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Although Australia has one of the world’s driest environments, it has a thriving agricultural business that has thrived by adapting agricultural methods to the land’s features. As a result, there are six positions for every agricultural graduate. However, this is a recent result, with graduation numbers remaining stable over the last four to five years. Therefore, there are great chances for a foreigner to immigrate to Australia as a farmer.

Are Farmers in Demand in Australia?

  • Every agriculture university graduate in Australia has six career opportunities.
  • The industry’s labor shortage has been regarded as “unprecedented.”
  • A new graduate’s “passion project” aims to bridge the divide between urban and rural Australia.

What is the Australia Agriculture Visa?

The Agriculture Visa in Australia is a new visa program launched by the Department of Foreign Affairs to solve labor shortages by rewarding foreign workers to work on farms in Australia.

This visa is tied to the Pacific Australia Labor Mobility (PALM) initiative and the Australian Government’s new Pacific Engagement Visa. This skilled migration scheme aims to increase Australia’s ties with the Pacific. Foreign farmers are encouraged to assist Australian farmers in agricultural and primary industry sectors such as fisheries, wool, dairy, forestry, grains, and horticulture, as well as support services and primary processing.

The Australian Agriculture visa is being implemented to solve labor shortages and help foreigners to immigrate to Australia as farmers. It is a subcategory of the Temporary Work visa.

  • The program fulfills the Government’s commitment to developing a skilled workforce to support Australia’s agricultural industry expansion.
  • Employees from various agricultural industries and skill levels can benefit from this program.
  • This sponsored visa program finds approved employers and provides comprehensive worker protections.
  • Workers have the freedom and right to switch jobs without jeopardizing workforce standards or weakening worker protections.

The Australian Government makes every effort possible to defend the labor rights of employees and employers in the agriculture industry.

Who is Eligible for an Australia Agriculture Visa?

Not every foreigner can immigrate to Australia as a farmer. The Australian Government said that the Australian Agriculture Visa would be available to citizens of ASEAN countries and select Pacific Island Nations that have yet to be verified. ASEAN’s Australian agricultural visa countries are:

Cambodia

Myanmar

Laos

Thailand

Brunei

Indonesia

Malaysia

Singapore

Philippines

Vietnam

What are the Eligibility Conditions for Employers Under an Australian Agriculture Visa?

The Australia agriculture visa is a sponsored visa. Therefore, a sponsor is required for a foreigner to immigrate to Australia as a farmer.

  • Employers who hire foreign workers must be authorized to participate in the program. In addition, they need the authorization to participate as a Temporary Activity Sponsor under the Migration Regulations 1994. ­
  • Employers that want to hire agricultural visa holders already in Australia must be approved to participate in the scheme, but they are not needed to be TASs.

All participating employers must fulfill a number of standards, including:

  • Obtaining approval under the Australia agriculture visa scheme by:
    • Demonstrating that they are a current PALM Scheme Approved Employer; OR
    • Having a Fair Work Ombudsman compliance history check and financial solvency, and being qualified under an endorsed industry accreditation scheme; OR
    • Obtaining approval as an employer under the Australian agriculture visa scheme includes checks on financial solvency and workplace compliance.
  • Executing a Deed of Agreement. Following acceptance, businesses will sign a Deed of Agreement with DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) outlining their duties as program members, including employee rights, conditions, and standards.

Once a company has been permitted to participate in the program and has signed the Deed of Agreement, the recruitment of workers under the Agriculture Visa entails: ­

  • Supplying DFAT with proof of labor market testing;
  • Presenting to DFAT a recruitment plan as well as an accommodation and transportation plan;
  • Presenting workers with a job offer that includes information on the nature of the job, wages and conditions, and any portability agreements;
  • Coordinating recruiting efforts following program parameters (Note: Foreign farmers will get pre-departure training covering life, environment, and workplace rights in Australia, as well as rights and duties under the Agriculture visa.)
  • Following compliance with these standards, employers must:
    • Employees’ visas and travel arrangements
    • Provide DFAT-approved housing choices
    • On arrival, offer a briefing and ask the Fair Work Ombudsman and the relevant union supervisor to attend.

Compliance and monitoring mechanisms will be critical to the program’s success.

Immigrate to Australia as a Farmer: Australian Agriculture Visa Requirements

Workers’ first applications to get agricultural visas must be done abroad. To be eligible for the Agriculture Visa program, applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Have the abilities required to operate in the job;
  • Have a minimum IELTS score of 4.0 overall (or above if the specific job needs it) or an equivalent;
  • Be alone (foreign farmers are not permitted to bring family members);
  • Fulfill the Australian agriculture visa age limit of 21 years;
  • Have an Australia sponsor by a Temporary Activities Sponsor who is a DFAT-approved employer for the program;
  • Fulfill all of the character and health standards; and
  • Have enough health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia.

When applying for an Agriculture visa, you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • Evidence of intent to work in agriculture for most of your stay in Australia;
  • Proof of any agricultural or food processing expertise you have.
  • Reside in your country of origin when applying.

Applicants must also be DFAT-endorsed and have an authorized sponsor. DFAT will evaluate your application for the PLS or Pacific Labor Scheme and provide you with a PLS endorsement number, which you will need to submit your online application.

Eligible employers can hire people for seasonal tasks lasting up to 9 months or for longer-term positions lasting one to three years in unskilled, low-skilled, and semi-skilled occupations.

Immigrate to Australia as a Farmer: How to Apply for an Australian Agriculture Visa?

To immigrate to Australia as a farmer, the following steps are expected:

  1. Consult with a Work Visa Lawyer to see if the Agriculture visa is acceptable.
  2. Gather and organize your application materials and information.
  3. Use an ImmiAccount to submit the application and accompanying papers online. You can also send your application via mail.

Sectors Covered by the Australia Agriculture Visa Program

Approximately a hundred different sorts of farm occupations are available to agricultural tourists. Most jobs include selecting, packaging, and processing crops, including blueberries, mangoes, and citrus. Based on your talents and expertise, you can work in:

Forestry maintenance

Meat processing

Commercial fishing

Vegetable picking

Solar farming

Livestock care

Grain harvesting

Dairy farming

Medicinal marijuana farming

Cotton harvesting

The Agricultural Visa program will target skilled, semi-skilled, and low-skilled workers in specific industries.

Recruiting will initially focus on lower-skilled vocations, but this will be broadened as the program progresses.

Employees must have the necessary experience and credentials to begin work at the skill level and vocation they are hired for.

What are the ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Other Visa Options to Immigrate to Australia as a Farmer?

​Working Holiday Maker​

Agriculture is open to all Holiday Makers. WHMs in agriculture can work for more than six months with the same employer.

Second or third WHM 

If you have finished three or six months of specific agricultural labor, you may be eligible for a second or third WHM visa.

Student 

International students are permitted to work more than 40 hours per fortnight if working in agriculture.

Temporary Graduate 

All Temporary Graduates are eligible to work in agriculture.

Can You Extend Your Visa and Work in Agriculture?

Temporary visa holders who work in agriculture or have a job offer can file for the COVID-19 pandemic event visa, which permits them to remain and work in agriculture for up to 12 months.

There is no visa application fee, and you can file for the COVID-19 pandemic event visa up to 90 days before the expiration of your existing visa. You will not be required to demonstrate your attempts to leave Australia.

​ If you have a COVID-19 Pandemic event visa that is due to expire, you may be qualified for another COVID-19 pandemic event visa to stay in Australia and work in a crucial area.

Infographic Australia Agriculture Visa Immigrate to Australia as a Farmer

Is There a Limit for Australia Agriculture Visa Employees?

The National Party wanted to increase the number of agricultural workers from ASEAN nations who could come to Australia through Agriculture. However, this program has been limited to only 1000 employees as of now due to its worry about people smuggling and the weakening of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme.

Caps will be reviewed yearly in cooperation with sending nations and connected to the annual migration review. This will assist in filling the agricultural labor demand and supply gap without jeopardizing other initiatives or reducing criminal activity from outside the nation. The Australian Government will make the final decision.

Can Foreign Farmers Change Employers?

  • The scheme will provide transfer across various permitted workplaces for the seasonal cohort. Initially, portability must be agreed upon before employees arrive in Australia. Other models will be investigated as the program grows.
  • Employees in the seasonal cohort will be permitted to migrate between eligible employers under a DFAT-approved agreement throughout their stay. Visa holders in the long-term cohort may be required to wait up to four years.
  • The design strives to benefit both companies and employees, and employee informed consent is critical:
    • Employees must consent to each movement in advance and sign a letter of offer stating the position, location, compensation, and conditions.
    • Employers benefit from portability because it allows them to hire people for short periods and helps them handle seasonal job needs.
  • Further options for portability will be studied and tested with stakeholders as the program progresses, with a review of portability agreements taking place after the first year of program implementation.

Can Australia Agriculture Visa Holders Apply for Permanent Residency?

The Agriculture visa will offer a long-term, dependable workforce to help Australia’s essential agriculture businesses reach $100 billion in value by 2030.

The Government has committed to developing options for permanent residency paths for program participants, including regional settlement while admitting that this would require further consultation and design work. In due order, the Government will make statements on permanent residency routes.

Does the Australia Agriculture Visa Require Domestic Labor Market Testing?

Without a doubt. Before being eligible to hire agricultural visa workers, employers must demonstrate that they have recruited Australian employees for the vacancies offered.

Do Employers Need to Provide Standard Accommodation under the Australia Agriculture Visa?

Employers are required under the program to provide acceptable and inexpensive housing to employees during their first settling-in phase in Australia. Employers must verify that the accommodation satisfies basic criteria and has been authorized by DFAT before giving employment.

To determine whether accommodation is safe and secure, meets Work Health and Safety standards or state and territory regulations, is transparent and fair, and is fit for purpose and in good condition, DFAT will assess it against the Employer Guidelines.

Accommodation authorized under the PALM system will be recognized by DFAT. Employees may choose to arrange their lodging once in Australia.

It will be the employee’s obligation to find acceptable lodging in these cases.

  • If an employee chooses a new job under portability, the receiving company must locate acceptable housing choices that satisfy basic requirements and are authorized by DFAT.
  • The DFAT-approved lodging requirements will be consistent with the PALM program.
  • Continuous compliance inspections will be performed on the accommodations.

How Much are the Farmers’ Salaries in Australia?

In Australia, the typical agricultural worker earns  $61,688 per year or $27.69 per hour. Entry-level salaries begin at $48,364 per year, with the most experienced professionals earning up to $202,800 per year.

How To Find Agricultural Jobs in Australia?

You can get help from the following websites to find agriculture jobs in Australia for foreigners:

  • SEEK
  • Indeed
  • Linkedin
  • agrilabour.com.au
  • jobs.goabroad.com
  • au.jora.com

Let’s Sum Up

The agriculture industry is critical to Australia’s economic success, and the COVID-19 epidemic has made it more difficult for farmers to obtain the personnel they require to meet labor shortages.

A foreigner can immigrate to Australia as a farmer and assist in filling some of these shortfalls, ensuring that harvest work will continue and agriculture can play a vital role in ensuring Australia’s economy.

To alleviate labor shortages in the agricultural sector, the Government has implemented various temporary visa measures, including assisting temporary visa holders to continue working in agriculture and increasing the number of visa holders accessible to companies.

If you have any experience working as a farmer in Australia, please write them in the comment section.

FAQs

Can farm workers get PR in Australia? 

The Australian Agriculture visa program is being implemented to solve labor shortages in the agriculture industry.

Can foreigners work in agriculture in Australia?

Foreign farmworkers are encouraged to assist Australian farmers in grains, forestry, dairy, fisheries, horticulture, wool, and support services and primary processing.

Does Australia need farm workers?

Farm laborers are critical not just to Australia’s economy but also to the country’s food supply.

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