Changes to the Working Holiday Second Year Visa Australia Has Made

Changes to the Working Holiday Second Year Visa Australia Has Made

Armed with my 1 year Working Holiday Visa, I arrived into Australia in late 2013. Within a few months time, I already knew I wanted to stay in this beautiful country longer and set about researching how I could extend my visa here.

I found it was possible to extend the 1 Year Australian Working Holiday Visa I had by undertaking 3 months of specified regional work.

Diligently I set about finding, applying and completing these 88 days of regional work in various places around the country – 1 month in Noosa QLD, 1 month in Laurieton NSW and 1 month in Batchelor NT.

Not long after this, I also carefully wrote a detailed post on this blog explaining to readers in similar positions how to extend your 1 Year Australian Working Holiday Visa.

This article was written in conjunction with Martin Udall Associates and contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.

Nothing, when it comes to immigration however, is set in stone.

Regulations and rules frequently alter and, in accordance with this, changes have now been made to any application for a Second Year Visa Australia immigration handles.

In backpacker circles, there has been much confusion about what exactly these new rules are and when they came into practice. Indeed, it is a big source of stress for many backpackers I know here. As such, I wanted to help clear up some confusion for those currently in the process of applying, or looking to apply, for their second year Australian working holiday visa.

To make sure I get all the facts right, I’ve asked Australian immigration lawyer Martin Udall, of Udall & Associates, to help clarify exactly what changes to the application for a Working Holiday Second Year Visa Australia has made. So over to you Martin…


Australia, Fremantle, Bathers,


Thanks Steph for inviting me back to guest post on Big World Small Pockets.

Hopefully I can help some of you by clearing up exactly what changes to the application for a Working Holiday Second Year Visa Australia has made.

As you know, the Australian Working Holiday Visa (WHV) provides a great opportunity for many interested young people from eligible countries who are aged between 18 -30.

The WHV allows these young people the opportunity to:

  • Work and travel in Australia for 1 Year
  • Develop new skills and friendships abroad
  • Embrace and learn a new culture
  • Visit a diverse and magnificent country
  • Extend their stay in Australia by a further 1 year, assuming that the applicant can meet the minimum 88 days work condition.

As Steph talked about in her original post on how to extend your 1 year Australian working holiday visa, this work requirement means you must complete a total of 88 full days working in a regional area of Australia during your first WHV.

In most circumstances, people earn a second WHV legitimately by completing the required work.

However, in a few exceptional cases, people have obtained the working holiday second year visa Australia allows by exploiting the system.


Changes to Second Year Visa Australia Has Made


As a result of this exploitation, the Australian Government implemented a new requirement for the second year WHV program on 1 September 2015.

This new regulation requires all applicants to submit electronic (uploaded) or hardcopy (paper) payslips for the claimed regional work they have undertaken.

This is now a minimum requirement for the grant of the working holiday second year visa Australia offers.

The application of the new evidence requirements is consistent with the Australia Fair Work Act 2009, which states that all employers must provide employees with payslips.

Payslips must verify that the pay for the regional work was received in line with the award wage and that the specified work wasn’t fraudulently undertaken.

Second year WHV applicants can find the Australian rates of pay at the Fair Work website.

As a result of the changes to the working holiday second year visa Australia immigration has made, volunteer work will no longer be accepted as part of the 88 days unless it was commenced prior to 31 August 2015.

Any volunteer work commenced after this period cannot be claimed against the 88 day working requirement.


What to Do?

Australia, Bussleton, Jetty

If you are unsure of whether you will be affected by these changes to the working holiday second year visa Australia immigration has made you can:

  • Speak with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
  • Consult a reputable Immigration Lawyer
  • Submit the Form 1263 – Working Holiday Visa, Employment Verification (Please note this is not a visa application)
  • Ask your employer for payslips, this will also ensure that you are being paid the award wage ($17.29 unless under an award, enterprise or registered agreement). If you are unsure as to what your requirements are for award wages, please visit

So I hope that has helped to clear up any confusion surrounding the changes to the Working Holiday Second Year Visa Australia has made. Enjoy your time in this beautiful country and good luck with any second year Australia applications!


If you are looking for legal assistance when it comes to applying for second year Australian Working Holiday Visa, then Big World Small Pockets can personally recommend Martin Udall & Associates, who are Australian immigration law specialists employing registered migration agents (MARN 0746812).

Martin and his team would be happy to hear from you and answer any questions.

First consultations are free of charge. e: [email protected] t: +61 435 814 004 w: Martin Udall & Associates


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