88 Days – FAQ About 2nd Year Visa Work

88 Days – FAQ About 2nd Year Visa Work

Working three months or 88 days on farms, constructions, mining sites or fishing boats in rural Australia allows Working Holiday Makers to apply for a one-year extension to their visa. This great opportunity is widely used by backpackers and – why wouldn’t it be! However, there are some rules considering the “three months of rural work” that seem to raise a lot of questions and confusion among backpackers. In this post I am trying to answer some of the Frequently Asked Questions about the 2nd year visa work.

There is a lot of contradictory information all over the Internet about the visa rules, 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 go to: “Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)” 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, as the rules are changing quite frequently, the information you find elsewhere (like from Facebook groups or backpacker friends) may be outdated.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 website where the latest and correct information is provided. To get there, go to Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417)  And click “Specified work” under “Visa Applicants” tab. If the information you receive elsewhere is contradicted to what is said on immigration website, always trust the immigration 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: homeaffairs.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: homeaffairs.gov.au, retrieved 18 Jun 2016.)

Read more: How to Find Farm Work in Australia

How to calculate the days?

Great news for all backpackers! Immigration has finally updated their website and written the section “calculating the days” in a more understandable manner.  This is what it says now in homeaffairs.gov.au about calculating the days:

” ‘Three months‘ of specified work means a period equivalent to three ‘calendar’ months, which is taken to be a minimum period of 88 calendar days, including weekends or equivalent rest days during your period of employment.

To meet the three months specified work requirement you must actually work for the same number of days that a full-time employee would normally work in a three month (88 calendar day) period. You can do this in a variety of ways, for example:

  • working five days a week for a continuous period of three calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement; or
  • working less than five days a week over a period longer than three calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement;
  • working multiple short periods of work in any combination of full time, part time or piecework rate, which add up to the equivalent of five days a week over three calendar months.

You do not need to do your three months’ specified work all in one go, or all with one employer. You are free to spread the work over the period of your stay in Australia. You can also work for longer than the required minimum of three months.

You cannot complete your specified work requirement in a total period less than three calendar months.

Hours of work per day

You should agree with your employer the number of working hours, before you start work.

One single day of work is considered to be the normal number of hours per day (or per shift) that is considered standard practice in the industry and role in which you are employed.

Note: If you are working on a piecework rate the number of hours can depend on the weather and ripening of crops.”

Source: homeaffairs.gov.au , retrieved 10 Sep 2018

So, long story short: If your work time is considered as a full time in the field you are working you can count the weekends towards the 88 days work.  For example, working 8 hours a day for 5 days a week can be counted as 7 visa days. It doesn’t matter even if your contract says you are a “casual” worker, the days are counted based on how much work you actually do.

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 from Fair Work).

For farm work the minimum wages are following:

“For picking fruit or vegetables, or pruning, you should be paid at least $23.66 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 $26.50 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 10 Sep 2018.)

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 not recommend to work for these kinds of farms.

What documents will I need?

Home Affairs website says the following about evidence of employment:

“If you apply for a second Working Holiday visa, you will need to provide evidence that you have satisfied the specified work eligibility requirement, including that you have been paid in accordance with relevant Australian laws and awards.  Acceptable evidence of specified work (completed while on your first Working Holiday visa) can include copies of the following:

  • pay slip or other evidence of payment for specified work  (these must be supplied for all specified work)
  • a written and signed  piecework rate agreement setting out the pay rate per piece and how it is measured
  • group certificate
  • payment summary
  • employer reference
  • Australian bank statement covering the period of declared specified work as evidence of salary payments
  • a written and signed agreement setting out any lawful deductions in pay
  • a completed Form 1263 Working Holiday visa: Employment verification (75KB PDF) (This form is optional and does not need to be signed by the employer. However, it is a useful way for you to keep track of your specified work, and will assist in the processing of your application)”

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:

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2nd Year Visa Work


148 thoughts on “88 Days – FAQ About 2nd Year Visa Work”

  • Hi Helena,

    your Website is very useful, thank you so much for your sharing!!!

    There is something I could need your

    I have start my 88 days on 14. May and will end in 06.Sept.
    There are weeks with 35hr and weeks with less hr.
    So, I count the weeks with 35hr as 7 Days.
    In Form 1263 which only need you day of start and end of working date, but how does they knew, how many hr did you work during the weeks? If it‘s count 5 or 7

    Secondly, I‘ll get 6 month ahead before my first Visa expiry.
    Can I apply my application for 2 Visa after I succeed my 88 days straight forward or should I wait until next year?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Warm regards,


  • Hii

    I’ve been working on a farm for 14 weeks,
    As it’s a mango farm it’s not in season yet even though I have done 5 days a week sometimes it was on 3/4 hours a day which only gives me max most times 30 hours a week. Does this mean I am only able to class this as 2/3 days even though I worked 5 days a week?

    Thankyou for any advice

  • Hi, helena.
    I have a couple of questions but the easier way is to show the situation;
    I’m working in a farm with the aims to get the second year visa. I worked 7 weeks and in my pay slips i see:

    Date working hours Hourly pay rate Tax Amount Net pay superann.
    26/05/2019 28.5 28.5 101 674.31 573.31 64.05
    02/06/2019 38 23.66 135 899.08 764.08 85.41
    09/06/2019 38 .75 23.66 138 916.08 778.83 87.09
    16/06/2019 34.25 23.66 122 810.36 688.36 76.98
    23/06/2019 34.25 23.66 122 810.36 688.36 76.98
    30/06/2019 15.5 23.66 55 366.73 311.73 –
    07/07/2019 14 23.66 51 341.04 290.04 67.23

    I don’t understand :
    1) how many days I have done
    2) if 34,25 hour in a week are 7 days or 5 days
    3) if i can sum everything (I worked in the same farm , I have a casual posistion).

    Many thanks

  • Hi, your post is really helpful. I was just wondering i have been working on onions filling one bin a day for $45 before tax, does this still count as one of my 88 days?! Thanks

    • Hello Kay,

      That number is really low and way below the minimum wage. If you work 8 hours per day your hourly pay is only 5,63$ / hour when the average picker should earn 26,50$ / hour on average! You may earn less if you are still learning or just slow but that is quite an extreme difference. In other words, you are working on an exploiting farm and whether or not that counts for visa days (it doesn’t) you should leave and find a legit job.

  • Hello Helena,
    I got a job in a painting company in Toowoomba, post code 4350. Does this counts for extension?
    I want to be 100% sure this counts. I read that the examples of the government mention painting but “new houses” which is not always the case.
    Did you have any similar case? Which is your opinion regarding this kind of work? It is in the selected area, but want to make sure is the correct kind of job.

    Answer will be much appreciated

    • Hi Nicolas,

      Unfortunately I have no specific knowledge of what kind of construction work is eligible towards second year visa, so I am not the right person to ask this question. The only way to be 100% sure that the work will count towards your visa is to contact immigration and ask them directly, the contact details can be found at the end of this post.

  • Hey,

    I am doing my 88 days at the moment and I already got 77 days. So I have 10 left and it will take me around 2 more weeks to complete my days.
    But my visa expires the 25 of October and I read that you should apply 28 days before your first visa expires. Is this an obligation? Because actually you should have one full year to complete your 88 days and not just 11 months.

    Thanks a lot!

    Leonie 🙂

    • Hello Leonie,

      At least earlier you could apply for the second year visa at latest on the day when your first visa expires. So in other words, you had time till the end of your visa to complete the days. When you apply at the end of your visa, you are automatically granted a temporary bridging visa which allows you to stay in the country until your application is processed. I have no idea have the rules in this changed but at least before it was like this.

  • Hi Helena, i wondering if tiling count as constraction for second year visa …?I got a job in Geelong regional area but i dont know if tiling count as a farmwork for second year visa or not 🙂

    • Hi Ali,

      I would assume that tiling does count as construction work and therefore could be counted towards your 2md year visa. However, I have no experience in that field so I would still re-check this from immigration 🙂

  • Hello can I have a question?

    I’m not sure how to count days. I worked at a strawberry farm for 8 weeks (5 or 6 days per week), and then transfered to another farm for 5 weeks (5 or 6 days per week). Can I count 91 days include weekend so I’m eligible to sign off my second visa?

    • Hi Yolanda,

      In my understanding, this would be the case assuming you worked full-time hours on both farms. Actually now when I actually re-checked what it literally says on immi websites I noticed they have changed their wording to a more understandable language which is great! so here a direct quote:

      “…working multiple short periods of work in any combination of full time, part time or piecework rate, which add up to the equivalent of five days a week over three calendar months.

      You do not need to do your three months’ specified work all in one go, or all with one employer. You are free to spread the work over the period of your stay in Australia. You can also work for longer than the required minimum of three months.”

  • Hello Helena,

    I have a question on how you enter the dates you worked in the application form. Sometimes I only worked one day on one farm and then the following three days on another one. How do I enter this without dates overlapping?

    Thank you in advance!

  • Good afternoon, i would like to know once you apply for the second years, when it starts? from the day they accept your second year, or after it finishes your first year?

    • Hi Martina,

      If you apply for the second year visa when in Australia, the visa starts running straight after your first visa expires, even if you are on a bridging visa in between. If you apply outside Australia and your first visa is expired, it starts running from the day you re-enter the country.

      • Hi Helena. Do you know what happens if I apply for my visa during the first year and it is granted and I leave the country before first visa expires? Does the 2nd visa start when I come back in Australia or do I have to stay till my first year finishes so that the 2nd one starts running?

        • Hi Alice,

          If you apply for the visa while you are in Australia you are actually not allowed to leave the country before your visa gets granted. If you apply in the country while still on 1st year visa, your visa starts running straight after your first visa expires. If you apply outside Australia you are not allowed to re-enter the country before your visa gets granted. In this case, your 2nd year visa starts running when you re-enter Australia.

  • Hi Helena! Thank you for all the information here, it’s awesome!
    Maybe you have an idea how to handle the following: I’m currently working on a horse farm and have already completed most of my 88 days (I think it’s 80 now) but my employer just now opened up to me that I’m not running on the books implying that they are not holding back any taxes for me. Apart from the fact that they pay me way too little money, I’m now concerned that my days don’t count and that if I contact the fairwork ombudsman I’m the one who is getting in trouble because I haven’t paid the right taxes.. Any ideas what I can do now? I couldn’t care less about the wage, but I really want my days to be counted..

    All the best

    • Hi Kira,

      First, in order for your days to be counted towards the second year visa you should be paid at least the minimum wage. Second, you will also need to provide payslips showing you actually got paid this much. The rules got stricter just because of farms like this that are exploiting the workers and not paying enough and in this case, not also paying taxes. I would contact Fairwork if I were you. I highly doubt they will blame you for this as it is your employer who should pay the taxes for you and you were under the impression that this was the case. About the visa days I honestly don’t know will the farm work you have completed go through in immigration. The only way to find that out is to contact them and explain your situation.

  • hi!
    i have already applied for my second WHV and i was asked for evidence. It is taking a long time to process but I want to clarify my eligibilty. I worked for just one employer the whole way through from 10th jan til the 14th april. The work was throughout two different seasons but was equivalent to full time hours and had a week out of work during the change of seasons. On my 1263 form that i have submitted it states my start and finish date (as above) but my actual days worked is only 55. Is this okay as its not even close to 88 days but i was there for more than 3 consecutive months?

    • Hi Lisa,

      It is up to the Immigration officials to decide whether you have completed your visa or not. I do not have any more information regarding the rules than what is started in the immigration website (and referred to in this post) so unfortunately, I am not the right person to answer to this question.

    • Hi Lisa, I’m very curious to know if immigration accepted your evidence for your visa application as I am in the same situation as you. Would you be able to let us know? Hope it worked out for you!

      • Hi Milena,
        Did you get infos about this situation ?
        I have 73 days toward my second year visa, but I have worked 13 weeks at the same farm… I was wondering if I have to complete my days or if it is all good ?!
        Thank you

  • If my 2nd year visa is applied for and approved while I am within Australia, does it automatically start once my first year visa ends?

    I will be leaving to go home in September a few days before my 1st year visa ends, but have applied and had my 2nd year it has been approved. Will my second 12 months on a WHV begin when I re enter Australia next January or am I losing out on 3 or so months?

    • Hi Michael,

      If you apply for the visa while in Australia, your 2nd year visa starts running automatically after your first visa expires. So, in this case, yes, you unfortunately lose 3 months if you are planning to come back in January. When you apply the 2nd year visa outside of the country the visa starts running when you re-enter Australia.

  • Hi im working as a station hand in a cattle farm and im working 8 hours a day and they are counting me as 1/2 day its that possible? The payment is the minimum i think. 140 per day and they give accommodations and food

    • Hi Michelle,

      Sounds weird that they would count 8 hours per day as a half day. Pay per day should 182,88$ according to the current minimum wages but if they reduce around 40$/day for accommodation and food that would sound about right. Remember that all these deductions should also be shown in your pay slips. If I were you I would call the immigration and ask can they count you fewer days even though you work full time.

  • I received a working visa on Jan 15th., 2018. I worked 44 days before having to leave the country. What is my cut off date for finishing out the remaining 44 days? Is is Jan 15th, 2019? The last day of 2018? or before I turn 31?

    • Hi Jeff,

      If I remember correctly, you have to apply for the 2nd year visa before you turn 31 which means you should have your farm days collected before that as well. But check this from immigration websites as I’m not completely sure. Otherwise, you have time to collect the days before your first visa ends which would be Jan 15th, 2019 in this case.

  • Hey! I’m currently in the midst of trying to fill in my second year visa form (thankfully have over a month left on my first year before I need to apply) but i’m finding it so confusing. I went to a working hostel so it means I’ve worked on various farms over my 88 days – and I don’t really know how to fill it in correctly so it shows that I worked for one day on one farm then on another the next for like three days then back on the farm i was on before that for another one day – does anyone know what to do? I keep getting an overlapping error message – I’M SO CONFUSED. XD

    • Sorry Lisa, I have no experience in working hostels so unfortunately not able to help. 🙂 Maybe try to ask from the hostel they will probably be able to advise you?

  • Hi Helena,

    What if are working full time equivalent but between two industries . I worked in mining for over two months and now am doing a month on a farm . Will my weekends count on the farm if I’m doing over 35 hours a week still ?

      • Okay thank you ! I should have no problem getting my 2nd year visa as I have been able to finish 88 actual days of work in time. I will finish my visa work two days before my visa expires though , if I apply online will I get a bridging visa after my 1st working holiday expires before my 2nd is approved ?
        Thank you Helena !!

    • Hi I would love to know the answer to this if you found out, I’m currently working as a carpenter and being paid abn and unsure if it will count.. if you have the answer I’d love to know

  • My friend got 64 days at moment. She said some people tell her if you didn’t get 88 days but work for one employer for 3 months is ok. It’s this correct?

    • Hi Amy,
      This is a rumor and there is no section on Immigration websites (border.gov.au) that would actually say this. I strongly advise only to trust information found from that source or directly from the Immigration officers. Your friend can also contact Immigration to ask about this to make sure, the contact details are at the end of this post.

  • Hi

    I’m currently working on a banana farm and just found out from my pay slip that I’m getting 22$ an hour, rather than 22.86. Does this mean the work I’ve done so far doesn’t count towards my 88 days?


    • Hi Brian,
      Sorry, but I am not the right person to answer the questions about specific cases concerning 2nd year visa. To get an answer you should contact Australian immigration, the contact details can be found at the end of this post.

  • Hi Helena,

    I need your help, please. I am working with a casual contract in a restaurant but I only use to work 3 hours per day. If I find another job in the mornings being able to do more hours daily, will be ok to extend the Working Holiday Visa (462)?

    Thank you very much.


    • Hi Sarah,

      This post only considers the rules for 417 visa. I don’t know how the rules go for the 462 visa and therefore am not the right person to answer this question. Try to check the immigration website if there already is an answer to this question and if not contact them directly (contact info is at the end of this post). Hope you’ll get your situation sorted out!

  • hi there,
    i am doing my farm work at the moment. i started with the company on the 12 jan and have been working with them since. some of my payslips are 35+ and some are just under. can i still count the payslips with 35+ hours as 7 days and the other ones as days? i want to apply for my visa but im unsure on this matter. i have counted up all my hours on my payslips and comes to 576 hours and divided by 7 gives me 82 days but if can count the 35 hour payslips as 7 then i have completed my 88 days. can someone help me with this..

    thank you very much
    colin daly

    • Hi Colin,

      I would assume you can count the weeks you have worked over 35 hours as 7 days but I am not sure about this. Unfortunately, the only way you can know for sure is to contact the Immigration even though they are hard to get in touch with.

  • Hello Helena,
    I have question, I just arrived at Darwin and a bit confuse about the 2nd year visa.
    I got a job in a hotel but only 25 hours/week and the salary that I got is 19 $ before tax. I am 23 years old right now. Could I get sign off for my visa if I work with that condition?
    Thank you for your information

    • Hi Wahyu,

      This guide is for information for the 417 visa only. 417 visa holders can not do hospitality for the second year unfortunately and I don’t have knowledge about the minimum wages for hospitality work (which only counts for 462 visa). You can check the minimum wages for hospitality work from from Fairwork Australia.

  • Hi – firstly thanks for such an informative website – I’ve found it super helpful throughout my time in Australia so far and much easier to understand than the official government websites.

    As others have said, I have a question and hopefully you might be able to help…

    I’ve been working in NSW in hospitality and have now been offered a job working on a vineyard locally to sign off my 88 days. The role will be general vineyard maintenance and I’ve been offered $19 an hour for 35 hours a week = $665 a week, with $250 a week taken out for bed and board (this will be shown on the payslips). However they haven’t had anyone working there before for a 2nd year visa sign off so neither they (nor I!!) are sure that this will pay enough for me to get signed off.. or what sort of contract I’d need. If I’m not getting paid sick leave or annual leave, does this mean I need to be paid the $22.86 per hour as Id be a casual worker in the eyes of the government… or is $19 p/h okay because its more than minimum wage? And how formal a contract would be required?

    Any help gratefully received and much appreciated!

    Thanks, Breeanna

    • Hi Breeanna,

      Thanks, I’m glad you like my website!

      It seems your contract would be casual as you would not get paid for the sick leave or annual leave so your pay should also be for a casual employee, which is 22.86$/hour at the moment. Unless you are under 21 years old, which means your employer can pay you Junior Rates that are slightly lower than “normal” pay rates. For 18-year-olds the junior pay rate is 18.29$ for casual employee and for 19-year-olds it is 20.58$. So basically, if you are 18yo that 19$/hour is fine but otherwise it is too low.

  • Hi Helena

    I’m currently five weeks into my farm work, however due to bad weather and cyclones and public holidays some weeks I have worked less than 35 hours. Does this mean I can’t include weekends?

    Also I’ve heard lots of rumours that if you do 13 weeks on the same farm, you’re signed off as long as you have 13 payslips.

    What’s your experience of this?

    • Hi Sam,

      I have heard that “13 weeks on a same farm” rumor quite many times. However, there is no section in the immigration website that would actually say this, or at least I have not found one. Farm work, in general, is highly dependent on weather conditions and it is not uncommon that you are not able to work because of bad weather. The way I interpret the rules would be that you cannot count the weekends from the weeks in which you have worked less than fulltime. This is the problem with the visa rules being so vague – you can understand them in many ways. I would still try to verify this from immigration even though I know they are hard to get in touch with.

  • Hey, I heard a rumor that somehow it would be possible to apply 3 months extra for 1st year visa to complete the farm work. My job is new unsure because carantien and floods in Queensland. And I can’t finish my 88 days in time if there is any more floods . Is there anything I can do?

    • Hi Hugo,

      I have heard this rumor as well, but unfortunately I doubt it is not true. You can try to ask immigration but I suspect they will just tell you that you shouldn’t leave your farm work at the last moment. Hopefully you get your situation sorted out.

  • Hi,
    I am due to start potato packing but the employer says they employ people as ‘permeant part time’ and therefore pay $19 an hour but this does come with holiday pay. This work would be at least 40 hours a week so I guess I could do it all in one block but can I be paid as a permanent part time or does it have to be full time or casual?
    Thanks in advance!

  • First of all thank you Helena for the information,

    I do have a question and I’m sorry if u heard that a hundr d times but I have right now a job offer at a Mango Farm that can only provide me a 20hr/week. So he said that he had done 2nd year visa sign offs before but I’m wondering if it’s not full time how long the people worked there. With a 20hr/week you get only 5 days signed off or is it 2 1/2 days?
    I’m bit a confused about that. And also if my payslip would say I worked a 40hr/week but I got payed for a 20hr/week would that be possible?
    Thanks for any help!
    Cheers, Deborah

    • Hi Deborah,

      If you work less than full-time you can only count the days that you actually work and not the weekends. I don’t really see how modifying your payslip would work as also the amount you get paid counts. You need to get paid at least the minimum wage so it is not just how many hours are written in your payslip.

  • Hi there! I have a question…

    I was told when I first arrived in Australia that as long as I do my farm work during my working holiday visa, I can come back any time before I’m 31 to use my second year visa. However, someone told me the other day that you only have two years to use it. Can you please clear this up for me? Thank you!

    • Hi Neve,

      I have never heard of this two-year limit. You should turn to immigration in these types of questions. Check the website and if the answer is not there contact them directly.

  • Hi Helena,

    Thanks for posting this! Your website is very useful for information.
    My situation is that I’m working for an mineral exploration mining company in rural western Australia. I am working long swings (4-6 weeks) followed by one week off. Considering I work through my weekends during the swings I am working 7 days in a row of 13-15 hours per day with no breaks until my week off. Because I’m working weekends during the swing however will my week off count towards my 88 days required for extension?? IF NOT, I am actually paid fortnightly so even if I take a week off, when I get my Pay slip for that period it will say about 100 hours so that is enough to cover the two weeks right ?? I hope you have answers for me !!
    Cheers for your help

    • Hi Tom,

      There is an example on immigration website considering this type of shift work:

      “For example, if the applicant’s paid employment involved two weeks on and then two weeks off, and this is standard practice in the industry, the applicant would be considered to have worked for four weeks (28 days). If the employer is satisfied that the applicant has undertaken the equivalent of full time work for that industry for the specified period, the visa decision maker may be satisfied that the applicant has undertaken full time work for the specified period.”

      • Thanks Helena ! Now my next question , if it fits all of the criteria for second year visa , ie it’s full time equivalent work, in a rural post code and completing work which counts towards , does that mean that it will for sure be approved for second year visa? The only reason I ask is because the people working here are predominantly Australian and kiwis… not many foreigners opting for this type of work for the visa ! Is there any way in which you can check the business’s ABN to see if they qualify ? It’s not life a farm where every person is there for a visa

  • I have just completed a month of my farm work with days off included into my 88 days. My plan is to finish my farm work in about a months time on a different farm. Will this be a problem when I comes to getting my second year? Or do the 88 days have to be completed consecutively?


    • Hi Adam,

      It says literally on immigration websites:

      “‘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.”

      As it does say you can do your farm work in “separate blocks”, that indicates that you don’t have to do all the farm work on the same farm or at one time.

  • Hey Helena,

    I have a question. If I work 40 hours a week, does it count as 7 days or only 5? Considered that I worked for the same farmer 13 weeks. And If he pays me cash in hand, but pays taxes and provides me with payslips, would that still count for my days?

    • Hi Lisanne!

      40 hours a week is full-time hours so it should be considered as 7 days. Cash on hand payment shouldn’t be a problem as long as taxes and superannuation are paid correctly and you are provided with the payslips.

  • Hi ! I´m doing my farmwork, but I only get paid 20.75 dollars an hour – because I am 19 years old, and therefore classified as a “junior” with a wage at 20.75 dollars. Do I need to get paid 800 dollars a week for the week to be counted into the 13 payslips? or how does it work when I don´t make 22.87 dollars an hour?

    • Hi Ditte,

      As you are classified as a junior and therefore the minimum wage is smaller for you, you should be able to get your visa in 13 weeks if you work full time. The rule with the pay goes that your pay rate should be the minimum wage according to Fair Work Australia and if you get paid according to legal minimum wages you should be ok.

      • Hello again Helena !

        My employer states that 13 payslips is enough to get the second year, and I don´t need to worry about the 88 days, hours or pay…Do you reckon that is true?


        • Hi Ditte,

          I would trust immigration and their rules over your employer, they are the ones who make the rules and grant your visa. Even if you get 13 payslips you still need to work and get paid according to the rules. For me, it sounds like your employer is trying to scam you to think he/she can pay you less than what he/she should.

    • Hi Malik,

      It depends what kind of visa you are applying. Working Holiday VIsa and Tourist Visa application processes are quite simple so there is no need for immigration consultant. If you apply for a permanent visa to stay in Australia the process is much more complex it might be a good idea to hire an immigration consultant to help.

  • I have worked 12 consecutive weeks in one place. I started on the 15th of November and finish on the 7th of February. Which would equate to three months but not 15th of November to 15th of February. I am really hoping this will count as my three consecutive months. As it is 12 weeks. Please help because I have been totally let down by my employer and don’t have time to then make up the 88 days as separate days.

    • Hi Minerva,

      These questions should be directed to Australian Immigration. They are the ones deciding if you have worked enough to earn your second year and therefore the only ones who can actually give you definite answers to these questions. My personal advice would be work at least one more week (if possible) just to make sure. As technically, if you divide 88 days with 7 days that is actually about 12,6 weeks so a bit more than 12 weeks. I would assume that 12 weeks (3 months) consecutive work would be enough but if you want to play safe it is better to work few extra days than not enough.

  • Hello,
    I’m working at a farm towards my 2nd year visa.
    This job is hourly based, with steady hours and days each week(About 45hours). So it’s equivalent full-time, and I’m thinking I could just work exactly 3months and quit.
    I started working in the middle of Nov and hope to stop working around the middle of Feb.

    But somethings are bothering me. Which is holidays and sickday. I had days off on public holidays such as Christmas, boxing day, New years due to the farm was closed. Also I had 1 sick day off so far. And there is no evidence that I was sick.

    I wonder how these days can be counted. Eventhough some weeks were 4 work days because of holiday or sickday, they are mostly over 35hours and decent amount of income. Can I still count them 7days? Or should it be just 4days?

    It’s very confusing because I need to stop working and go back to my country ASAP. I don’t think I can work extra days to be safe. Do you reckon there will be a chance that my visa gets diclined if I stop working exactly 3 months after the starting day?

    • Hi Sienna,

      This is something that it is for the Australian Immigration to decide and unfortunately, I cannot help you with this question. If you want to be sure, you can contact the immigration directly. The contact details can be found at the end of this post.

  • 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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