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Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program

​​​​​Visa condition 8547 applies to anyone in Australia who holds any kind of WHM visa, regardless of when they arrive. It also applies to anyone who holds a Bridging visa with condition 8547 imposed and engages in any type of work (full time or part time, paid or voluntary). This applies unless you fall within one of the exemptions below.

See Exemptions to condition 8547, Requesting permission and Bridging visa holders below.

Exemptions to condition 8547

From 1 January 2024 you can work for the same employer in Australia for more than 6 months without asking permission if you work in any of the following:

  • different locations for the same employer, as long as work in any one location does not exceed 6 months
  • plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia
  • natural disaster recovery work anywhere in Australia
  • critical sectors, including agriculture, food processing, health, aged and disability care and childcare, tourism and hospitality, anywhere in Australia
  • certain industries, including, fishing and pearling, tree farming and felling, construction and mining, in northern Australia only (see Work in certain industries in northern Australia only​ below).

This applies until the Government makes further decisions.

​​Work in different locations

You do not need to ask our permission to work with the same employer for more than 6 months if you work in different locations, including working from home. Work in any one location must not exceed six months.

For example, you can work for:

  • two hotels in the same chain at different premises
  • independently-owned franchises in different workplaces
  • State and Territory schools and health care facilities at different addresses
  • the same business with the one ABN (Australian Business Number) at two different orchards
  • a subsidiary company (owned by the same parent company) but the ABN on your payslip is different
  • different businesses (separate legal entities with different ABNs) owned by the same employer
  • yourself (self-employed) and provide services to the same business for more than six months as long as that business is not the only business you provide services to during that time
  • independently-owned franchises, even though they operate under the same business name
  • a business from home or work remotely. A change to or from working remotely or at home counts as a change in location.​

Work in plant and animal cultivation

You do not need to ask our permission to work with the same employer for more than 6 months if you work in plant and animal cultivation anywhere in Australia.

For example:

  • harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops
  • pruning and trimming vines and trees. This must be your primary employment task and directly associated with the cultivation and commercial sale of plant produce, such as fruit and nut crops (commercial horticultural activities)
  • maintaining crops
  • cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts
  • processing of plant products
  • maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase
  • processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning
  • manufacturing dairy produce from raw material.

The following work is not eligible:

  • general garden maintenance
  • maintaining animals for tourism or recreational purposes
  • secondary processing of animal products, such as small goods processing and retail butchery.

Work in natural disaster recovery

You do not need to ask our permission to work with the same employer for more than 6 months if your work relates to natural disaster recovery work anywhere in Australia.

This includes:

  • construction, farming, or any other work in association with recovery or restitution of land, property, farm animals or wildlife
  • providing support services or assistance to people living, working or volunteering in the affected areas
  • clean-up, construction or any other work in association with restitution or restoration of services, land, waterways, property or infrastructure
  • providing support services or assistance to people living, working or volunteering in the affected areas.

Work in a critical sector

You do not need to ask our permission to work with the same employer for more than 6 months if you work in one of the five critical sectors below anywhere in Australia:

Agriculture

This includes:

  • all activities involved in farming
  • food processing, which involves processing of plant and animal products for human or animal consumption.

Health

This includes:

  • all work carried out in hospitals and any duties or occupations related to providing or supporting health services. This includes
    • doctors
    • nurses
    • medical support staff (including administrative)
    • radiology and
    • cleaning services.

Aged care and disability services

This includes:

  • disabilities services
  • aged care services
  • aged or disabled carers.

Childcare

This includes:

  • nursery/crèche worker/aide/attendants
  • family day care workers
  • nanny/au pair
  • out of school hours care workers.

Tourism and Hospitality

This includes all work carried out in the tourism and hospitality industries that directly provide a service to tourists. It also includes any duties or occupations related to providing or supporting such services, including:

  • tourist guides and operators
  • outdoor adventure or activity instructors, such as dive instructors
  • tourist transport services, such as tour bus drivers
  • gallery or museum managers, curators or guides
  • hospitality workers, such as in hotels or other accommodation facilities, restaurants, cafes, bars and casinos
  • conference and event organisers.

Work in certain industries in northern Australia only

You do not need to ask our permission to work longer than 6 months with one employer in Northern Australia if you work in any of the following four industries:

  • fishing and pearling
  • tree farming and felling
  • construction
  • mining.

Fishing and pearling

  • conducting operations relating directly to taking or catching fish and other aquatic species
  • conducting operations relating directly to taking or culturing pearls or pearl shell.

Tree farming and felling

  • planting or tending trees in a plantation or forest that are intended to be felled
  • felling trees in a plantation or forest
  • transporting trees or parts of trees that were felled in a plantation or forest to the place where they are first to be milled or processed or from which they are to be transported to the place where they are to be milled or processed.

Construction

  • residential building construction
  • non-residential building construction
  • heavy and civil engineering construction
  • land development and site preparation services
  • building structure services
  • building installation services
  • building completion services
  • other construction services.

Mining

  • coal mining
  • oil and gas extraction
  • metal ore mining
  • construction material mining
  • non-metallic mineral mining and quarrying exploration
  • mining support services.

For the purposes of the 6 months work limitation, Northern Australia is defined in the following table.

Eligible areas of Northern Australia 

Postcodes inclusive

Northern Territory

Entire Territory

Queensland (all areas north of the Tropic of Capricorn)

4472
4478
4481 to 4482
4680
4694 to 4695
4697
4699 to 4707
4709 to 4714
4717
4720 to 4728
4730 to 4733
4735 to 4746
4750 to 4751
4753 to 4754
4756 to 4757
4798 to 4800
4801 to 4812
4814 to 4825
4828 to 4830
4849 to 4850
4852
4854 to 4856
4858 to 4861
4865
4868 to 4888
4890 to 4892
4895

Western Australia (all areas north of the Tropic of Capricorn)

0872
6537
6642
6646
6701
6705
6707
6710 to 6714
6716
6718
6720 to 6722
6725 to 6726
6728
6740
6743
6751
6753 to 6754
6758
6760
6762
6765
6770

If your work does not fall within one of the exemptions above, you can only work for the same employer for a maximum of 6 months while holding your WHM visa.

In some limited circumstances, you may be able to obtain permission to work longer than 6 months for the same employer. For more information, see Requesting permission below.

Requesting permission

Grounds for approving requests

If you submit a request for permission to work longer than 6 months for the same employer, we may give you permission if you:

  • applied for visa allowing ongoing full time work and are awaiting the outcome of your application, or
  • undertake work that is critical to your employer, and have attached a supporting letter from your employer to your request.

How to seek permission

If you meet any of the grounds outlined above, you can seek our approval by submitting the online form Permission to work longer than 6 months.

Period covered by the exemption or permission to work longer than 6 months

The permission will cover the remaining period of stay on your WHM visa if:

  • you are exempt from this condition or
  • we give you permission to work for more than 6 months with the same employer.

The 6-month period starts again with the grant of a new WHM visa or when a Bridging visa with condition 8547 attached to it comes into effect.

If you have already submitted a request for permission to work longer than 6 months

If you have already submitted a request for approval to work for longer than 6 months for the same employer, you can continue working for the same employer until you receive a written outcome of your request. Due to the high volume of requests, the department is not able to provide individual confirmation that we have received your request. If you are still waiting to receive a written outcome for your request, and your employer has queries, you can refer them to this web page for confirmation you can continue working for them until a decision is made.

If you submit your request for approval to work longer than six months with the same employer after the six months have already elapsed, you will need to stop work and await the outcome of your​ request.

Meaning of ‘one employer’

The 'employer' is the business or organisation that you are directly working for.

If any agency or labour supplier refers you to a business, you can work for six months for that business. The same agency or labour supplier can refer you to another business where you can work for another six months. You cannot stay in the same position in the same location with one employer for more than six months by using different:

  • employment agencies
  • business affiliates or
  • sub-contracting arrangements.

We consider workplace-based training work. You are able to undertake workplace-based training with the same employer for up to six months.

Self-employment

If you are self-employed, your employer for the purposes of condition 8547 is the end user. You must not provide services to the same end user (considered your sole employer) for longer than 6 months. This applies unless your work falls within one of the exemptions, or you have obtained written approval from us.

If the end user is not your sole employer, you may provide services to the end user and others for longer than 6 months without breaching condition 8547. For example, a provider of in-home services with multiple clients, or a grower supplying more than one retailer.

Calculating 6 months

The 6 months starts from the day you start work. It includes full-time, part-time, casual, shift and voluntary work. It is based on the time that has passed since you started working, not how many hours or days you have worked.

The condition applies separately to each visa, including bridging visas. This means that the 6 month period starts again when you are granted a new WHM visa and/or when a bridging visa comes into effect while you are waiting for your application to be processed.

Bridging visa holders

If you hold a Bridging visa with condition 8547 attached to it and you wish to work longer than 6 months for the same employer while your Bridging visa is in effect, you will need to apply for a new Bridging visa A to remove the condition.

We may remove condition 8547 from your new Bridging visa A if we are satisfied that you have a compelling need to work.