The Australian government has just announced significant changes regarding the Working Holiday visa program. One of the changes is the opportunity to work for more than 6 months for the same agricultural employer. This also includes the opportunity to get a third-year working holiday visa, under certain conditions.
Third-year visa for subclass 417 and 462 visa holders
At the moment, it is possible to extend your Working Holiday for a second year if you complete 88 days (3 months) of work in certain regions and specific job sectors. According to the Australian government, Working Holiday makers on their second year visa can extend their visa for another year after 1 July 2019. To be eligible, they have to work in a specified job for 6 months in a specified regional area.
To sum it up, you will need to do 88 days of farm work in your first year to qualify for a second Working Holiday visa. Then you work 6 months during your second year to apply for a third year. The type of work you will have to do to be eligible for the third year visa are the same as the specified work for the second year visa.
It has not been clarified yet whether this change applies only to future applicants for the Working Holiday visa or whether current Working Holiday makers can work towards their third year. We will keep you informed as soon as this issue is clarified.
Work more than 6 months for the same agricultural employer
Since 5 November 2018, it is possible to work more than 6 months for the same employer in the agricultural sector.
These jobs include:
“- The harvesting and / or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
– pruning and trimming vines and trees
– 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
– immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
– manufacturing dairy produce from raw materials.” (06/11/2018 Homeaffairs)
This new regulation applies to every state and territory of Australia and to every Working Holiday maker in the first or second year. Workers will therefore be able to stay with the same employer for up to 12 months.
The goal here is to increase the workforce available to work in seasonal agricultural jobs.
It is not necessary to obtain permission by the government, the regulation has come into effect immediately.
Increasing the age limit to 35
While Australia had announced to increase the age limit for Working Holiday Makers, only Canada and Ireland have accepted this proposal. As a result, Canadians and Irish can now apply for a first or second-year Working Holiday visa until they turn 35 years old. Previously, the age limit for obtaining a Working Holiday visa was 31 years old for Canadians an Irish. For all other countries, the age limit remains 31 for now. They might come to an agreement though, we will definitely keep you posted.
More information: Working Holiday Visa age limit up to 35 years for Canadians
Additional parts of regional Australia
Since 5 November 2018, the Australian government have added regional areas in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, and all of Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania to the list of eligible work locations. We will inform you about specific postcodes shortly.