Are you on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) or a Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)? One of the conditions on your visa is Condition 8547, which disallows the visa holder from working with a single employer for a period exceeding 6 months. Why? The Working Holiday 417 visa and the Work and Holiday 462 visa are for the promotion of cultural exchange as opposed to skilled work purposes and as such does not require a full check on the applicant’s skills. Those looking to migrate for skilled work should use other available skilled visa programmes which target key occupations for which Australia has recognised are in shortage of skilled labour.

Fortunately, there are circumstances under which you might extend your work with your employer beyond those 6 months. Of course, the extension can only be approved in limited circumstances, otherwise it would defeat the visa programme’s intentions.

There are generally three scenarios in which an extension may be given consideration:

  • Au pairs
  • Northern Australian employment*
  • Other cases

*Note that Northern Australian includes other areas outside Northern Territory such as northern Western Australia and Queensland, so please check the eligible postcodes.


Au pairs

Because of the nature of the job being heavily focused on the care of children, au pairs seeking to extend their work with a single employer would be given consideration. If a visa holder can provide evidence that they have worked as an au pair for a family for 6 months, they may request an extension for another 6 months, totalling 12 months with their employer. A letter of support from the family is required.

Whilst other ad hoc duties are natural in an au pair role, it should also be demonstrated that the large majority of the au pair’s responsibilities is the care of the children in the family. The youngest child in the family should be no more than 12 years of age.


Northern Australian employment

If the visa holder is working in an eligible Northern Australia postcode in one of the following industries, they may be granted an extension of an additional 6 months, totalling 12 months with their employer:

  • Aged and disability care
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Construction and mining
  • Tourism and hospitality

Eligible North Australian postcodes include:

Northern Territory Entire Territory
Queensland(all areas north of the Tropic of Capricorn) 4699 to 4707
4709 to 4712
4720 to 4721
4723 to 4728
4732 to 4733
4737 to 4746
4750 to 4751
4753 to 4754
4756 to 4757
4798 to 4800
4801 to 4812
4814 to 4825
4828 to 4830
4849 to 4850
4854 to 4856
4858 to 4861
4868 to 4888
4890 to 4892
Western Australia(all areas north of the Tropic of Capricorn) 0872
6710 to 6714
6720 to 6722
6725 to 6726
6753 to 6754


Agriculture, forestry and fishing; construction; mining

Examples of work that may be eligible for extension include:

  • Plant and animal cultivation
    • The harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
    • Pruning and trimming vines and trees
    • General maintenance crop work
    • Cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
    • Immediate processing of plant products
    • Maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase
    • Immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
    • Manufacturing dairy produce from raw material
  • Fishing and pearling
    • Conducting operations relating directly to taking or catching fish and other aquatic species
    • Conducting operations relating directly to taking or culturing pearls or pearl shell
  • Tree farming and felling
    • Planting or tending trees in a plantation or forest that are intended to be felled
    • Felling trees in a plantation or forest
    • Transporting trees or parts of trees that were felled in a plantation or forest to the place where they are first to be milled or processed or from which they are to be transported to the place where they are to be milled or processed
  • Mining
    • Coal mining
    • Oil and gas extraction
    • Metal ore mining
    • Construction material mining
    • Other non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying
    • Exploration
    • Mining support services
  • Construction
    • Residential building construction
    • Non-residential building construction
    • Heavy and civil engineering construction
    • Land development and site preparation services
    • Building structure services
    • Building installation services
    • Building completion services
    • Other construction services


Aged and disability care

Request for extensions may be accepted when the work involves the following:

  • Aged care residential services: Provision of residential aged care combined with nursing, supervisory, medical or other types of care
  • Disabilities assistance services and aged care assistance services: Services to aged or disabled clients whether or not the client is still in their home
  • Aged or disabled carer: Provision of general household assistance, emotional support, care and companionship for aged and disabled persons in their homes. Work undertaken in direct service to the aged or disabled is not eligible. For example work as a gardener in an aged care facility would not be acceptable


Tourism and hospitality

The following occupations are eligible for extension if they are located in eligible postcodes in Northern Australia:

ANZSCO Code Occupation Title Alternative Title(s) Specialisation(s)/ Occupations in not elsewhere classified groups
141999 Accommodation and Hospitality Managers not elsewhere classified Backpackers Manager
Boarding House Manager
Casino Duty Manager
Guest House Manager
Hostel Manager
Reception Centre Manager
139911 Arts Administrator or Manager Art Gallery Director
Community Arts Centre Manager
Cultural Centre Manager
431111 Bar Attendant Bar Steward
431911 Bar Useful or Busser Bar Back Glassie
431112 Barista
141911 Bed and Breakfast Operator
452211 Bungy Jump Master
141111 Cafe or Restaurant Manager Food and Beverage Manager Restaurateur Bistro Manager
Canteen Manager
Internet Cafe Manager
Mess Supervisor Steward (Navy)
431211 Cafe Worker Cafe Assistant Cafe Attendant Canteen Attendant
141211 Caravan Park and Camping Ground Manager
731212 Charter and Tour Bus Driver Coach Tour Driver
731111 Chauffeur Hire Car DriverLimousine Driver
351311 Chef Chef de Partie
Commis Chef
Demi Chef
Second Chef
Sous Chef
811411 Commercial Housekeeper
149311 Conference and Event Organiser Event Management Consultant Event Planner
Exhibition Organiser
Wedding Coordinator
351411 Cook
452311 Diving Instructor (Open Water) Dive Master
Scuba Instructor
Snorkelling Instructor
Surface Supply Breathing Apparatus (SSBA) Instructor
431912 Doorperson or Luggage Porter
452212 Fishing Guide Fly Fishing Guide
Ocean Fishing Guide
224212 Gallery or Museum Curator
451411 Gallery or Museum Guide Gallery or Museum Attendant
431311 Gaming Worker Croupier Casino Gaming Inspector
Gaming Pit Boss
431999 Hospitality Workers not elsewhere classified Cloakroom Attendant
Hotel Cellar Hand
Property Steward
Uniform Room Attendant
141311 Hotel or Motel Manager Hotelier Publican Duty Manager (Hotel)
Resort Manager
542113 Hotel or Motel Receptionist
431411 Hotel Service Manager Hotel Service Supervisor Front Office Manager (Hotel)
Head Housekeeper
Head Porter (Hotel)
Hotel Concierge
Hotel Office Manager
452213 Hunting Guide
851311 Kitchenhand Kitchen Steward Dishwasher
Pantry Attendant
Sandwich Hand
141411 Licensed Club Manager Club Licensee Gaming Manager
Nightclub Manager
452214 Mountain or Glacier Guide Climbing Guide
Ski Guide
452299 Outdoor Adventure Guides not elsewhere classified Caving Guide
Cycle Touring Guide
Horse Trekking Guide
Sea Kayaking Guide
452215 Outdoor Adventure Instructor Outdoor Adventure Leader Abseiling Instructor
Adventure Challenge Instructor
Hang-gliding Instructor
Outdoor Education Teacher
Outdoor Pursuits Instructor
Paragliding Instructor
Rock Climbing Instructor
731213 Passenger Coach Driver
899921 Ticket Collector or Usher
639411 Ticket Seller Booking Clerk
Reservations Clerk
451412 Tour Guide Tour Escort Tour Leader Regional Guide
451611 Tourist Information Officer Tourist Adviser
149413 Transport Company Manager Bus Company Manager
Car Rental Agency Manager
639412 Transport Conductor
142116 Travel Agency Manager
451799 Travel Attendants not elsewhere classified Cabin Steward
Marine Steward
Railway Sleeping Car Conductor
Railway Steward
451612 Travel Consultant Travel Agent Business Travel Consultant
Domestic Travel Consultant
International Travel Consultant
452216 Trekking Guide Bushwalking Guide
431511 Waiter Food and Beverage Attendant Drink Waiter
Formal Service Waiter
Silver Service Waiter
Wine Steward
452217 Whitewater Rafting Guide
361114 Zookeeper Aquarist


Cleaning work is not eligible, unless it involves the responsibilities laid out in the ANZSCO description for the occupation Commercial Housekeeping [811411] in a hotel, motel or accommodation. Retail work is also not eligible, even if it is for a souvenir soup or duty free shop.


Other cases

Don’t fit into the above categories? You might still be eligible for an extension, but only in exceptional circumstances. These exceptional circumstances:

  • Must relate to an Australian citizen, permanent resident or business
  • Must be extraordinary and unforeseeable
  • Generally relate to highly skilled activities


Critical to a project

In the situation where the visa holder is critical to the completion of a project that specialised and highly skilled, the visa holder may be granted a short extension. The Department views ‘short’ as a matter of days and weeks. The project must have unexpectedly gone over time.


Pending visa application

If the visa holder is waiting on a decision on a visa application that would allow the visa holder to continue working with their current employer, they may be granted an extension. The visas for which they may be waiting on a decision for include, but are not limited to:

  • Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa
  • Partner 820 visa
  • Training and Research 402  visa
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) 187 visa
  • Other permanent or provisional skilled migration visas


Workers compensation

A visa holder may receive an extension if they are getting workers compensation due to a workplace injury and is incapacitated. The extension should last for the period the visa holder is receiving payments. The extension is not to be granted to allow the injured visa holder to return to physical work with the same employer past the 6 month limitation unless other exceptional circumstances apply. Exceptional circumstances might include returning to work with the same employer for a short period (for example, several weeks) to allow rehabilitation. If a longer period is sought (for example, one month or more), the holder should be rehabilitated with a different employer.


Disaster recovery work

In the case of a declared major disaster involving clean up, rebuilding, emergency management and helping people and animals affected by the disaster, a visa holder may be granted an extension of weeks or months


Workplace disaster

If the visa holder’s workplace has been afflicted by a major disaster and the visa holder was unable to physically attend work, for example a farm being flooded, the visa holder may be granted extension to return to help following the disaster.

Not eligible

  • Despite the visa holder being highly skilled and there being labour shortages – an employer finding difficulty looking for a replacement
  • The visa holder has been working on a project that is run over time because of a disaster, but the workplace has remained open and the work that the visa holder is involved in is not recovery work
  • The visa holder has been working on a casual or part time basis
  • The visa holder cannot apply for another visa
  • The visa holder has applied for a visa that required them to be outside Australia at the time of the grant, such as the Partner (Provisional) visa



Try to apply as early as you know your circumstances have altered. The typically turnover time as given by the Department is 2 weeks but give yourself buffer time where possible. If your extension request has been refused, subsequent applications will be be considered should your circumstances have significantly changed from your last application.

A written request is required providing full details on why the wish for on extension as well as how long they wish to continue working for their current employer. The application must be accompanied by supporting evidence from the employer.

The circumstances under which one is eligible for extension are rather narrow if you are not in a specific occupation or in a specific location. Always know the conditions on your visa so as not to risk being in breach of them.