Australian working holiday visa

Australian Working Holiday: Who Is My Employer and How Long Can I Work for Them?

This one is for all the 417/462 Working Holiday visa holders. I know you’ve got your heads down, working hard, waiting for the sunshine, but here’s a little check to make sure you’re playing by the rules.

You already know that the purpose of the working holiday visa is to travel around the country enjoying the unique experiences Australia has to offer: getting sunburnt at Bondi, eating a kangaroo tail on the way to Uluru, croc spotting in the Northern Territory, sinking schooners with the locals and going camping at Wolf Creek. All that good stuff! Officially, it’s not meant to be about landing a job with a blue chip company, but sometimes you strike it lucky. Be aware though, you are only allowed to work for the same employer for a maximum of six months.

But who is my employer?

Chances are you’re working through an agency, and since they’re the ones putting money in your account, surely they are your employer. Well, yes and no. For most purposes the agency is your employer, but in terms of your visa obligations the “employer” is considered to be the business for which you are working directly even if you are being paid by an agency or labour supplier.

But I really like working for this company! Is there any way I can work longer than six months with them?

You can request to extend your employment period beyond six months due to “exceptional circumstances.” However, your definition of exceptional circumstances is likely to differ widely from the immigration office’s definition, and even if you are successful, the extension is limited to less than a month. Another option, if you have a 417 visa, is to apply for a second Working Holiday visa. The main requirement for a second visa is that you have completed three months of specified work in regional Australia. Specified work can be:

  • Plant and animal cultivation
  • Fishing and pearling
  • Tree farming and felling
  • Mining
  • Construction

Once you’ve pulled on your pack and gone somewhere sunny to pick fruit for three months you can apply for your second visa. The clock will then reset, and you can return to work for a further six months with a previous employer. Happy days!

If you have further questions, please direct them to the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection, as we are not an authority on visa issues. You can also visit Aussie Working Holiday.com or join the Australia Working Holiday Facebook group.

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Shannon Barlow

Shannon Barlow

Manager, RPO Services at people2people
Shannon graduated from Otago University, NZ with a BA (Hons) in Psychology in 2002. Settling in Sydney, Shannon has established herself in the recruitment industry and joined people2people in 2007 recruiting for temporary and permanent accounting positions. Shannon gained excellent knowledge of the Sydney market and in 2010 joined people2people’s RPO division, onsiite, as an account manager responsible for recruitment across all disciplines for a global organisation. Shannon now manages onsiite, where she is responsible for the account management team, together with ensuring the consistent delivery of service level agreements with existing clients and promoting the business development of onsiite services.
Shannon Barlow

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195 comments

  1. vanessa says:

    Hello, I hold a working holiday visa as well.
    I’ve opened an ABN account as I am a freelancer.
    The question is: do I have the same limit to work 6 months only for the same subject even if it’s an on e off work?
    thanks

    • Hi Vanessa,

      The work restriction condition 8547 applies to all 417/462 visa holders regardless of whether the work is full time, part time or casual. So the 6-month limitation will still apply to you while working under an ABN. One thing to note is that the 6 months is based on ongoing work, so potentially you can split the 6 months over different periods of work. So for example, you could take on a 2-month project and then travel (make the most of the summer!) and pick up work with other employers, then return to the initial employer to complete the remaining 4 months with them.

      I hope this helps, but if you need further advice I suggest contacting the Department of Immigration and Border Protection helpline directly on 131 881.

      • Kate says:

        Hi there, I noticed that you said it is just ‘ongoing’ work? I am in a similar situation were I was working from October-December and then finished my contract and had 4 weeks off and then decided to go back for another month or so and this happened twice. However, as I was already an employer there instead of setting up new contracts each time they just renewed my original contract so it states that I had a contract there from 13/10/14-02/02/15 even though I had about 2 months not working here in this period. I am currently on another month contract at the same place but I am unsure if this allowed now. Do you have any advice or knowledge on this?
        Thanks

        • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

          Kate

          I think you need to check with the Dept of Immigration – the time you spent away from the employer should be taken off the 6 months, but because they worded the contract they way they have, you might have to prove that you were not working for them during that time. Immigration can definitely tell you what you need to know on this one.

          Lisa

  2. vanessa says:

    Thanks for your prompt reply!
    Last thing: what happens if I work for a client 2 days a week only? Should I count the 6 months period by counting 2 days till arriving at 6 months or are the staring and ending dates that matters?

  3. donna says:

    hi there i am on my second working visa and I have worked with my employer for 6months now but I have recently been moved to a different store which is under a different ABN is this allowed?

    • Hi Donna,

      The answer isn’t black and white. Whether the different store would be considered a separate business depends on numerous factors, with location and ABN being only two of them. The spirit of the legislation says that you shouldn’t be allowed to work for a different store, but as this is a complicated question, we recommend contacting the Department of Immigration for a clearer answer. Hope that helps!

  4. Roger says:

    hi I’ve worked for a company from aug – oct and then moved back and started working for them again in January. would I include my time away as part of my 6 months? Thank you

  5. Harvie says:

    I am currently on a WHV 417, if anyone wants to go ahead and do regional work, I would suggest getting a car, as without it, it can be pretty tough to get GOOD work without one.

    If you can learn to drive a tractor before you come over then you wont have too much trouble landing a job that pays well.

  6. Steve says:

    Hi, I just wanted to make sure about what has been said linked to work through an agency. Am I allowed to keep working through this agency but for different company ? Let’s say 8 months paid by the agency but I work for 2 or 3 different companies. Because it would be 8 months paid by the same agency, so same ABN, is it illegal ? Or am I allowed to work through that same agency just for 6 months and then move ?
    In an other case, if the same company got two or three agencies which provide workers, are they allowed to moved from one agency to an other but still working for the same company, because in that case, the ABN would be different, but the business the same … I don’t know if it is really clear, but it is a little but confused.

    Thanks for your answer.

    • Hi Steve,

      Yes, you can work for longer than 6 months with different companies through the same agency. In regards to your visa restrictions, your ’employer’ is the company you are working with, not the agency.
      Likewise, if you stayed with 1 company for more than 6 months, even if you worked through different agencies, you would be breaching the conditions of your working holiday visa.

  7. Tony says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I am on a 417 Holiday Working Visa, and I did not know until yesterday that we cannot work in the same location for over 6 month period. The place I worked at, I was offered a casual position, where I am only called in to work if needed. I have calculated, the total number of days I worked is less than 180 days (6 months). Am I okay with this?

    I am currently applying for a partner visa with my partner who is a New Zealand Citizen. Do you know if there is any way to help explain my situation to the Immigration Office?

    Thank You.

    • Hi Tony,

      I cannot give you any legal advice but would recommend going back over your visa documentation and researching the conditions of your 417 WHV. In particular, look at the rules around what is based as “ongoing work”.

      Good luck.

  8. Tyler Marie says:

    I am going to Australia as an au pair and want to stay with my host family for 11months. Is there any way I can get around the 6month policy and manage that?

  9. kellie says:

    Hello,
    If i have an ABN and currently working between 2 x employee’s, doing a solid week or 2 x weeks work with one by employee then going to the other and swapping between them, i am still safe to just go with my invoices as to which weeks add up to 6 x months with each employee?
    Thanks
    Kel

    • Hi Kellie,

      It really depends on whether the work is deemed as ‘ongoing’. Have a look at my response to Vanessa on 17 Dec 2013 for the guidelines around the 6 month rule (condition 8547). I suspect you would have to count the 6 months from the first employment date with each employer, rather than adding up the blocks of work; but this one will be best to check with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection helpline directly on 131 881.

  10. Darren Williams says:

    Hiya,

    I have been working for one company for 5 month now trough an agency, my first year working holiday visa expired March the 3rd and now I am using my second year visa which is valid until March 15.

    Does the 6 months start again from March 2014 and now I have 5 months remaining to sort a new visa or do I need to leave the company and then come back to start the 6 months again?

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Darren,

      Since you have been granted a second Working Holiday visa you can return to an employer you have worked for on your first visa for a further six months. So in your case if your second visa began 4 March 2014 you can continue to work with that company until 4 September 2014.

  11. Eileen says:

    Hi there,

    I have been working for a construction company for the last couple of months and I was just informed that the companies ABN number has changed and the name of the company has changed slightly. So this means that my pay slip shows all of these changes and this will also slightly effect my tax return. So my question is even though I’m still with the same company, technically it’s a new company, does my 6months start again.

    Thanks in Advance :)

    • Hi Eileen,

      I wouldn’t take the risk; even though the ABN has changed, really it’s the same company. The reason for the 6 month rule is so that you don’t forget about the whole ‘holiday’ part of the Working Holiday visa.

  12. Steve says:

    hi Shannon would like some Advice, I’m on working holiday 462, let’s say i work in Mcdonald store A with the owner/ABN ‘A” after 5 months The Owner A sell/sold the business to Owner B with the different ABN.. can the owner B hire me in for another 6 months because it’s a different owner/ABN? If not…. I would like to move out to another mcdonald C with owner “C’ Different ABN can i work for them instead for another 6 months?

    • Hi Steve,

      Thanks for your question but it is a little complex and I don’t want to give you the wrong information. people2people are recruitment specialists, not experts in migration law, so for this one it is probably best to contact a migration agent or the Department of Immigration & Border Protection. We work with Lester Associates https://www.lester.com.au

      • Steve says:

        Okay thank a lot for the reference Shannon, just a few more question. The new owner really likes my work very much , previously i became some sort of temporary store manager because the previous manager got an accident and now already resigning. i had an education background in Hotel management (bachelor) in my country Indonesia. now currently with no manager position filled they want to sponsored me to become the store manager.. can i apply Work Visa sub visa 186/187 while i’m still on Working holiday visa? thanks Shannon

  13. Maria says:

    Hi Shannon,
    I had my first year of W&H visa 417, 1/5/13 to 1/5/14, the last 6 months I was working for a company and they told me I can’t continue working with them because my visa only allows 6 months.
    I said to them this 1/5/14 started my second visa so everything resets and allows me to work another 6 months but they told me I need to wait for 6 months and return to work in november.
    I went to the immigration office and says once starts my second visa all reset but my employer needs a paper or something.
    could you help me please??? I can’t wait until november to back to my work :(

    • Hi Maria,

      I’d recommend getting something in writing from the immigration office or having your employer speak with them directly. I’m a recruiter not a specialist in migration, so unfortunately I don’t think my advice will sway your employer. Alternatively, a migration agent may be able to provide the relevant exert from the legislation.
      Best of luck.

      • Baptiste says:

        Hi Shannon,

        First of all, I am sorry I couldn’t find where to make a new question. So I just clicked ” reply ” randomly.

        Anyway, here is my situation :

        I am holding a first WHV which expires on December 6th 2015.
        I am currently abroad (in Singapore).
        I would like to go back to Australia with a 2nd year visa around December 26th 2015.

        I did my farm days etc …

        So : can I request my 2nd visa while being abroad AND while my first visa is not expired yet ?!

        I am traveling South East Asia at the moment.

        If yes, will my 2nd visa expire after 24 months since my original entry (December 7th 2016) OR will it expire 12 months after my 2nd entry ( December 25th 2016 ) ?!

        Thanks a lot in advance,

        Baptiste

  14. Greg says:

    hey shannon! I’m on my working holiday visa and I wanna know how many days are exactly 6 months? I worked for a company from the end of october 2013 until the beginning of february 2014, it means almost 3 and a half months. then I traveled and started again to work for the same company from the middle of april 2014 until now. I already had some days off over christmas time and new years eve or because it was not that busy, but I still stayed at the area of my employer. which days I have to count, only the days I really worked or even the days as well where I only stayed, but not worked? last question: which day of work I have to count, really every day, because sometimes I only worked 2-5 hours a day and sometimes 6-11 hours a day? it really depends how busy it is. thanx for helping

    • Hi Greg,

      The 6 months isn’t broken down into a number of days, it is a continuous period from the day you start employment with a specific organisation. For example, if you started 30 October 2013 you could work with the same company until 30 April. The 6 month period isn’t reduced if you take a few days off here and there, or if you only worked part time.

      The thing that is important in your case though is that you took time away from your employer to travel, so the work was not ‘ongoing’. So if you worked 3.5 months up until Feb 2014, your remaining 2.5 months will start from the date you returned to the employer in April.

      I hope this helps. My response to Vanessa, December 17 2013 will give you some more information about the 6-month limitation.

  15. Rob says:

    Hi I was wondering if you could help me. I am on my first year working holiday visa and I started my job on march 31st. Unfortunately I broke my ankle 6 weeks ago. I am due to return back to the same employees in a week or so. Does this mean I can just work for them up until 31st of September or can this be extended due to my circumstances. Please help, thank you rob

    • Hi Rob,

      Sorry to hear your bad luck! I would think that because the work hasn’t been continuous – 6 weeks is a significant break – that the time you’ve had off due to injury won’t count towards the 6 months with that employer.
      Best to check with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection helpline directly on 131 881, but I think you’ll be fine.

  16. Jack says:

    I know this is a different subject but can’t find anything anywhere about my query. My 1st year visa runs out on 25th july but I had to come home a month early. I want to go back asap so can I apply for my 2nd year straight away or do I have to wait til my 1st has run out?

  17. Greg says:

    hey shannon thanx for your reply on june 4th!

    I understood the situation with “ongoing work” and the fact that I also have to count my day offs, but I have another question.
    I only wanna know again, if I also really have to count the days christmas day, december 25th; boxing day, december 26th and new year’s day, january 1st, because these days are definitely public holidays and I didn’t work?
    thanx again for helping

    • Hi Greg,
      Yes, public holidays (or any other days off) still count, as they are part of an ongoing period of work.

      • Andrew says:

        This is not correct. Days off can only count if you have done what a full time person in that industry has worked. (please refer to immigration website) Generally in Australia a working week is 38-40 hours. For you to claim days that you don’t work, you need to make sure you have still achieved a 38-40 hour week. I’m not sure who Shannon Barlow is,. but you need to refer to the website. So do you Shannon Barlow if you are offering out important information that is incorrect, people could get into trouble with immigration.

        • Hi Andrew,

          Shannon has mentioned throughout this thread that commenters should refer to the Department of Immigration for final say on the rules.

          If you have any information about this topic that you’d like to share, please do! Thanks!

  18. Bob says:

    Hi Im on a second year holiday visa, I been working since sept 2013 until march, then started again in April with same company until present, I haven’t worked worked full time or signed any contract, I still get get paid in my bank account from company. We totally for got the 6 month rule an he wants to sponsor me on a 457 visa. Can this happen? Does imigration check up how long u been working for the company. Is there ways around this like closing bank account ect?

    • Hi Bob,

      Yes, immigration can check how long you have been working with a company – regardless of whether you were working full time or have signed a contract. I recommend having your employer discuss your options for sponsorship with a migration agent.

  19. Roisin says:

    I started with an employer in October and went travelling for Dec and Jan and then came back to the same employer. How do I prove to immigration that I was in fact off travelling for the 2 months?

    Also my 1st year visa is from Aug 13 to Aug 14. I for my second year in January it was granted. Does my second year visa start straight away from January or does it start in August when my first year is up? If it started in January then will I lose 3 of my 6 months that I can work with an employer on my 1st year visa?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Roisin,

      You shouldn’t need to prove you have been travelling unless Immigration is investigating your case and has specifically asked for evidence. If they have, then you should be able to show that you didn’t receive any payments from your employer over that time and provide evidence of travel (travel bookings, accommodation receipts etc).

      Your second year visa should start after your first year visa has expired ie Aug 2014.

  20. daniel says:

    Hi I worked for same company for 6 months now, so I cant really work there anymore, the bosses son got his own company and said he could employ me and then sub contract me. Is this allowed?

    • Hi Daniel,

      You’re right, you can’t work with the same for more than 6 months. It is the company you are working with rather than your legal employer that is important in terms of the 6-month rule in Working Holiday legislation.

      • daniel says:

        Thanks for your reply, I sat down and did some calculations, but I am just more confused now….
        This are the periods I have been working:

        9 Jan – 4 Feb
        Vacation Thailand
        24 Feb – 5 Jun
        Vacation Sweden
        3 Jul –

        I’m so lost on how long I can work for this company now, I really don’t want to break my visa terms but at the same time I need to get the most out of this job because there is not a lot around where I live.

        The way I calculated I should be alright to work there for another month right?

        And there’s really no point in getting employed by his brothers company in that case.

        Thank you so much for all help.

        • Hi Daniel,

          I’m very jealous of your holidays! You are allowed to take the time you were away from work on holiday out of the 6 month period, so you should be able to work another month and half with that employer. Check with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection helpline directly on 131 881 if you want to be sure.

          I wouldn’t advise subcontracting for the company again through the brother’s company. Although your legal employer would be different, if it was investigated it would be clear you have worked for the same business for more than 6 months.

  21. Alexia says:

    Good Afternoon,

    I’m on the working holiday visa and been working as a restaurant manager for now 6 months. My employer would like to sponsor me so I can keep working for the company as they can not find someone else to replace me and I’d like to keep working for them. The place of employment is located in regional Australia so I’m wondering if we can apply straight away for a 187 visa or does it first have to be a 457 visa? Thanks for your concern, Alexia

    • Hi Alexia,

      You would need to apply for the 457 visa – Temporary Work (Skilled) as you would not yet meet the requirements for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/187.aspx. You can see further information regarding the 457 here: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1154.pdf
      I suggest you and your employer discuss your options with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and/or a registered migration agent.

      • Alexia says:

        Thank you very much. One more question: I’m a nurse by trade so if I get a 457 as a restaurant manager could I transfer the sponsorship once I get my nursing registration if I find a new sponsor and my current one is happy to let me do so? How long do I have to commit to one employer under the 457 and can I change employer under the 457?Thanks in advance

        • Hi Alexia,

          You can find more information about your obligations as a 457 visa holder here: http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/457.aspx
          Basically though, once you are granted the visa you need to continue working in the occupation you were nominated for (hospitality management) and for the employer that sponsored you. If you stop working for that employer you have 90 days to reapply for the visa with another business.

          • Alexia says:

            Direct Entry Stream
            No worries thanks. After looking into it we don’t understand why I can not apply for the 187 as it says that the direct entry stream is for applicants who:

            are in Australia and do not hold a subclass 457 visa; or

            have not held a subclass 457 visa for the last two years; or

            are applying directly from overseas.

            • Hi Alexia,

              Here are the Direct Entry requirements from the link I gave you for the 187 visa information:

              The Direct Entry stream is for:
              People who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
              people who have never, or only briefl​y, worked in Australia
              temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream; or
              applicants with a nomination lodged with us before 1 July 2012.

              I don’t think you can enter via the Direct Entry Stream since you are already working in Australia. However, I am not a migration specialist so I recommend you get advice from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or a registered migration agent.

  22. Hayley says:

    Hi i am on my second working holiday visa and got a casual cleaning job for an agency , am i only allowed to work only 6 months ? . Also if another cleaning agency takes over does that mean i can work for the new agency still doing what i used to do without taking time off..
    Appriciate any help
    Cheers

    • Hi Hayley,

      The same rules apply in the 2nd year of your working holiday visa as in the 1st year. You can only work for one business for a maximum of 6 months. If you are working at different businesses through the agency you could be OK. The 6 month rule applies to the organisation you are actually working with, rather than your employer (the agency) listed on your payslip.

  23. Matt says:

    Hi,
    I’m on my second working holiday visa and ends 9th dec. I want to stay another 2 weeks on top of that to travel the east coast, is it possible to get a tourist visa whilst being here on my working holiday?
    Thanks

  24. Alex says:

    Hi do you know if we can do any kind of employment with the working holiday visa or are there any restrictions ?

    thank you

  25. Ms Smith says:

    Could you please tell me how many hours of work per week minimum are required for temporary visa holders working on a farm? Also, does the government pay employers to hire temporary visa holders working on farms?

  26. Danny says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I am coming up to the end of my second year visa which runs out on 29th of December, I have been offered some great jobs in Brisbane but they all want me to work the busy period in January.

    Without employer sponsorship is there any way I can extend my visa for just a month or so or go onto a temporary visa status whilst I transition to New Zealand?

    I heard that there is some unwritten leeway that can be offered in this situation?

  27. Justin says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I am applyin for defacto relationship but my 6 months have now expired… I know I have to wait for the exemption for the limitation. My boss has asked I can work and not get paid until after permission is granted and pay me in a lump sum then. What would be your thoughts on this?

    Thank you!
    Justin

    • Hi Justin,

      That’s a tricky situation and your employer’s solution sounds a bit dodgy! I’m not qualified to give you legal advice, but I’d be wary of working while you don’t have a valid visa and of putting yourself at risk of working and not being compensated.

  28. Gish says:

    Hi Shannon!
    I’m currently working for a company through an agency. Once my 6 month contract expires they want to hire me directly, so I can keep working. The exact point you explain came up and one of the sides of it is that you can’t have THE SAME POSITION for the same employer by different sub contractors or agencies. Since I’m on a 462 I’ll clearly not be able to keep doing the same, but where can I check this? Is this regulation written somewhere that can be checked? The company I’m working for currently wants me to do something else in the future and I’m going to be overseas for several weeks.
    Thanks for the help and guidance!
    Gish.

    • Hi Gish,

      Here’s an extract from the immigration website for Work and Holiday visa subclass 462 http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/462.aspx

      The ’employer’ is the business or organisation for which you are working directly.
      If you are referred by an agency or labour supplier to a business, you can work for six months for that business. The same agency or labour supplier can refer you to another business where you can work for another six months. You cannot stay in the same position with an employer for more than six months by using different employment agencies, business affiliates or sub-contracting arrangements.

      Working for longer than six months with the same organisation, regardless of whether the duties or location of the employee change, is generally not allowed (see extending the work limitation below).

  29. Vicki says:

    Hi there,

    I have been working for a company for 5 months now, the company I worked for is part of a larger umberella organisation made up of 3 seperate organisations all having there own ABN. Another part of the umberella organisation (seperate company with different ABN) wants to take me on for a further 3 months is this possible? The job role is completely different, same building but different staff and boss.

    Many thanks for any help you can give me.

    Regards,

    • Hi Vicki,

      That is a bit of a grey area. The extract from the immigration website below suggests that you can work for different franchises as long as they have a different ABN and are located in different organisations, but doesn’t specifically refer to different entities (with separate ABNs) of a larger organisation/group. I’d suggest you or the organisation discuss further with a migration agent or Immigration.

      Working for longer than six months with the same organisation, regardless of whether the duties or location of the employee change, is generally not allowed (see extending the work limitation below). A Working Holiday visa holder may, work for independently owned franchises located in different areas for up to six months at each, as long as the franchisees are different employers with different Australian Business Numbers.

  30. Vicki says:

    Thanks for your help, I’ll get in touch with immigration.

    Reagrds,

    Vicki

  31. Kerry says:

    Hey, I can’t seem to find an answer to this anywhere – I’m currently employed by a childcare agency that places me in different schools for after school care work, I have been working for this agency since June 1st, and I know that the 6 months will end on Dec 1st, but I wanted to check whether I would have to count the weeks I haven’t worked for them as part of the six months? I’ve been contracted with the agency since 1st June but there have been some weeks where I haven’t worked, I haven’t done any shifts for them in the last month or so due to my other job. Do I have to count these weeks as part of the 6 months? Thank you

    • Hi Kerry,

      For the purposes of the 6-month limitation your employer is the actual organisation you are working for (i.e., the schools) rather than the childcare agency. So as long as you haven’t worked for more than 6 months (including any short breaks) with a particular school so are fine to continue working.

  32. Darren says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I’m coming up to my 6month limit with my company. Now my girlfriend has been offered PR with her company.

    I’ve been told that the 6 month rule still applies if I am on a working holiday visa even if I move on to her bridging visa as de-facto.

    So what I plan to do is submit a request for extension to immigration asking if I can stay at my company while her visa is being processed. Do you know how likely they are to accept this? I see they say only under exceptional circumstance to they grant an extension to the 417 Visa 6 month rule. Would this count under that do you think?

    Many Thanks
    Darren

    • Hi Darren,

      Unfortunately I’m not sure how likely immigration is likely to accept your request for extension – definitely worth a shot though! You’re best to contact them directly or have a chat with a migration agent.

  33. Ashley says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I’m so glad I came across this forum! Great advice!

    I’ve been working as a temp on 3 separate contracts with the same company which totals 6 months at the end of this month.

    I applied for my Defacto Visa in September and have been granted a Bridging Visa to come into effect 4 March 2015 when my WHV expires.

    From 1 Dec – 4 March I am not able to work for the firm due to my WHV 6 month restriction, however, we may be reloacting to Brisbane. Could I work for the same global company in a different city for the time in between my working holiday visa and my bridging visa or would I need to leave the company and return in March?

    If not, what are the chances immi would grant an extension request for this circumstance?

    You advice is appreciated!

    Ashley

    • Hi Ashley,

      The extract from the immigration website below suggests that you can work for different franchises as long as they have a different ABN and are located in different organisations, but doesn’t specifically refer to different entities (with separate ABNs) of a larger organisation/group.

      Working for longer than six months with the same organisation, regardless of whether the duties or location of the employee change, is generally not allowed (see extending the work limitation below). A Working Holiday visa holder may, work for independently owned franchises located in different areas for up to six months at each, as long as the franchisees are different employers with different Australian Business Numbers.

      If it is considered the same company I’m not sure of your chances of an extension. I’d suggest you (or your company) discuss further with a migration agent or Immigration.

  34. Ashley says:

    Hi Shannon,

    One more quick question. I am coming to the end of my 6 months with a second part time job as an independent consultant for a owner of a franchise (I have my own ABN and work from home, and only work when required) – not on a salary and do not have set hours. Does the 6 month limitation work the same way? Do I need to cease working from Dec until March while I was for my bridging visa to come into effect?

    Thanks again,

    Ashley

    • Yes, the 6 month limitation works the same way but the time starts from when you started working with each specific organisation. Part time work, or using an ABN doesn’t affect the 6 month time period. So if your consulting job started later than your other work than you can continue working for that owner until the 6 months is up with them.

  35. Paula says:

    Wow, so many questions and so many answers! It’s great that you can take the time to answer the same question (different circumstances) over and over, haha!

    Not sure if this has been asked of you yet, so I apologize if it has…Can you work two different jobs at the same time for 6 months?
    For example, I can be a receptionist during the day and then work at a bar at night? Is this okay to do on the WHV?
    If I worked both jobs for 6 months, would I then be able to change to different employees for another 6 months, or would working for two different employers at the same time cancel me out to work for the next 6 months?
    Probably a shot in the dark for you to know anything about this, but I thought I would ask!
    Thanks for all the helpful information!

    • Hi Paula,

      No problems, I’m happy to try to help you out!

      Yes, you can work multiple jobs concurrently on a working holiday visa.

      Once you have worked 6 months with each of the organisations, you can still work the remainder of the 12 months with a different employer. The 6-month rule is to encourage people to remember the holiday part of the WHV, rather than spending the whole year in the same spot working for 1 employer.

      Hope this helps.

  36. Bruce says:

    Hi, I have a question. I read all the other comments, but still not sure whether my case is fine.
    I’m now on my first working holiday visa and I applied for the 2nd year visa in Sept right after I got my 88days at the farm and It got approved which means I can now stay in australia til March 2016.
    and my question is i’ve been working for company A since Oct.2014. i thought I could only work for them for up to 6months. but I read the comments above and some said time resets when it comes to 2nd year visa. Can I keep working for them until Sept.2015??? cos’ my first working visa ends Mar.2015 and by then it’s only 5months. can I continue working for Company A?? or I can only work for them for 6 months only even I got 2nd year visa?
    thx in advance for answering my question. much appreciate.

  37. Greg says:

    Hey Shannon!!!
    I have a question to my visa status: right now I’m on my evisitor visa and I’m planning to apply for my 2nd year visa (2nd year working holiday visa), where I already got all the details incl. sign and so on from my last employer (form 1263 – working holiday visa: employment verification).
    I would like to apply outside Australia. Is it possible to get the 2nd year working holiday visa, although I still have the evisitor visa? I think it shouldn’t be a problem to get it and that the evisitor visa is automatically canceled?! What’s your opinion or experience?
    Thanx for helping.

  38. Nicolas says:

    Thank you so much for being so helpful with this. My friend and I are working for a global company while we’re here, which we have worked for in other places around the world. We can’t seem to get a straight answer from anyone about the questions we have — even directly from the immigration office! Let’s see what you think:

    We are working for Company A through Company B, an agency. Company A’s production is moving all across Australia for a year — Sydney from October-January, Melbourne from January-March, Brisbane from April-May, Adelaide from June-August, Perth from August-October. Company B has a different ABN in each city. The first question is, are we able to work for Company A in every city, considering that it’s a different ABN and location? If not, is our employment considered ongoing despite the 10 days between each city (i.e. we started working in Sydney on October 25, and will finish in Sydney on January 11 — then start in Melbourne on January 21. Do those ten days count against the six months?)?

    • Hi Nicolas,

      Tricky one! I’m not a specialist in this area so I’d recommend contacting a migration agent, especially if the Immigration Office hasn’t been able to help. I would think you would have a good chance of being able to work with the same company for more than 6 months at the different locations because the reasoning behind the 6 month limitation is so that the ‘holiday’ part of a WHV isn’t forgotten and you stay in one location, working for the same company and not travelling. But again, that’s just my 2 cents’ worth!

  39. Ben says:

    Hi Shannon,

    You’re extremely helpful, thanks for this thread, but I have a question if you would be so kind to answer, or help to answer.

    I came into Aus on a WHV September 28 and I’m starting employment in the New Year. My partner and I are applying for a De Facto Partner Visa in May. Would there be any possible way to continue to work for this company between July 1 – Sept 28, before the Bridging Visa kicks in ‘resetting’ my 6 month limit. Is there any way to cancel the WHV early?

    Thanks
    Ben

  40. Adam says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I have been with my current employer since 1st August 2014.

    My 2nd year visa was granted on 12th September 2014, allowing me to stay in the country until 15/10/2015.

    I was wondering whether the 6 months starts again from 15/10/14 or would it be 6 months from 1st August 2014? when I first started the employment (even though this was on my 1st working holiday visa).

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks

  41. Andrea says:

    Hi Shannon..my name is Andrea..I’m desperately looking for help..follow my story…I start work on 6 july 2013 for a LABOUR SUPPLIER and I worked for them untill 10 march 2014 which is 9 months total.. in this period I work for 5 different farms and I never did more then six months in the same one..as you say about my visa obbligation my employer it become the one who I work directly even if the labour supplier still paying me..

    But who is my employer?

    Chances are you’re working through an agency, and since they’re the ones putting money in your account, surely they are your employer. Well, yes and no. For most purposes the agency is your employer, but in terms of your visa obligations the “employer” is considered to be the business for which you are working directly even if you are being paid by an agency or labour supplier.

    I applied for my second year visa and government refuse me because I did more than 6 months with this labour supplier..I applied for a review at the tribunal on 6 november 2014 and I explain them what I read from this website..now I need to go on 15 genuary 2015 for another odience..they say that this policy is not write on the law and they need to applied the law..at this point I want to ask..is there any law that talk about my visa obbligations or in base of what you wrote that for my visa obbligation my employer it bocome the one I work directly for even if is a labour supplier to pay me? I got a complicated case..hope you can help me..thank you..Andrea..

    • Hi Andrea,

      Here is the information directly from the Immigration website http://www.immi.gov.au/Visas/Pages/417.aspx

      “If you are referred by an agency or labour supplier to a business, you can work for six months for that business. The same agency or labour supplier can refer you to another business where you can work for another six months. You cannot stay in the same position with an employer for more than six months by using different employment agencies, business affiliates or sub-contracting arrangements”.

      I do not have access to the legislation. I recommend contacting a migration agent who specialises in this area for assistance with your review. Good luck!

  42. Ashleigh wheeldon says:

    Hi,
    I am currently on my 1st year working holiday visa and just finished the 6 months with my company. im am waiting on a reply for my second visa. if/when this gets accepted am I allowed to go back to the same employer for another 6 months ? thanks

  43. Jamie says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I began my WHV 417 on 5th Sep 2014. I moved here with my partner who is on a 457 skilled worker visa (4 years I think). I started working with the government on 29th Oct and have been recently told they would like to keep me on but I have just discovered I can only work for 6 months. If I was to apply for de facto on my partners visa, A) how long roughly would the process take and B) could I then continue to work for my current employer? Thank you so much in advance for your kind help.

    Jamie

    • Hi Jamie,

      I’m not sure how long the process will take for your de facto visa to be approved – the length of time varies considerably. While it is being processed and you are still on your WHV you can only work for a maximum of 6 months with your current employer – so 6 months from 29 October.

  44. Nadia says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I am in a bit gray situation regarding with my WH visa work restrictions and this thread has been much helpful so far! Thanks for that. However, I still can’t make clear in my case – would be grate if you give me some advice.

    I’m on my 2nd year visa which expires in a half year time and have been working with current employer for 5 months now. They’re happy with me and wants me to stay longer and so do I. My boss soon gonna change his business name and its address, organization and ABN. And he thinks it wouldn’t be a problem if I keep working with him after changing the business. The changes are not because of me but the timing is just right for me. But my working environment will be the exactly same. Do you think it would be a risky, especially if someday I apply for different visa?

    I would be appreciated if you let me know what you think.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Nadia,

      Yes, that does sound a bit risky. The 6-month limitation is in place so that working holiday makers don’t just stay in one area, working for the same business. Changing the business name and ABN would mean that it is less obvious that you have worked for an employer for more than 6 months, but it would be easy to discover if your work history in Australia was looked at more closely, for example if you were applying for a different visa.

  45. Alice says:

    Hi Shannon!

    Il currently under my 2nd year WH visa, just finished 6 month with my current employer as a beauty therapist.
    I plan to work on my own with different companies under an ABN, can I still work for my previous employer?
    Or I saw on the previous replies, we can work again for 6 month if we renew our visa, does it work in my situation, as I worked with them during my 2nd year?
    Thank you verry much
    Alice

    • Hi Alice,

      If you have already worked for 6 months for that employer within your current visa (2nd year WHV), you won’t be able to continue working for the same employer, regardless of whether you work under an ABN.

  46. Fiona says:

    Hi,

    I’m on a working holiday visa and have been working for 5 months with a company. I’m now going to spend a month travelling. Can I return to the company for a 6th month?

    Also, the company closed for 2 weeks over Christmas so I wasn’t working, is this included in my 6 months?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Fiona,

      The 6-month limitation is based on ongoing work, so you might have a case to return for another month since you had split up the 6-months with travel. I suggest contacting the Department of Immigration and Border Protection helpline directly on 131 881. The 2 weeks over Christmas will be included in your 6 months though.

      • Jacob hill says:

        What if you work for 4 months then go travelling for 4 months can you then go back to the same company and work for another 4 months because it isn’t 6 months continuous work???

        • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

          Jacob, the rules are that on your first WHV visa, you can only work for an employer for a total of 6 months. So if you work for them for 4 months and then go away for 4 months, you can come back and work for another 2 months on that VISA.

          However, if you have completed your regional work and have been granted your second year working holiday visa, you can then work for the same employer for another 6 months.

          Therefore, over a 2 year period and over the first and second visa you can only work for one employer for a total of 12 months (and maybe less depending on when your second visa is granted).

          Again, as we are not immigration experts, please clarify all this information with the department of immigration.

  47. Amber says:

    Hi Shannon.

    Thank you for everything. Hope you can help me.
    I’ve been working for an agency since october 2014 and since november 2014 until now I’ve been working with the same employer. If I understood well, I can work for the same employer until may 2015 through the agency. But now what if the employer want to hire me after may 2015 will that be illegal? Because : “You cannot stay in the same position with an employer for more than six months by using different employment agencies, business affiliates or sub-contracting arrangements”.

    Thank you,
    Amber.

  48. Jose says:

    Hey there :)

    I still have a doubt about the ABN and the 6 months limit. The thing is that my employer has two different ABN that I already check at ABN Lookup and both ABN are complete different. The only thing that I couldn’t get was the address, so I still not sure about it. I think this is like a grey area of the law… is really hard to tell. Any advice?
    On the other hand, what could be the consequence if I work more than 6 month? I’ll have problem with the taxes?

    Thanks!

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Hi Jose,

      No the issue is not with taxes…the issue is with the terms and conditions of your visa. A working holiday visa has clear guidelines around where and when you can work. Regardless of the two separate ABNs, if you are working for the same company at the same address, you may effectively be working illegally.

      Given that the government is turning its eyes on working holiday visas and illegal workers in Australia, I strongly recommend that you DON’T undertake any work that may be viewed as illegal.

      Regards
      Lisa

  49. Kris Holmes says:

    Hi,

    What if room and board and transportation are provided in lieu of wages for the 88 days and the time is voluntary just to get the time?

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Kris,

      I don’t know the ins and outs of this one, and I’m not a legal expert, but I DO believe that it is illegal to make anyone work in Australia without pay. Think about it: if you were here as an au pair, you would get room and board, but you would also be entitled to be paid for the work that you are doing.

      It seems to me that putting up working holiday makers in accommodation and feeding them in return for 88 days ‘free’ labour is very very wrong. And I am pretty sure, very very illegal.

      If you are in this situation please call Fair Work Australia and ask them for some advice.

      Regards
      Lisa

  50. Arlene says:

    Hi Shannon,

    Thank you for making this blog. Need some advise.

    I am 462 visa holder. I started working in one employer in the mid of Nov 2014. Then I went away travelling for 5 weeks on Feb – March 2015, then continued to work again. My time away for 5 weeks does not count towards the 6 months employment, right?
    But the thing is, my employer need some documentation about this. I have been searching in the website of Department of Immigration and Border Protection, but I couldn’t find anything close.
    Is there any way to get some evidence ?

    Many thanks,
    Arlene

  51. Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

    Arlene,

    It is my understanding that the 5 weeks does not count towards your 6 months, but I think you should contact the Department of Immigration to check as I am not an immigration expert.

    Regards
    Lisa

  52. Hanna says:

    Hi, I just wanted to ask about my situation.

    So, basically, I’m also in my working holidays visa and I’ve worked freelance with one company since february. However, my work there is actually finished since end of april. The problem is, it takes so long for the employee to confirm the artwork and he just confirm and paid the last invoice in mid June. Does it count as working continuesly? He paid the 3rd invoice in April then the last invoice was paid in June.

    Hope you could help.

    Thanks!

    -Hanna

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Hi Hanna

      This is a good question. Instinctively my reaction to your question is ‘No, just because you were paid later, does not mean you were working for them in the interim period.’ As you were not physically working for them, or conducting any work for them from the end of April then your work arrangement finished with them at that time. Even if you were required to do some additional work now (say if you had to made design amendments for your work) – the fact that there was no work engagement between April and June is indicative that there has been no continuous work.

      However, please understand that I am no expert in this field. If you have concerns about the definition of continuous work in line with your situation, you should call the Department of Immigration and query it with them.

      Kind Regards
      Lisa

  53. yuri says:

    Hi Shannon,

    I am working with my current employer as casual job since 13/11/2014.
    After my 1st WHV was expired on 20/12/2014, I kept working with them with my bridge visa from 21/12/2014 to 04/01/2015.
    I received my 2nd WHV on 05/01/2015.(It will expires on 20/12/2015)
    I was expecting my new 6 months will start from 05/01/2015 which is visa grant date so I can work until 05/07/2015.
    After I gave them notice to double check my schedule, I was told from manager that my 6 months started from 21/12/2015 so it will ends 20/06/2015.
    My boyfriend had exactly same situation with mine but his company told his 6 months restarted from 2nd visa granted date….

    Is 6 months restriction starts from 1st WHV expiry date? or 2nd working holiday visa grant day?
    I hope you can help me with this.

    1st year visa expiry date: 20 December 2014
    2nd year visa grant date: 05 January 2015
    2nd year visa expiry date: 20 December 2015

    Regards,
    Yuri

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Yuri,

      You should definitely query this with the Department of Immigration because I am not an expert. However, I think your employer is erring on the side of caution, which is always the best thing to do.

      I am assuming you completed the required work and applied for the second year visa before you started work with your current employer. The only thing that would give me hesitation is that the work is continuous – its not like you left them and then came back, you have been there for the whole time. So if I was you, I would definitely ask the Dept of Immigration about this too – because if there is a breach of your visa it will be you who will be in trouble.

      The safest option for you is to ring the Department and explain your current situation. They are the experts and can advise you on which is the correct date for your ‘second’ 6 months.

      Good luck!

      Lisa

  54. Steph says:

    Hi. I’m currently doing my regional work and I’m working as a farm hand/au pair for a person who is a subcontractor on a farm. I’m getting paid through his personal bank account. I work on the farm 5 days a week and can put down the farms ABN on my appliction, but I’m just wondering: Is it a problem that I’m being paid through his personal account? Should I ask to receive the payment through the farm?
    Part of the payment is for the au pair part of the function, which makes that a bit of an effort.
    Thanks!

  55. Dane brasier says:

    Hi i have been offerd some lining work in australia for 10months on oil rigs and 10months in new zeland working on mines im from the uk what happens with my visa if i can only get a 6month one?

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Dane

      When you were offered the work, did the employer specify whether or not they were employing you on a sponsored VISA? If the employer is not sponsoring you under the 457 programme, then you would only be eligible to work under a working holiday visa – which allows you to work for one employer for a maximum of 6 months in the first 12 months and then a further 6 months if the visa is extended for another year. This holiday visa gives you no entitlements to work in NZ, and you would need to ensure that you had appropriate visa status to work there too.

      Also, to be eligible for a second year working holiday visa and Australia there is a requirement to undertake specific work (usually rural) before the second visa is granted.

      Please check with the employer who has made you an offer as to whether they are offering to sponsor you to work in Australia (same in NZ) and if not, you will need to look at the 417 VISA requirements on the Department of Immigration website.

      Regards
      Lisa

  56. Stephen says:

    Hi I know this is a not off topic bit can’t find the answer anywhere. My first year working holiday visa expired in march and I’ve been on a bridging visa until yesterday when my visa was granted for my second year. Does this mean I get to stay until June next year or doesn’t my visa still expire in march. Thanks

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Hi Stephen,

      To be honest, I don’t know. My gut instinct is that the second year visa will be dated from the expiration date from your first visa and therefore would run out in March next year. But I could be wrong and it could be from grant date – you can actually check I think using the VEVO online visa check on the Department of Immigration website. Google VEVO and see how you go 😉

      Lisa

    • Tina says:

      Hi Stephen! Just wondering.. Did it take 3 months to the Department of Immigration to approve and grant your 2nd visa? (I thought it took only 2/3 weeks). Were you allowed to leave the country while on the bridging visa? (Do you remember which bridging visa did you have?).

      From what they’ve told me, your 2nd visa will be valid from the day is granted for 12 months. Anyway, let us know if you checked with VEVO to confirm.

      Thanks.

      Tina

  57. Tina says:

    Hi. Here’s my situation,in case someone could help: I’m on my first WHV, it expires on October 28th. By that time, I would had already worked 6 months for the same employer and plan to get a 2nd year visa to continue working for another 6 months. The thing is the company is sending me to US on October 1st for 3 months. If I’ve already been granted a Second WHV, would it be possible to activate it outside Australia? (Again, my first visa expires Oct 28th and I would need my 2nd visa to be activated on Oct 29th moment in which I’ll be in US).

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Tina, it was my belief that you had to be in the country for the second WHV to come into effect, although I am very unclear whether this means you needed to be here for it to be granted or activated. Unfortunately, the only thing that I can suggest is checking with the Department of Immigration to see if your visa is affected if you are out of the country.

      Sorry I could not be of more help.

      • Tina says:

        Hi Lisa. Thanks for your answer. I called this afternoon to the Department of Immigration. They said:

        1) If you apply for a 2nd WHV from Australia, you have to be in the country when it’s granted.
        2) The visa automatically activates and it’s valid from the day is granted till the end of the first visa plus 12 months more.

        Said that, I would be allowed to travel without any problems to US. I hope this information can help someone else in the future!

        • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

          Thanks Tina! That is useful information because Stephen had a similar query and your information really helps clear up the dates of when the second visa expires :)

          Have fun travelling to the US, I hope they give you enough time off to see some sights.

          Kind Regards

  58. Jessica says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I am from Sweden and I have been living in Australia since February 2011. I completed my Bachelor degree in November 2014, and was approved for a working holiday visa in March 2015. At the start of 2016, I will once again apply for a student visa to do my masters degree.

    During my whole stay (on a student visa) I have been working on my ABN doing Eyelash Extensions. At first I delivered my service from my house, where I directly invoiced each client. However, in the last 2 years I’ve been renting a room in a salon. All my regular clients who has been loving my service for about 4 years, are now coming to the salon and pay the salon. I am then invoicing the salon.

    My clients will be devastated if I tell them they are no longer allowed to get my service.
    So my question is: how does this 6 month rule apply to these 4 scenarios?

    * If I would still work from home, and invoice each client separately: Once I had been delivering my service to my regular clients for 6 months, would I have to tell them I can no longer give them my service, and then find new clients? I would still work on my ABN though.

    *If I would work through the same salon for 6 months, then find a new salon and tell all my regular clients to go to the new salon? I would still have to work on my ABN though.

    *I would work through the salon on my ABN for 6 months, then the salon would hire me and I would work as an employee as opposed to a sole trader? Same address, but no longer for my ABN.

    *I would work through the salon on my ABN for 6 months, then another company would employ me. I work through the same salon, but for another company (as opposed to my ABN) and the company in which I am working for invoices the salon.

    I will highly appreciate your reply.
    Thank you
    Kind regards
    Jessica

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Jessica, as a student you are likely to be on a completely different visa altogether. The student visa allows you to work for 20 hours a week during term time, and (I think) full time during holidays. Therefore the 6 month limitation that applies to working holiday makers doesn’t apply to you.

      • Jessica says:

        “I completed my Bachelor degree in November 2014, and was approved for a working holiday visa in March 2015”.

        Lisa, I am currently not on a student visa. I am on a working holiday visa, and have been on this visa since March. Please reconsider your reply.

        Kind regards
        Jessica

        • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

          Jessica, you will need to liaise directly with the Department of Immigration on this one, as I am unclear on how the 6 month rule applies if you are working as a sole trader rather than as an employee.

  59. Dennis says:

    hey i know this is more for visa work questions but i was wondering if you knew anything about study. I’m currently on a 417 working holiday visa and taking an online course with no classroom time. Was wondering if this applies towards my 4 months of study time?

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Dennis, you should check this with the Department of Immigration. I wouldn’t want to say yes or no to this one :)

  60. Tom says:

    Hi!

    I’m a 27 year old UK citezen working self employed as a sole trader for multiple British companies on a freelance project by project basis (audio post/music) I do this work remotely.

    I’d like to come over on a WHV but I’d like to continue working on freelance projects back with my UK companies as I travel about.
    Is this possible? I work with 4 or 5 different companies usually roughly 2 days with each, a month on a project by project basis.. How does this work with the whole 6 month one companie thing? Do I just add up the days I’ve worked on each invoice for each companie?

    Trying to make sense of this is very difficult.
    Thanks!!

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Tom, I am pretty sure that the 6 month rule only applies to you working for Australian companies. If you are lucky enough to be able to travel and do work remotely for your UK clients, this would have nothing to do with your working rights in Australia or impact the 6 month rule at all.

      Good luck and I hope you get to tour the lucky country soon!

  61. Rosanne says:

    Hi there,
    I got a 6 month working visa for Australia this past January till June, but I was not able to get any work while in Australia, instead I did travelling. I was wondering if it is possible for me to get the same visa (417) or if I need to apply for a different one. How many times can you apply for a visa? Thank you so much!

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Rosenne, the 417 visa is a 12 month working holiday visa – the 6 month restriction only applies to the length of time you can work with any one employer in Australia whilst on that VISA. If you were here for only 6 months, you might still have time left on it. With the 417 visa, you can apply for a second year on the same visa – but there are some prerequisites that you need to do to qualify: check out this link to find out more – http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/417-

      • Rosanne says:

        Thank you Lisa! I was wondering also, can I work for 2 different employers at the same time to get my full amount of hours? Is it only a certain amount of hours that is needed to complete the visa? or is it a minimum amount of hours per week for 3 months that is required? Thank you!

        • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

          Roseanne, you can work for multiple employers at the same time. The VISA does not restrict you on this, only that you can only work for any one employer for a maximum of 6 months.

          Regards
          Lisa

          • Rosanne says:

            Thank you Lisa, so the minimum is 88 days of full -time work, am I correct? Do I need to sign a contract with my employer to prove my hours or do I need to send them in to the government?

  62. Dave says:

    Hi there,

    I started working through an agency back in January but only did a few weeks work, grape picking, and then left to take another job but am now back with that same agency doing bottling and it is now July. January to July is 6 months so does that mean I have been there 6 months and cannot work there any more? I have literally done 30 days with them at different work places but through same agency.

    Sorry if it sounds confusing but was a little bit hazy on this.

    Thanks for your reply in advance

    • Dave says:

      that’s a labour agency by the way

      • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

        Hi Dave,

        Even though you are employed by the Labour Hire agency, the 6 month rule applies to the physical location and company you are working at. So you could be employed by the same agency for the whole 12 months but actually physically work at many different locations – as long as you didn’t work for longer than 6 months at any one location.

        I hope this makes sense!

        • Dave says:

          Hi Lisa,

          thanks for your reply, so I take it no need at all to phone the department of Immigration?

          I guess it’s like any recruitment agency thinking about it. You go in, register with them, get a job and go to a ‘business location’ and work there for 6 months. You are not actually working for the agency even though they pay you the money?

          Dave

          • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

            Hi Dave, you are right, you don’t have to call Immigration on this one, because the ‘rules’ are clear – even though the agency is your employer in every other sense of the word, from a VISA perspective its about the host company and location ie where you are physically working.

            So you are all good to keep on working!

            • Dave says:

              Hi guys,

              I was just about to start filling out my 2nd year visa application and after confirming about my 3 months regional work, it then asks for an ABN number with start dates and end dates etc. As previously mentioned I am hired by a labour agency, who I have roughly been with for the whole calendar year and have been paying me, apparently that is fine according to Lisa though the agency said that wasn’t true?

              Anyway for the ABN, do I enter the ABN for the place I have been sent to work by agency or do I enter the labour agency ABN? If it is the labour agency, won’t this look bad as it will suggest I have been there for almost a year!?!

              Please help and thanks

              • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

                Dave,

                When you did your three months regional work…who was paying you? I have to admit that I have not heard of anyone doing the regional work and being paid through an agency, but I suppose it might be more common than I realise.

                I expect that the Dept of Immigration are interested in the name of the host employer and their ABN, where you completed your regional work. The reason I say that is because when Immigration look at the 6 month rule for working with an employer, they are not interested in us paying them but the details of where the work is being completed.

                However, I am not the immigration expert, so I recommend that you contact the Department of Immigration to clarify it before sending in your paperwork.

                Cheers!
                Lisa

                • Dave says:

                  If you saw my previous post back in July I said that it was the labour agency that was paying me and you responded by saying that it was absolutely fine that they were the ones paying me as long as I didn’t stay longer at one certain place for more than 6 months, which the agency sent me to.

                  I registered at the agency back in Jan and only did a few days picking and then did other jobs not through the agency and then returned after they said I could do a job at a winery for 6 months from late June til now.

                  This is a big grey area and you said that I wouldn’t have to phone immigration as the ‘rules’ were clear.

                  thanks in advance,

                  dave

                  • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

                    Dave,

                    The rules ARE clear. Immigration will be looking for the ABN of the winery (if this is where you completed your regional work) not the ABN of the agency. From their perspective, the focus is on WHERE you worked rather than who paid you.

                    If you feel that you are getting conflicting advice from your employment agency and myself, then I suggest that you talk directly with the Department of Immigration as they are the experts on these questions.

                    Regards
                    Lisa

  63. Lucinda Hofton says:

    If I am on a 12 month working tourism 417, can i work for one company for 6 months straight then another company 6 months straight and not travel??

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Lucinda, yes you can. Although it would be a shame to come here and not take time to travel and see the country :)

      Regards
      Lisa

  64. Ariel says:

    Hi there Lisa,
    Sorry if this is irrelevant, but would you happen to know how much tax is deducted if you’re working 2 jobs at the same time? I’ve been hearing that if you work 2 jobs, the tax deducted from one of the jobs may be a lot higher.

    Apologies again if this topic is irrelevant, but I’ve been Googling and can’t seem to find any information.

    Thanks,
    Ariel

  65. princesspenelope says:

    Hi

    if I work for a casual staffing agency and they send me to 10 different customers over the period of a month, are you saying that for each of those 10 customers, I have 6 months from the first job I did with each one and then I can’t go back?

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Hi Penelope,

      This is the rule: you can work continuously for a total of 6 months for one company on your working holiday visa. So, if an agency places you with 10 different companies, you can work for each one for a total of 6 months.

      Hope that helps!

  66. Antonio says:

    Hi shannon, I’m with the WHV and I worked in the last six months for a company only 10 days. It means 1 day every 3 o 4 weeks. Can I continue to work for them? It would also be only 1 or 2 day/month.
    Thanks

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Antonio, that is a most excellent question, and I have to admit that I don’t know the answer. This is definitely a question to direct to the department of immigration. It may come down to how they define continuous employment.

      Regards
      Lisa

  67. Jacqueline says:

    Hi,
    My partner is on a 457 visa and was promised work with a brother of his employer, however this has not worked out and he has now worked for 7 months with the same employer. We are going to apply for a partner visa and I am terrified that it has now been completely ruined by his overstaying the 6 month rule.
    What are the consequences should he get found out for this?
    Thank you in advance

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Jacqueline, 457 visas are completely different from a working holiday visa. A 457 visa is effectively and employer sponsored visa and people on this visa have the right to work long term for the employer who has sponsored them.

      So if he is on this visa you are ok unless his current employer lets him go. Then he has 28 days to find another job with someone who can sponsor him or may risk being asked to leave the country.

      If, on the other hand, he is on a 417 visa, I think it would be wise to find another job so that he does not continue to contravene the terms of his visa.

      Regards
      Lisa

  68. Martin says:

    Hi Lisa :)

    i hope you can help me out.
    I’m an employee through a recruitment company and i’m working on a farm since 2 months. Who will exhibit my second year working holiday visa if i complete the 3 months work. The recruitment company or the farm? And can every company exhibit a second year whv, or do you have to grant any requirements as an employer?

    Thanks :)

    Martin

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Martin, I have to be honest, I am struggling a little to understand what you are asking here. So I hope I give you the information you are looking for!

      If you are working in Australia on a working holiday visa, you are allowed to work for any one company for a total of 6 months continuous employment. Immigration takes your employer to be the farm where you are working, even though its the recruitment agency that pays you.

      If you are here on a 417 visa, you are able to apply for a second year visa as long as you complete the requirements for regional work (or other provisions in the rules) and then you can work for a further 6 months with any one employer.

      Your application for the second year visa is made by you. I assume you have to provide supporting details to prove you have completed the regional work but the employer is not required to submit the application on your behalf – you have to do it.

      You are best to contact the Department of Immigration and ask for clarification if you are unsure of the process for applying for that visa.

      Regards
      Lisa

  69. Jade says:

    hiya im on my sencond year working holiday visa and i have been given two job offers by two different companys i understand you can only work with them for 6 months but can you work for 2 companys on the 2nd year visa? as one of my companys says that my visa is restricted to work for only one company for 6 months. if i can work both jobs is that tax really that high and worth working two jobs. thank you jade

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Jade,

      You can work for as many companies that you like at one time, but you can only work for each one for 6 months. So there is no restriction in terms of the number of companies you can work with.

      However, there may be tax implications if you work for more than one company at one time e.g you may have to pay secondary tax on one of the jobs (this is higher tax).

      Regards

  70. Laura says:

    Hi Shannon,

    Can I work for more than one employer at a time on a WHV as long as I don’t work for any of them for longer than 6 months?

    Thanks,

    Laura

  71. Sammi says:

    Good evening.

    Iv had a good read through all the questions and answers and would like to say thanks for giving your time and expertise. I can’t seem to find the answer to my question anywhere.

    To qualify for my 2nd year visa, can the work I complete that is listed in construction an on a regional postcode count towards my second year visa if it is for myself. By putting my own ABN on the 1263 form?

    Sorry if this is irrelivent to the post, but I really can’t find the answer anywhere?!

    Thanks in advance :)

  72. Dave says:

    Hi guys,

    I was just about to start filling out my 2nd year visa application and after confirming about my 3 months regional work, it then asks for an ABN number with start dates and end dates etc. As previously mentioned I am hired by a labour agency, who I have roughly been with for the whole calendar year and have been paying me, apparently that is fine according to Lisa though the agency said that wasn’t true?

    Anyway for the ABN, do I enter the ABN for the place I have been sent to work by agency or do I enter the labour agency ABN? If it is the labour agency, won’t this look bad as it will suggest I have been there for almost a year!?!

    Please help and thanks

  73. Tom says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve found reading through this page extremely useful, so for that I would like to first say, thank you so much.

    Secondly I’d like some general advice on the following, if my thinking is on the right track.

    My timeline is as follows:

    – My 1st WHV began on 17/10/14, valid until 17/10/15

    – I completed my regional work

    – I applied and was granted my 2nd WHV on 22/07/15

    – To my understanding my 2nd WHV came into effect on 17/10/15 (when my 1st WHV expired), and is now valid until 17/10/16

    My question is that I started my most recent job at a retail store on 01/07/15 and finished working there on 29/12/15 making it 6 months of work in total (hence why I left work, as a precaution). As you can see this time spreads across both my WHVs. Approximately 4 months on my 1st WHV and 2 months on my 2nd WHV which came into effect on October 17 2015.
    This employer is great and has always wanted me to come back.
    My question is whether I’m correct in saying that I can return to this employer having taken 2 weeks off to travel at present, to finish off 4 more months with them on my current visa (2nd WHV)?

    In my mind this checks out but thought I’d run it by you as a sense check before seeking further advice.

    Thank you in advance for your insight.

    Regards,
    Tom

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Tom

      I think you are right. Because you have only worked there for 2 months on your second visa, then technically you should be able to work there for another 4 months. However, please understand that I am not an immigration expert and I will always suggest that you don’t take my word for it, and check with the Department of Immigration.

      Regardless, I hope you are enjoying your time in Australia :)

      Lisa

  74. colin says:

    Hi I just want to clarify that it is permissible to return to an employer for whom you worked for 6 months for on 1st working holiday visa (417) for a second 6 months on 2nd working holiday visa?

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Colin, it is my understanding that you are correct, you can return to a previous employer for a further 6 months if you have a new working holiday visa (second year visa). However, I always recommend contacting the Department of Immigration to verify.

      Regards
      Lisa

  75. Chris Black says:

    Hi,

    I have recently let time slip away from me slightly and have found myself at the same employer for 2 weeks longer than the 6 month employment restriction. However, I am hoping that due to the date of my visa extension that this may have reset?

    After completing my 3 months agricultural work I started working for a new company from July 2015. I then extended my WHV in November 2015 and continued to work for the same company without a break. Does this mean that when I extended my visa my 6-month work restriction was extended as well? Even though I extended it whilst I was in Australia and still working for the same company? I am currently still at this company and considering how best to move forward so as not to get deported!

    Any help would be very much appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Chris

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Chris, this a very good question and one that was a subject of some heated discussion in our office yesterday afternoon. The short answer is: I don’t know and I very much recommend you call the Department of Immigration to query this one .

      Rationally, I feel like you should be able to keep working there, but there is nothing rational about government legislation, so I really cannot advise you one way or the other.

      Good luck, and if you get a chance come back and let me know how you get on, because I would REALLY like to know the answer myself!

      Lisa

      • Chris Black says:

        Hi Lisa,

        Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. Yes it is quite an interesting one, I hope that my investigations today can help anyone else who comes across a similar issue. I contacted immigration and, after a 2 1/2 hour wait, I was able to talk with them directly about this query.

        To my relief they confirmed that my 2nd year visa is entirely separate to my 1st year and is therefore not linked in anyway to any previous work conducted on the first year of my working holiday. So, even though there was no break in my work for this company I am allowed to continue to work with them until May, as my 2nd year visa was granted in November. Seems pretty fair to me!

        Thanks once again for your quick response, I found some of the other comments in this thread helpful and without it I would have likely left my current job out of sheer panic!

        Thanks again,

        Chris

  76. Michelle Page says:

    As a employer with staff on a 417 2nd year visa , can we employee again for 6 months ? . The only work 6 months , then left to do farm work

  77. Steven Brabazon says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I started working with an employer on July 9th until December 11th, my contract ended. I subsequently re-started work for the same employer on January 14th to present day. I’m not sure how they calculate the 6 months, I know i’m pretty close to it but i’m just looking for some advise on when my 6 months would be up?

    Thanks a lot
    Steve

  78. Edam Mana says:

    An establishment wants to sub contract me and not as an employee.
    Right now I am in Australia on a Tourist Visa.
    Are there any other options other than applying for 457?

  79. Natalie says:

    I have 2 harvest jobs with two different employers at the moment. Am I able to use both of them to work the 88 days down or am I only able to use one. So I work with one mon – wed and one Thursday and Friday can I use both and have it signed off as 5 days a week completed between them, using evidence from both?

  80. Tim crest says:

    How many days exactly is 6 months in the border immigration eyes. Is it 183? Would they allow 2-3 days beyond that number?

  81. Emily Gray says:

    Hi,

    I have recently submitted an application for a 457 sponsored visa, and have been granted a BVA (for when my current 417 visa expires). On the BVA I have the same work restrictions as being on a 417 i.e.
    8547 -Work Limitation
    The holder must not be employed by any 1 employer for more than 6 months, without the
    prior permission in writing of the Secretary.

    Does this mean my contract with my employer ‘refreshes’ and I can now work for an additional 6 months with them from when the BVA comes into effect? Or does the current contract I am working (under 417 visa) and those months count too?

    Many thanks.

  82. Karlene says:

    Hi i am just wonsering if an au pair family can count for your second year visa or can that family sponcer you for a second year?

  83. Mary says:

    Hello,

    If I get a job with a company, a good one here in Melbourne, even though I am on the 462 Working Holiday Visa…can I extend my stay through their sponsorship? And if so, how much does that cost?

    Thank you!

  84. Ellie says:

    Hello! Please help I’m working as a teacher in the outback and have been working for 2 different families since February but they’re both through ‘in home care’ does this mean I have been employed by the same company for nearly 6 months or because it is two separate families I will be okay?

    Thanks Ellie

  85. John says:

    Hello,

    First of all, thanks for the great blog post. I was wondering if you’d have any insight into my situation, which seems like a bit of a grey area. I have been working as a freelance journalist on a working holiday visa. My query basically falls into two parts:

    1. Many of my clients have been overseas media companies with no presence in Australia. Does the six-month rule apply if these aren’t even Australian companies? I’d assumed not, but I can’t be sure either. Much commentary on the six month rule talks about two entities not having the same ABN — well these companies wouldn’t have an ABN at all.

    2. Similarly, I am wondering about how to possibly define six months of “continuous” employment when I might, for instance, have written two or three articles for an outlet over the space of 4,5 or 6 months, or longer. In reality, I haven’t been continuously employed by anyone, at least as far as everyday language goes.

    Any insight would be fantastic, thanks!

    • Ellie says:

      Hi John,

      I’m just commenting on this as I’m in a very similar position and I’m struggling to find answers as well so I would like to see the reply to your message! Have you found out anymore about this yet?

      If you’ve found any info clarifying this I would love to hear it!

      Ellie

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      John, I am so sorry for the tardy response…I didn’t get any notifications to say that comments had been left :(

      Firstly, if you are a feelance journalists and working for overseas publications who do not operate in Australia, then I wouldn’t think any of these rules apply to you because you are not employed by an Australian employer. I assume they pay you into your overseas bank account?

      However, if in doubt, contact the Department of Immigration!

  86. Nick says:

    Hi I’ve been working for someone for 6 months but I’ve just enrolled in college am I allowed to stay with my current employer ? Do I get 6 more months ? If I do what happens after the 6 months if I carry on working thankyou Nick

    • Lisa Johnson Lisa Johnson says:

      Nick, I am assuming you have applied to have your visa transferred from a Working Holiday Visa to a Student Visa?

      The 6 month limitation doesn’t apply to people on a student visa BUT there are different work limitations, eg you are not allowed to work more than 40 hours a fortnight during term time.

      Please refer to the extensive information available on the Department Of Immigration website about the different visas and check the working rights for the visa you are now on.

      Regards

  87. Tom says:

    Wow this page is so helpful, thanks for all of your advice Lisa!

    I’ve been reading for 30 minutes and haven’t found a question the same as my situation.

    I did my WH1, did my farm work, was granted my WH2.

    I submitted application for De Facto Partnership visa with my Australian partner, which was given a bridging visa.

    I’ve been offered my dream job, commencing mid March 2017. They want to offer me permanent work and I said this should be fine as my bridging visa has no work restrictions.

    However I’ll still be in the last two months of my WH2 visa, which finishes mid-May 2017.

    I know that the bridging visa that kicks in mid-May has no employment limitations.

    My question is – because I will start the job in the last two months of my WH2 visa, does that mean that I can only do it for six months despite my Bridging visa kicking in two months into the job?

    And if I was to stay working in the job, would I be endangering my De Factor visa process?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!
    Tom

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