Australia’s Changes to Working Holiday Makers Visa Conditions
THE EXTENSION OF WORK RIGHTS BEYOND THE SIX-MONTH LIMITATION FOR WORKING HOLIDAY MAKERS
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.
WORKING HOLIDAY EXTENSION: NEW RULES AND TEMPORARY EXEMPTIONS
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.
TEMPORARY EXEMPTIONS EXPLAINED
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:
- 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.
- Employment in plant and animal cultivation: Individuals engaged in plant and animal cultivation activities in Australia are eligible for an extension.
- 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.
- Natural disaster recovery work: Those involved in natural disaster recovery work, starting from 17 February 2020, are eligible for an extension.
- 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:
- Requests should be submitted in written form, preferably using Form 1445 titled “Request Permission to Extend Employment with an Employer Beyond Six Months” for a Working Holiday or Work and Holiday Visa.
- Submissions must be made a minimum of two weeks before the conclusion of the initial six-month work period.
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!