Wednesday, 4 February 2015

How To Find Second Year Visa Work...

If like me you decide you want to stay in Australia a second year you will know that you have to do 88 days of 'regional' work to apply for your second year visa. Today I am going to go over a few pointers and some advice on how to look for and choose the right thing for you based on my experience and experiences of travellers I have spoken to.

Gumtree - Gumtree is a great place to look for second year visa work but you do have to be fairly cautious, not every advertisement is going to be as good as they sound some can even be fakes so it is a good idea to research a little and find out if the farm or station has a ABN (Australian Business Number) that you can actually get your second year visa days off. You may have to reply to a lot of ads before you even get a call or email back so make sure you apply to everything you can do.

Another way that worked for a fellow traveller I met who already had farm experience was to advertise yourself on Gumtree. Put up your own ad saying your experience, a bit about yourself and a photo and see of you get any phone calls. 

Wwoofing - Wwoofing stands for 'World Wide Opertunities on Organic Farms' and is based around the idea that you work on the farm for accomodation and food. This could be doing any job from weeding to chopping wood or planting. To Wwoof you are required to pay for the membership each year and the farms are required to have membership, more details can be found on their website. In exchange for your volunteering skills you get to have a cultural exchange of ideas and lifestyle with your hosts and learn about organic, sustainable and low impact farming. 

This kind of work can be done towards your second year visa and also is a good way of travelling if you want to save some cash on accomodation as you are normally only required to work around 4 hours on average a day giving you time to get out and explore still. Whether this varies from host to host and country to country I do not know but I have heard people of all ages who have had both good and bad experiences. - HelpX is how I found my farm for second year visa work. The principle is the same as Wwoofing in that you work for food and accommodation but you could be doing anything on the farms. My farmer generally has us weeding 3 days and packing for market the other days but we can also attend the markets, plant crops and if you have construction experience some farms need buildings maintainence as part of duties. I have heard of people having to bake cakes and cook dinner for their hosts too.

On helpX the farms place am advertisement for their farm and you just call or message the farms to see if they have avaliablity. Users are encouraged to leave feedback when they leave the farm so that other users know if they are good, bad or in some cases just downright strange.

Working Hostels - Working Hostels are a popular choice for getting second year visa work but often come with a few problems from what I hear. Located around all the regional areas and close to farms the idea is the hostel find you work while you stay with them to get your visa days marked off. Working around the traditional hostel ideal you pay for your food and accomodation (the average I hear is between $150-$200 per week) and then are paid for your work on the farms by the farm themselves ( from $16-$25 per hour on average).

The main problem I have heard of with working hostels is that sometimes you can pay for the hostel and they don't actually have work for you, so you could end up paying out and not actually working. The best bet for working hostels would be to get recommendations off of fellow travellers who have already secured their second year. While in Sydney I got two recommendations before choosing to go with helpX. One of whom when I rang told me they had no work on and he didn't want me to waste my money going out there when he couldn't guarantee work, so not all working hostels are trying to grab your money, you just have to find a good one.

These are just four of the ways I know to get second year visa days in so I hope you have found it helpful, if you know of any more let me know.

EDIT :: As of July 2015 the Australian Immigration Department changed the rules on farm work for your second year Visa so that now you must be able to provide pay slips for your time as evidence not just a farmers ABN. This unfortunately means that HelpX and WWOOFing are no longer acceptable forms of work toward a second year.

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