A Guide to Extending your Australian Working Holiday Visa

A year can fly by quickly when you’re having fun and it will likely never feel long enough in such an incredible country as Australia. It’s almost impossible to work and explore everything you’d like in such a short space of time.

If you’re already feeling the urge to stick around for a bit longer and you have some months left on your current visa, or perhaps you fancy returning at a later date – all of this is possible! Thankfully for you, your Australian journey is far from over and you can easily apply to extend your stay and work in the country for longer, either now or in the future.

As with most visas, there are a few stipulations to adhere to. These will require some time, money and effort, but the potential reward is surely worth it? Imagine all of the things you can do with your extra time! Try to focus on that and of course on enjoying the process, experiences and opportunities that you encounter along the way.

Visa Extension Time-frames

For many years it has only been possible to extend your Australian working visa by a further year. Essentially this has meant individuals could only ever plan to realistically live and work in Australia for a maximum of two years.

However, recently the Australian government have proposed the introduction of a third year working holiday visa. This new visa is due to come into effect from later this year, providing the opportunity to work in the country for up to three whole years. This does come with further conditions, but again, they are all achievable and the opportunity will likely far out way the required input.

Australian Working Holiday Visa Requirements

You can apply to extend your visa either whilst living in the country under your first working holiday visa or at a later date. In terms of what you can do with a second year visa, you can expect much the same as a first year visa – you can undertake short-term work, study for up to 4 months and leave and re-enter the country as many times as you would like to.

In order to secure a second year working holiday visa in Australia, you will need to meet the following requirements:

  • Have entered the country on a 417 first year working holiday visa.
  • Hold an eligible passport.
  • Be aged 18 to 30 (inclusive). For Irish and Canadian citizens this is extended up to 35 years of age.
  • You may not be accompanied by dependent children for the entirety of your visa.
  • Complete 3 months of ‘specified work’ during your first working holiday visa.

As previously mentioned, from mid-2019, you can apply for a third year working holiday visa. The requirements are the same as the second year, with one addition – you will need to complete a further 6 months of ‘specified work’ while on your second year 417 visa.

What is classed as Specified Work?

Put simply, specified work means undertaking a role or duties in a specific industry located within Australia’s regional areas. Regional areas make up most of the country but exclude certain locations such as larger cities like Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.

Most of this type of work is likely to be hands on, involve some physical labour and generally be outdoors or within a factory/warehouse environment.

Industries which fall under the category of specified work include the following:

Animal and Plant Cultivation

In this industry, you could work in a fruit or veg packing warehouse, in vineyards pruning vines or picking grapes and other duties directly related to harvesting, processing and maintenance of animal or plant products. Picking fresh oranges from the orchard to feeding and herding cattle on a farm – the opportunities here vary considerably so there are a lot of options to choose from.

Tree Farming

If you enjoy being outside and love more than the smell of fresh wood, this type of work may be for you.  You could experience anything from planting and felling trees in a plantation to conservation and environmental reforestation work.

Fishing and Pearling

This type of work could see you experiencing the open waters of Australia’s oceans – safely on board a fishing boat catching fish and other ocean creatures or diving to great depths to collect treasured pearls and pearl shells. There is definitely a unique experience to be had here.


As you might expect, this type of specified industry work covers areas such as land development and site preparation, building construction, structure and installation services. You can expect to choose from a range of jobs which could include interior or exterior painting or landscaping gardens of new buildings.


This is another varied industry where you could work in any number of areas. From coal mining, oil and gas extraction, quarry exploration, mineral mining to more support services within the mining industry.

Cost of Visa Extensions

The total cost of a second year Austrian working holiday visa is the same price as the first year – AUD450 which is roughly about £250. This payment is required upon application and in order to process your visa. Although prices aren’t available for the third year visa, you can expect it to be of similar value.

Application and Processing Times

Some planning is required if you wish to continue to stay in Australia after your first year visa has expired. You will of course need to have completed the 3 months specified work during your first visa and allow up to at least 6 weeks for processing.

You can also undertake the 3 months work during your first visa and leave the country. As long as you return within the age restrictions, you can apply outside of Australia to enter again for your second year at a later date. If you’re employed overseas, don’t forget work abroad insurance. You should also consider Australian car hire excess insurance should you be travelling by vehicle for an lengthy period working down under.

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