88 days  – Eligibility,  Types of work,  Calculating your days

Many backpackers in Australia want to do the three months or “88 days” of rural work in order to get their second year Working Holiday Visa. There are some rules concerning the work that is eligible the 88 days that seem to raise a lot of questions among backpackers.

Your primary source of information about anything related to work for the 2nd year visa should always be Australian immigration websites! I know the sites can be sometimes difficult to navigate and read, so as a secondary resource of information you can also use other websites to clarify things that concern you. But, because the government is changing the rules all the time, the information you find elsewhere (like from Facebook groups or other backpacker friends) may be outdated.

Because of this, it is important to always double check the information you find anywhere else (including this website) from immigration’s website where the latest and correct information is provided. To get there, click border.gov.au, go to  “Visa applicants” and from there  “Specified work“. If the information you receive elsewhere is contradictory to what is said on government’s site, always trust the immigration’s  website.

Eligibility and Basic Requirements:

Before you decide to pack up your bags and head out of whichever city you have been living in to complete the regional work required for your working holiday visa Australia, take the time to ensure you’re eligible to be granted the visa. Succumbing yourself to 88 days of slave labour, just to find out it was all for nothing would be a fucking nightmare.

  • 417 visa holders are eligible to complete their work in specific postcodes in every state throughout Australia.
  • As of Nov 18th, 2016, second-year WHV’s are available to 462 visa holders. For the 462 extensions, you are only allowed to complete your work in postcodes from the Northern Territories, and certain northern parts of Queensland and Western Australia.
  • Ensure that your passport has at least 6 months remaining before expiry at the time of application. This will avoid complications with contacting IMMI to amend your information during the application process and causing delays.
  • Make sure you apply for your 2nd-year visa before your 31st birthday. Visas can be granted after you turn 31, but your eligibility is calculated from your application date.
  • You must not have any dependants (children) living with you for the entire duration of your stay.
  • Ensure you complete the full 3 months or 88 days of regional work before your 1stWHV expires. I completed my 88 days in just over 4 months, but I would recommend giving yourself 6 months to complete the days, in a case of sparse work.
  • You will need an Australian Tax File Number (which can take up to 4 weeks to get).

What kind of work can I do and where?

Work that can be counted towards second-year visa must be done in an area that is considered to be regional. Post code list of regional areas can be found from border.gov.au -> “Visa applicants” -> “Regional areas“. Basically, most areas outside metropolitan areas are considered regional.

Work that can be counted toward your second year visa must be in the following fields:

  • plant and animal cultivation
  • fishing and pearling
  • tree farming and felling
  • mining
  • construction

It is not enough that you are employed in some of these fields, but the work you do must be specific type of work to be counted towards your visa. Examples of work that counts towards your visa days include:

  • harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
  • pruning and trimming vines and trees
  • general maintenance crop work
  • cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
  • feeding and herding cattle on a farm
  • horse breeding and stud farming
  • maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase
  • immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
  • landscaping the grounds of a construction/house site
  • painting the interior/exterior of new buildings
  • conservation and environmental reforestation work
  • zoo work involving plant or animal cultivation
  • erecting fences on a construction site
  • scaffolding.

Examples of work that is NOT eligible include:

  • working as a nanny on a farm
  • working at a cellar door providing wine tastings
  • general garden maintenance
  • maintaining animals for tourism or recreational purposes
  • cooking/catering on a mine site
  • town planning or architecture
  • cleaning the interior of mine complexes or buildings.
  • supporting work, such as book-keeping

(Source: border.gov.au, retrieved 18 Jun 2016.)

If you’re on a 417 visa, bar work in a rural pub does not count.

If you’re on the 462 visa, working as an au pair on a farm does not qualify.

(There are plenty more examples like this, but you get the idea. Only work on the list counts.)

Where you can complete your regional work

Okay, so ‘regional’ in this context has a pretty broad definition. What it actually means is, work in an area which has been arbitrarily selected by the Australian government to be considered regional.

In this context, Adelaide is considered regional. Darwin is regional. The entirety of Tasmania is regional. Whatever.

Again, there is a difference between qualifying areas for 417 and 462 visas. Basically, the 462 visa counts anything above the Tropic of Capricorn (the northern half of the country), whereas the 417 visa has a bit more to choose from.

The acceptable postcodes for the 417 visa are:

Queensland:

4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499, 4510, 4512, 4515 to 4519, 4522 to 4899

(This excludes the Brisbane area and the Gold Coast)

New South Wales

2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2411, 2420 to 2490, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2594, 2618 to 2739, 2787 to 2899

(This excludes Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and the Central Coast)

Victoria

3139, 3211 to 3334, 3340 to 3424, 3430 to 3649, 3658 to 3749, 3753, 3756, 3758, 3762, 3764, 3778 to 3781, 3783, 3797, 3799, 3810 to 3909, 3921 to 3925,3945 to 3974, 3979, 3981 to 3996

(This excludes the Melbourne area)

Tasmania

All of Tasmania is considered regional Australia.

South Australia

All of South Australia is considered regional Australia

Western Australia

6041 to 6044, 6076, 6083 to 6084, 6111, 6121 to 6126, 6200 to 6799

(This excludes Perth and surrounding suburbs)

Northern Territory

All of the Northern Territory is considered regional Australia.

Note: None of Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is eligible for second-year visa work.

The accepted postcodes for the 462 visa are:

Queensland

4699 to 4707, 4709 to 4712, 4717, 4720 to 4721, 4723 to 4728, 4730, 4732 to 4733, 4735, 4737 to 4746, 4750 to 4751, 4753 to 4754, 4756 to 4757, 4798 to 4800, 4801 to 4812 , 4814 to 4825, 4828 to 4830, 4849 to 4850, 4852, 4854 to 4856, 4858 to 4861, 4865, 4868 to 4888, 4890 to 4892, 4895

Northern Territory

All of the Northern Territory is considered regional Australia

Western Australia

0872, 6537, 6642, 6646, 6701, 6705, 6707, 6710 to 6714, 6716, 6718, 6720 to 6722, 6725 to 6726, 6728, 6740, 6743, 6751, 6753 to 6754, 6758, 6760, 6762, 6765, 6770

Note: only postcodes/areas above the Tropic of Capricorn, i.e. in the northern half of Australia, are eligible for second year visa work for the 462 visa.

Local Tourist Information

Finally, it’s always worth asking in at the trusty Tourist Information office of whatever town you are in. They might have information that isn’t readily available online and again may have contacts that you can make use of. You can also ask about working hostels here – not all of them advertise online.

Plus, the people that work in Tourist Information are usually lovely and eager to help!