If you’d like to stay longer in Australia, it’s good to plan early so you can extend your Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa.
Say you’re six months into your stay in Australia and you’re really enjoying life here – so much so you can’t imagine going home. Don’t panic! It is possible to extend your Work and Holiday Visa. All you need to do is plan a little in advance, put in your paperwork and get ready to spend another 12 months in the sun.
Note: Tourism Australia is not the Australian government visa granting authority. The visa granting authority is the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. For up-to-date information, please refer to their website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/work-holiday-462.
The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult with an Australian qualified immigration lawyer or migration agent if you are seeking legal advice.
What are the benefits of staying a second year?
With so much to do and so much to discover, it’s not surprising that many working holiday makers want to stay in Australia for a second year. Beyond making more friends and unforgettable memories, staying for an additional year can help you build up your skills.
Whether you choose to work or volunteer during your time in Australia, you’re building marketable skills that can help you secure a job when you return home. Not only will you learn problem-solving and communication, but also customer service, efficiency and even food production. Staying for a second year allows you to add even more experience to your CV.
What is required to stay on for a second year?
If, early on in your stay, you have an inkling that a year might not be long enough to satisfy your Aussie wanderlust, there’s one really important consideration to factor into your equation: you must complete three months of specified work while your first WHV is still valid.
That work will have to be completed in regional or northern Australia, and it has to be paid in accordance with Australian legislation and awards. What does that mean? You’ll need pay slips and will contribute tax and superannuation payments. Voluntary work doesn’t count and neither does anything informal, such as cash-in-hand work.
The work falls into four categories:
- Plant or animal cultivation in northern Australia and other specified regional areas
- Fishing and pearling in northern Australia
- Tree farming and felling in northern Australia
- Tourism and hospitality in northern Australia
In total, you need to complete the equivalent of three months’ full-time work, or a total of 88 days. You can either do this as a single block – as a full-time or part-time worker – or in several shorter blocks. The main thing to remember is you can’t complete it in a shorter timeframe than three months (by say, working double shifts for six weeks). If you want to find out more about the types of jobs you can take on, where to find vacancies, and the specific geographical locations that are acceptable, you can read more here.
What sort of work should I choose?
You can choose from several different industries, and from different locations around Australia, to carry out your three months’ work. Imagine guiding tours through the beach town of Broome, pouring the perfect flat white in a trendy Darwin cafe or working as an outback jillaroo or jackaroo - a trainee on a sheep or cattle station. They’re all possibilities.
Plant or animal cultivation
Many people choose to work in plant or animal cultivation (often referred to ‘farm work’). This can include fruit picking and fruit packing, which is popular for several reasons – generally no prior experience is required, and the different seasons mean there is work available throughout the year, in different (and often beautiful) locations. Fruit picking is what people refer to as ‘piecework’ – you’re usually paid by how much you pick – so if you work hard, you could earn above the minimum wage.
But that’s not the only kind of farm work available. You could spend your days tending to and milking gentle dairy cows, working as a jackaroo or jillaroo on an outback cattle station, or assisting on a vineyard and learning about the intricacies of viticulture.
Fishing and pearling
If you love the ocean, and seafood, you may wish to consider working on a fishing boat as a crew member or cook. The tiger prawn season lasts from about August to December, so showing up to wharves in Cairns and the Northern Territory in about July can be a good idea, since most skippers hire via word of mouth. Usually you’ll receive a percentage of the catch as your wage.
Another option is working the pearl harvesting season in places like Broome and the Coburg Peninsula, northwest of Darwin. It starts in April and runs until October. Most boats head out for 10 days to two weeks at a time, with crew getting free accommodation and meals in addition to their wages.
Tree farming and felling
Forestry jobs vary from collecting seeds to cutting felled trees into logs, and are available at most times of the year. Prior experience is often required, but for those with little experience, pay starts at around the minimum wage, with loadings paid for weekend work. Work is often advertised on Australian job sites, otherwise you will find some Australian recruitment agencies that specialise in this area.
Tourism and hospitality
Jobs in tourism and hospitality are extremely popular among working holiday makers. Eligible tourism and hospitality jobs can include everything from bartending and housekeeping to guiding guests on a white-water rafting tour and even curating a gallery or museum.
How do I apply for my second year visa?
You’ll need to apply for your Second Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) online using an ImmiAccount. Again, you’ll need to attach scanned, colour copies of your identity documents and pay AUD $450. You’ll also need to provide proof of completing your three months of specified work: pay slips or bank statements showing pay going into your account; a piece rate agreement with your employer if you were paid this way (for example, by fruit picking); your group certificate; your payment summaries; your tax return; or an employer reference. Filling out Form 1464 means your application will be processed faster.
Is it possible to add a third year?
Yes. Recent changes to the working holiday visa program mean that anyone in their second year of a WHV can apply for an extra 12-month extension if they complete an extra six months of specified work in regional areas of Australia.