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Make a difference and stay longer in Australia!

Recently, the government announced great news including changes to the Working Holiday Maker program: Different types of bushfire recovery efforts will now count as ‘specified work’. This means you can start to volunteer or find paid jobs to help rebuild affected areas during your Working Holiday time and become eligible for a second or third year in Australia.

The following industries are officially approved for specified work:


Rebuilding and construction work is essential when it comes to erasing the damage of natural disasters. The tasks vary and mainly include the construction, installation and repairing of buildings.

Recovery of Land                                                                                                             

Employees who can assist with farming or any other work in association with the recovery of land, property, farm animals or wildlife are highly desired.

Support for the Communities                                                                                                    

If you want to focus more on the social aspect you can provide support services or assistance to people living, working or volunteering in the affected areas.

Specified work in disaster affected areas

Construction work can be vital in helping regional disaster zones, such as those affected by flood or bushfire, to rebuild and recover from disaster.

Working Holiday visa holders who conduct construction work in eligible regional areas of Australia following disasters can count the work as specified work.

Examples of construction work that qualify as specified work include:

  • demolition of buildings, trench digging, land clearing and earth moving
  • residential and non-residential construction or renovation/repair, including of roads, footpaths, bridges, parking lots, fencing, railways, dams, irrigation systems, sewage and storm water drainage systems.

A full list of eligible construction activities is available from the Australia Bureau of Statistics.

Let’s Look at the Details

  • Assistance with bushfire recovery efforts now counts as specified work
  • Possibility for all Working Holiday Makers (subclass 417 and subclass 462 visa holders)
  • Up to 12 months (instead of 6 months) with the SAME employer or organisation
  • No permission from the department of home affairs needed
  • Paid or unpaid work allowed
  • Pathway towards eligibility for a second or third WHM visa

How to get started: Step by step

  • You can check out a list of all the bushfire affected regions including postcodes here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/.  Make sure that the postcode of your intended region or work is located on the approved list.
  • Join facebook groups and look at local listings in your desired area.
  • Dig into job offers on several sites like gumtree and start applying.