Working Holiday Makers – Condition 8547 – Extension of work rights past 6 months with one employer
In a recent development, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs has announced the continuation of the exemption process related to visa condition 8547 for Working Holiday Makers (WHM). This decision comes into effect from January 1, 2024, and will persist while consultations on the Working Holiday program settings and reforms are underway, aligning with the recently released Migration Strategy.
1. Extension of Work Rights
Starting from January 1, 2024, and until further government decisions are made as part of the WHM reform work, Working Holiday Makers will have the ability to work for the same employer in Australia for more than 6 months without seeking permission under certain conditions.
2. Eligible Work Scenarios
WHM can extend their work tenure if the employment is in:
- Different locations (with no single location exceeding 6 months),
- Plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia,
- Certain industries such as aged care and disability services, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, construction and mining in northern Australia only.
- Natural disaster recovery work from February 17, 2020,
- Critical sectors such as agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care, childcare, tourism, and hospitality.
3. Permission Required for Other Situations
In cases not covered by the specified scenarios, WHM must seek permission from the Department of Home Affairs to work beyond the initial 6-month period with one employer.
4. Application Process
A new E-form for applying for Condition 8547 extensions is expected to be operational from December 22, 2023. Meanwhile, Home Affairs will process applications made using the policy in Legend. Requests for permission should be submitted at least two weeks before the expiry of the six-month work period.
5. Request Submission
Permission requests can be submitted in writing using Form 1445 or by emailing the Department. The request should include details of when the employment commenced, the intended duration of extended work, and a full explanation of the circumstances necessitating the extension. Supporting documentation, such as a company letter outlining exceptional circumstances, is also required.
6. Continuation for Pending Requests
Those who have already submitted a request for approval to work beyond 6 months with the same employer can continue working until they receive a written outcome.
A comprehensive discussion paper on WHM program settings, including eligibility, visa conditions, and specified work requirements, will be released in early 2024, providing more insight into upcoming reforms.
Stay tuned for further updates as the WHM program undergoes crucial changes to enhance the experience for Working Holiday Makers in Australia.
- Migration Institute Of Australia