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Australian Backpackers given green light

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Australian Backpackers given green light

From 17 February 2020, working holiday makers (subclass 417 and subclass 462 visa holders) assisting bushfire recovery efforts can work for up to 12 months with the same employer or organisation without requesting permission from immigration.

On 17 February 2020, the Government announced that WHMs will be able to be count paid or volunteer bushfire recovery work as ‘specified work’. 

Summary of working holiday maker (WHM) changes

  • The time a WHM can work with the same employer has been extended from six months to 12 months for those assisting with bushfire recovery efforts through a change in policy. This is consistent with arrangements put in place for recovery efforts following Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
  • The definition of “specified work” will be revised for the Work and Holiday Maker (subclass 462) visa, to ensure construction work in a disaster declared area is captured. This is consistent with existing arrangements for Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa holders.
  • Paid and volunteer disaster recovery work in declared areas impacted in the recent bushfires will count towards the “specified work” needed to apply for a second or third year 417 or 462 visa.

The new rules for working holiday visas would be welcome news to farmers and regional businesses.

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