Breaking News: Working Holiday Makers extensions for bushfire recovery

Many months of soaring temperatures and severe drought recently prepared Australia for its worst bushfire season in recent history.

Hundreds of homes and businesses were lost; tens of thousands of hectares of bushland destroyed, home owners and fire fighters killed and Australia’s unique native wildlife decimated. It was a disaster of immense proportions.

Since then, the weather has cooled somewhat and the rains have fallen – even causing flooding in some areas – but the bushfires were devastating and the road to recovery will be long.

One measure which has just been introduced by The Department of Home Affairs and which may be welcomed by many visitors on Working Holiday visas is the relaxing and broadening of conditions for visa-holders who choose to work on paid bushfire recovery projects.

These new conditions will apply to holders of Working Holiday (subclass 417) together with Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas.

Details announced

Strictly for those working in bushfire recovery, the Department has confirmed that;

  • The period during which a visa holder can work for the same employer has been extended, from six (6) months to twelve (12) months.
  • The definition of “specified work” will be revised for holders of Work and Holiday visas (subclass 462) to ensure that construction work in a disaster declared area is included.
  • Both paid and voluntary disaster recovery work in declared areas, impacted by recent bushfires, will count towards “specified work” as is required in order to apply for a second or third years’ 417 or 462 visa.

These are positive decisions, both for visa holders and for Australia’s overall disaster relief; early steps on the country’s road to recovery.

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For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration law experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration law matters.