The New Agriculture Visa

The Department of Home Affairs has introduced a new Agriculture Visa to address the worker shortage in primary industries such as horticulture, fisheries, forestry and meat processing. The Agriculture Visa is a new stream (Australian Agriculture Worker stream) of the existing subclass 403 visa.

This new Agriculture Visa supplements the existing Pacific Australia Labour Mobility Scheme and allows employers to sponsor offshore low-skilled and semi-skilled workers.  It is planned that workers will be granted a 4 year visa which allows them to stay for 7-10 months per year.  Following their stay, workers return home and enter Australia again for the next harvest or work season (details to follow).

To sponsor workers under the Agriculture Visa, employers will need to be accredited by (1) the Department of Home Affairs as a Temporary Activities Sponsor and (2) the Department of Foreign Affairs.

What we know about the new Agriculture Visa:

  • only existing employers/labour hire companies already approved for the Pacific Labour Scheme can participate in 2021
  • currently only UK workers can be sponsored. DFAT is negotiating to add certain ASEAN countries such as Malaysia and Phillipines
  • new employers can apply in March 2022 to be accredited
  • workers must have minimum English and be offshore
  • not confirmed if workers can obtain permanent residency
  • more detailed worker eligibility criteria is being drafted

If you require more information about the Agriculture Visa, please contact Elmtree Migration Lawyers by emailing us at admin@elmtreemigration.net.au