January 3, 2024

Australia’s Changes to Working Holiday Makers Visa Conditions

Changes to Working Holiday Makers Visa Conditions


The Australian Department of Home Affairs has officially confirmed changes to the policy arrangements around condition 8547.

Effective 1 January 2024, Working Holiday Makers will need to request an extension beyond the standard six-month limitation, unless they meet the exemptions in place. 

The new process requires individuals to take the responsibility and actively request an extension themselves if they wish to continue working in Australia beyond the initial six months and have the limitation removed.

However, the specific details regarding these exemptions are yet to be fully outlined, and the Department of Home Affairs has promised further information following an upcoming review. This leaves room for anticipation as we await more comprehensive updates, set to be released in early 2024.


As of 1 January 2024, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs has decided on an extension to the exemption process for visa condition 8547.


Until the Australian Government has further discussions regarding the Working Holiday Makers reform, Working Holiday Makers can extend their employment with the same employer beyond 6 months without seeking permission only if the following circumstances apply:

  1. Working in different locations: Working Holiday Makers can extend their employment if they work in various locations, as long as the duration of employment in any single location does not exceed 6 months.
  2. Employment in plant and animal cultivation: Individuals engaged in plant and animal cultivation activities in Australia are eligible for an extension.
  3. Specific industries: Exemptions apply to certain industries, including aged care and disability services, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, construction, and mining. However, these exemptions are limited to Northern Australia.
  4. Natural disaster recovery work: Those involved in natural disaster recovery work, starting from 17 February 2020, are eligible for an extension.
  5. Sanctioned critical sectors: Workers in critical sectors such as agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care, childcare (from 4 April 2020), and tourism and hospitality (from 8 May 2020) can extend their employment without seeking additional permission.



 How to apply for Condition 8547 extensions

In a recent update by the Department of Home Affairs, changes to the Working Holiday program have been announced, specifically regarding the extension of work rights beyond the standard six-month limitation.

While certain exemptions exist, those not covered by these exceptions are required to seek permission for extended employment with one employer. This article outlines the guidelines and procedures for Working Holiday Makers who fall outside the specified exemptions.

A new web form for extension applications is anticipated to be operational starting 22 December 2023. During this time, the Home Affairs Department will process applications that adhere to the guidelines below:

Alternatively, applicants can send an email to Working.Holiday@homeaffairs.gov.au, clearly stating:

  • commencement date of employment and the anticipated end date of the six-month period.
  • comprehensive details justifying the need for an extension beyond six months.
  • intended duration for continuing employment with the employer.
  • include supporting documentation from the employer, such as a one-page letter on company letterhead outlining exceptional circumstances.

For individuals who have already submitted requests for approval to work beyond six months with the same employer, employment can continue until a written outcome is received.

Stay informed as we anticipate further announcements in 2024 that will provide additional insights into broader changes expected in the Working Holiday program. We will keep you updated on any developments that may impact your experience as a Working Holiday Maker in Australia.

For personalised assistance and advice on your specific situation, book a consultation with our experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents today. Your journey to a seamless experience in Australia begins with guidance from our visa specialists!



December 4, 2018

In time for the end of year holiday season, the Australian Government has announced changes for Working Holiday Visas (Subclasses 417 & 462) and to the Seasonal Worker Program. The changes will give Working Holiday Visa holders options to stay in Australia longer, work in different areas of Australia and (for some countries) increase the age requirement for visa holders. Seasonal Work Program changes will allow longer stays and make it easier for employers to bring over seasonal workers.

The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) and Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) changes summarised as follows –

  • Working Holiday Makers from Ireland and Canada will now be eligible to apply up to the age of 35 (increased from the previous 30-year age limit).
  • The annual cap on the number of 462 visas that may be granted will be increased for some countries.
  • Previously, 462 visa holders were only able to work in Northern Australia to qualify for a further year of stay in Australia. From 5 November 2018, 462 holders will be able to work in agriculture (plant and animal cultivation) in a number of new regional areas to qualify for the second-year stay.
  • The new regional areas for 462 visa holders will include regions in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia and extend coverage to all of the Northern Territory, Tasmania and South Australia.
  • For 462 visa holders to be eligible for the second year, they must work for a total of 88 calendar days (three months) in specified regional work. This work may include a combination of existing specified regional work and the newly introduced specified regional work.
  • Previously Working Holiday Makers (both 462 and 417 holders) could only stay in Australia for a maximum of two years. From mid-2019, 462 and 417 visa holders will be eligible to stay a further year if they complete six months of specified regional work during their second year in Australia.
  • Previously Working Holiday Makers (both 462 and 417 holders) could only stay with the same agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) employer for 6 months. From 5 November 2018, this has been extended to 12 months.
  • The existing Working Holiday Maker arrangements in Northern Australia will not change. That is, 417 and 462 visa holders can continue to work with the same employer in Northern Australia for the extended 12-month period in specified work. 462 visa holders are still able to qualify for their second year stay by working in specified work in Northern Australia.

The changes to the Seasonal Worker Program are as follows –

  • The program covers resident citizens from Vanuatu, Timor-Leste, Fiji, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kiribati, Tonga and Tuvalu. Currently, workers from some countries are only allowed to work for six months, this will be increased to nine months.
  • Evidence showing an inability to recruit Australians for the seasonal work may be valid for six months.
  • Workers will have to repay their full travel costs, minus the first $300.00. This has been reduced from the previous $500.00 payment previously covered by employers.

You can find more information about the Seasonal Worker Program here.

With all of these new options to extend your stay or allow for greater access to the Working Holiday Maker visas, now is the time to start planning your trip to Australia or make plans to ensure you can stay as long as possible. Please contact us if you require our assistance. You can book a consultation, and/or use our service to have your visa application completed by a Registered Migration Agent. We are happy to help and work with both, employers and individual clients. We look forward to hearing from you!!

August 7, 2016

Attention to TRAVELLERS on a Working Holiday Visa & EMPLOYERS in Northern Australia!

Are you in Northern Australia (WA, Qld and NT) on a Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) or Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462)? Have you been working for an employer for nearly six months and you would like to continue working?

In Northern Australia you can seek approval to work for up to 6 additional months with the same employer- a total of 12 months work!!

Employment extension requests in Northern Australia will be considered in the following industries:

  • Aged and Disability Care
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Construction
  • Mining
  • Tourism and Hospitality

Contact us now if you work in one of these industries! We also help businesses who employ staff on Working Holiday Visas!

At Northern Immigration Australia, we can help extending your work permission!!

Construction is one of the industries which are eligible to seek extension of work permissions.

Translate »