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Working Holiday Makers Affected by Cyclone Yasi

Q. I have been working for almost three months in designated industries in designated areas so that I am eligible for the grant of a second Working Holiday Maker visa. However, my most recent employer, a farmer, had to cease my employment because his crops were destroyed by Cyclone Yasi, and my first WHM visa is about to expire. Will the department take this into account when
calculating whether or not I have completed three months of ‘specified work’, if I apply for a second WHM visa?

A. No, the department has no legal power to waive the three month (88 days) ‘specified work’ requirement, even in exceptional
circumstances, such as a natural disaster. Therefore, if, by the time your current visa expires, you have not completed three months ‘specified work’, then you will not be eligible for the grant of a second WHM visa.

Q. I want to help with the clean-up effort in Far North Queensland following Cyclone Yasi, however, I will be doing this work voluntarily. Can I still count this work towards the three months of ‘specified work’ so that I am eligible for the grant of a second WHM visa?

A. Working Holiday Maker visa holders may choose to volunteer their time helping to clean up and rebuild Far North Queensland
following Cyclone Yasi. They may also seek paid work related to the clean-up and rebuilding effort, as this work becomes available.

If the clean up work falls within the definition of ‘specified work’, which includes work in the construction industry, such as
demolition work or erecting new fences, and is conducted in an eligible regional Australia postcode, the work may count towards
the three months of ‘specified work’ that Working Holiday visa holders must undertake in order to be eligible for a second Working Holiday visa.

If undertaking volunteer work, Working Holiday visa holders are encouraged to have their employers sign departmental Form 1263: Working Holiday visa: Employment verification to allow the department to verify work claims and avoid delays with processing of second Working Holiday visa applications.

The following types of work fall under the definition of ‘specified work’ and may assist with flood clean up activities in regional
Australia:

 

  • demolition of buildings, trench digging, land clearing and earth moving;
  • residential and non-residential construction or renovation/repair, including of roads, footpaths, bridges, parking lots, railways, dams, irrigation systems, sewage and storm water drainage systems.

 

Further information on ‘specified work’, including detailed definition of construction activities and the full list of WHV definition of regional Australia eligible postcodes, can be found at:

www.immi.gov.au/visitors/working-holiday/417/specified-work.htm

If you want to lodge an application for a second WHM visa on the basis of work you have undertaken to support the rebuilding effort following Cyclone Yasi and have an associated enquiry, please send an email to 2ndWHM Helpdesk/ACT/IMMI/AU with the words ‘Cyclone Yasi’ included in the subject line.

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