Must I complete regional work (farmwork) for my second Working Holiday visa?

Unless you are sponsored by an employer, then yes. The most essential requirement to qualify for the second Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) is to complete three months – or 88 days to be exact – of regional farm work in the country and in specific jobs such as fruit picking and packing, trimming vines, fishing, working in tree farming, or working in mining.

Fact: 88 days is the combined length of the shortest three-month period.

Farm days are counted differently if you work full-time or part-time and you don’t need to do your three months’ work all in one go, or all with one employer. If you work full-time (35-40 hours a week, depending on what industry you are in), the 88 days includes your days off.

For example: working seven hours a day for five days a week can be counted as seven visa days (you’re doing 35 hours a week).

If you work part-time or casual, only work days are counted.

For example: working eight hours a day for four days is counted as four visa days (you’re doing 32 hours a week instead of 35 hours minimum as required).

BE CAREFUL: For your farm work to be eligible, you must at least earn $17.70 per hour (minimum legal wage before tax), even when you’re being paid per kilogram. If this is not possible, then your work may not qualify for the second-year visa and you should seek employment elsewhere.

One important thing is that you need to keep all of your receipts (i.e. rent, food shopping etc.) and payslips. In fact, your payslips are key. They will provide evidence of work done, count your days and confirm payment has been received. Don’t forget to make sure your employer is legit by giving your Tax File Number and receiving their Tax File Number.