Frequently asked questions

Here you can find any possible answer to your questions

About the visa

Here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Working Holiday Visa. Fore more information, you can check the official Australian government website

The Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) is a temporary visa which allows people between the ages of 18 and 31 to live and work in Australia for up to one year. The second year visa is simply an extension of the first year visa, available up until the age of 31.

The Government is considering options for expanding the upper age of eligibility from 30 to 35 years. The current age of eligibility (18 to 30) still applies for the moment.

If you apply for the Second Year Visa 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.

  • You must be between 18 and 31 years old.
  • You must have a valid passport with at least 6 months until renewal.
  • You must not have any substantial criminal convictions.
  • You must not have any substantial medical issues.
  • You must have completed 3 months, or 88 days of specified work in regional Australia (you are allowed to work maximum six months with the same employer).

1. Specified work

Specified work is any type of work described in the list below (it must be the primary role, function or activity):

  • Plant and animal cultivation
    • plant and animal cultivation
    • the harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
    • pruning and trimming vines and trees
    • 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
    • immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
    • 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 to be milled
  • Mining (more information on the ANZSIC website)
    • coal mining
    • oil and gas extraction
    • metal ore mining
    • construction material mining
    • non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying exploration
    • mining support services
  • Construction (more information on the ANZSIC website)
    • 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
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 / au pair 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
  • General garden maintenance
  • Maintaining animals for tourism or recreational purposes
  • Secondary processing of animal products, such as small goods processing and retail butchery
  • Supporting work, such as book-keeping
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 website

2. Eligible areas

The designated regional areas basically exclude the main cities (Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, etc.). The following postcodes are in Regional Australia :

  • ACT

    The Australian Capital Territory is not classified as part of regional Australia

  • New South Wales

    Note: Excludes Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong.
    Postcode: 2311 to 2312 | 2328 to 2411 | 2420 to 2490 | 2536 to 2551 | 2575 to 2594 | 2618 to 2739 | 2787 to 2899

  • Northern Territory

    All of Northern Territory is classified as part of regional Australia.

  • Queensland

    Note: Excludes the Greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast
    Postcode: 4124 to 4125 | 4133 | 4211 | 4270 to 4272 | 4275 | 4280 | 4285 | 4287 | 4307 to 4499 | 4510 | 4512 | 4515 to 4519 | 4522 to 4899

  • South Australia

    All of South Australia is classified as part of regional Australia

  • Tasmania

    All of Tasmania is classified as part of regional Australia.

  • Victoria

    Note: Excludes Melbourne metropolitan area.
    Postcode: 3211 to 3334 | 3340 to 3424 | 3430 to 3649 | 3658 to 3749 | 3753 | 3756 | 3758 | 3762 | 3764 | 3778 to 3781 | 3783 | 3797 | 3799 | 3810 to 3909 | 3921 to 3925 | 3945 to 3974 | 3979 | 3981 to 3996 | 3139

  • Western Australia

    Note: Excludes Perth and surrounding areas.
    Postcode: 6041 to 6044 | 6076 | 6083 to 6084 | 6111 | 6121 to 6126 | 6200 to 6799

This is why 88DAYSTOWORK references only employers that may offer jobs in a specific field or industry (but you need to check that the offered position is a primary role of the list above). You can check if an employer is located in an eligible area on the website: a message will appear “this employer is eligible” or “this employer is not eligible” for the 2nd year visa.

Since 2015, volunteer and unpaid jobs (Woofing, HelpX) are no more eligible to get the Second Year Visa and it has become more difficult to calculate the 88 days (3 months) of Regional Work. To get a Second Year Visa, you need to be sure that one day of work will count toward the visa. Until April 2018, the calculation was different if you worked for different employers or 3 months continuously with the same employer.

But since April 2018, the Department of Immigration changed the rules again: your days off now counts toward the 3 months of Regional Work, as long as you work the normal number of hours per day and per week that is considered standard practice in the industry and role in which you are employed.

Three months

'Three months' of specified work means a period equivalent to three 'calendar' months, which is taken to be a minimum period of 88 calendar days, including weekends or equivalent rest days during your period of employment.

To meet the three months specified work requirement you must actually work for the same number of days that a full-time employee would normally work in a three month (88 calendar day) period. You can do this in a variety of ways, for example:

  • working five days a week for a continuous period of three calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement; or
  • working less than five days a week over a period longer than three calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement;
  • working multiple short periods of work in any combination of full time, part time or piecework rate, which add up to the equivalent of five days a week over three calendar months.

You do not need to do your three months' specified work all in one go, or all with one employer. You are free to spread the work over the period of your stay in Australia. You can also work for longer than the required minimum of three months.

You cannot complete your specified work requirement in a total period less than three calendar months.

Hours of work per day

You should agree with your employer the number of working hours, before you start work.

One single day of work is considered to be the normal number of hours per day (or per shift) that is considered standard practice in the industry and role in which you are employed.

Note: If you are working on a piecework rate the number of hours can depend on the weather and ripening of crops.

Note: If you are working on an Award you should check your conditions of employment, including rostering, overtime, and penalty rates. You can find your award on the Fair Work Ombudsman website

You cannot count a long day of work as more than one day of specified work. For example, if the industry's standard day is five hours long, working a 10 hour day does not count as two days of specified work.

Australian public holidays and sick days

Australian public holidays and sick days (or equivalent workers compensation leave days) can be counted as a day of specified work if you are paid for that day. Public Holiday or leave days which are not paid cannot be included in your specified work total.

Severe or seasonal weather

You cannot include any unpaid days where you did not work due to severe or seasonal weather towards your total period of three months of specified work.

You should plan to complete your specified work early in your stay, as no exception will be made for failure to complete the three months specified work because of severe weather – or any other reason.

Shift work

Variable shift work arrangements which are standard practice in the industry can be counted towards specified work. For example, if your full time paid employment contract involves two weeks rostered on for every day and then two weeks rostered off as rest days, provided this is standard practice in the industry, and you are paid for this whole period, then all four weeks (28 days) can be counted towards the three month work requirement. Be sure to keep a copy of your employment contract.

For more information you can read the information provided by the Australian Governement

Our tool is an algorithm that we built with the backpacker community and employers who contacted us to help. It is NOT an official tool built by the Australian government, and it cannot be responsible of the issue of your Second Year Visa application.

You can use this tool to help you keep track of your 88 days: just add your payslips on your personal account, which is secure by the SSL protocol. We do NOT sell or give your information.

1. Select your employer in the list (or create one)

The algorithm will detect if your employer is located in a Regional Area, which depends on the postcode. If you select an employer that is not located in a Regional Area, this message will appear “Isn't eligible for the 2nd year visa” and your payslip will count for 0 days toward the 88 days.

Note: our team will check the information (activity, name, address, phone, etc.) of the employer you created with your payslip; if the information is relevant, your employer will appear on the map to help the backpacker community to find work. Please only add relevant information to help us.

2. Complete the details of your payslip

The algorithm will detect if you worked the same number of days that a full-time employee would normally work in a three month (88 calendar day) period, to meet the three months specified work requirement.

The Department of Immigration states that “One single day of work is considered to be the normal number of hours per day (or per shift) that is considered standard practice in the industry and role in which you are employed”.

Important note: Since July 2018, the department of Home Affairs give the example of maria who work in agriculture only 30h per week with the correct wage to get a second year visa. According to the number of hours worked and incomes, she can get a second year visa.

Example: Maria works on a dairy farm milking and other duties. Maria makes an agreement with her employer to work five days a week (Wednesday to Sunday) from 4am to 7am and 1pm to 4pm each working day (a total of six working hours per day) for three months. These hours are considered normal for this role and Maria is paid the correct legal wage. Maria can count every day of work towards the three month specified work requirement, which she meets.

Note: you can find your award on the Fairwork website

Our tool will determine how many hours you’ve worked.

  • If you are paid hourly

    You will probably be paid the minimum wage (18.93 $ per hour before tax), but you can change this amount on your payslip if you’re paid more than the minimum wage. If you earned at least the minimum wage for one week of work (567.9 $), our tool will convert this salary into hours depending on your hourly rate (usually 18,29$).

    If the algorithm detects that you have been working at least 30 hours per week, then it means that you worked for the same number of hours that a full-time employee would normally work, and it will count your days off (week-ends) toward the 88 days. The days off between payslips can't exceed 3 days.

    But if the algorithm detects that you have been working less than a full-time worker would normally work, you will earn a number of days proportionally to the hours that you actually work. For example, if you work only 20 hours per week, you will need to work a proportionately longer period of part time work to meet the specified work requirement.

  • If you are paid by piece rate

    The rules and calculation of the 88 days are the same. But there is a problem: your payslips won’t show how many hours per day or per week you worked. So how does the Department of Immigration check that you have worked (at least approximatively) the same number of hours that a full-time employee would normally work?

    You can sign a contract with your employer that states the numbers of working hours. But most backpackers are casual employees and they don’t sign a contract (they only sign a piece rate agreement, which doesn’t show the numbers of working hours). Also, a contract cannot guarantee how many hours you have actually worked.

    The Department of Immigration considers that the main acceptable evidence of specified work are payslips, piece rate agreement, payment summary and bank statement. All these documents show your salary without any information about the number of hours effectively worked.

    This is the main reason why we created the calculation tool: by adding your payslips, your salary will be convert into hours and days, and you will know if you actually worked ‘like’ a full-time employee. It’s an easy way to keep tracks of your 88 days of Regional Work to maximize your chance to get a Second Year Visa.

If you apply for a second Working Holiday visa, you will need to provide evidence that you have satisfied the specified work eligibility requirement, including that you have been paid in accordance with relevant Australian laws and awards. Acceptable evidence of specified work (completed while on your first Working Holiday visa) can include copies of the following:

  • payslip or other evidence of payment for specified work (these must be supplied for all specified work)
  • a written and signed piecework rate agreement setting out the pay rate per piece and how it is measured
  • group certificate
  • payment summary
  • employer reference
  • Australian bank statement covering the period of declared specified work as evidence of salary payments
  • a written and signed agreement setting out any lawful deductions in pay
  • a completed Form 1263 Working Holiday visa: Employment verification (This form is optional and does not need to be signed by the employer. However, it is a useful way for you to keep track of your specified work, and will assist in the processing of your application)

As long as you apply before you're 31, there is no time limit.

The average processing time for the Second Year Visa is currently two to six weeks, so you should make sure to start the application process at least 28 days before your first visa expires to account for any difficulties that could arise (unless you apply overseas).

Once your application has been granted, you will have one year to activate the visa. You can do this by simply entering Australia. Alternatively, if you are in Australia (onshore) when you lodge your application and do not leave, your Second Year Visa will automatically come into effect when your first year application expires.

A bridging visa (BVA) is a temporary visa which allows you to stay in Australia in the instance that your first year visa expires and your second year visa still hasn't been granted. If you are on a bridging visa for two months whilst waiting for your second year visa to be granted, those two months will be deducted from your second year. As long as the last visa you held in Australia was a Working Holiday Visa, you can still work whilst on a bridging visa.

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