ratein agriculture for 8 to 10 hours per day depending on the farm.
    What should I answer to that question?
    Hoping you can help me, I wish you a good day.
    Thanks,
    Alessandro

  16. Ciao!
    Sto Richie de do il secondo wh ,ho payslip che contano 42 h e payslip che ne contengono 25
    Nella domanda mi chiede di inserire i giorni lavorati ,come mi comport-? Quando sono segna ti piu di 35 conto l’intera settimana nelle altre che segnano 24 h come conto i gg ?

  17. Hi, if I work with 1 employer for 1 month and move to another farm for 2 months can I still count weekends for both if I’m working full time hours 5 days a week?
    Thanks

  18. Hi ~
    I was just wondering. I’m working at hotel in Cairns. I do hospitality job now.
    I work 6 hours a day, and 5 days a week. But still less than 35-40 hours a week.
    Could my work be counted as 7 days a week? or I have to find second job for 88days ?

    Thanks !

  19. Hello, I just started to work as a utility worker(like kitchen hand and housekeeper) in the mining site in WA, having a 2/1 roster. The thing is I am casual worker, so even if I work 3 months, i’m not sure about that it will be counted.
    So when I’m casual worker in the mining site, will my 1 week off be counted for second visa?(My agency said I can get my payslip weekly.)
    Thank you.

  20. Hi, thank you for all the information, its helpful. But I still have some questions to ask.

    I am now working for 3 restaurants in eligible area.
    Employer A – 4 hours per day and 3 days per week; casual
    Employer B – 5-12 hours per day and 3-4 days per week; casual
    Employer C – 4-6 hours per day and 2 days per week ; casual

    For employer A, payslip stated 12 hours per week, can I count 0.5 day for each working day towards that 88 days? So should be 1.5 days per week
    If I worked for employer A (4 hours) and B (5 hours) same day can I count as 1 day?
    Is it ok if I provide payslip for 3 employers for the same period? Will it be all counted?
    Or I could just add up the total hours from all the jobs and divided by 8 (40 hours/5) to get the working days?

    Thank you! Really appreciated

  21. Hi,

    We’re working at a strawberry farm employed on a casual basis. We work 5/6 days a week but the hours vary depending on the crops. 2 days a week the company have half days. We’re really confused as to how to count our days, whether it’s by day or by reaching a certain amount of hours per week.

    Any help would be appreciated!

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