A Backpackers Guide to Second Year Visa’s in Australia

Australia’s Working Holiday Visa scheme provides backpackers working in Australia with the ability to stay for a second year in Australia while still working to supplement their travels. Backpackers working in Australia need to be mindful that to take advantage of the Second Year Visa Scheme that any work they enter into must be secondary to their main reason of holidaying in Australia. In other words, the main purpose for the backpacker being in Australia is for holidaying not purely working.

Another important consideration for backpackers wanting to get a Second Year Visa is that they can not be employed by the same employer for a period of more than 6 months. This requirement is to ensure not only that Backpackers don’t take jobs from Australian residents but also to prevent backpackers from other countries entering Australia under the wrong visa class.

Basic Requirements

There are also several other requirements for backpackers to obtain a Second Year Visa, including:

  • Second Year Visas will only be granted to backpackers and those on working holidays aged between 18 and 30 years;
  • Backpackers and those on working holidays must have a valid passport that does not expire within a 6 month period;
  • Backpackers and those on working holidays must be able to prove that they have sufficient money to support themselves while they are in Australia. As a general guide, $5,000 is considered to be sufficient to satisfy this requirement;
  • Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia must also have completed 3 months work, which equates to 88 days, working in regional Australia in specified employment.

What is considered Specified Work?

The specified work requirement to obtain a Second Year Visa was implemented to ensure that hard to fill jobs are able to be filled. There are many different industries with hard to fill jobs that will satisfy the requirements for backpackers and others on working holidays looking to obtain a Second Year Visa. The main industries that have employment classified as Specified Work, include agriculture, commercial fishing, mining and even some jobs within the construction industry.

Generally, backpackers and others on working holidays within Australia find that seasonal agriculture jobs such as fruit picking, harvesting and mustering are the best and easiest jobs to come by. By gaining seasonal employment, not only do backpackers and other on working holidays, have the opportunity to experience regional Australia, they are also able to easily meet the specified work requirement to gain a Second Year Visa.

What is classified as Regional Australia?

For backpackers and others to meet the requirement of working in regional Australia, they must do so in locations those have been specifically identified as regional for the purposes of the Second Year Visa.

While South Australia and Tasmania are considered to be regional Australia in their entirety the regional areas of other States and the Northern Territory are identified by postcode. The requirement to work in regional Australia for the purpose of obtaining a Second Year Visa ensures that employers in regional and remote locations have access to a larger workforce pool.

Backpackers and others on working holidays in Australia looking to secure a Second Year Visa are able to contact us to ensure that they gain employment in the correct locations that are considered to be regional Australia.

Secondary Requirements for a Second Year Visa

Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia are also required to meet Health and Character requirements prior to being granted a Second Year Visa. To achieve these requirements Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia must not have any significant criminal convictions or any major health or medical issues.

The health and medical requirements may sound discriminatory in nature, and has in the past been subject to debate. However, this requirement is to ensure there are no unnecessary burdens placed on Australia’s health care system by overseas citizens. Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia will still be provided with healthcare services should they require it while they are holidaying in Australia.

Is any Evidence required to obtain a Second Year Visa?

Obtaining a Second Year Visa isn’t as simple as backpackers saying that they have met all the requirements. Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia need to provide sufficient evidence to support their application for a Second Year Visa. Without the evidence to support their application, backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia will find that their Second Year Visa application is likely to be declined.

There are however, multiple sources of evidence that backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia can provide to satisfy the requirements needed for a Second Year Visa. The following are some examples of the evidence that backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia can provide to support their Second Year Visa Application:

  • Payslips showing the employers name and the location where the backpacker has been employed;
  • Written references from previous employers showing that backpackers have worked in a specific industry and location;
  • Receipts for accommodation that clearly identify the backpackers name and the length of time they stayed in a specific location;
  • Receipts for travel (Bus, train or plane tickets) that clearly show the backpackers name and where and when they travelled to a certain location;
  • Group certificates issued by the backpackers employer that show the period of employment and where they were employed; and
  • Bank statements that show wages being paid from employers so long as the bank statements clearly identify the employer.

This list is a general guide, and there are many other forms of evidence that can be provided.

Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia should be warned that some unscrupulous businesses in Australia offer fraudulent evidence for a fee. Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia are advised to avoid these services. Any backpacker found providing false evidence faces permanent bans from Australia. It is also likely backpackers providing false evidence will also be hindered from entering the United States of America and New Zealand in the future due to information sharing between these countries and Australia.

The Process for Gaining a Second Year Visa

While the process for gaining a Second Year Visa is relatively quick, backpackers and others on working holidays in Australia need to be mindful of the three month work requirement prior to submitting their application. This requirement in itself means that backpackers and people on working holidays in Australia need to undertake the working requirement well in advance of their first year visa expiring. Many backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia spend their time holidaying and having fun. Unfortunately they soon find that there is insufficient time left on their visa to complete the working requirements of the Second year Visa Scheme.

In general, it takes the government 2 to 6 weeks to process a backpacker’s application for a Second Year Visa. It is advisable for backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia to have met all of the Second Year Visa requirements and commence their application at least 6 weeks prior to their visa expiring.

By commencing the process 6 weeks prior to their visa expiring, backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia will be able to deal with any challenges that may arise through the application process. While challenges in a Second Year Visa application are not regular occurrences they do occur. The challenges inevitably stem from issues ranging from a requirement for more evidence, clarification of the evidence that has been provided or even lost documents. Backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia are advised to seek expert advice prior to commencing their Second Year Visa application to ensure a greater chance of success in having the visa granted.

The Benefits of a Second Year Visa

For backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia, a Second Year Visa provides the opportunity to spend additional time travelling and enjoying what Australia has to offer. While there are a number of requirements that backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia are required to meet, these requirements also provide an incentive to explore the regional areas of Australia. Regional areas in Australia are commonly known as being in the outback and by visiting these areas backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia get to experience the real Australia.

There are many jobs that backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia can find from bar work to fruit and vegetable picking. Not only do these jobs provide a unique opportunity for backpackers and those on working holidays to supplement their finances, but they also allow them to travel throughout Australia. While many tourists who visit Australia spend there time in the beach suburbs of Sydney such as Bondi or in Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands, they miss out on seeing the real Australia. The requirements for a Second Year Visa provide the impetus for backpackers and those on working holidays to explore and experience regional areas of Australia. Many backpackers and people on working holidays in Australia stay confined to the main tourist hotspots, but fail to experience the beauty and take part in the adventures that Australia’s outback provides.

Working in the industries required under the Second year Visa scheme also provides an opportunity for backpackers and those on working holidays the opportunity to gain new skills. The vocational skills that young people backpacking in Australia can gain are often transferable into other occupations when they finally return home. Often times, backpackers find that exposure to the jobs they secure in Australia provides them with beneficial experiences which they can later highlight on their resumes. The skills that backpackers can obtain in these jobs are often times highly sought after by many employers in their home countries.

There are many benefits provided to backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia taking advantage of the Second Year Visa scheme. So long as all of the requirements to obtain a Second Year Visa are met, it is a relatively simple process to obtain the actual visa, so long as the application is done properly. It is highly recommended that backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia seek advice before compiling and submitting their Second Year Visa application to ensure the applications success. We are able to provide further information to backpackers and those on working holidays in Australia to ensure that they get the right advice.

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