The 35-hour rule

clockOne of the annoying requirements of the 475 visa i that we have to work 35 hours a week for one year. The problem with that rule is that we have no idea how strictly the immigration department will enforce it, and even how they will do it.

For example, if you work 69 hours per fortnight, is that fortnight a write-off, or can it be considered close enough to 70 hours? If you work 20 hours a week, does it just simply take longer for you to fulfil that 35-hour requirement (like this blogger suggests), or, again, is your job a write-off?

I called the Immigration SA department to find out, but they told me to confirm with DIAC. Well, DIAC ain’t responding to my emails. I’ve been asking everyone about the 35-hour rule as well and the answers varies wildly. I decided that damnit, I will just get my 35 hours per week then.

The first few months at my new job, I worked about 60 to 67 hours a fortnight. It was a wee frustrating (to say the least) when I can’t meet that magic number of 70 per fortnight. So, I decided to get a second job to be on the safe side.

Thank God in my industry, jobs are aplenty (I’m in Aged Care) so I managed to get a job with an agency. (Though I consider myself incredibly fortunate because I got a second job with  so little experience!!) They would call me when they have any jobs to fill. A lot of times they will call me an hour or two before a job! At one time, I was a few steps to the beach, a book in one hand and a picnic basket in the other, when they called me for a 4-hour job about 30km away from where I was. I gazed longingly at the sea and walked back to my car to drive all the way to Onkaparinga.

Sometimes, I’d get a 67-hour fortnight week (as a casual staff, my hours are not fixed) and would bite my nails, praying that I’ll get that extra 3 hours from my second job to plug the gap. So far, it’s working. So far.

But this is what I have to do to fulfil my visa requirements. This was the choice I made when I decided to embark on this adventure. I’m not going to moan and bitch about it.

Yes, I cannot deny it’s hard. I can’t rest as much as I’d like to and my social life is … well, reserved to a few very good friends. I make sure that I take at least ONE day off doing what I WANT. (Usually hiking in parks around SA. I love the parks here!)

But unlike many struggling migrants, I am working and working hard. I earn enough to have a good lifestyle and I save a decent amount of money. Furthermore, I have no dependants. That alone is something people would slap me for bitching and moaning.

Many would like to be in my shoes. I know of one Registered Nurse who has sent out a thousand resumes but has not been able to get a job. So, complain – I would mentally slap myself when I get out of hand.

So, yes, that’s my life now – I work, work, work to fulfil that damn 35-hour rule. A fellow 475-er, who just achieved his one-year of 35-hour work, had the habit of counting the amount of payslips he’d need to achieve the one year of 35 hour work: 26 payslips altogether. So far I’ve amassed about 6. (I’m not counting that time with the company that  gave me a sham contract job.)

20 more to go. That’s about 40 weeks.



10 thoughts on “The 35-hour rule

  1. When I read your story, I felt like I was reading mine. I have been through that stage, so I know how you feel. By the way, just for your extra info about preparing your paperworks, you can also ask your employer/ manager to write u an acknowledgement letter, eg: how long have u been working there and approximately hours you work every fortnight. I am now a permanent resident and am living in Adelaide(I am Malaysian Chinese). So you need to hang on there, you will get your PR soon.

  2. Dear Ms Susan,

    First and foremost I would like to say thank you and it is very nice to read all those posts on your blog. I really admire your courage and motivation to move to Adelaide, Australia.

    I am Malaysian too. But I moved to Toronto, Canada many many years ago. Looking back I have never gone back to Malaysia for almost 12 years! I am 22 now.

    May I know is there a specific reason you chose Australia instead of other countries like Canada or New Zealand to emigrate to? Climate? Proximity?

    Feel free to email me 🙂

    Have a good day.


    • Hello Leon,
      I didn’t really think it through to be honest. Australia was just the place most Malaysians were going to. It seemed “easy” to get a visa there (hahaha, I was so deluded). Also, I liked the idea that it was relatively close to Malaysia. I considered Canada, but it was too far away and I was scared off by tales of how difficult it was to get a job there. (In the end, Adelaide proved to be just as difficult.) Also, I studied in Australia, and I thought my bachelor’s could help me get a job here. (Not really!!)

  3. Pingback: Living a settled life | Malaysia to Adelaide

  4. Hi Susan, am making my foray downunder under PR soon. Would you be able to share tips what to take note of in building a resume/CV that would be effective in landing a job in Oz? Any info to share is greatly appreciated!

  5. Hello Laura,
    Gonna try answer your comment via a post somehow because the answer’s gonna be long! Hope you don’t mind the wait…

    • Hi! I was visiting yr blog and wondered if my post reached u! Thks for heads up, appreciate any tips… will b patient n looking forward! Thks heaps!

  6. Pingback: Making a living in Australia | Malaysia to Adelaide

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