The Backpackers Guide to Australia — ‘2nd-Year WHV’

20th September, 2019

Why stay in Australia for one year when you can stay for two?!

Welcome to the exciting prospect of extending your stay upon the island of laid back lifestyles!

Nature always wears the colours of the spirit — R.W.E.

The problem

If you’ve tried to find information about a 2nd-year visa you’ll know it can be a nightmare to navigate through government-run websites, copious amounts of conflicting and false information, unclear regulations and forms — it’s one big ol’ kerfuffle!

The solution

We decided to help remove this fog of confusion and outline everything you could hope to know about acquiring a 2nd-year working holiday visa for 417 & 462 Visa Holders!

In the words of an Aussie — You Beauty!’

All the forms & documents you could need in one place!

The beginning of your outback adventure

The tale of acquiring your 2nd-year working holiday visa

A 2nd-year working holiday visa is granted to those pioneering travellers on either a 417 or 462 WHV who complete 88 days of specified rural work prior to their 1st-year visa expiring. Backpackers in particular use this experience to both fund and extend their travels around the beautiful and bountiful plains of Australia. Your holiday is extended by one whole year and you gain the benefit of having a rural outback experience unlike any other. You’ll be transformed into a modern-day ‘Crocodile Dundee’


If you have completed the 88 days of specified rural work you can apply for your second year visa via your ImmiAccount.

Pro Tip: Complete your 88 days as soon as possible because seasonal work is unpredictable by nature and it may take longer to complete than you plan for.

- What is considered 88 days?

- 3 months of specified rural work completed in relation to the industry standard of the pay received over this period for the job you undertook.

OR said another way;

  • Specified Rural Work (location & type of job)
  • Industry Standard (the number of hours worked per day/week & associated pay)

Specified rural work

Work completed within a particular location (postcode) that is supported by your 417 or 462 visa. You MUST work 88 days in one of these areas to claim your 2nd-year visa so always double-check you are working in an eligible postcode for your associated 417 or 462 visa.

  • 417 Postcodes — Countrywide
  • 462 Postcodes —Northern Australia (mostly above the Tropic of Capricorn- WA, NT, QLD)
Relevant for 462 Visa holders — North Australia is essentially everything above the ‘Tropic Of Capricorn’

Check out the government webpage on specific rural work to learn more on;

- Eligible Postcodes
- Eligible Specified Work (details on the roles) & Ineligible Specified Work
- Your rights as an employee
- Calculating your pay and award rates
- Minimum wage rate*

Your respective 417 / 462 document should be filled out by you and your employer as additional evidence for your 88 days of work completed. The work you undertake must meet the specified work criteria of your 417 or 462 visa if you are to apply for your 2nd-year visa.

462 specified work

  • Plant and animal cultivation — Horticulture
  • Fishing and pearling
  • Tree farming and felling
  • Tourism and hospitality.

417 specified work

  • Plant and animal cultivation — Horticulture
  • Fishing and pearling
  • Tree farming and felling
  • Mining
  • Construction

*Note: You can no longer count volunteer work towards your 88 days as of December 1st 2015 and therefore must be able to provide payslips as evidence of your days worked.

“How bout that ride in…” — Alan

Confused yet?!

Don’t worry just keep running into the fog with us and eventually you’ll come out the other side a stronger one man/woman wolf pack with us, which makes us a wolf pack!

Industry standard

’Industry’ example(s) include the types of specified work listed above.

Each industry has its own standards for what is considered a full days work. Through this site you can enter in what industry you will be working in to gain an understanding of the hours you might work and pay you can expect.

“Ergggggggh! Why should I care?” I hear you asking… Or perhaps its just me.

  • Knowing this information empowers you to have greater clarity on how many hours you need to have worked to ensure 88 full days of specified rural work. You don’t want to finish your rural work, apply for your 2nd-year visa only to find out you didn’t work the required number of days
    yes unfortunately this has happened.
  • Knowing how many hours you will need to have worked then enables you to roughly determine therefore the amount you should be paid.

Combining these two crucial pieces of information you can understand what is fair and have the confidence to make an informed decision on when you can leave the rural life and begin the next phase of your adventure!

Okay I realise this is quite a bit of information so lets try to pick up the pieces with an example

Example — Horticulture

  • Fruit Picker
  • Level 1 (Unless you have specific qualifications this will be your default level)
  • Part-Time
  • 20+ years of age
*Part-time will have the same pay rate as Full-time work.

Now you know how much you can earn per hour so next we find out what a standard work week should look like.

Standard weekly hours for ‘Horticulture’.

I’m no mathematician but if you were to work 38 hours a week that's roughly 5 x 8 hour days (Monday — Friday):

  • That's roughly $700 per week

Without getting too complicated here (& always check with your employer) — Working 5 standard industry days means you can count weekends towards your 88 days.

Therefore working 38 hours per week = 7 days of specified rural work will have been completed — AWESOME!

  • Minimum number of weeks (when 7 days per week is being counted towards your rural work) is roughly 13 weeks which equates to˜500 working hours to be safe.

Therefore over 13 weeks I can expect pay somewhere in the vicinity of:

  • $9,145 (*This is an estimate*)

Achieving somewhere in the vicinity of this number allows me to feel confident I completed the 88 days of rural work required for my 2nd-year visa.

Tea break!

That was a lot of information so take a quick tea break.

Is there any tea on this spaceship? — H.G.T.T.G

Things to do whilst waiting for the kettle to boil:

Stretch the legs — pat the dog — notice something new — make a snack — smell something — focus on your breathing —watch out for a falling bowl of petunias — chuck on a song — send your family a loving message — recite pi and — be grateful for being able to do any of the above.

Simple summary

  • Your visa type will determine where (eligible postcode) you can work and in what roles (eligible specific work)
  • The different industries vary slightly — you can work for pay per hour (minimum wage ˜$18.29+) or a piecework agreement (variable — more on this below).
  • You must work the minimum of 88 working days as stipulated by the specific industry (˜8 hour days).
  • Find out whether you work enough to count weekends (˜38 hours per week) and have supporting evidence in the number of hours you’ve worked across the entire period and what you would expect to be paid as a result.

Question: “But how do I keep track of all my hours across my entire 88 days of rural work?!”

Answer:RECORD MY HOURS’ app built by the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman — Using this app will help you keep up to date with the amount you have worked and can be used as evidence in the event you are audited by the immigration department when applying for your 2nd-year visa.

Things to consider


By law, money will be put aside into a seperate 'retirement' account you can only access upon leaving Australia. (Check out our documents)


Whether your employer holds a Working Holiday Maker licence determines how much tax they withhold.

Differences in tax withheld from a backpacker if the employer is registered for WHM
  • If your employer is registered then each of your payslips will show 15% of your pay being withheld for tax purposes.
  • If your employer is NOT registered as a WHM then 32.5% of your earnings will be withheld.

What does this all mean?

This doesn’t mean you earn less but that you won’t have access to the full amount of what you earned until you claim your tax back. This can be viewed as an annoyance for some who would prefer a larger paycheck rather than receive a lump sum of their earnings at the end of the financial year after having lodged a claim for your tax back.

Example (15%) — Alice earns $700 this week but $105 (15%) is withheld for tax purposes so Alice receives $595 for that week.

Example (32.5%) — Bob earns $700 this week but $227.5 (32.5%) is withheld for tax purposes so Bob receives $472.50 for that week

  • You can claim some of these funds via the end of financial year tax refund (June 30th)
    Here’s a video that goes into further detail about getting your tax back
    Otherwise see here for comparisons across tax agencies if you’d prefer to have someone else take care of it for you but of course this comes with a price tag.

Question: “How do I know if my Employer is registered as a Working Holiday Maker?!”

Answer: There is no way to look this up I’m afraid so you will simply have to ask your employer whether they are registered.

Not working a full industry standard work week

  • Working under the standard number of hours per week may mean you are unable to claim weekends towards your number of days ‘worked’.
    — (˜<38 hours per week on average)

This can happen due to weather, lack of work available, changes in shifts as imposed by the employer etc...


  • Depending on what you have agreed upon with your employer, your accommodation / food / other services may be incorporated into your weekly pay.
  • This means you might not receive the industry expected standard(using example above) of ˜$700 per week because your accomodation / food etc. might be factored into what you earn.

Example: You’re paid $500 per week with free accomodation and food for the week equaling ˜$250. In this instance if you agree to this with your employer you are still earning above the industry standard.

Piecework agreement

Check out our piecework agreement template here.

Question: What does piecework mean?

Answer: You will be paid a fixed rate relative to the number of units produced

Example: ‘Apple Picking’ — Every time you fill a ‘bin’ of apples you are paid $30. Your speed, technique and work ethic will determine how much you earn.

Pros to Piecework:

  • You can work at your own pace and take breaks
  • The better you get the more you get paid
  • You can have some fun by competing with your fellow workers for ‘Bin-King/Queen’

Cons to Piecework:

  • You can earn below the minimum wage of ˜$18.29
  • It can take time before you learn the technique and pick at a speed that provides a good paycheck

‘Other’ agreement(s)

  • Any agreement you enter into with your employer should ALWAYS be in writing. A contract that sits outside standard registered agreements/awards MUST benefit the employee, provide the minimum wage and follow the national employment standards [NES] of Australia.
  • If you’re concerned or have questions about any agreements or contracts you are offered/have signed please feel to reach out to us and we’ll do our best to help you however we can.

Being audited? — Don’t panic

What you can use to prove you worked 88 days in the unlikely event you’re audited

  • Completed form 1263 Working Holiday visa
  • Employment verification (417 / 462)
  • Copies of your Payslips
  • Tax returns
  • Group certificates
  • Employer references
  • Australian bank statement covering the period of declared specified work.

That’s it for securing your second/third year visa!!

Adventure Time

If you managed to get through the entire guide then I’m giving you a digital high five!

*hits laptop screen*

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened — Dr. Seuss