Australian Agricultural Worker Visa (subclass 403 Stream)
The Australian Agricultural Worker stream visa opened for applications on 5 March 2022.
The Australian Agriculture Visa program is being introduced with the aim addressing workforce shortages in the agriculture sector, by building on existing migration programs. It is designed aa long-term contribution to Australia’s labour supply, intended to support Australia’s agricultural and primary industry sectors as they strive to reach $100 billion in value by 2030. It is a stream of the Temporary Work (International Relations) subclass 403 visa.
Features of this visa are as follows:
- It will be available to employees across a range of agricultural sectors and skill levels.
- Australia has commenced discussions with a small number of countries in Southeast Asia with recruitment to start after negotiations are complete. Discussions with Indonesia are advanced. Details are expected to be finalised shortly.
- The Agriculture Visa is a sponsored visa program, operating with approved employers and robust worker protections.
- The program will provide flexibility for workers to move between approved employers without compromising workforce standards and undermining worker protections.
- The Agriculture Visa program will supplement the existing Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme (PALM scheme). The PALM scheme will remain the primary scheme for meeting agricultural workforce shortages.
The Agriculture Visa program will support the recruitment of employees across a range of agriculture sectors, including horticulture, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries (including aquaculture) and forestry, including support services and primary processing.
- The Agriculture Visa program will target skilled, semi-skilled and low-skilled employees within specified occupations across these sectors.
State and Territory Updates
Changes have been made to the two SA DAMAs with new occupations concentrating on hospitality and tourism, motor trades, agribusiness, manufacturing and forestry occupations added. Additional concessions have also been added, including:
- lowered work experience for AQF qualification holders, which may assist highly skilled international students
- English language concessions for some occupations
- increased age eligibility to 55 years in some occupations
- an expanded pathway to permanent residence for all skilled workers.
Significant changes to the Live in Melbourne web portal have been put into place, with many forms now digital, including the Appointment of Agent and Nomination Conditions Declaration forms. Any draft forms that were in the system before 28 February will have been removed and should be restarted.
Some minor additions/changes have been made to the ACT Migration website, under:
- ACT nominations – Please note: A non-refundable service fee is charged for processing applications for ACT nomination. The service fee is an administration charge only and does not guarantee the approval of a nomination.
- Doctorate Streamlined nominations – The ACT offers streamlined nomination for holders of a Doctorate completed at an ACT university. You will benefit from a simplified application process with minimal supporting documentation, priority processing and fee free.
This newsletter only provides general information related to current migration matters. The information contained in this communication does not constitute specific migration advice, and should not be construed or relied on as such. Professional advice should be sought for the specifics of your situation prior to any action being taken. BD Welsh and Co disclaims any liability (including, without limitation, for any direct or indirect or consequential costs, loss or damage or loss of profits) arising from anything done or omitted to be done by any party in reliance, whether wholly or partially, on any of the information contained in this newsletter. Any party that relies on the information does so at its own risk. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.