Australian Agricultural Visa - latest update on 04 Mar 2022

The government has recently provided more information of the current developing visa - Australian Agricultural Visa. Following are key points:

It is confirmed that Australian government has commenced discussions with South East Asian countries to be participate in the program after the negotiations are complete. Discussions with Indonesia are advanced. Details are expected to be finalised shortly.

A phased approach to establishing the Agriculture Visa program has been agreed with the industry. The government is working with a select group of employers to bring in a small initial cohort of employees to test systems and processes before the program’s expansion throughout 2022.

For Employers:

The employers must be registered and approved as Temporary Activity Sponsor to recruit employees from overseas.

Once employers are approved to participate in the Agriculture Visa program and have signed the Deed of Agreement, the process of recruiting employees involves:

  • providing evidence of labour market testing;

  • ­submitting a recruitment, accommodation and transport plan;

  • providing employees with an offer of employment that sets out information about the nature of the employment, pay and conditions and any arrangements that allow movement of workers between employers;

  • ­managing recruitment arrangements in line with program guidelines (note: pre- departure briefing will be provided to visa holders that includes information on life, culture and workplace rights in Australia and rights and obligations under the Agriculture Visa program).

After these requirements have been met, participating employers must:

  • arrange visas and travel for employees;

  • offer government-approved accommodation options; and

  • provide an on-arrival briefing, invite the Fair Work Ombudsman and the relevant union representative to be present.

For Employees:

  • Application to be made from offshore

  • ­have the necessary skills to perform in the occupation in which they are being employed (where relevant);

  • have minimum English language skills (International English Language Testing System (IELTS) average band score of 4.0 (or equivalent), or higher when the specific occupation requires it

  • ­be unaccompanied (participants will not be able to bring family members);

  • meet the minimum age requirement of 21 years of age with no maximum age requirement;

  • being sponsored to Australia by a Temporary Activities Sponsor (TAS) who is an employer approved to participate in the program;

  • meeting all character and health requirements; and

  • having adequate health insurance for the period of stay in Australia.

Above are some requirements for being an approved employers and the eligibility requirements for being the workers. More details are expected to be released in April 2022.

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