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WHV six month limit question

Travel Forums Australia / New Zealand & The Pacific WHV six month limit question

1. Posted by snowplain (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

Being massively disorganised I just realised my Australian WHV comes with a six month limit per employer, and I've been working with the same employer now for over 7 months. What's more, I just can't feasibly quit immediately because I won't be able to pay the rent. Does anyone have any experience of what happens with this? Is it enforced? My status with my employer is casual as opposed to full time, although I essentially work full time hours, and someone suggested to me that might make it okay, or if not okay at least defensible. And assuming nothing comes of it while I'm here, what implication will it have for tax/super refunds later? I'm here until April and my WHV expires in May so I certainly won't be overstaying the visa, and it is an honest mistake, I'm just very worried about the implications of this. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 28, 2008, at 4:31 PM by snowplain ]

2. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 8y

From the WHV pages:

The six month work limitation applies to full-time, part-time, casual and shift work.

and

Visa holders who work for more than six months with an employer without prior written permission from the Department are in breach of their visa condition and their visa may be cancelled.

Rent or no rent, I'd immediately stop that job and go find something else.

3. Posted by snowplain (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

Thanks for the reply - I'm very anxious about this and it's greatly appreciated. I just read the material you quoted earlier today after I posted. I understand that I'm in breach of the conditions - I'm just hoping that as it's an honest mistake, albeit a stupid one, immigration might cut me some slack, or maybe even not notice. Is that likely?

It just seems that whether I give notice and work a few more weeks or quit immediately (which would totally screw up my employer also) seems kind of academic at this point as I've already exceeded the 6 month limit. What I'm interested in is what the actual consequence will be, and if anyone has experience of this? Or a best guess as to what will happen? Primarily I'm worried about the prospect of deportation or visa cancellation, especially as I'm considering applying for a resident visa - but I'm also concerned about a tax rebate as I'm heavily relying on it come April.

4. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

Quoting snowplain

What I'm interested in is what the actual consequence will be, and if anyone has experience of this? Or a best guess as to what will happen? Primarily I'm worried about the prospect of deportation or visa cancellation, especially as I'm considering applying for a resident visa - but I'm also concerned about a tax rebate as I'm heavily relying on it come April.

You may find it difficult to be granted residency, that's a real possible consequence. Breaking visa regulations isn't taken too well - it might even be best to contact DIAC and be honest with them about it (as long as you quit your job now).

Tax rebate in April? If you're referring to Australian tax, the tax year is 1 July-30 June.

5. Posted by hels82 (Full Member 96 posts) 8y

From what iv heard and read I think if your best bet is to contact dept of immigration and just tell them honestly what has happened and explain the situation. Also start looking for a new job!!! Im sure you wont be the first person or the last to do this!
Good luck
Hels

6. Posted by SOMV (Budding Member 57 posts) 8y

If you contact the Department there is a possibility that they will have you leave the country and you will have problems returning for the next 12 months to 3 years.

They must follow the letter of the law and you are in breach of your visa conditions. There is not much room for flexibility or "honest mistakes" when it comes to the law.

You should be aware of this before you do decide to contact them.

Aside from quitting your employer immediately (you get into more trouble the longer you stay with the employer after you have realised that you have made a mistake) you may want to contact a registered Migration Agent in Australia to get proper advice. There are lots around in each State but you want a MARA registered agent, they should know what they are talking about. Some will charge for an initial consultation, others won't.

7. Posted by snowplain (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y

Thanks very much for all the responses guys.

I have quit my job, which was pretty sad for me and my employer both, but it seems like the best thing to do from the responses here. I've also realised that I was counting in my head from my interview date not my start date and so I'm only three weeks over.

I did contact DIAC (didn't give my name), and whilst they were obliged to tell me that I could have my visa cancelled for any violation, and that it is a violation regardless of intention, they also more or less said that they likely wouldn't notice it, and if they did, with it being such a small amount over, possibly nothing would come of it - that's all me reading between the lines though, possibly wrongly. In any event, they're a very friendly bunch.

mojo: As far as my tax refund goes, I'm eligible for early assessment (by my reading of the ATO site) if I don't intend to work again prior to the end of the financial year and I plan to leave Australia permanently. In reality I do hope to apply for a resident visa, but it would be after I'd left Australia in April and I wouldn't be returning or applying for that visa prior to July (have to wait before I'm eligible for the de facto visa), so I can claim intention to leave permanently without it compromising anything later. Does that sound right? Is there something I'm overlooking that will cause a problem here? This is actually now the part I'm most worried about because I'm relying upon my tax refund to pay a bunch of outstanding bills.

hels: I'm sure you're right that I can't be the first - it seems like people would do it all the time, both intentionally and accidently, but I've trawled through everywhere on the web I can think to look and I haven't found one similar story. I'd love to hear from someone else who's been in this situation.

Thanks again to all for your help :)

8. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4835 posts) 8y

Quoting snowplain

mojo: As far as my tax refund goes, I'm eligible for early assessment (by my reading of the ATO site) if I don't intend to work again prior to the end of the financial year and I plan to leave Australia permanently. In reality I do hope to apply for a resident visa, but it would be after I'd left Australia in April and I wouldn't be returning or applying for that visa prior to July (have to wait before I'm eligible for the de facto visa), so I can claim intention to leave permanently without it compromising anything later. Does that sound right? Is there something I'm overlooking that will cause a problem here?

I really don't know about the Australian situation, but I got a similar "early return" for New Zealand, and one of the conditions that came with sending in the form was that I would be in New Zealand for less than 40 (? maybe 50 - but that order of magnitude) days during the 365 days following the date on which I'd leave the country.
I'd recommend reading the Australian rules really carefully to make certain they don't have anything similar.
Also, the tax refund in New Zealand took a month or two to arrive, if I remember correctly. Maybe you know for certain that it'll be faster in Australia, but counting on it to pay bills seems unwise to me.