Changes to the Working Holiday Maker Program:
The Australian Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa has been a popular mainstay for young visitors aged between 18 -30 from eligible overseas countries. This visa provides a great opportunity for interested young people to come to Australia for a working holiday while experience our wonderful country and culture. This visa provides the opportunity for young people to develop into their adult life while experiencing a foreign country.
Why Choose a Working Holiday Maker Visa:
The opportunity to work and travel in Australia
Develop new skills and friendships abroad
Embrace and learn a new culture
Visit a diverse and magnificent country
The working holiday maker has a condition that allows eligible applicants to extend their stay in Australia by a further 1 year, assuming that the applicant can meet the minimum 88 days work condition.The 88 day work requirement means you must do a total of 88 days in 365 in a regional area working.
In most circumstance people obtain a second WHM legitimately by completing the required work but in a few exceptional cases people have exploited the system to obtain another visa.
As a result on 1 September 2015, the Australian Government implemented a new requirement for the WHM visa program, which requires applicants to submit electronic (uploaded) or hardcopy (paper) payslips for claimed regional work undertaken. This is a minimum requirement for the grant of the second working holiday maker visa.
This application of evidence requirements is consistent with the Fair Work Act 2009 – which states that all employers must provide employees with payslips. Payslips must verify that the pay was received in line with the award wage and that the specified work was undertaken. Visa applicants can find the Australian rates of pay at the Fair Work website – www.fairwork.gov.au
Volunteer or cash in hand 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?
If you are unsure of whether you will be affected by these changes 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 http://calculate.fairwork.gov.au/findyouraward