Is it possible to work more than six months for one employer on working holiday visa?


You heard it right: It might be possible to work in Australia for more than six months for a single employer on the strength of your working holiday visa.

Thanks to the recent changes implemented by the Australian government through its immigration arm — the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) — anyone in possession of Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visa can now enjoy this new privilege.

The general rule, however, remains the same, referring to the current extension requirements and the six-month limitation on working with the same employer.  This means, for instance, that if you are working in a hotel and want to extend your contract for more than six months, you need to obtain special permission from the DIBP, which has the power to give it to you or deny it.  But if your case falls under the new changes, you need not go through the hassle of asking for such a permission.

Location Plays a Key Role

The question is, how can you avail of such benefit?  The answer is LOCATION.  Yes, location does not only play a vital role in real estate, retail business, and other related industries.  It also wields a huge influence in allowing you to maximize your opportunity to work in the country.

To better understand this particular visa regulation amendment, let’s refer the matter to the proper authority, which happens to be no less than the Australian government itself.  DIBP has this to say, “You do not need to seek permission to work with the same employer for up to 12 months, in circumstances where the work is undertaken in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed six months.”

So there it is — it’s as clear as day, don’t you think so?

To drive home its point, DIBP gives the circumstances below as examples.  It says, “You can work with one employer for up to 12 months in the following situations:

  • hotels, resorts or restaurants within the same chain, provided they are in different premises
  • independently owned franchises, in different workplaces
  • State and Territory schools and healthcare facilities, provided these facilities are at different addresses
  • separate branches or facilities (for example abattoirs or farms) of the same organization or business owner.”

All Types of Work Count

While at it, please take into account all types of work you have done during the first six months, be they full-time, part-time, casual, shift, and voluntary work, because they all add up to your six months.  Also, in cases where you are required by your employer to undergo work-related training, it likewise forms part of the time limitation.  Under the system, training is considered work.

The key point is this: Regardless of the number of hours of work you intend to commit to your new extended contract, make sure that you serve elsewhere (in another branch, for example) if you want to work for the same employer beyond the initial six months.

Affected Visa Types

The recent amendment applies to Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462) and Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417), which share one and the same goal: to allow young people to work and visit Australia.  They have some differences, though.  For instance, they are available to nationals of different countries and require different levels of education and language, among others.

In closing, it may be worth noting that the newly introduced change applies only to those who are thinking of working for the same employer on their current visa.  In a situation where you apply for a second working holiday visa and manage to get it for a further six months, then you can return to the same employer just like when you obtained your first visa. There’s no need to invoke the rule on location. Also, the six-month limitation resets the moment you obtain the 2nd visa.

While we very well know that you find it easy to understand the new change to the visa system, especially as regards work and holiday, we are also certain that you have some questions lingering on your mind right now – questions that, of course, need answers.

In that case, we invite you to keep in touch with us at Nowak Migration. Don’t bother yourselves with finding answers to your questions or finding solutions to your problem.  Allow us to that for you.

Give us a call or contact us now.