New exemptions for the 6 months limitation of the Working Holidays Program

Among the most popular visitor visas in Australia we have the Working Holidays Visa (417) and Work and Holidays Visa (462), which allows young adults who want an extended holiday to come and explore the wonders of Australia.

To give an idea of the popularity of these visas, in the financial year 2022-23, the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program had a total of 224,431 granted visas, which being 178,306 visas for the 417, and 46,125 for the 462.

The attractiveness of these visas, beyond the long renewable period of 1 year visa, is the possibility of work to fund your holidays.

The working holiday program allows you to do any kind of work, however, you can only work for the same employer for 6 months. This restriction is stated in the condition 8547, which applies to anyone in Australia who holds any kind of WHM visa, regardless of when they arrive, or holds a Bridging visa with condition 8547 imposed.

In spite of the condition, the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs has made the decision to continue the previous exemption process relating to visa condition 8547, from 1 January 2024, while consultation on the Working Holiday program settings and reform process is underway in line with the Migration Strategy released on 11 December 2023.

Therefore, from 1 January 2024, until further government decisions, you can work for the same employer in Australia for more than 6 months without asking permission if your work is:

  • in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months;
  • in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia;
  • in certain industries, including aged care and disability services, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, construction and mining, in northern Australia only (see Northern Australia);
  • natural disaster recovery work;
  • in critical sectors, including agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care and childcare, anywhere in Australia;
  • in the critical sector of tourism and hospitality anywhere in Australia.

For any other situations not covered above, you must ask for the Department of Home Affairs’ permission to work longer than 6 months with one employer.

Note that if you hold a Bridging visa with condition 8547 attached to it and you wish to work longer than 6 months for the same employer, you will need to apply for a new Bridging visa A to remove the condition.

Before extending your work period with your employer, it is always a good idea to have a consultation with a registered migration agent or immigration lawyer to check your availability and provide you with the correct advice for your specific situation.


Written by Ross Ahmadzai

7 Mar, 2024

You may also be interested in…

Tasmania’s Allocation program

The Australian Government has provided Tasmania’s skilled nominated visa allocation for the 2024-25 program year. A...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *