Are you in Australia on a working holiday visa and interested in staying on after your visa expires? There are a few different visa options if you would like to extend your stay.
Obtaining a Second Working Holiday Visa
In some cases, you may be eligible for a second working holiday visa. If you are still between 18 and 30 years of age, you may apply for a second working holiday visa while you still hold the first working holiday visa or at a later date. If you apply from within Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. If you apply from outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.
The greatest hurdle to obtaining a second working holiday visa is that in order to be eligible, you must have completed three months of specified work in regional Australia while on your first working holiday visa. Most of the available specified work involves seasonal work in the agricultural industry such as harvesting fruit and vegetables, pruning trees and vines, and general crop maintenance work. However, it may also include work such as shearing, tree farming, mining and construction.
Studying in Australia
Another good option is to consider studying in Australia. It is possible to get a visa which is valid for the entire duration of the course. There are many courses to choose from including intensive English language courses, shorter diploma or certificate programs (such as business or IT courses), or university degrees. Before you apply for this visa, you must have applied for and been accepted to study full-time at an educational institution in Australia.
Student visas can be a good option because visa holders may work for up to 20 hours per week during the semester and full time during scheduled course breaks. It is also possible to include your partner as part of your visa application in which case your partner may also have work rights.
Student visas can also be a good way to transition to permanent residence in Australia. If you think you may one day seek permanent residence, it is a good idea to seek professional assistance early on in the process. Your choice of course selection will impact a future application for permanent residence.
Work Sponsored 457 Visas
Many working holiday makers try to find an employer willing to sponsor them through the 457 visa program. Recent changes to the 457 visa program have made it more difficult for employers to sponsor overseas workers. Holders of 457 visas may stay in Australia for up to four years. Unlike the working holiday program which limits your period of work for one employer to a maximum six month period, under a 457 visa, you may only work for the sponsoring employer.
The Employer Nomination Scheme
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) enables employers to sponsor highly skilled workers to fill skilled vacancies in their business. Employers may recruit skilled workers from people temporarily in Australia, including people on working holiday visas. Ordinarily, it is necessary to have at least three years of work experience and qualifications in your field to qualify for an ENS visa, although you can also qualify if you have been on a 457 visa for two years.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) enables employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor highly skilled workers. The position must provide full time employment in Australia for two years. It is generally necessary to have a diploma or trade qualification to be eligible.
General Skilled Migration
The General Skilled Migration program leads to permanent residence. Recent changes to the GSM program have resulted in lengthy processing times. Applicants having an occupation listed on the Commonwealth Government’s Critical Skills List receive priority processing.
Australian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor you to live permanently in Australia. However, it is necessary to be married, or to have lived in a de facto relationship for 12 months, making this option difficult for people currently in Australia on a working holiday visa.