Visa question about the 6 month limitation

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Visa question about the 6 month limitation


Total Posts: 1

Joined 2012-01-03


I’m currently working for a company doing the wheat harvest and have been asked to stay on afterwards to help with spraying & seeding.
Has anyone had any experience in how to interpret the 6 month with one employer limitation?
Does it mean 6 months of physical work days (180 days) or are they basing it on calendar time?
The reason I ask is I’ve been here for 2 months already (but have only worked for 45 days). I’m employed as a casual and receive a daily rate for my pay - hence the question.
I’d appreciate peoples input - as I don’t want to fall foul of IMMI if I plan to come back for a second year!



Total Posts: 19

Joined 2009-02-24

I had always thought it was 6 months continued employment with one company etc. The amount of hours/days weren’t relevant if you were still a staff member. For the second year visa though they specify wanting a number of days equalling 3 months and full time work for those days. That is probably to help you figure out what work can and cant be included if it was with different employers. If you have the second year visa then you can work for an employer you already worked for on the first for another 6 months.

If I were you I would just call or email immigration since you dont want to get caught out.


Total Posts: 1

Joined 2012-01-03

Hey thanks for your reply, it looks as if you’re right - I got this reply from IMMI this morning:

“This email is in relation to your enquiry about extending the period of employment with one employer beyond the 6 months limitation prescribed by condition 8547.


Working Holiday visas are intended to allow 417 visa holders the opportunity to have an extended holiday travelling around Australia supplementing their funds with incidental employment rather than work for lengthy periods. Working Holiday visas are therefore granted with 6 month work limitation condition 8547. 

Condition 8547 states the following:

The 417 visa holder must not be employed by any one employer for more than 6 months, without the prior permission in writing of the secretary.

Incidental employment is generally taken to include a period of full-time or part-time work with one employer in one town or city, followed by a period of holiday, followed by a period of full-time or part-time work with a different employer in a different town or city (provided no period of employment exceeds 6 months).  Workplace-based training is considered to be work. You are able to undertake workplace-based training with each employer for up to 6 months.


The employer is the business for which the visa holder is working directly. Consequently, you may be employed by the same labour hire company or contractor for more than 6 months, but may not provide services to the same end user for more than 6 months. You may be employed by a state or territory Department of Education or Health for more than 6 months, but may not provide services to the same school or health care facility for more than 6 months.

Where two businesses are closely related (for example, parent company and subsidiary) they may be considered to be the same employer.  Generally, separate businesses (for example, with different ABNs) may be considered different employers.


The 6 month limitation applies to full-time, part-time, casual and shift work.  The 6 month limit is calculated from the commencement date of employment until the end date of employment. 

‘6 months’ refers to 6 calendar months. Where the visa holder is not in an ongoing employment relationship, this period need not be continuous. A visa holder may, for example, be employed for 3 months, followed by a 2 month period of travel (during which time there is no ongoing employment arrangement), and return to the same employer for a further 3 months.  However, breaks between periods of work, where the employment arrangement is ongoing, count toward the 6 month total (for example, where the leave was granted).

2nd Working Holiday visa holders may work for one employer for longer than six months. This condition attaches to the particular visa that the individual holds. Upon grant of the 2nd Working holiday visa the time period “re-sets”, so a visa holder can, theoretically work for the same employer for 12 months (that is, 6 months at the end of the 1st Working Holiday visa and 6 months at the begining of the 2nd working Holiday visa).


In exceptional circumstances, it may be possible to extend the period of work with one employer to longer than 6 months. An extension may be allowed for a very short period of time and only if there is sufficient justification to grant it. Visa holders who work for more than 6 months with an employer without written permission from the Department would be in breach of their visa condition and may be subject to cancellation of their visa.

Working Holiday visa holders may request permission to work with an employer beyond 6 months and must receive written permission from the department before extending beyond 6 months with their employer. To enable processing of your request, please complete the attached form. Please note that an employment extension request form must be completed by the visa holder.

Delegated immigration officers in Australia are able to give a visa holder permission to work for an employer beyond the prescribed 6 month period only in limited circumstances. Where permission is granted, it is only provided for a very short time such as a few days or weeks.
Exceptional circumstances must relate to an Australian permanent resident, citizen or business and must be extraordinary and unforeseeable.

Exceptional circumstances might include extending employment:
for a very short time (less than one month) as the visa holder is critical to the completion of a specialised highly skilled project that has unexpectedly gone over time (for example, a lawyer in the middle of a trial, a doctor who plans to operate on a patient who they have been treating)
while a decision is being made on an application for any visa which would allow the holder to continue full time work with the same employer. These include (but are not limited to):  Temporary Business (Long Stay) (subclass 457) visa, Spouse (subclass 820) or other Partner visa, Occupational Trainee (subclass 442) visa, Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 856) visa, Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 857) visa, or other permanent or provisional Skilled Migration visa that can be granted in Australia

for a period of weeks or months while the visa holder is receiving workers compensation payments as a result of a workplace injury

Generally, exceptional circumstances only relate to highly skilled activities.”

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