(Update 6th April 2019)
From 1 July 2019, WHM visa holders who carry out 6 months of specified work in regional areas while on their second Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa or Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa may be eligible to apply for a third visa. Eligible types of work and regional areas will correspond with the requirements for the second visa.
Note: The 6 months work must all be carried out on or after 1 July 2019, so a successful application cannot be lodged before January 2020.
From November last year there were many changes which outlined how the second visa was to be obtained and these will remain the same.
The changes were as follows:
- From 5 November 2018, expanding the regional areas where subclass 462-visa holders can work in agriculture (plant and animal cultivation) to qualify for a second year of stay in Australia. Currently only those who work in Northern Australia are eligible.
- From 5 November 2018, increasing the period in which subclass 417 and 462 visa holders can stay with the same agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) employer, from 6 to 12 months.
- The option of a third-year for subclass 417 and 462 visa holders who, after 1 July 2019, undertake 6-months of specified work in a specified regional area during their second year.
- Increase the eligible age for subclass 417 visa applicants from Canada and Ireland to 35.
The government has said that these changes are aimed at trying to increase the number of WH visa holders available for seasonal work.
- Employers will be able to retain trained and experienced employees doing agricultural (plant and animal cultivation) work for up to 12-months, rather than the previous 6-months.
- The availability of a third-year visa will attract working holiday makers to work for longer in regional Australia.
What does plant and animal cultivation include
Plant and animal cultivation includes most agricultural work, such as:
- 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
- immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
- manufacturing dairy produce from raw material.
Additional parts of regional Australia will be included in the expanded arrangements
From 5 November 2018 regions were extended to regional areas in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, and all of Northern Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania.
How long will subclass 462–visa holders need to work in the additional regional areas to get the second year?
Participation in the second-year program is voluntary. Subclass 462-visa holders need to complete a total of three-months (88 calendar days) of specified work to be eligible to apply for their second-year visa. They may combine work completed in any existing specified industry and location with new industries and locations to meet the work requirement.
What types of work completed will count towards third-year eligibility
Specified work for the third-year visa are the same as the eligibility for specified work for the second-year visa but it seems you will need 6 months instead of the 3 months required for the 2nd visa.