In news that is welcomed by the Australian farming community, the Federal Government has approved a new agriculture visa that will come into effect in September 2021. This is an addition to the ongoing, successful Pacific labour schemes. The new visa is set to provide agricultural businesses with greater access to overseas workers and ease a growing shortage of farmworkers, which has worsened since COVID-19 international travel restrictions began.
At the moment, this new agriculture visa is readily available for citizens of the UK and the rest of the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) regions. These countries are:
The recipients of this new visa will be allowed to reside in Australia for a period of three years. Also, they must return home for a period of three months after the ending of each year.
The main motive for the birth of this visa is the acute shortage of labour that is being witnessed in the agricultural and horticultural industry. In fact, according to sources, the shortage is close to 10,000 farmworkers. This new shortage will seek to accommodate this shortage. This direct labour shortage is expected because the Australian Government has agreed to remove the requirement for British backpackers to complete three months of seasonal fruit-picking work before they can extend their Working Holiday Visa.
This visa is mainly targeted towards the young British crowds. The program will operate from 21 September 2021 ahead of the next harvest, and comes in addition to the existing Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme, considered highly successful by the government. The Federal government has confirmed a new agriculture visa for farm, meat, fisheries and forestry workers that may provide a pathway to permanent residency or regional settlement in Australia.
Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)