88 Days | FAQ About 2nd Year Visa Work

88 Days | FAQ About 2nd Year Visa Work

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.

In this post, I’m trying to answer some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the 2nd year visa work. There is a lot of contradictory information on the Internet about the rules concerning the 2nd year visa work, so for this post, I have used the information found from Australian immigration website, which is the official source of any information about your visa.

Please note

Information on this article concerns only 417 Working Holiday visa holders and not 462 Work and Holiday visa holders. For information about second year visa for 462 visa holders, please proceed to border.gov.au and click the tab “Visa Applicants” and from there -> “Specified subclass 462 work“.

Where can I find information about 2nd year visa work?

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 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the rules all the time, the information you find elsewhere, like from Facebook groups or backpacker friends, may be outdated.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,  click the tab -> “Visa applicants” and from there -> “Specified work“. If the information you receive elsewhere is contradicted to what is said on government’s site, always trust the immigration’s website!

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. Postcode 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 a 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.)

Read more: How to Find Farm Work in Australia

How to calculate the days?

This is a quote from border.gov.au:

” ‘Three months‘ means three ‘calendar’ months or 88 days. Work can be either:

  • in one block with one business
  • in separate blocks with one business or a number of businesses.

Blocks of work may be in different kinds of specified work.

One full day of work is defined as having worked the minimum number of hours considered to be a standard day by the particular industry in which the applicant is employed. Generally, the Australian working week is 35 to 40 hours, consisting of seven to eight hours of work each day.  Individual employers can not set a smaller period of time than the industry standard to satisfy the specified work requirement –– Applicants whose work is equivalent to full time employment may count weekends in the 88 day period. However, if the applicant’s work is not equivalent to full time employment, for example, part time or casual, they may only count the full days actually worked. ” (retrieved 18 Jun 2016.)

It doesn’t matter what your employment contract says about your employment status (casual or full time) what does matter, is the number of hours you work and is this equivalent to the full time employment. However, in my experience, the amount of visa days you get from a week is dependent on the farm so always ask your employer how many days they sign you per week.

Also, unfortunately even if you would work more than full time hours per day, that does not count as ‘extra days’:

“The shortest period that may be counted towards the specified work requirement is one day of full time work (for that industry). Applicants cannot count a long day of work as more than one day of specified work. For example, if the industry’s standard day is six hours long, working a 12 hour day does not count as two days of specified work.” (retrieved 25 Jan 2017.)

How much should I get paid?

After 31 August 2015, all the work towards second year visa should be paid at least the minimum wage according to Fair Work Australia. This means that wwoofing and other volunteer work doesn’t count towards your visa anymore.

Most of the work that backpackers do is on a casual contract, which means that you don’t get paid annual leave, paid sick leave or other benefits that full time employees get. This is why the minimum wages for casual employees are slightly higher than for employees with full time contract (more information click here).

For farm work the minimum wages are following:

“For picking fruit or vegetables, or pruning, you should be paid at least $22.86 an hour if you’re working on a casual hourly basis.

If you’re on a piece work agreement your pay rate has to allow the average competent employee to earn at least 15% more per hour than the relevant minimum hourly rate in the award, which works out to be $25.60 for a casual employee.

You may get paid less if you work slowly or are still learning.” (source: fairwork.gov.au, updated and re-retrieved 9 Aug 2017.)

I know there are some farms that have found a loophole going around this rule by overcharging in accommodation costs, so even if in the paper it looks like they are paying the minimum wage the money that remains to the employee after the deductions is much less. Personally, I consider this to be as much exploitation as not paying the minimum wage so I would recommend not to work for these kinds of farms.

What documents will I need?

You have to provide evidence to immigration proving that you have done your visa days. The documents that you will need from your employer include:

  • payslips (from all work done after 31 August 2015)
  • completed Form 1263 that your employer has signed

In addition to these, if you do get checked when applying your second year visa the immigration may also ask you to provide:

  • payment summaries
  • tax returns
  • employer references
  • original Australian bank statement covering the period of declared specified work.

Evidence of payment

Now when all the work towards second year visa should be paid at least the minimum wage you have to provide evidence that you actually got paid this much. Evidence of payment page on immigration website says the following about the documents you need to provide:

  • “If you are paid an hourly rate this must be shown on your payslip.
  • If you are working in the horticulture (fruit and vegetable farming) sector your employer may offer you a piece rate agreement. Piece rate agreements must be made in writing, and before you start employment. You should provide a copy of any piece rate agreements with your visa application.
  • Employers can only make deductions from your wages for things like meals, accommodation and equipment if you agree to them. If you have agreed to any deductions, that agreement must be made in writing and you should provide evidence of your agreement with your visa application.”

(source: Evidence of Payment, retrieved 13 Jul 2017.)

Where do I attach these documents?

When you apply for the second year visa you do not attach these documents to your application. You apply for the visa online and you only fill into the online application following information: your employer’s ABN, the day you started working, the day you stopped working and the postcode of your workplace.

Only if you do get investigated you need to send out these documents. Nevertheless, you should have at least your payslips, piece rate agreement and the Form 1263 ready since these can be difficult to acquire afterward if you do get investigated.

My situation is unclear, what should I do?

If you cannot find an answer to your question from this or Australian immigration websites, or if your situation is unclear, my advice is to contact Australian immigration directly. You can contact them by:

  • calling to 131 881 (open Monday to Friday 8.30am – 4.30pm)
  • using their webform
  • visiting their office

Here are also some useful links where you can find more information:

Read More

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2nd Year Visa Work


63 thoughts on “88 Days | FAQ About 2nd Year Visa Work”

  • Hi,
    I’ve been working full time hours for 10 weeks now fruit picking. My payslips don’t include the number of hours worked, rather just the pay period and rates given. Do you know how I prove the actual days I worked, I have worked 6 days each week so assume I can count Sundays towards my 88 days?


    • Hi Sarah!

      I’m not 100% sure about this but in my understanding for calculating the “actual days worked” a simple math will be used. As it is required that you get paid a minimum wage you can calculate the hours you should have worked by dividing your pay by the minimum wage. When minimin wage is 22.86$/hour and if you work full time so 35-40 hours a week, your pay should be around 800$–914$/week. I’m not sure how it goes with piece rate work as not all workers necessarily earn the minimum wage. However, if you only earn let’s say 200$/week and you say that you worked full time hours it doesn’t really add up. Hope this clarified the issue.

  • Hi Helena, first of all brilliant website, it’s very informative and I have found lots of useful tips. However there is one thing that I cannot find, a question for which nobody seems to know, hopefully you can help me out!

    I have just finished my farm work. I worked for 14 weeks straight at the same farm, and my shortest week was 41.5 hours long. That means full time hours, and weekends count towards the 88 days. When it comes to filling in the 1263 form, the farmer and I are stuck at the ‘actual number of days worked’. I was employed by the farm for 96 days, but ended up working 72 days (because we all need days off). So which number do I write down for actual days worked? 72 because I only really worked 72 days, or 96 because weekends are counted towards the 88 days? My partner and I are the first backpackers to work there for 3 months straight so even they do not know what to put down.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for your help

    • Hi Tom,

      Thank you, that is so nice to hear! 🙂

      As for your question, I’m sorry I do not have a definite answer and I know a lot of people are struggling with the same question. But, from what I have heard your application should go through either way, whether you include the weekends or not (if you worked full time). In the end your payslips are the primary evidence you sent for the government and from those they can see that you worked full time and can count the weekends as well. Hope this makes sense.

      And congratulations for finishing your farm work!

  • Hello, i had my second year visa granted whille onshore. However before my first year finish i went out of Austrália. My question is if my second year starts counting straitgh away or if like in the first one i have one year to go back since my first visa finished and stay for another period of one year? I was in australia from 16/10/16 till 15/10/17 and my second year was granteed in march 2017. I want to go back in september 2018 but cannot understand if i have a full year or just one month till the maximum expiration date. Can someone help me. Thank you

    • Hi Joao!

      If you apply for the second year when you are in Australia and it gets granted while you are in Australia then yes, your second year starts running directly after when your first visa has expired.

      Check your visa grant notification letter. There should be a section under “Grant Details” that says: “Must Not Arrive After” and “Stay Period”. This is the latest date your visa is valid.

  • Hi!
    Is it possible to apply for a 2-year-visa if you get cash in hand, but the farm still provide you with a pay slip and ABN-number? Or do you need to provide the gov with your tax file number if you get investigated?

    • Hi Rebecca!

      I have heard that you could also get paid in cash and get your days counted as long as you have your payslips. However, I would assume this requires that your employer still pays the taxes correctly even if he/she doesn’t put the money on your account. If you do get investigated and it turns out your employer hasn’t paid the taxes, he/she can receive really big fines. Paying taxes is your employer’s legal requirement and if they are not deliberately doing so, I don’t think telling this to the government is in their best interest.

  • How likely/often does someone get investigated? And how likely/often does a second year visa get declined, do you know? Thanks!

    • Hi Jess!

      Unfortunately I, or anyone else except Australian Immigration, cannot give you answer to these questions. And for sure, they will not tell you if you would ask.

      There is no public statistics available about these things. I have heard everything between one out of five to one out of ten would get investigated, but the truth is no one actually knows for sure. The same goes for declining your visa, which has more to do with your situation than the statistics as every case is viewed individually.

  • Hiya,
    Thanks so much for this information. Much clearer to read than any other website. I was wondering, if we are asked to provide evidence, does this have to include bank statements? As mine was cash paid and won’t have this on record.
    Thanks x

    • Hi Georgia!

      I’m glad you liked my article and find it useful. 🙂

      The purpose of asking your bank statement is not only to provide information about your payment, but also to show that you were actually in the location where you said you did your farm work. For example, if you said you did your farm work in Victoria but your bank statement shows that you actually used your bank card in Cairns at the same time you were supposed to be in Victoria, it seems very suspicious. The idea is to prevent frauds and make sure that the evidence you are providing is authentic.

      As long as you can provide payslips and show that you did legitimate work for your second year visa it shouldn’t be a problem if you were paid in cash.

  • Hi,

    Thank you so much for the useful info. I will start my farm work soon. However, I need to leave just a few days before the period of 88 days is completed (around the 83rd day). The work I will do is a full time job, where they ask me to work 38 hours a week. I will be working every week for at least those 38 hours. Do you know if I work a full extra day during the weekends, or even two full extra days some weekends, could I shorten the 88-day period, so I complete my farm work by that 83rd day? Is that possible? How could I evidence that in case they check my case? What would I need to ask from my employer in the case it can be done?

    Many thanks!


    • Hi Jorge!

      Unfortunately working extra days/hours cannot shorten the work period you do towards your second year visa. 7 days per week is the maximum you can count weekly regardless how much you work. You can try to contract Australian Immigration (contact detail are at the end of this post) and explain your situation. You can also just apply for your second year visa and hope that if it gets investigated the immigration officer is kind enough to grant you your visa even if you would miss few days.

      Hope everything turns alright!

  • hello this post is really useful many thank in advance
    and i have some question
    i just started working in farm last week as causal but i work 5days a week at least 35 hours per week
    so what i want to know is that i can count 7 day per a week??
    and i was told that it’s important to work from mon to friday not weekend , is it right?
    cause i work in farm including weekend
    please answer !!!!!!!!! many many thanks !!

    • Hi Jinyeong!

      Yes, in my understanding it doesn’t matter what your employment contracts says (causal or full time), what matters is the actual hours you work and does that count as a full time employment in your field. If 35 hours a week is considered as a full time work in the field you are working, you should be able to count the weekends as well (so 7 days).

      For that you have to work from Monday to Friday sounds weird to me. In my understanding the amount of hours you work in a week is what counts and in which days you do this work shouldn’t matter.

      • thanks for replying 🙂
        i have another question.
        what if i work one week for over than 35 hours which they will count 7days as full time
        and next week i work from monday to thursday each 7hours so 28 hours and then
        totally they will count 11 days????
        thanks in advance!!!

        • In my understanding, yes that is how it is counted. However, this is only my interpretation about this rule. If you want to have an official answer please contact Australian Immigration and ask from them. The contact details are at the end of this post.

  • This has been really helpfup so far.

    I am currently on the verge of doing farmwork somewhere. However, they leave me with one question though.

    They provide payslips, but do not provide a contract. Would this be a problem, not having a contract?

    Thanks a lot for this helpful article!



    • Hi Thor!

      For me that definitely sounds suspicious that your employer does not want to sign you a employment contract. If your employer would pay you minimum wage, pay taxes and super correctly and would provide decent working conditions that shouldn’t be a problem, but considering he/she refuses to sign you a contract I highly doubt that would be the case. I’m not sure if it’s actually even legal in Australia to employ people without employment contract.

      If I were you I would pass this one as it smells like a scam and look for some legit farm work. I have and article about finding farm work in Australia as well if you want to check that out. I wish you best of luck with your 88 days!

      • Thanks for your response Helena! I just noticed the reply.

        I researched and heard we are probably will be getting a contract.
        So that should be sorted then!

        However, I do have one other question.

        If I will be working here for 13 weeks, 6-7 days a week for atleast 7 hours a day. I will most likely be able to sign off the 13 weeks.
        But if in one week I want to go and visit a short weekend in Melbourne, from sunday to tuesday for example.
        Wouldn’t it “break” my 13 weeks? Since I would probably only be able to make 28 hours that week (depending if I would be working the sunday that week, because then I would make 35 hours).

        Thanks again!

        • Hi Thor!

          Unfortunately, for that question I don’t have a definite answer. In the end it all depends about the immigration officer who is handling your application if you do get investigated. I don’t believe that it would be a problem if you have one short week, but I guess no one can tell you that for certain.

          Congratulations for the farm job!

  • My visa is going to expire at the same day when I will have done my 88 days … Still is chance to apply ? How can i and when apply for it ?;) I have to start earlier my application?
    Answer will be appreciated 😉

    • The last day when you can apply for your second year visa is the day your first visa expires. You will automatically be granted a bridging visa for the meantime immigration is handling your application. If everything goes alright you should be fine.

      Good luck with the visa days! 🙂

  • Hello Helena,
    Thank you for answer. I just found tonight that 417 aNd 462 have different requirments for 2 year visa.
    Do you know how to interprete law for 462? There is not many information how to read about that..

    Where can I find information what is industry’s standard day for my job (farmwork qnl)?

    • Hi Sylwia!

      Yes, these rules apply for the 417 visa. When I wrote this article originally 462 visa holders did not yet have the possibility for second year visa. I don’t really know how the rules go for the second year visa for 462 visa, but I would guess that at least the rules about how to count the days and the requirement for minimum wages are the same for both visa holders. In my understanding the fields and locations where you can work are different.

      Second year visa for 462 visa holders is still pretty new thing so there is not much information out there yet, hopefully this will change in the near future.

      Fair Work Ombudsman is probably the right place to find information about the standard working hours.

  • Hello Helena,
    Hello beautiful people 🙂
    I need advice how to calculate days for 2 year visa. I’ve just started work on a very small farm and my visa will expire in 16 weeks so I have to get it done it asap.

    I have a couple of questions:
    1. Is it true that on casual contract I can only count the days on which I work 6h or more towards my 88 days?
    What if I work only half a day? My boss told me that even if I worked only half a day it would be considered as a full day. Is it true?

    2. Can I do three 12h days and it would be counted as a full time employment due to the hours I’ve worked?

    3. Is it all about to earn minimum wage per week and hours on payslips?

    4. Can 3,5h work at the weekend be considered as a full day?
    Can I count the weekends only if I work full time for my entire 88 day period or can it be counted for the each single week? Let’s say one week I work 30h and I can’t count it, but another 38h and then it’s ok? I started work at middle of week.

    5. If I live on the farm do all my days off count towards the 88 days?

    Thanks in advance for answer

    • Hi Sylwia!

      First of all I am not Australian immigration official and not a professional in issues regarding Australian Visas. The purpose of this blog post is to put the information regarding second year visa found on Australian Immigration and Fair Work websites under one article where it can be easily found since the government websites are not the easiest to navigate. For official information please check Australian Immigration websites or contact their office (contact information can be found in the last chapter of this post.) However, I try to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.

      1. I do not know what is the official minimum hours you have to work that you can count the day towards second year visa. I have heard 4-6 hours but I’m not sure about this. In my experience it does vary between employers how they sign the visa days so your employer can decide to sign you visa days even if you worked only half day. But in the end if you get investigated you need to send your payslips (that shows the hours you worked) to immigration and it is the immigration official who decides did you work enough to earn your second year visa.

      2. You can only count one day as a day worked regardless how many hours you worked, so 12 hours of work in a day counts as one day not two. However, if you payslip only shows the hours you worked on weekly basis, lets say you work 12 hours in three days and your payslip shows you worked 36 hours in a week. So technically no one knows (except you and your boss) did you work 12 hour shifts for three days or 6 hours for 6 days a week.

      3. Yes, I think the point why the immigration wants to see your payslips is to make sure you worked required amount of hours and got paid at least the minimum wage.

      4. I guess you can count the days on a weekly basis (so every week you work for 38 hours counts as full week) but this is only my point of view based on how I interpret the information found on immigration websites.

      5. I don’t think it matters where you live during your 88 days. Only how much you work should matter.

      Hope this clarified some issues! 🙂

  • good morning Helena
    i think this is most useful post i’ve ever seen.

    but i have one question.
    you usually said ‘it depends on how many days the boss sign ~’
    then i wonder how the boss does that? do they sign on a payslip? or visa form?
    and how do we provide that info to immigration? by attachment or just type info by myself?

    • Thanks Jun! I’m glad you find my post useful.

      By ”signing the visa days” I mean that your employer counts how many work days he/she thinks you have completed towards your second year visa and signs that amount of days to the Form 1263. The problem is that the immigration rules on how the days should be counted are a bit vague which gives your employer a bit of leeway, so in the end the amount of days you get signed to the Form 1263 depends how your employer is interpreting the rules.

      When you apply for your visa online you just fill yourself how many days you worked, where and your employer’s ABN. ONLY IF you get investigated you need to send immigration your pay slips, Form 1263 and other documents as a proof. Hope this clarified the issue. 🙂

  • Hello, Helena
    Very helpful the post!
    My first year visa ends just in January, but I already did the farm work and want to apply for the 2nd year.
    Let’s say I apply this week and get the visa now in June. If in September I go to Asia, when I come back I’ll still enter Australia with the 1st visa and the 2nd will starts just when the 1st ends in Januar, right?
    Thanks (:

  • Hi Helena, your blog has been really helpful – thank you. However, I am currently on hold to the General Information Centre for Visas as I have already completed some work olive picking but was paid by the bucket/kg. As the olives were not as ripe as the farmer would have liked (i.e: not very heavy – so less money) the pay was not equal to minimum wage. Do you know how this works as a lot of the work I have seen is per bucket/kg. I was picking 1 bucket every 1.5/2 hours at about 18kg. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Carly

    • Hi Carly!

      Sorry to hear about your situation, unfortunately farm work is really unpredictable and crops don’t always grow as supposed to.

      I have heard that if you have signed a Piece Rate Agreement, which basically shows on paper how the piece rate is calculated, your days may be accepted towards 2nd year visa even though you earned less than minimum wage. I’m not 100% sure about this but this is what I have heard. Hope your situation turns out to be ok.

      Good luck with the farm work! 🙂

  • Hey,
    Very good post by the way. This has helped me a lot. Anyway my question is, I have 13 weeks pay most of which are full time (over 35 hours a week) how ever due to all the bank holidays in April and end of may three of those weeks have been shortened to 32 hours or 28 hours due to Easter bank holiday. Do you know whether this will be an issue? As no one would have worked on those bank holidays on the farm. So was wondering if the working week is reduced.
    Also, because I’m just doing 13 weeks pay slips which I’ll use too apply for 2nd year, I’ll have no where near 88 days – will they still need my days signed off with that form even if it says like 60 days
    Hope that makes sense, thanks

    • Hi Tom!

      Unfortunately I cannot give you definite answer to your question but I find it very unlikely that your visa would got refused because you are missing some hours from few weeks. I have some friends who had a bit similar problem since due the weather they were not able to work full hours every week. They got investigated and still got their visas. But I guess this is really dependent on the person who is handling your visa application and how strictly that person is interpreting the rules.

      Even if you have the payslips they still want you to provide the form as well if you get investigated. Most of the farms where I worked signed to the “actual days worked” part 7 days a week even if I worked 5 days a week and 8 hours a day, so in the end also in the form there would be 91 days from 13 weeks. Every farm has a bit different policies about how they signed the visa days but I have heard it should be fine even if in the form it would say 65 days (5days/week x 13 weeks). You anyway have the payslips to prove that you worked the required amount of hours regardless how many days the farm signs you.

      Hope this makes any sense. 😀

  • Great information on your site for travellers. Just a quick one it might pay for you to add some more info about pay rates. The minimum rate is based on a 20yr old worker (as per award) anyone younger has a discounted hourly rate (as per award).

  • Hi, we have just started working on a Cotton Farm in the Warehouse in regional australia, moving bales & sending them off, I’m not sure where it fits in government regulations – do you know if it counts? thanks

    • Hi RhiRhi!

      I’m not completely sure does working on a warehouse of a farm count as regional work, at least packing fruit/veggies on a packing shed does count. As far as I know the work has to be somehow directly involved with the harvested crop. You can contact Australian immigration directly, maybe they can give you more clear answer to your question. 🙂

  • Hi! I have been working part time on a farm for 3 hours a day 7 days a week, do all these days count or do I have to work a minimum amount of hours per day?


    • Hi Robin!

      Unfortunately I cannot find clear information from immigration websites about the minimum hours. I have heard rumors that you should work at least 4 hours per day that the day would count but this is just what I have heard and not a fact. Please contact Australian immigration directly to get answer to your question, the contact details can be found at the end of this post 🙂

  • I’m working on a building site as tfn and am halfway through my regional work does anyone no if I change to abn will my work days still count

    • Hi Aaron!

      I would guess that your days will still count, but I do not have definite information about this. I would advise you to contact Australian Immigration to get clear answer to your question, the contact details can be found at the end of this post. 🙂

  • Really helpful article!
    I got a job at a horse farm. They said that there’s a 4 weeks probation, but it’s paid with tax, super, and etc. So these 4 weeks count for the 2nd year visa, right?

  • Hi!
    I am starting my farm work next week but I finish exactly 1 week before my visa expires… is that enough time to still apply? How do I even apply? Do I do the ImmiAccount online visa application like I did for the first visa? It looks to be the same.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Hi Emma!

      You have time to do your visa days till the day your visa expires, so as long as you work full time every week you should be fine.

      You apply the second year visa visa exactly like the first year visa so through your immi account. The application is the same only difference is that you need to fill out details about your farm work.

      Hope this helps. 🙂

  • I started today in a banana warehouse…I work mon-thurs 6:30-4:30 and 1/2 day on Friday…I am going to take 10 days off after I work 10 weeks and wanted to come back and finish my 88 days. I thought in my 10 week block, working full time, I could count weekends…I am told by my employer that if I don’t work 13 straight weeks (92 days) then my first 10 weeks I can only count 5 days a week instead of including the weekends…is this true? I don’t want to take the break but I have a friend visiting from US and they can’t change their flights…but if this is true I am working 50 hours a week and can’t even get the weekends to count…so does your block of full time employment need to be in concecutive weeks? Or can you take a week or so off and pick up another 3 week block to get 21 more days? Thank you

    • Hi Pat!

      Well, it does say on the immigration websites that “the work can be either in one block with one business or in separate blocks with one business or a number of businesses.” Based on this sentence it shouldn’t matter if you take some time off, or even change the employer as long as your hours are equivalent to full time work.

      However, it is up to your employer how many days he/she is willing to sign you so it is unfortunate that your employer don’t want to sign you full days even if you have been working full time hours before your holiday. On the other hand, you also need to provide your payslips if you get investigated so from there it can be seen that you actually worked full time even if your employer wouldn’t agree with that.

      I would still recommend to contact immigration and get clarification to your situation, the contact details can be found at the end of this post.

      Best of luck with your days!

  • Hey, just a quick bit of advice please, as all the companies are just money hungry – non-advice giving haha and this post has some of the best advice I’ve seen.

    Situation; I did 13 weeks at 1 farm and have 13 paychecks, a payment summary and bank statements (if required). Only potential problem I see is that I didn’t work a full week on the last week but that was due to the harvest had finished and I wasn’t required any longer. Will this prove a problem if I’m investigated?

    Thanks in advance for your advice.


    • Cheers Nick!

      Thanks for your comment 🙂
      I find it very unlikely that the government would refuse your visa only because you missed some hours from one week. I have some friends who worked on the same farm for a bit over 3 months but because of the weather they weren’t able to work full hours every week, they got investigated and still got their visas. I suppose it is pretty much up to the person who handles your application that how much there is flexibility, but I believe you’ll be fine!

  • Hello Everyone, I will start my 3 months of Fulltime work beginning of next month at a farm. I have free accommodation and food. Does it matter how much the farmer pays me per week? Does it have to be the min. wage? I would work 38 hours per week and get 200 dollars – which is totally fine for me but I am concerned that its not appropriate for the Visa. Cant find information about it and really need help! Thanks heaps already!!!!!


    • Hi Franzi!

      After 31 August 2015 the rules were changed and any work done after that date towards your second year visa should be paid at least minimum wage, which is 22,13$/hour for casual worker in horticulture. You need to provide payslips to prove this in case you get investigated.

      However, there is a loophole around this rule. It is not determined how much your employer can deduct accommodation costs from your pay, so technically if your payslips show that you got paid minimum wage (840,94$/week in your case) but after deductions (640,94$/week) the remaining wage is only 200$.

      I’m not 100% sure how immigration will handle these kind of cases since the aim for changing the rules was to make exploiting farms to pay minimum wages for their employees. As you can see from the calculation your employer clearly don’t want to pay you minimum wage.

      If you are okay with this my advice is to contact immigration office (contact details at the end of this post) and ask is it possible to get your second year visa from this farm if in the payslips the gross wage before deductions equals minimum wage.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  • Hello Helena,
    I work on a farm and ,y days per week are very different depending on the amount of fruit. Some weeks I could only work 2 or 3 days. It is casual work but one of the most legit farms in australia. Other weeks I work 5 to 7 days, but my payslip always shows the full time work hours of 38 hours a week. I have a bit of struggle now cause the days I actually work until I fly out will be around 70. But I will have worked more than 13 weeks and have the full time hours each week. Does this mean I can count 7 days a week because of the 38 hour work week ?
    Thx a lot, really hope to get good news cheerio 🙂

    • Hi Nicola!

      I’m not an expert in this field but as far as I know if your payslips says you worked 38 hours a week and if the farm signs you 88 days as well it should be fine.

      If you want to be completely sure that your situation with the visa days is alright, you can contact Australian immigration directly by calling them (the number is 131 881), they are the ones who can give you official answer to this question.

      Hope this helps 🙂

  • Hi Helena,

    Thanks a lot for all the information you let on your website.
    When you say “your employee should get signed 7 days each week” do you mean count and write 7 days instead of 5 directly on the 1263 document?
    Or does Australian immigration calculate it?

    Thanks a lot for your answer:)


    • Hi Van!

      If your employee is working full time hours you can count and sign to1263 form 7 days each week to the “days actually worked” (91 days in 13 weeks.)

      If your employee gets investigated and asked to provide more information he/she has to also send the payslips along with the 1263 form from which immigration also sees that your employee worked full hours which can be counted 7 visa days per week.

      Hope this helped 🙂

  • Have just started farm work. My working week is 9 hours a day for 6 days a week. As this is a longer day, a 54 hour working week, does it still only count as 6 days each week or can I count hours instead of days

    • Hi Sue!

      As your working week exceeds the full time working hours according to the rules by immigration you should be able to calculate (and getting signed) 7 days each week.

      Unfortunately, even though you work more than full time hours you can only calculate maximum 7 days per week for your visa days.

      Hopefully this answered your question 🙂

  • Hi
    My friend has been working on 2 farms since September and due to either bad weather or it being too hot she has still not got 88 days, however she has worked some days for up to 14 hours. At the moment she still believes she has 19 days but her visa runs out in march.
    Is there a limit on the time it should take as she is really getting upset and stressed

      • Hi Liz!

        Really unfortunate that your friend has had bad luck with farm work!

        As of my understanding your friend can calculate 7 days from the weeks she worked full time hours or more and only the days worked from the weeks she worked less than full time hours.

        7 days per week is unfortunately the maximum you can count even if you would work 14 hours that can be counted as one day worked.

        Luckily there is no time frame in which the farm work should be done so your friend can still keep working till the day her visa runs out. Hopefully she still gets her days gathered!

  • We have an employee that has a 3 month contract with us – full time.
    Company hours = 38hrs / week
    He does work overtime, can we convert his total hours worked over the full period and convert it into days by dividing the total by 7 hours per day to get his total days worked?
    Hope that makes sense…..

    • Hi Tammy!

      With full working hours (38/week) your employee should get signed 7 days each week.

      As far as I know 7 days per week is the maximum amount of visa days you can get signed per week regardless if you work extra hours. So with 3 months full time contract your employees second year visa days should be fine anyways.

      For official information check the immigration website https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/417- and the section “specified work”

      Hope this helps! 🙂

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