5 Tips For Staying in Australia After Your Working Holiday Visa Has Expired


If you have come to Australia on a Working Holiday visa and have since decided that you’d like to stay, then you wouldn’t be alone. Many people come to Australia on a Working Holiday visa for an extended holiday and decide to extend their stay after it expires. There may be several pathways for you to explore depending on your individual circumstances so it’s important that you plan ahead to allow yourself ample time and choose the most appropriate option.


Below are 5 tips you should consider when extending your stay in Australia after the expiry of your Working Holiday visa.


1.Identify your occupation

When pursuing an employer sponsored pathway or a skilled independent visa, you will need to properly identify your position to a specific occupation. The reason for this is that the Department and the State and Territory Governments use specific occupation lists which determine the visa types you may be eligible for. Each occupation has its own definition and sets of tasks which the Department will use to determine whether your position is consistent with this occupation.


You will want to make sure that you are gaining work experience in a role that can be accurately defined and is available on the right occupation list, hence the importance of planning your pathway in advance. Once you have identified your occupation, you can then assess your options and decide on a pathway for your next visa.


2.Evidence of employment

If you pursue an employer sponsored option after your Working Holiday visa, then you will want to ensure that you are collecting evidence of your employment as you go. This includes both evidence of the work actually performed and evidence of paid employment. It may be useful to obtain a reference letter from each employer to confirm the dates of your employment and the tasks and responsibilities you undertook in your role.


This will lessen your workload later on as well as corroborate your claimed employment in your nominated occupation. This type of evidence is essential as it verifies your past experience which will determine your eligibility for a future visa. You should also discuss the potential for sponsorship with your employer in advance to allow them adequate time in considering your request.


3. Know the exemptions

As the holder of a Working Holiday visa, you will be subject to condition 8547, which limits you to 6 months with any one employer, known as the ‘6 month rule’. Generally, if you want to work for longer than 6 months with one employer, you will need to officially request permission from the Department to do so.

You may work with the same employer for up to 12 months without permission if your work is in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months. For example, you may work for a subsidiary company but the ABN is different, work for two restaurants in the same chain at different premises, or work for independently-owned franchises at different locations. You may also work with any one employer for more than 6 months if your role is in a critical sector such as agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care and childcare.


The importance of knowing these exemptions is that it may allow you to accumulate the necessary work experience for an employer sponsored visa after the expiry of your Working Holiday visa. It could make the difference for your future eligibility and longer term options in Australia.


4.Skills assessments

Some visas require that you have a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation at the time of application. These assessments can typically take up to 12 weeks so you should begin this process as soon as possible if you know that one is required. Each occupation has its own skills assessing authority, who assess your skills and experience in the occupation to determine if you meet the standards required to work in that occupation.


Each skills assessing authority have their own criteria depending on the particular occupation so you must first understand what exactly is required in order to obtain a positive result. A migration lawyer will be able to assist in preparing your application to ensure you address all of the assessing authority’s requirements and obtain a favourable outcome.


5.English language tests

Similar to the skills assessment, if you require an English language test for your visa, you will need to provide it at the time of lodgement. That is, you must have obtained your English test results before you lodge your application. This test must also have been completed no more than 3 years before the date you lodge your application, otherwise you will need to take a new one. 


With these tips, you can start exploring specific visas that you may be eligible for after the expiry of your Working Holiday visa. Some of these visas include:

  • 407 (Training) visa
  • 408 (Temporary Activities) visa
  • 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa
  • 186 (Employer Nomination) visa
  • 491 (Skilled Work Regional) visa
  • 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional) visa
  • 190 (Skilled Nominated) visa
  • 189 (Skilled Independent) Visa

Each visa has a different process and its own criteria so it’s important that you understand how each one operates before you apply. For more information on these visas, contact one of our migration lawyers at No Borders Law Group.


Are you looking for visa options?


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No Borders Law Group can help you exploring visa options and securing your application.Our experienced migration agents and lawyers have extensive knowledge of the legal requirements, eligibility criteria, and supporting documents required. Simply dial 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected] and let us help you start with your way towards obtaining an Australian visa.


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