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Extended Work Rights For Working Holiday Makers From 1 January 2024

The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has today decided that from 1 January 2024, Working Holiday Makers (Subclass 417 and 462 Visa Holders) in some circumstances will have access to extended work rights for work with the same employer for more than six months.

Written by Sheila Woods (MARN: 0533879) of Interstaff  21 December 2023

While the Government goes through a consultation process to reform Working Holiday Maker visa program settings in line with its recently released Migration Strategy, Working Holiday Makers will temporarily be exempt from having to meet Condition 8547, which usually imposes a six month work limit with an employer.

During the pandemic, Working Holiday Makers were also exempt from having to meet Condition 8547, but the Condition was reinstated from 1 July 2023.

What Employers and Working Holiday Makers Need to Know

From 1 January 2024, Working Holiday Makers may be able to work for the same employer in Australia for more than six months without asking for permission from the Department of Home Affairs if their work is:

  • In different locations (with work in any one location not exceeding six months)
  • In plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia
  • In certain industries, including aged care and disability services, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, construction and mining, in ‘Northern Australia’ only – as defined by The Department of Home Affairs
  • For natural disaster recovery work (criteria from 17 February 2020)
  • In critical sectors, including agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care and childcare, anywhere in Australia (criteria from 4 April 2020)
  • In the critical sector of tourism and hospitality anywhere in Australia (criteria from 8 May 2021)

For other situations not included in the above, Working Holiday Makers must ask for permission from the Department of Home Affairs to work for more than six months with the same employer.

Applying for Extended Work Rights | Condition 8547 Extension

The Department of Home Affairs’ application process for a Condition 8547 Extension will open from tomorrow, 22 December 2023. Requests for permission should be made at least two weeks before the expiry date of the six‑month work period.

You may be required to provide details of the ‘limited circumstances’ in which you are seeking permission to work longer than six months. You may also be required to provide supporting documentation from your employer outlining the exceptional circumstances.

Should you require advice and assistance, you may wish to book a consultation with one of Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents.

Applicants that have already submitted a request for approval to work for longer than six months for the same employer may be able to continue working for the same employer until they receive a written decision from the Government.

About the Working Holiday Maker Visa Program and Future Reforms

The Working Holiday Maker program includes two visas – the Subclass 417 Working Holiday Visa and the Subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa. These visas enable people aged between 18 and 35 from particular countries to holiday and work in Australia.

As mentioned, the Working Holiday Maker program will be reformed in line with the Government’s Migration Strategy. The Government has informed the Migration Institute of Australia it is preparing a discussion paper that will review Working Holiday Maker program settings, including eligibility, visa conditions and specified work requirements.

We expect further details on the reform process will be released in early 2024. It is possible that further Government decisions on Condition 8547 exemption arrangements may be made as part of the Working Holiday Maker reform work and we will certainly keep you updated.

Business Migration | Strategic Thinking

The Minister’s announcement is positive news for businesses and Working Holiday Makers as it provides an option to stay and work in Australia for an extended period without having to change employers.

Interstaff assist people all over the world with the legal and professional process to travel or migrate to Australia for temporary work or permanent residence. Established in 1988, Interstaff has been trusted by migrating individuals and businesses for over 30 years and are the strongest group of experts for visa work in Australia. MARN: 0533879..