I am currently on my first year Working Holiday Visa in Australia. I have been here now for almost 2 months & it’s time to start thinking about farm work.
This is the 88 days regional work or fruit picking that you need to do on a 417 visa if you want to be eligible for a second year visa. No farm work, no second visa, it’s that simple.
What isn’t simple is finding a farm that won’t exploit you into slave labour, keep you in poor housing conditions or pretend to be eligible for the second year visa when really it isn’t or all of the above.
There are so many scams and horror stories that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, trust me I am the queen of feeling overwhelmed. When I started writing this post, I didn’t know whether I would post it, whether it was going to be for myself to vent or to provide people with tips & advice or just to raise awareness.
Before we arrived in Australia we knew we would have to do it & we weren’t naive into thinking it would be all fun & games. I suppose that what we were naive in thinking was that all of the farms would be above board and follow the rules so it would be easy to find a farm.
If you are trying to find a farm that is trusted, you are best asking people for personal, no nonsense recommendations. If they say it’s bad, trust them, if they say it’s hard work but decent, get the details! All farm work will be hard but if you have the right employer & living situation then it will make it 100x easier.
We have ended up living in the farm house while we wait for work to become available as we are saving a lot of money on accommodation but it can be lonely, especially because when everyone works together, they have bonded and we haven’t quite figured out how we fit in yet, especially living in the smaller house next to the workers.
This farm was recommended by friends so I know that it’s legitimate but I’m just so ready to get the days over and done with so while we wait for work it can be stressful.
Are you doing or planning doing the 88 days regional work? Feel free to vent your worries or stresses in the comments!