Today 30 Sep 2021, the Department of Home Affairs has issued an amendment of the Migration Regulation to add the criteria of the new visa - Australian Agriculture visa.
The new agriculture visa will support recruitment of workers for the broad range of Australian agricultural industries, as well as the meat processing, fishery and forestry sectors.
Pathway to Permanent Residence is not yet to be confirmed, but according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:
The Government has committed to exploring permanent residency pathways for participants in the program, including regional settlement. However, this will involve further consultation and design work. Further announcements on permanent residence pathways will be made as the program becomes operational in late 2021 and early 2022.
In summary, the new Australian Agriculture visa is:
Subclass 403 (Australian Agriculture Worker stream)
The applicant must be outside Australia when applying for the first Agriculture visa.
A second Agriculture visa will be available.
The applicant can be in or outside Australia when applying for the second Agriculture visa provided other criteria are met.
The applicant must be sponsored by an approved Temporary Activity Sponsor.
Subclass 403 (Australian Agriculture Worker stream). in the Australian Agriculture. Worker Program administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Some key points from the new legislative amendment:
No age requirement: At this stage, there is no age requirement (unlike subclass 417 or 462).
No dependents included in the application (to be confirmed): The amendment does not add the new stream to the secondary criteria of subclass 403. Therefore, it indicates that the applicant may not include Member of Family Units in their application.
Duration of the visa: The provision related to the duration of the new visa is not yet added. Considering the similar stream (Pacific Labour Scheme), the visa may be granted up to 3 years depending on other criteria which have not been published yet.
Eligible Nationalities: Which countries will be included the Australian Agriculture Worker Program are not yet to be published. This will be determined by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Currently, the program is still being consulted with the industry and a small list of countries will be first added. Other countries will be subsequently invited to participate in the program.
First visa will be in Dec 2021: The first small cohort of agriculture worker arrivals between December 2021 and March 2022 to meet the peak summer season
Link to the new legislation: