One 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.