Bushfire recovery related work now counts as specified work for Australian Second Working Holiday Australian Working Holiday makers who assist with the bushfire recovery will be permitted to add their hours worked towards ‘specified work’ for a second or third year Working Holiday Visa.

The Australian Government have announced that Working Holiday Makers working on bushfire recovery efforts will be able to count their paid or volunteer work, towards their ‘specified work’  for a second or third year Working Holiday Visa.

Working Holiday Makers are being encouraged to help bushfire affected communities get back on their feet following changes announced on Monday 17th February.

In order to be eligible for a second year working holiday visa, working holiday makers must complete three months of paid ‘specified work’ in an area considered to be a regional part of Australia. For the third year, they must complete an additional six months of specified work.

Amongst the changes in policy to encourage Working Holidays to help with the bushfire disaster recovery will be an extension on the 6-month work limitation so that those assisting with recovery efforts will be able to work for the same employer for 12 months rather than the usual 6 months.

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge, said the new rules for working holiday visas would be welcome news to farmers and regional businesses.

“These hard-working Australians have been hit by the recent bushfires, but from today they can employ backpackers for six months longer, helping them at a critical time in the recovery effort,” Mr Tudge said

Holders of the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa will now also be able to count construction work in a disaster declared area as ‘specified work’ in line with the existing agreement for Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa holders.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham said these arrangements would provide a much-needed boost to fire-affected communities around Australia.

“Every extra working holiday maker that we can get into these communities is one extra visitor to help protect local jobs and keep local businesses alive,” Minister Birmingham said.

“We know tourism businesses in fire-affected communities are doing it tough, and the more tourism dollars that these working holiday makers can inject into these economies, the quicker these businesses can get back on their feet.”

 

Summary of the expected changes:

  • Extended work limitation with any one employer, from six months to 12 months for those assisting with bushfire recovery.
  • The ‘specified work’ list will be revised to include construction work in a disaster declared zone for the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa.  This is consistent with existing arrangements for Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa holders.
  • Both paid and unpaid volunteer disaster recovery work, in designated areas impacted in the recent bushfires will count towards the ‘specified work’ requirements for a second or third year for both the subclass 417 and the subclass 462 visas.

Further details will be provided once the changes are in place.

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