Work with your employer beyond 6 months on Working Holiday visa

Working Holiday (subclass 417) and Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas allow visa holders to have an extended holiday in Australia and to supplement their funds with short term employment. These visas are granted with condition 8547, which limits work with each employer to 6 months. Condition 8547 states ‘The holder must not be employed by any one employer for more than 6 months, without the prior permission in writing of the Secretary’.

Extending the work condition on a Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visa

The Department of Home Affairs (the department) may give a Working Holiday or Work and Holiday visa holder permission to work for an employer beyond 6 months in limited circumstances.

Au pairs

Where you can demonstrate that you have worked as an au pair for one employer for 6 months, you can be given approval to work for up to 6 additional months with the same employer (a total of 12 months work). You should include a letter of support from the family employing you as an au pair.

To be recognised as an au pair, your main responsibility must be the care of children not older than 12 years (ie. primary school age or younger).

Work in Northern Australia in certain industries

For certain industries in Northern Australia, if you can demonstrate that you have worked for one employer for 6 months, you can be given approval to work for up to 6 additional months with the same employer (a total of 12 months work).

Employment extension requests in Northern Australia will be considered in the following industries:

  • aged and disability care;
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing;
  • construction;
  • mining; and
  • tourism and hospitality.

For the purposes of an employment extension request, Northern Australia is considered all of the Northern Territory and those areas of Queensland and Western Australia above the Tropic of Capricorn.

All other cases – exceptional circumstances only

In all other instances a request for an employment extension will only be approved in exceptional circumstances. Where permission is granted, it will generally be for a short period of time (days or weeks, not months).

Exceptional circumstances must relate to an Australian permanent resident, citizen or business and must be extraordinary and unforeseeable.

Exceptional circumstances might include remaining in your current job for one of the following reasons:

  • for a very short time (days or weeks) as you are critical to the completion of a specialised project that has unexpectedly gone over time;
  • performing disaster recovery work following a major disaster such as clean-up, re-building or emergency management activities following a major flood;
  • remaining in your current job while a decision is being made on an application for a visa which would allow you to continue full-time work with your employer without leaving Australia, such as an application for a Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa or a Spouse visa.

Note: For the department to take this information into consideration when assessing your employment extension request, you must have lodged your visa application and must be recorded in the department’s systems.

Exceptional circumstances do not include remaining in your current job because you:

  • have the required skills or because of labour shortages;
  • are required to complete a project in a job that is not highly skilled eg. retail or administration;
  • have applied or intend to apply for a visa which requires you to leave Australia at the time of grant;
  • are not able to apply for another kind of visa.

Consideration will be given to whether an extension would be contrary to the main purpose of Working Holiday and Work and Holiday visas, which is to holiday in Australia. People whose main intention in Australia is to work should apply for a visa designed for that purpose.

Working Holiday and Work and Holiday visa holders requesting permission to work beyond 6 months with an employer must receive written permission from the department before extending their employment. Requests should be submitted at least 2 weeks before the expiry of the 6 months. Visa holders who work for more than 6 months with an employer without prior written permission from the department are in breach of their visa condition and their visa may be subject to cancellation.

Book an appointment for a commitment free briefing with a Registered Migration Agent in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.

SeekVisa assists Working Holiday visa holders in application to work beyond 6 months for their employers , ensuring that all criteria are met, and sufficient documentary evidence is provided to DHA. SeekVisa policy is to only lodge ‘decision ready’ applications , so that the your application is finalised as quickly as possible.