Are you dreaming of an extended holiday in Australia while working part-time to fund your adventures?  If so, the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa program might be your ticket to an exciting experience Down Under.  This program comprises two streams: the Working Holiday (subclass 417) and the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas, collectively referred to as Working Holiday Makers (WHMs).

Let’s delve into the details and learn how you can make the most of this opportunity.

The Purpose of the WHM Visa Program

The WHM visa program aims to strengthen people-to-people connections between Australia and its partner countries by allowing young travellers to enjoy extended holidays while taking on short-term employment.  The catch?  Work is generally limited to a maximum of six months with any single employer. Exceptions are rare and must be carefully considered.

Understanding Condition 8547

Condition 8547 is at the heart of the WHM visa program.  It means that the total duration of your employment with the same employer in Australia should not exceed six calendar months.  This period begins on the first day you start working or training for a specific role.  It’s important to note that this six-month limit applies regardless of the type of work you’re doing – whether it’s full-time, part-time, casual, shift, or even voluntary work.

What “One Employer” Means

For the purpose of condition 8547, “one employer” refers to the business or organisation where you directly work – the end user. If you work for separate businesses with different Australian Business Numbers (ABNs), they are usually considered different employers.  However, if a business undergoes a name change or a change in ownership, it’s often still considered the same employer.

Special Circumstances Allow Longer Employment

Certain situations allow WHMs to work beyond the six-month limit without requesting permission.  These include:

  • Working in high-demand industries in Northern Australia.
  • Working in different locations where no single location exceeds six months.
  • Engaging in plant and animal cultivation work anywhere in Australia.

You can find more details on these exceptions on the Department’s website.

Requesting Permission for Extended Employment

If you wish to work longer than six months with one employer in situations other than those mentioned above, you’ll need to request permission.  Here’s how to go about it:

  • Submit your request at least two weeks before your current six-month work period ends.
  • You can use Form 1445 or email the Department to make your request.
  • Clearly state when you started working with your employer and when the six-month period will end.
  • Provide full details of the exceptional circumstances justifying your request.
  • Specify how long you intend to continue working for your employer.
  • Include supporting documentation from your employer, such as a one-page letter explaining the unique situation.

While using Form 1445 is not mandatory, it can help streamline the process.  Requests are typically processed within 14 days, but you should be given the opportunity to provide any additional information needed within five working days.  If you can’t meet this deadline, officers may consider granting additional time.

Remember, if you don’t respond to requests for further information within the specified period, a decision may be made based on the available information.

Final Thoughts

The WHM visa program is an excellent way to explore Australia while gaining work experience.  By understanding its rules and regulations, you can make the most of this unique opportunity.  So, pack your bags, prepare your resume, and embark on an unforgettable adventure in the Land Down Under!

Gilton Valeo can answer your questions about Australia’s immigration system

As experts in Australian immigration, Gilton Valeo can guide you in identifying the best immigration pathways to bring people over to start your Australian office, provide you with strategic consulting along the way, and connect you with our partners to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Check out everything we offer on our website, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter!