Question of the Week



How to make an application to the Department to remove the 6-month work limitation? A former Working Holiday Visa holder is removing the 6-month limitation on his BVA to ease work restrictions altogether.

Category: Visa for Australia

Question asked

Dear Migration Lawyer,

I arrived in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa (Subclass417) on December 30th 2019. Whilst on this visa I respected the8547 6 month work limitation condition and began working for my Employer, a healthy Fast food company who has several different stores in different locations throughout the city which are all under the same ABN and owner but have different managers.

My first shift with this employer was in Location ‘A’ on the 28th of June 2020. I posted my application for Carer Visa (Subclass 836) to the relevant processing department on the 16th of December 2020 whilst still working in Location ‘A’ on my WHV and was granted a Bridging Visa A as a result of the substantive visa application being received on the 23rd of December (This is the Bridging Visa A).

I was aware of the fact that my WHV would still be in effect until the 30th of December2020 so I did not work any shifts between the 28th of December and the date the Bridging Visa A officially took over the WHV. This was with the knowledge that the 6 months with the employer would have taken place between the 28th of June and the 28th of December 2020, therefore making sure that I stuck to the 6 months rule. Once the Bridging Visa A came into effect after the WHV ended on the 30th of December, I was aware of the fact that, according to the Australian Department of Home Affairs website, “The 6 months period starts again when you are granted a new WHV and/or when a bridging visa comes into effect”.

Therefore, I recommenced employment at Location ‘A’ of the same employer I worked for during my WHV with the knowledge that a new 6month period of employment had commenced on the 30th of December. However, on the 4th of February 2021, I stopped working for location ‘A’ and started working at location ‘B’ for the same employer. Once more, it is important to note that these are different fast food locations but they have the same owner and my payslips have the same ABN even though each location has a separate manager.

My timesheets show the change of location and the last time I worked at Location ‘A’ was on the 1st of February2021.

This brings me to my first point of confusion. My official Bridging Visa Grant Notice states that “When your bridging visa (class WA) is in effect, you will have limited permission to work 8547 - Work Limitation: The holder must not be employed by any 1 employer for more than 6months, without the prior permission in writing of the Secretary.

However, when reviewing the Limitation on the DHA website it also states that: “Under Condition 8547, work with any one employer is generally limited to 6 months. Working Holiday Makers can work for the same employer in Australia for more than 6months without asking permission if the work is: indifferent locations and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months.” It goes on to say that “You do not need to ask our permission to work with the same employer for up to12 months if you work in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed six months. For example you can work for two hotels in the same chain at different premises”.

To make a long story short, I am currently experiencing a lot of confusion in terms of understanding which aspects of the Condition 8547, 6 months work limitation, apply to my Bridging Visa A, especially considering the fact that the Department of Home Affairs website seems to have more information when compared to the official statement on my Visa Grant Notice.

I have attached a PDF document that includes all information related to my current situation including all visa details and some screenshots to clarify the information.

I look forward to receiving your advice!

Answer provided by Migration Agent

In relation to your Questions:

1. Does the statement that you “can work for the same employer in Australia for more than 6 months without asking permission if the work is: in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed 6 months” apply to my Bridging Visa A 8547 Condition or is this rule only applies when on the WHV Subclass 417 visa?

A: This also applies to your Bridging Visa A as it is the same condition (Condition 8547).

2. If this statement does apply to my Bridging Visa A does this mean that once I started at Location ‘B’ on the 4th of February, a new 6 month period was commenced and I can therefore continue to work at Location B until the 4th of August without breaching the 8547 visa condition?

A: Yes, the 6 month limit starts on the date which you start working at a location. If you started working at ‘Location B’ on 4 February, the 6 month period starts on 4 February.

3. Does the statement: “You do not need to ask our permission to work with the same employer for up to 12 months if you work in different locations and work in any one location does not exceed six months” also apply to my Bridging Visa A? I am slightly confused by the ‘12 months’ aspect of this - If this condition does apply to me then does this mean that the 12 months for this employer began whilst on the WHV and continued into the bridging visa, thus meaning that I could only work for this employer from the commencement date of the 28th of June 2020 until the 28th of June 2021 with the 6 month halves being split by the Bridging Visa commencing? Or Did this 12 month period also refresh on the day the Bridging visa came into effect, therefore meaning I am able to stay working for this employer until the 30th of December 2021, even the 2nd of January 2022 considering the fact that my first shift on the Bridging Visa was on the 2nd of January 2021, as long as the work is done in different locations (In my case, different Fast food locations)?

A: Policy is silent on this very specific question, however, it does state the following:
“A former WHM who becomes the holder of a WA-010 Bridging A visa (BVA) (or WB-020 Bridging B visa (BVB)) that is subject to condition 8547 must comply with the employment limitation as described above.

However, as the condition is attached to individual visas, the six-month employment limitation commences again when the bridging visa comes into effect. This means that a person who worked for an employer for up to six months while holding a WHM visa may work for that same employer for up to another six months on their bridging visa.”

Given the condition is attached to individual visas rather than being a continuation from the previous one, the 12 month period would start on the day your BVA was granted.

4. If neither of the previously mentioned statements apply to my Bridging Visa A 8547 6 month Work Limitation, meaning that my work in different locations does not count to the 6 month exception as they are seen as the same employer despite being in different locations and that the 12 months of working for the same employer in different locations (never longer than 6 months in 1 location) does not apply to my situation, does this mean that my employment for this company will have to end exactly 6 months after the Bridging Visa came into effect despite changing working location (Therefore needing to cease employment with this company on the 30th of June 2021)? Furthermore, does this mean that I would have to find a new employer every 6 months until my substantive visa is granted or can I continue to work for the same employer throughout the entire duration of my Bridging Visa A even if that takes longer than 12 months, making sure to never work for one location longer than 6 months?

A: We recommend that you make an application to the Department to remove the 6-month limitation on your BVA as this will ease your work restrictions altogether. We can assist with that.



----------- Clarification Request --------------

Hello,

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question.

You have given me a lot of clarity and I am just wondering if you could give final confirmation on the following conclusion which I have drawn based on your statements.

Based on the Immigration Policies in relation to the 8547 Work Limitation that is on my Bridging Visa A:

- The 8547 6 month work limitation was renewed on the 30th of December 2020 which was the day my Bridging visa A came into effect.
- The 12 months with one employer rule (given that the employment is never longer than 6 months in 1 location) also applies to the Bridging Visa A and restarted on the 30th of December 2020.
- My first shift with my employer whilst on the Bridging Visa A was on the 2nd of January 2021 and I can therefore work for this employer until the 2nd of January 2022 if work in one location does not exceed the 6 month limit (Even if the locations have the same ABN).
- I started working at a new location for the same employer from the 4th of February 2021 and therefore I can stay working at this location until the 4th of August 2021 but would need to change to a new location for this employer after this date and for the rest of the duration of employment until employment for this employer must cease before the 2nd of January 2022.

Have I interpreted this correctly?

Q.

-------- Clarification provided by Migration Agent ----------------


Yes. this is correct.
You can work for the same employer in each location from the date your BVA came into effect for a max of 6 months.
The total of 12 months has started on the date your BVA was granted.

Thank you for using Ask-An-Agent. If you need further services from myself you can always message me using the Ask-An-Agent messenger. You can also reach me by contacting Amy at amy.jacobson@ask-an-agent.com.au – and don’t forget to mention your question ID so that I can keep providing immigration services to you.

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