Working Holiday – Work Rights Changes from November 2018
Changes have been made to work rights for Working Holiday subclass 417 and Work and Holiday Subclass 462 visas. The changes are as follows:
- Work for up to 12 months (rather than 6 months) in animal and plant cultivation
- Expanded eligibility for a second Work and Holiday visa
- Possibility of a third working holiday visa for 6 months work in a regional area
- Increase in the age limit for working holiday makers from Canada and Ireland to 35
- Increase in application caps for work and holiday subclass 462 applications from certain countries
These changes are intended to support employers in regional areas of Australia who rely on working holiday makers for staffing.
Work for up to 12 months in animal and plant cultivation
In general, working holiday makers can only work for 6 months with each employer.
From 5 November 2018, working holiday makers can work up to 12 months with each employer, provided the staff member is working in plant or animal cultivation.
Plant and animal cultivation includes the following activities:
- the harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
- pruning and trimming vines and trees
Note: This must be your 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.
For employers working in the above industries, this would mean staff could work for the entire duration of their working holiday visas rather than just 6 months.
Second Work and Holiday Visa
This change applies only to the Work and Holiday Subclass 462 visa.
Previously, 462 visa holders were eligible for a second work and holiday visa if they work for 3 months in Northern Australia. The work needs to be in one of the following industries:
- Plant and animal cultivation
- Fishing and pearling
- Tree farming and felling
- Tourism and hospitality
Northern Australia includes:
- The Northern Territory
- Queensland north of the Tropic of Capricorn
- Western Australia north of the Tropic of Capricorn
From 5 November 2018, staff members working in plant and animal cultivation can get a second work and holiday visa in areas outside of Northern Australia. These extra areas include:
- NSW excluding Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong
- Victoria excluding the Melbourne metropolitan area
- Queensland excluding the Greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast
- Perth excluding Perth and surrounding areas
- The whole of South Australia, Tasmania and Norfolk Island
Note that employment in the ACT cannot be used for the second work and holiday visa.
Again, this is a great benefit to employers in plant and animal cultivation working outside the main metropolitan areas of Australia.
Third working holiday visa
Currently, it is possible to obtain a second working holiday or work and holiday visa if the staff member has done specified regional work for 3 months.
From 1 July 2019, and third visa will be available if the staff member has done an additional 6 months of regional work.
Details of this change are not yet available, but it appears, that the work must be completed on a second working holiday or work and holiday visa after 1 July 2019.
Age limit for working holiday makers from Canada and Ireland
Previously, applicants needed to be between 18 and 30 inclusive when applying for their working holiday or work and holiday visa.
From 5 November 2018, applicants for working holiday subclass 417 visas can be up to 35 when they lodge their first working holiday visa, providing they hold a passport from either Canada or Ireland.
This should increase the number of applicants from these nationalities and hence the supply of working holiday makers in Australia.
Caps for work and holiday subclass 462 applications
For most nationalities, caps apply giving a maximum number of 462 visas which can be granted each year.
The Government has announced that the caps will be increased for certain nationalities which should increase the supply of 462 holders in Australia.
The changes to working holiday maker work rights will be of particular benefit to:
- Employers in the plant and animal cultivation industry – maximum employment extended too 12 months and ability to obtain a second 462 visa
- Employers in regional areas – possibility of a third working holiday visa from 1 July 2019
- Increases in the age limit for Irish and Canadian nationals, and increased caps for 462 visa application should also increase the number of working holiday makers in Australia
If you employ working holiday makers in your business and would like assistance in tracking visa work rights and expiry dates, please book a demo and we can talk about how vSure can help.
- Department of Home Affairs – Working Holiday Maker visa program changes Media Release
- Department of Home Affairs – 6 month work limitation on Working Holiday Visas
- Department of Home Affairs – Regional Work for 462 Visa Extensions
- Media Release – More Support for Farmers and Regional Economies
- Media Release – Age Increase for Australian, Irish and Canadian Working Holiday Makers