On a Working Holiday visa? Here’s how to keep your job for +6 months (part 2)
Updated: Feb 7
If you read Part One of this post, you already know all about the Working Holiday visa ´6 months rule.´ You know the 6 tricks which allow working for the same employer for longer than 6 months. But what if none of them is relevant to your situation? There is still hope. Meet the 6 months waiver.
What is it?
The waiver is an individual permission from the Department of Home Affairs to continue working for your employer for longer than 6 months. You can apply for it by completing Form 1445 and sending it by email or post. No fees apply and it usually takes up to two weeks to process the request. You will receive a decision notification by email or post. You might be eligible for the waiver if:
You’re on hold
You have a pending visa application which would let you continue working full time for your employer. You must have lodged that application from Australia. For example, you are waiting for a decision on a Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS-subclass 482) visa application and your sponsor is your current employer.
You’re a Nanny
You work as an Au Pair. Your primary responsibility should be taking care of children under 12 years old. A letter of support from the family would generally be sufficient as supporting evidence.
You’re a hero
Exceptional circumstances must exist which justify waiving the 6 months rule. Your own personal circumstances are not relevant. The focus is on extraordinary and unforeseeable circumstances of an Australian business, Citizen of Permanent Resident. For example:
You are a Lawyer working on a drawn out trial
Your job is to help a community rebuild after a fire
You haven’t been able to get to work due to a natural disaster
It is up to the Case Officer to decide whether exceptional circumstances exist and if yes, whether they justify granting a waiver.
Things to look out for:
Make sure you apply for the Waiver in advance at least 2 weeks before reaching the 6 months mark. Applying late could cause a refusal to grant the waiver. If your request has been refused, you cannot appeal the refusal. However, you can apply again if your circumstances have changed and you provide supporting evidence. If you have already been granted a waiver once, a second request will probably be refused.
The waiver is not indefinite. The permitted period will be specified on the decision letter (if permission is given). The period your waiver might allow you to continue working depends on your circumstances. Individuals who are granted a waiver on the basis of a pending work visa application will usually be allowed to continue working until a decision is made on their visa application or their WHV visa expires, whichever happens first.
Ignoring and/or exceeding the 6 months rule is risky and should be avoided. Non compliance with Condition 8547 has serious potential consequences, from visa cancellation to refusal of future applications. The Department of Home Affairs exchanges data with the Australian Tax Office. If you assume ‘it will be OK’ you might end up realising your situation is far from that.
The 6 months rule aims to keep Working Holiday makers in temporary jobs. However, working for one employer for longer than 6 months is allowed in certain circumstances. Depending on your situation, you may need to request an individual permission to keep your job. Whether you are a worker on a WHV or an employer wanting to keep a valuable staff member, figuring out your options and obligations can be tricky. Please consider getting advice from a registered Migration Agent.
Have any questions? Post them below or contact me directly.
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