A Backpackers Guide to the Second Year Work Visa in Australia

Each year thousands of backpackers come to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa. Some backpackers on a working holiday in Australia are content with just travelling and working for 12 months – other backpackers want to take advantage of the Second Year Work Visa that Australia offers. Australia is a large country with lots of things to see and do, so it makes sense for backpackers to spend an additional year in Australia to make the most of their once in a lifetime working holiday.

For backpackers on a working holiday in Australia who want to spend an additional year exploring all that is on offer in Australia it is important that they understand the requirements they are required to meet to be eligible for a Second Year Visa. Unfortunately, many backpackers decide too late that they want to spend an additional year on a working holiday in Australia and are unable to fulfil all of the requirements for the Second Year Visa. For this reason it is important that backpackers on a working holiday in Australia have an understanding of the requirements they need to fulfil as soon as they arrive.

This guide will explain the basics of what is required for backpackers to obtain a Second Year Working Holiday Visa in Australia. It is by no means a substitute for getting individual advice from a specialist agent who deals with visa applications for working backpackers in Australia.

The General Requirements Required to Be Fulfilled for a Second Year Visa

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Backpackers on a working holiday in Australia who want to obtain a Second Year Visa are required to have:
1. Undertaken 3 months work within an industry specified by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. The 3 months of employment is also required to be undertaken in specified locations in regional Australia. Once the backpacker on the working holiday in Australia has met this requirement, they have no further obligation to meet this obligation again in their second year;

2. The backpacker on a working holiday in Australia must be aged between 18 years and 30 years at the time that they make application for the Second Year Visa;

3. If the backpacker is applying for the Second Year Visa from outside of Australia then the application must be made within 12 months of their intended arrival in Australia;

4. The backpacker must bring with them any dependent children to Australia for the duration of their time in Australia; and

5. The backpacker must not be married or in a recognised de facto relationship.
The backpacker applying for a Second Year Visa must also adhere to a number of administrative matters to satisfy the requirements of the Second Year Visa. Those administrative requirements being:
1. If the backpacker applies for a Second Year Visa from outside of Australia, they must remain outside of Australia until thee Second Year Visa is granted;

2. If the backpacker applies for the Second Year Visa while they are in Australia, they must be in Australia at the time of the Second Year Visa being granted; and

3. The backpacker must be the holder of a current and valid passport from a country that is a signatory to the Working Holiday Program.
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Backpackers on a working holiday in Australia who want to obtain a Second Year Visa are required to have:
1. Undertaken 3 months work within an industry specified by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs. The 3 months of employment is also required to be undertaken in specified locations in regional Australia. Once the backpacker on the working holiday in Australia has met this requirement, they have no further obligation to meet this obligation again in their second year;

2. The backpacker on a working holiday in Australia must be aged between 18 years and 30 years at the time that they make application for the Second Year Visa;

3. If the backpacker is applying for the Second Year Visa from outside of Australia then the application must be made within 12 months of their intended arrival in Australia;

4. The backpacker must bring with them any dependent children to Australia for the duration of their time in Australia; and

5. The backpacker must not be married or in a recognised de facto relationship.
The backpacker applying for a Second Year Visa must also adhere to a number of administrative matters to satisfy the requirements of the Second Year Visa. Those administrative requirements being:
1. If the backpacker applies for a Second Year Visa from outside of Australia, they must remain outside of Australia until thee Second Year Visa is granted;

2. If the backpacker applies for the Second Year Visa while they are in Australia, they must be in Australia at the time of the Second Year Visa being granted; and

3. The backpacker must be the holder of a current and valid passport from a country that is a signatory to the Working Holiday Program.

The Health Requirements of a Second Year Visa

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The Australian government wants to ensure that all backpackers being granted a Second Year Visa are fit and healthy. This requirement is to ensure that backpackers on working holidays in Australia do not unfairly burden the Australian health system and also to ensure no health risks are posed to Australian citizens and others in Australia.

As a result, backpackers making application for a Second Year Visa are required to meet the health standards as set down by the Department of Immigration and Multi Cultural Affairs. A health assessment must be completed by a backpacker applying for a Second Year Visa. Some backpackers may also be required to undertake a detailed medical assessment which may include testing for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C as well as having a chest x-ray conducted.

The fee for backpackers who are required to undergo a medical examination is not included in the application fee for the Second Year Visa. Therefore backpackers who are required to undertake a medical examination are required to pay for the examination themselves.

Health Insurance

While it is not compulsory for backpackers on a Second Year Visa to have health insurance it is highly recommended that they do so as they will not be covered under Australia’s Medicare system. It is also important that backpackers ensure that their health insurance remains current for the duration of their working holiday in Australia.

Financial Requirements

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Backpackers applying for a Second Year Visa also need to be able to satisfy the Department of Immigration and Multi Cultural Affairs that they have sufficient funds to support themselves while they are in Australia. Many Second Year Visa Applications are rejected on the grounds that the backpacker has insufficient funds to support themselves.

It is generally considered that $5000.00 AUD is sufficient funds for a backpacker to show that they are financially sufficient. Backpackers should also be able to show that they have a return or other airline ticket departing from Australia or the funds to purchase an airline ticket for the end of their working holiday. Without this officials from the Department of Immigration and Multi Cultural Affairs consider that the backpacker applying for the Second Year Visa has no financial means of departing Australia when their visa expires.

When making application for a Second Year Visa, backpackers should be ready to provide evidence that they have sufficient financial resources to meet this requirement. A bank statement which shows the backpackers savings that has been certified and also a copy of their return airline ticket will be sufficient evidence should it be required.

What does ‘Specified Work’ Mean?

The requirements to undertake specified work have been implemented to assist industries experiencing a labour shortfall to have access to employees. Specified work is found within the Agricultural, Tourism and Mining industry. To meet the requirements of specified work backpackers must have completed their specified working requirements within these industries.

How Do Backpackers Wanting a Second Year Visa Obtain Specified Work?

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There are no special programs that backpackers must join to obtain specified work. Backpackers can find specified work just as they would any other employment. Most backpackers find that it is easiest to find specified work online through websites like seek.com.au as they are able to tailor their job search

However, many backpackers are able to find specified work through local newspapers and word of mouth from other backpackers who have already undertaken their specified work requirements. Backpackers on working holidays in Australia will find that the backpacking community is quite close knit in Australia and they will be able to find specified work recommendations from their fellow backpackers.

Prior to starting any specified work, backpackers should first ensure that the employment meets the requirements of specified work and is within a listed postcode for the purpose of their Second Year Visa application.

How is the period of Specified Work Calculated?

Backpackers are required to undertake three months of specified work to meet the requirements of obtaining a Second Year Visa. Three months of classified work means three calendar months or to be exact 88 days of specified work.

Specified work for the three month period can either be undertaken at one time with one employer or in separate blocks of time with a number of employers. So long as the three month period is worked and the employment is classified as specified work then backpackers can meet this requirement that fits in with their travel desires.

Some backpackers prefer to do three months with one employer in the one location and get the requirement out of the way, while other backpackers prefer to continue travelling picking up work as they make their way around Australia.

For backpackers who don’t work fulltime and only undertake part time or casual employment it must be remembered that the 88 days of work is 88 full days of work, so a backpacker who works four hours a day for 88 days will not meet the requirements of the Second Year Visa.

What Evidence is required to show a Backpacker has met the Working Requirements?

It is not uncommon for the Department of Immigration and Multi Cultural Affairs to request evidence that backpackers have met the specified work requirements, to confirm that the backpacker has met the actual work requirements and that it was undertaken in regional Australia, as part of assessing a Second Year Visa application.

For this reason it is important that backpackers on working holidays in Australia keep detailed evidence so that they provide it to the Department of Immigration and Multi Cultural Affairs.

The following is a list of some evidence that will be acceptable to prove that a backpacker has met the working requirement:

1. Certified copies of payslips;

2. Certified copies of Group Certificates;

3. Certified copies of Payment Summaries;

4. Certified copies of Bank Statements showing wages being deposited into a bank account;

5. Certified copies of Tax returns;

6. References from Employers;

7. Certified copies of Accommodation receipts;

8. Certified copies of travel tickets; and

9. A completed Employment Verification Form which is obtained from the Department of Immigration and Multi Cultural Affairs (Form 1263 – Working Holiday Visa – Employment Verification).

The above list is not conclusive and there are a range of other documents that a backpacker can produce to provide evidence that they have met the working requirements to be granted a Second Year Visa in Australia. It is highly recommended that backpackers looking to obtain a Second Year Visa obtain the advice of a specialist in Backpacker Visa’s so that the evidence they present will be sufficient to satisfy the Department that the backpacker has met all of the necessary requirements. The specialist will also be able to assist the backpacker with their Second Year Visa application to ensure that the application is processed smoothly and without delay.

Conclusion

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A Second Year Visa provides backpackers on working holidays in Australia and opportunity to spend more time exploring and experiencing Australia. While many backpackers may initially think that 12 months in Australia is long enough they soon find out that there is so much to do and see which makes it impossible to do everything while they are here.

The Second Year Visa provides an ideal opportunity for backpackers to make the most of their Australian working holiday adventure. So long as backpackers ensure that they meet all of the requirements to obtain their Second Year Visa then there is little to prevent the Second Year Visa being approved.

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