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Working Holiday visa (subclass 417)

WORKING HOLIDAY VISA (SUBCLASS 417)

Features

This visa is for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are at least 18 but not yet 31 years of age
  • do not have a dependent child accompanying you at any time during your stay in Australia
  • have a passport from an eligible country.

About this Visa

The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) is a temporary visa for young people who want to holiday and work in Australia for up to a year. It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.

First Working Holiday visa: You must be outside Australia when you apply for your first Working Holiday visa and when the visa is decided.

Second Working Holiday visa: If you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. If you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

Working in Australia – six months with one employer: You can generally only work six months with one employer. More information is available at Working in Australia – six months with one employer

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you to:

  • stay in Australia for up to 12 months
  • work in Australia, generally for up to six months with each employer
  • study for up to four months
  • leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid.

Who could get this visa

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have not previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 462)
  • hold a valid passport from a country involved in the Working Holiday Program with Australia
  • have turned 18 years of age but have not yet turned 31
  • are a genuine visitor who wants to have a holiday in Australia
  • have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday (about AUD 5000)
  • have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket at the end of your stay
  • will not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during your stay.

Second Working Holiday Visa

To apply for a second Working Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 417), you must:

  • have complied with all the conditions on your first Working Holiday visa
  • have not previously held more than one Working Holiday visa
  • have completed three months of specified work in regional Australia while on your first Working Holiday visa
  • have not yet turned 31 years of age.

If you are already in Australia, and wish to remain onshore, you should apply for a second Working Holiday visa before your current visa expires and before you have turned 31 years of age.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The health examinations you need will depend on your personal circumstances, including your period of stay, country of citizenship, time spent in another country during the last five years and your intended activities in Australia. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

Health insurance

You are responsible for all your health costs while you are in Australia. You will not be covered by Australia’s national health scheme (Medicare) unless your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia.

We recommend that you take out health insurance each time you travel to Australia.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

Provide biometrics

You might be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of the application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.

Eligible countries

To apply for this visa, you must hold a valid passport from a country involved in the Working Holiday Program with Australia. Eligible countries are:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom.

Specified work

To apply for a second Working Holiday visa, you must have already completed three months of specified work in regional Australia. This specified work must have been completed while on your first Working Holiday visa.

Specified work is work that is undertaken in a ‘specified’ field or industry in a designated regional area. See the section on Regional Areas below to check the postcode list of designated regional areas.

All specified work performed on or after 1 December 2015 must be remunerated in accordance with the relevant Australian legislation and awards. Voluntary work performed after 1 December 2015 will not be accepted for the purpose of applying for a second Working Holiday visa.

Approved industries for specified work include:

  • plant and animal cultivation
  • fishing and pearling
  • tree farming and felling
  • mining
  • construction.

Specified work is any type of work described in the list below:

  • plant and animal cultivation
    • the harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
    • pruning and trimming vines and trees
      Note: This must be the applicants 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.
  • fishing and pearling
    • conducting operations relating directly to taking or catching fish and other aquatic species
    • conducting operations relating directly to taking or culturing pearls or pearl shell.
  • tree farming and felling
    • planting or tending trees in a plantation or forest that are intended to be felled
    • felling trees in a plantation or forest
    • transporting trees or parts of trees that were felled in a plantation or forest to the place where they are first to be milled or processed or from which they are to be transported to the place where they are to be milled or processed.
  • mining
    • coal mining
    • oil and gas extraction
    • metal ore mining
    • construction material mining
    • non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying exploration
    • mining support services.
  • construction
  • residential building construction
  • non-residential building construction
  • heavy and civil engineering construction
  • land development and site preparation services
  • building structure services
  • building installation services
  • building completion services
  • other construction services.

Work undertaken in the areas of plant and animal cultivation, fishing and pearling, and tree farming and felling must be described in the list above to meet the specified work requirement.

The Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) provides further detail about eligible work in mining and construction. Work undertaken in the mining and construction sectors must appear in the ANZSIC division for these sectors to meet the specified work requirement

Supporting work, such as book-keeping, in any industry described in the list above does not meet the definition of specified work.

Specified work:

  • must be an activity listed above
  • must be the primary role, function or activity performed during the applicants employment.

Examples of eligible specified work:

  • picking fruits on an orchard
  • feeding and herding cattle on a farm
  • horse breeding and stud farming
  • landscaping the grounds of a construction/house site
  • painting the interior/exterior of new buildings
  • conservation and environmental reforestation work
  • zoo work involving plant or animal cultivation
  • erecting fences on a construction site
  • scaffolding.

Examples of ineligible specified work:

  • ship/boat building
  • performing specialised social science services (such as anthropological and archaeological assessments) for mining companies
  • town planning or architecture
  • working as a nanny on a farm
  • working at a cellar door providing wine tastings
  • manufacturing materials used on a construction site (such as concrete or steel)
  • cooking/catering on a mine site
  • cleaning the interior of mine complexes or buildings.

Specified work in disaster affected areas

Construction work can be vital in helping regional disaster zones, such as those affected by flood or bushfire, to rebuild and recover from disaster.
Working Holiday visa holders who conduct construction work in eligible regional areas of Australia following disasters can count the work as specified work.

Examples of construction work that qualify as specified work include:

  • demolition of buildings, trench digging, land clearing and earth moving
  • residential and non-residential construction or renovation/repair, including of roads, footpaths, bridges, parking lots, fencing, railways, dams, irrigation systems, sewage and storm water drainage systems.

A full list of eligible construction activities is available from the Australia Bureau of Statistics.

How to find specified work

Applicants can find specified work vacancies in the same way as they would find other job vacancies, such as through employment pages in newspapers, the Internet and job placement service providers. Vacancies specifically for plant and animal cultivation can be found on the Harvest Trail website.
Note: Not all vacancies advertised on the Harvest Trail website will qualify an applicant for a second Working Holiday visa.

Applicants should ensure that the vacancy meets the definition of specified work listed above and that the work will take place in an eligible postcode of regional Australia.  See the section on Regional Areas below to check the postcode list of designated regional areas.

How to calculate specified work
‘Three months’ means three ‘calendar’ months or 88 days. Work can be either:

  • in one block with one business
  • in separate blocks with one business or a number of businesses. Blocks of work may be in different kinds of specified work.

One full day of work is defined as having worked the minimum number of hours considered to be a standard day by the particular industry in which the applicant is employed.  Generally, the Australian working week is 35 to 40 hours, consisting of seven to eight hours of work each day.  Individual employers can not set a smaller period of time than the industry standard to satisfy the specified work requirement.

In calculating the period of time for which the applicant has undertaken specified work, the type of employment relationship the applicant may have with their employer, including full/part time employment or casual employment, is not as important as whether the relevant industry considers the period of work completed to be equivalent to full time work for that industry. For example, if the applicant’s paid employment involved two weeks on and then two weeks off, and this is standard practice in the industry, the applicant would be considered to have worked for four weeks (28 days). If the employer is satisfied that the applicant has undertaken the equivalent of full time work for that industry for the specified period, the visa decision maker may be satisfied that the applicant has undertaken full time work for the specified period.

Applicants whose work is equivalent to full time employment may count weekends in the 88 day period. However, if the applicant’s work is not equivalent to full time employment, for example, part time or casual, they may only count the full days actually worked.

In circumstances where the applicant is employed by more than one employer at the same time, they may only count each calendar day of work completed once towards their 88 day specified work requirement.

The shortest period that may be counted towards the specified work requirement is one day of full time work (for that industry). Applicants cannot count a long day of work as more than one day of specified work. For example, if the industry’s standard day is six hours long, working a 12 hour day does not count as two days of specified work.

Full time workers can count sick days only during periods where they were in paid employment and entitled to sick leave or covered by a workers compensation scheme. In these situations, supporting evidence must be provided by the employer.

Applicants who were prevented from obtaining employment because of injury or seasonal circumstances cannot count any time they were unable to work towards the three month period. For example, cyclones interrupting harvest activities.

Some possible examples to help clarify the definition of three months of specified work are outlined below.

Examples that meet the three month requirement

  • Working week
    Working on a farm for three months for five days each week, where the industry standard is five days a week of full time work.
  • Shift work
    Employed as a miner for three months and under the employment contract are only required to work every second week, which is the standard full time contract for the industry.
  • Blocks of work
    Completing 60 days of harvest work, followed by a period of travel for two months. Then completing another 28 days in construction, bringing the total days worked to 88 days.
  • Sick days
    Employed for a three month period but take several days of sick leave during the period.

Examples that do not meet the three month requirement

  • Working week
    When five days of work a week is the industry standard on a farm, but the applicant only works four days a week for three months.
  • Work done on another visa type
    Completing three months of specified work during the summer break while on a Student visa.
  • Seasonal circumstances
    Picking bananas for 80 days on a casual basis, but the applicant cannot find more work as there is a cyclone and their first Working Holiday visa ceases.

Evidence of specified work

  • If the Working Holiday visa holder applies for a second Working Holiday visa, they will need to provide evidence that they have satisfied the specified work eligibility requirement. Acceptable evidence of specified work (completed while on their first Working Holiday visa) includes original or certified copies of the following:
  • pay slips (must be supplied for all specified work performed from 31 August 2015)
  • group certificates
  • payment summaries
  • tax returns
  • employer references
  • a completed employment verification form signed by the applicants employer
  • original Australian bank statement covering the period of declared specified work, undefined document entitled: ' Form 1263'Form 1263 (Working Holiday visa: Employment verification (75 kB PDF file)

Note: Providing a completed Form 1263 and additional forms of evidence will allow a Working Holiday visa application to be assessed more quickly. Please ensure that all information provided is correct. Contacting third parties to verify the claims of applicants for second Working Holiday visas will now be a standard component of second Working Holiday visa application assessments.

Providing a false or misleading declaration or fraudulent evidence for any visa application can result in the application being refused or cancelled. If the applicant’s visa is cancelled they may be prevented from lodging further applications and be excluded from Australia for a period of three years.

WORKING HOLIDAY VISA (SUBCLASS 417) DOCUMENT CHECKLIST

You must provide documents to support your application for this visa. We can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge your application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

You must provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Forms

A completed application form as follows:

  • Applying online:
    • First Working Holiday visa: Application for a Working Holiday visa
    • Second Working Holiday visa (outside Australia): Application for a Working Holiday visa
    • Second Working Holiday visa (in Australia): Application for a Working Holiday visa
  • Applying by post or in person:
    • Form 1150 – Application for a Working Holiday visa (209KB PDF).
    • Second Working Holiday visa: Form 1263 – Working Holiday visa: Employment verification (75KB PDF)
  • Acceptable evidence of employment includes certified copies of:
    • pay slips (must be supplied for all specified work performed from 31 August 2015)
    • group certificates
    • payment summaries
    • tax return
    • employer references
    • a completed employment verification form
    • Australian bank statement covering the period of declared specified work.

Receiving assistance

Complete these forms only if you are lodging a paper application:

Charges

  • Pay the visa application charge.

Your personal documents

  • Certified copies of the biographical pages of the current passports or travel documents of all people included in the application (these are the pages with the holder’s photo and personal details and the issue/expiry dates).
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate showing both parents’ names. If you do not have a birth certificate and are unable to get one, you must provide a certified copy of the identification pages of at least one of the following documents:
    • family book showing both parents’ names
    • identification document issued by the government
    • court-issued documents that verify your identity.
  • If your name has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs (45 m x 35 mm).
    • These photographs should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background
    • Print the name of the person on the back of each photograph.
  • If you have served in the armed forces of any country: certified copies of military service record or discharge papers.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds: certified copy of a bank statement showing you have access to funds of at least AUD 5000.

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