WWOOFing in Bushfire Disaster areas and Flood affected areas to qualify for 2nd and 3rd Year Working Holiday Visas.

 

Overview 

To be eligible to apply for a second or third Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa, you must have already completed a prescribed minimum period of “specified subclass 417 work” in certain circumstances.

Specified work is work that is undertaken in a ‘specified’ industry and area of Australia. Information on eligible industries and areas of Australia is provided below.

All specified subclass 417 work must be paid in accordance with the relevant Australian legislation and awards.

Voluntary work (WWOOFing) can only be included as specified work for the purpose of applying for a second or third Working Holiday visa where it is related to bushfire recovery work undertaken in declared bushfire-affected areas or to flood recovery work undertaken in declared flood-affected areas only.

 

Steps required by WWOOfers

WWOOF Australia has developed a Volunteer Bushfire and Flood Relief Form in consultation with Border Force, for registered WWOOFers to use for their visa extension application, as confirmation of the volunteer work they have done. Border Force have approved regular WWOOFing hours of 4 to 6 hours a day, maximum of 38 hours in any 7 days for this purpose. Registered WWOOF Australia Hosts need to fill this form in to confirm the TYPE of help they have had and the DATES the WWOOFer has stayed with them. Hosts must keep a copy of this form with their completed Guestbook page for each of these WWOOFers. Hosts can be Commercial or Hobby farms, Border force has advised that the WWOOF ABN should be used if the WWOOF Host is a Hobby farm and does not have an ABN, see the form for details.

Please ensure both parties have read and completely understand what is required, this is an arrangement/agreement between the WWOOFers and Hosts NOT the WWOOF Office.

USERNAMES: This is the Username you created when you joined WWOOF Australia, if you are uncertain of these details please email the office wwoof@wwoof.com.au with the email address you used to create your account and we can confirm this for you.

The Guestbook page should be filled in upon arrival by the WWOOFer and prior to any activity being started. The WWOOF 88 days form should be filled in with both parties present, both parties must agree to the activities and days completed, and communication is a must, so please discuss everything together before you start. Once completed both parties must keep a copy.

Bushfire recovery work

Bushfire recovery work carried out after 31 July 2019 on WWOOF Host properties located in any of the postcodes listed on the Home Affairs website is eligible specified work for the purpose of a second or third Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa.

  • construction, farming, or any other work in association with recovery or restitution of land, property, farm animals or wildlife
  • support services or assistance to people living, working or volunteering in the affected areas

Examples of eligible paid or volunteer specified work in bushfire recovery:

  • re-building fences destroyed in a bushfire affected community
  • caring for wildlife in a bushfire-affected community
  • support work for volunteer organisations assisting victims of bushfires
  • demolition of buildings, trench digging, land clearing, and earth moving
  • residential and non-residential construction or renovation/repair, including of roads, footpaths, bridges, parking lots, fencing, railways, dams, irrigation systems, sewage and stormwater drainage systems

Examples of ineligible specified work in bushfire recovery:

  • hospitality, cleaning, or administrative work in a business that was not damaged by bushfire
  • construction or renovation work in an area that is not a declared bushfire-affected area
  • work carried out on or before 31 July 2019

 

Flood recovery work

Flood Recovery work  carried out after 31 December 2021 on WWOOF Host properties located in any of the postcodes listed for floods on the Home Affairs website is eligible specified work for the purpose of a second or third Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa.

  • 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

Examples of eligible paid or volunteer specified work in flood recovery:

  • general cleaning up, including wiping down items, moving and cleaning furniture and appliances, hosing out properties and outdoor areas or mopping floors and transporting rubbish
  • demolition of buildings, trench digging, land clearing, and earth moving
  • residential and non-residential construction or renovation/repair, including roads, footpaths, bridges, parking lots, fencing, railways, dams, irrigation systems, sewage, and stormwater drainage systems
  • work for charitable organisations assisting flood-affected communities, including administrative, technical, and coordination support
  • administrative support, including customer service and working in call centres providing flood recovery support
  • coordination support, including services for insurance companies and local, state, and federal government organisations, and community and evacuation centres
  • transport support, including delivering food, medications or other essential items to flood victims
  • caring for, transporting, and managing affected animals and related equipment

Examples of ineligible specified work in flood recovery:

  • hospitality, re-building, cleaning or administrative work in a business that was not damaged by floods
  • employment in a business not involved in flood recovery work
  • clean-up, construction, or any other work in an area that is not a declared flood-affected area
  • work carried out on or before 31 December 2021

   

How to count specified work

This section applies equally to both Working Holiday (subclass 417) and Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas and uses the collective term ‘Working Holiday Maker’ (WHM) visas.

Minimum period

To be eligible for a second WHM visa, you must have carried out at least 3 months of specified work. ‘3 months’ is taken to mean a period equivalent to the 3 shortest ‘calendar’ months of the year, that is, a minimum period of 88 calendar days, including weekends or equivalent rest days during your period of employment.

To be eligible for a third WHM visa, you must have carried out at least 6 months of specified work on or after 1 July 2019.  ‘6 months’ is taken to mean a period equivalent to the 6 shortest ‘calendar’ months of the year, that is, a minimum period of 179 calendar days, including weekends or equivalent rest days during your period of employment.

To meet the requirement for a minimum period of specified work you must complete the same number of normal work days or shifts as a full-time employee in that role and industry would normally work in a 3-month (88 calendar days) or 6 months (179 calendar day) period. You can do this in a variety of ways, for example:

  • working 5 days a week for a continuous period of 3 or 6 calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement
  • working less than 5 days a week over a period longer than 3 or 6 calendar months, including on a piecework rate agreement
  • working multiple short periods of work in any combination of full time, part-time, or on a piecework rate, which adds up to the equivalent of 5 days a week over 3 or 6 calendar months
  • Border Force have approved regular WWOOFing hours of 4 to 6 hours a day, maximum of 38 hours in any 7 days for this purpose.

You do not need to do your 3 or 6 months of specified work all in one go or all with one employer/WWOOF Host. You are free to spread the work over the stay period of your current visa. You can also undertake specified work for longer than the required minimum period.

 

For more information, see: immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/whm-program/specified-work-conditions

 

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