Regional work and getting that second-year visa!
UPDATE August 2015 Payslips Are Now Required For Second Year Visa! Full article here
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It is coming to that time of year when everyone in their first year of their working holiday visa goes on the hunt to do their regional work around Australia.
We have compiled this guide as it is never easy finding regional work, its one of those things backpackers will tell you that they had a great experience but will never do it again.
However iti s best that you know what you’re in for and make the most of it! :)
Here is a link to the employment verification form for your regional work
If you are on a working holiday visa and thinking about trying to go down the sponsorship route be sure to read our Guide to getting sponsored in Australia.
Or register for our free Australian visa course
Make sure you are doing regional work in the correct postcode read our Regional Australia postcode list.
To be eligible for a second working holiday visa, one of the major application criteria is to complete three ‘calendar’ months (or 88 days) of specified work in regional Australia while on your first Working Holiday (417) visa.
Approved industries for specific regional work include:
- Plant and animal cultivation
- Fishing and pearling
- Tree farming and felling
- *Don’t forget that regional work hast to be completed within an eligible regional postcode area.*
Useful Links While Doing Your Regional Work
Useful services while in Australia – This is our very useful resources page that we have personally used over the past 2 years in Australia and it includes quite a few discounts as well.
Australian Tax Office(ATO) – All about the tax system in Australia
Fair Work.gov.au – Government website about fair work policies.
Daff.gov.au – The Australian Department of Agriculture’s role is to develop and implement policies and programs that ensure Australia’s agricultural, fisheries, food and forestry industries remain competitive, profitable and sustainable.
Scamwatch.gov.au – SCAMwatch is a website run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
SCAMwatch provides information to consumers and small businesses about how to recognise, avoid and report scams.
Money Transfer Guide – Need to send money to or from Australia? Read our international money transfer guide here
Where you can find regional work?
Gumtree is a great resource for finding work, only thing is there will be hundreds of other backpackers doing the same thing as you.
Ads tend to have hundreds if not thousands of views within a few hours so make you are checking regularly.
As a test we put up an ad about this regional work guide, just basically saying if you are looking for a good regional work guide check this out.
Within about 2 – 3 days we received over 20 resumes, people just on autopilot not even reading the ads.
There is now an enormous amount of backpackers doing regional work and as a result, means finding work through Gumtree a lot harder.
Very Important Things you should do before completing your regional work in Australia:
- You have to do 88 days regional work. If you can find full-time work, the 88 days includes your days off.
- So it’s three months’ full-time work or just count up your 88 days if it’s part-time.
- A day is counted as the standard hours for that industry. A lot of people get confused with this.
- If you get two jobs which is not uncommon than you have to actually do the 88 days you can’t do just 3 months
- This means if you are working only Monday – Friday it can take you up to 17 weeks to complete your regional work!
- Work in regional Australia – Seems obvious but some areas are not far enough away from civilization to be classified as regional work, there have been cases where farms are just offering farm work and people presume it counts towards their regional work.
- Just double-check the postcode before you sign up to anything
- Take some photos – At least take one photo a week where you are clearly visible in the picture and your work is clearly visible too.
- Keep those receipts and payslips – Your payslips are key, they will give you evidence of work done and payment received.
- In some cases where you are not paying rent or living on the form you can buy an invoice book and ask the farmer just to sign off the days you were there.
- Make sure your employer is legit – To get paid properly you need a Tax File Number (TFN) and your employer will need yours. You can get a TFN number here.
- Your employer will supply you with a payment summary when you finish work so you can claim your tax back.
- You will need your employer to fill out the ‘Form 1263’ which states you worked for them and states the work you completed.
- The Form 1263 is available here.
Unless of course you are doing WOOFING(No longer possible because of this update)
- Starting 31 August 2015(don’t worry if you did it prior!), payslips must be provided with 2nd year Working Holiday Visa applications.
- Apply or check out our recommended RSA company here.
- Apply at the right time – It takes about 3 – 4 weeks to get the visa processed, given that everything is in the correct order.
- If you apply in Australia you must be in Australia to be granted your visa and vice versa.
- Ensure that if you’re leaving Australia that you apply in time to receive the visa.
- Once you submit your application you will be granted a bridging visa, this will continue your first-year visa if it expires before you are granted your second-year visa.
How do I apply?
Online Applications Costs approx $460 per application!
You can apply for your second-year visa extension online on the immi.gov website.
The application process can take around 20 minutes. You will receive a Transaction Reference Number (TRN).
It is important that you record this number as it is used to identify your application when you contact the department and to access information about the progress of your online application.
Once your visa is confirmed which can take anywhere from 1 – 14 days you will receive that great email stating VISA GRANTED.
One of these best feelings ever.
FYI: With the regional work verification form it is not actually needed(most of the time) on the first application.
So don’t stress too much about it. All you need to put an application is ABN and dates along with a bit of information about the company.
A lot of people get stressed about if they lose the form or if the don’t have one signature etc.
The application checklist on Form 1150 details the information and supporting documents you must give with your paper application.
Note: European Union and national identity cards cannot be used to apply for a Working Holiday visa. You must apply using a passport from an eligible country.
If you lodge an application using an identity card, your application cannot be accepted, and you will need to lodge another application using your passport.
Complete applications are likely to be processed more quickly. Incomplete applications may be delayed or sometimes refused.
You can lodge or post a paper application for your second Working Holiday visa in or outside Australia. Send paper applications to:
Cairns Second Working Holiday Centre Department of Immigration and Citizenship PO Box 1269, Cairns QLD 4870, Australia
It is highly recommended to do an online application!
Working Holiday Makers can use the Australian Government Funded Harvest trail service
Harvest Trail links job seekers with harvest jobs Australia wide.
It offers a great way for people to travel around Australia at their own pace while working and earning money.
Use the Harvest Trail website to: Find a harvest job Locate a harvest labor provider
Search town and crop information
Phone the National Harvest Telephone Information Service 1800 062 332 for information on harvest jobs, working conditions or accommodation.
National Harvest Guide
Use the National Harvest Guide to find out about harvest work, working conditions, transport and accommodation.
The guide is regularly updated and is available free for download or in hard copy.
As we mentioned all of their services are FREE and funded by the Australian Government.
Facebook Groups List
For anyone in Queensland:
Orlagh McHugh Co-ordinator
Irish Australian Support Association of Qld Inc
As you travel around Australia you might encounter different driving conditions and traffic laws to those you are used to.
Beware of paying money to secure farm work as scams are common.
We recommend you call the National Harvest Telephone Information Service on 1800 062 332 before traveling.
Regional Work Recent GumTree Scams
Some backpackers have been targeted by scams on the Gumtree website and we recommend everyone to beware of paying money to secure farm work or for accommodation deposits as scams are common.
We have also just recently published a video about a guy who gets caught by border security who paid someone to “sign off” on his regional work.
Watch the video about the Irish guy who got scammed on his regional work visa
Don’t ever pay anyone a finders fee, a deposit for accommodation or anything in advance!
The Australian government is cracking down heavily on these, but there is still a few scams out there.
One couple got caught to pay $200 to “secure” their regional work. Read more on the article here
There is also a few articles we have written about scam websites.
How do I calculate my specified work:
‘Three months‘ means three ‘calendar’ months or 88 days. Work can be in one block with one business, or in separate blocks with one business or a number of businesses.
Blocks of work may be in different kinds of specified work.
- Full-time workers may include weekends in calculating the number of days worked.
- Applicants who work part-time or on a casual bases can only count the full days actually worked.
- The shortest period that can be counted is one day of full-time work (for any given industry).
- Full-time workers can count sick days only during periods where they were in paid employment and entitled to sick leave or covered by workers compensation scheme.
- In these situations, supporting evidence must be provided by the employer.
- Applicants who were prevented from obtaining employment because of injury or seasonal circumstances cannot count any time they were unable to work towards the three-month period.
- For example: Cyclones interrupting harvest activities.
Best time to go to each state
There is a great PDF from Harvest Trail which outlines every single state, where to stay and much more. Check it out here.
WWOOF- WILLING WORKERS ON ORGANIC FARMS Work 4-6 hours a day on organic farms, in exchange for food and accommodation. You can find some WWOOF-ing opportunities on Gumtree, or you can buy the WWOOF book for a full list of contacts. Visit: http://www.wwoof.com.au While WWofing is a way of doing your regional work, personally we don’t recommend it as you don’t get paid most of the time.
Woofing is no longer allowed unless you get a payslip!
If you are looking to spend 3 months travelling around Australia for free(well kind of free) its awesome!
After you lodge your application
You can check your visa details, including your visa grant number and visa conditions, using the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system.
You can use either your TRN or the password that you recorded at the end of your online visa application.
If you do not have a password or have forgotten it, you can get a new one by calling 131 881 within Australia.
If your visa is not granted, the department sends you a notification letter advising you of the reasons for the refusal, your review rights and the time limit for lodging an appeal.
Your rights for a review of the decision differ, depending on whether you lodged your application in or outside Australia.
If you lodged in Australia, the refusal letter advises you of your review rights and the time limit for lodging an appeal. If you lodged outside Australia, you have no right for a review of the decision.
On a final note if you are looking to transfer money internationally we recommend Currency Fair.
Be sure to read our article about money transfers which explains how they work!
Hope you enjoyed this guide and it helps you find and complete your regional work. Please share it on Facebook or any way you can :)