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How to apply for a second year visa in Australia

How to apply for a second year visa in Australia

If you are on a Working Holiday Visa in Australia and wish to stay longer, this is how you can apply for a second year visa in Australia. Here is all the information you need to renew your working holiday visa and enjoy a second year in this beautiful country. 

Conditions to get a second year visa in Australia

Several conditions apply to renew your Working Holiday Visa.
Just like the first Working Holiday visa, you will need to be under 31 years old (35 for Irish, Canadians and French citizens), have a valid passport, will not be accompanied by dependent children and be able to show that you have health cover for the length of your stay in Australia.

You must also have completed three months or 88 days of specified work in regional Australia while on your first Working Holiday visa.

Since July 2019, holders of WHV visas carrying out 6 months of eligible work in regional areas while on their second working holiday visa (417 or 462) can claim a third WHV. The 6 months of work must have been carried out after July 1, 2019.

Volunteer work is excluded

Volunteer work such as Wwoofing or HelpX can no longer be counted for the 88 days. It must be paid work. For more information, go to: Volunteer Work Excluded from 2nd Year Working Holiday Visa in Australia.

Be careful though! Following the bushfires that ravaged part of the country in January 2020, it is possible to volunteer in disaster-affected areas and these days count for your renewal. Check out this article for more information: WHV specified work in disaster-affected areas

Eligible areas

For 417 visa holders, all areas in Tasmania, South Australia and Northern Territory are eligible for renewal. For the other states and territories only certain postcodes are eligible.
Here is the list of the eligible postcodes : Eligible Postcodes for a second year visa in Australia

462 Visa holders are required to complete three months of specified subclass 462 work in Northern Australia. This includes the Northern Territory and northern parts of Queensland and Western Australia. 462 visa holders can also complete Plant and Animal Cultivation work and Construction work in any other specified regional areas across Australia (not only northern Australia).

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Eligible regions to renew your WHV

Find the list of postcodes eligible to renew your second and third WHV in Australia.

Eligible jobs

There are many different industries you can work in to qualify for a second working holiday visa. Industries differ depending on your visa type (417 and 462).

For 417 Visa Holders

Approved specified regional work include:

  • Agriculture industries (harvesting, cultivation, processing)
  • Fishing and pearling
  • Tree farming and felling
  • Mining
  • Construction

For 462 Visa Holders

Approved regional work include:

  • 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

The Department of Home Affairs provides a list of all jobs that are eligible to renew your working holiday visa. Find all the jobs eligible on: Eligible jobs for a second year visa in Australia.

Good to know: It is the place where you are working, and not the company headquarter, that must be located in the regional area. Work completed in a non-eligible area, which has an office in a regional area, does not meet the requirement.

Eligible Jobs to renew your Working Holiday Visa

The Australian government provides a list of all jobs that are eligible to renew your working holiday visa. Find all eligible jobs here:

How to calculate the 88 days (3 months)?

Calculating the hours and days

The government has set rules regarding the calculation of the 88 days. Three months’ means three ‘calendar’ months.

One full day of work is defined as seven to eight hours of work during the day.
On average, the Australian working week is 35 to 40 hours.

Full-time workers may include weekends in calculating the number of days. So if you have worked 5 days doing 7 or 8 hours per day, you may count 7 days worked. If you have worked fewer hours per day, then you must work more days to reach the 35 / 40 hours worked per week. For example, if you have worked 5 hours per day, you must work 7 days for your full week to be counted. Unfortunately, it does not work in reverse. If you work 12 hours a day, this will be counted as one working day and not two.
Full-time workers can count sick days only during periods where they are in paid employment and entitled to sick leave. Supporting evidence must be provided by the employer.

If your job is part-time or casual, you may only count the full days actually worked.

What about the wage?

Some applications for a second visa have been denied because the government considered that the people had been underpaid. So remember to check that you are paid the legal minimum wage before starting a new employment.

Minimum wages for fruit picking or any other job 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.

Do I need to work with the same employer for 3 months?

You can either work in one block with the same employer or in separate blocks with one employer or a number of employers. Days of work may be in different kinds of specified work. For example, you can complete 60 days of harvest work, travel for a month and complete another month in a construction job to get your 88 days.

job fruit picking

How to apply for a second year visa?

Application

Applying for a working holiday visa, whether first, second or third year, is quite easy. You can apply for a second Working Holiday visa online on the government website: 

You can apply in or outside Australia.
If you apply from Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted.
If applying from outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

How much does the second year visa cost?

To apply for your Second WHV, it will cost you $485 (July 2020).

Evidence of specified work to provide

It is important to keep evidence of your specified work.
We advise you to keep:

  • Keep the payslips received (paper or email). Make sure you have the ABN and details of your employer.
  • Keep your employment contract if you have one, the document setting the payment terms if you are paid on performance (piecework agreement).
  • Ask your employer, at the end of the fiscal year, to provide you with the PAYG, i.e. a summary of the payslips received. This document can only be sent to you by your employer after the end of the fiscal year (after June 30 of each year). So remember to keep a contact (email, phone) to contact the employer after this date.
  • Bank statements from your Australian account where you can see your check deposits or wage transfers for the periods worked. If you are paid in cash, keep your pay stubs.

Tip: Keep as much evidence of your presence in the region and of the work done as possible. For example, keep photos, bus tickets, receipts for purchases made in the region, etc.

Finally, be aware that the government can call your employers to verify the information provided during your request.

Please note: You may be asked to submit a photocopy of your passport (page with your details).

When to apply for a second year visa?

You may apply either while you still hold a first Working Holiday visa or at a later date.
If you want to extend your visa straight after the first one, you should apply before your first working holiday visa expires.
If you wish to come back later, you should apply before your 31st birthday (35 for Irish, Canadians and French citizens). You will have one year after approval to enter Australia.

Bridging Visa

If you apply for your second year and your first visa is about to expire, you will be granted a bridging visa. You will be able to remain in Australia and to work while waiting for your second year visa.

The processing time varies. Some applications are granted within a few hours whereas others are investigated and can take up to 2 months.

Update July 2020 – The bureau of immigration considers that the processing times of 462 visas are the following to the date of today :

  • 75 % of applications are processed in 48 days
  • 90 % of applications are processed in 84 days

When lodging your application for a second year visa, you should upload all the supporting evidence at the same time to avoid delay in processing your application.

Apply for a third-year visa

As of July 2019, WHV visa holders doing 6 months of eligible work in regional areas while on their second working holiday visa (417 or 462) are eligible for a third WHV. You must complete the 6 months of work after July 1, 2019. To qualify for the third year, an age condition is imposed depending on your nationality, a valid passport is also necessary. You must not have a dependent child and must be able to prove that you have health insurance for the duration of your stay.

Eligible regions and jobs

To renew your visa for the third year, you will need to complete 6 months of eligible work. The jobs eligible for renewal are the same as those for a second year. The eligible regions are also the same for a second or third year.

Information extracted from the Australian Immigration Website (www.homeaffairs.gov.au).

Last updated 27/07/2020 – first published 12/07/2019

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The ultimate guide to work and travel around Australia with a Working Holiday Visa! Get all the tips and advice from other backpackers. The first travel guide written by Backpackers for Backpackers in Australia!!!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hello!

    I’m a little stuck about my hours. I’m working on a dairy farm and my first four weeks didn’t meet the 35 hours however I was working the full time rota. They then changed the rota so we had more hours, will the first four weeks count?

    Thanks,
    Lisa

    • Hi Lisa,
      You have to check the industry standards (Pastoral Award)to see the ordinary hours worked. Under the Pastoral Award 2010, ordinary hours are 152 hours worked over a four-week period, regardless of whether they fall on a weekend. Ordinary hours for casuals are the same as for full-time employees. Cheers

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