Attention individuals looking to work in the Australian agriculture industry!
On the 23rd of August, 2021, the Australian government announced the establishment of the Australian agriculture visa. The introduction of this visa is an attempt to relieve the labour shortages in the agriculture sector brought by international border closures. Minister of agriculture, David Littleproud, stated “the agriculture visa will provide a long-term, reliable workforce for our critical industries”.
Fast forward to the 30th of September, 2021, and there has now been a release of further details. The new agriculture visa will supplement the existing Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme (PALM). The PALM scheme allowed eligible employers to recruit workers from nine (9) Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste when there was a shortage of available Australian workers. This Pacific program will continue as the primary scheme for meeting agricultural workforce shortages, especially during the summer peak harvest season.
Initially, a small number of countries will be invited to participate in the program and send workers through bilateral agreements. Applications will be opened to individuals from these countries, with additional countries being added at a later stage. The arrival date of the first workers will be late 2021, dependent on the quarantine arrangements with partner countries.
Who Is Eligible?
The Australian Agriculture Worker stream has similar conditions to the Seasonal Worker Program stream and the PALM scheme. It is available to workers and employers across a broad range of agricultural industries, including meat processing, fishery and forestry sectors.
A general requirement is that the applicant must genuinely intend to stay temporarily in Australia. They have to work at their sponsored place of work, and have sufficient financial capacity to support themselves. This visa encourages foreign workers to undertake employment in Australia and provides an option for them to apply for a further Subclass 403 visa while onshore.
The Agricultural Visa Will Commence In 2 Phases:
Phase 1 - From December 2021 to April 2022
Opening for a small number of existing approved employers from the PALM scheme. A small cohort of agriculture workers subject on the border settings, country readiness and quarantine availability
Phase 2 - From April 2022
There will be a steady increase in the number of employees who are eligible to participate in the agriculture visa. An update will be posted once more information is released.
For more information and updates on the Australian Agricultural Visa from Longton Legal’s expert immigration team, call us today at 1300 599 999 or send us a message on our contact page.
*Disclaimer: This is intended as general information only and not to be construed as legal advice. The above information is subject to changes over time. You should always seek professional advice before taking any course of action.*
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