- Agricultural worker visa regulations created
- The visa responds to workforce shortages in the agriculture and primary industry sectors
- Major step towards primary producers being able to access the workers they need
Farmers and primary producers in Nicholls are a step closer to benefitting from the Federal Government’s new Australian Agriculture Worker Visa.
The Government amended the Migration Regulations yesterday (September 30) to create the Australian Agriculture Worker Visa and continue along the pathway of providing an agriculture visa that will help secure the future of rural and regional Australia.
This historic announcement that the ag visa is now law ensures the visa will help secure the long-term labour force that Goulburn Valley farmers need.
Federal Member for Nicholls, Damian Drum, said the ag visa will also create a pathway to permanent residency for those workers who will help secure the future of the region.
“We promised this visa and here it is,” Mr Drum said.
“The creation of the ag visa under the Migration Regulations is a landmark moment for the sector and delivers on our promise to have it in place this year.
“The ag visa will be the biggest structural change to the agricultural workforce in our nation’s history and producers in Nicholls are poised to be able to grab the benefits with both hands.
“The visa will be available to seasonal workers, skilled and semi-skilled workers.
“And it is not just those on the farm who will benefit – the fisheries, forestry and agricultural processing sectors will also get access to workers under this visa.
“Worker restrictions have always been a problem, but COVID and the subsequent closure of international and domestic borders have really emphasised the issue.
“We now have a visa that will give the Goulburn Valley a long term, reliable workforce for our agricultural industries.
“The Nationals will always stand up for regional and rural Australia, and with this agriculture visa we have again delivered.”
The regulation provides a new Australian Agriculture Worker stream, which will provide for the entry and temporary stay of workers across primary industries sectors.
Any workers will also need to meet necessary federal and state quarantine requirements.
- The Migration Amendment (Australian Agriculture Workers) Regulations 2021 amends the Migration Regulations 1994 and:
- Creates a new Australian Agriculture Worker Stream in the Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations)) visa;
- The new visa stream came into effect on September 30, 2021;
- Provides for the entry and temporary stay of workers across primary industry sectors; and
- Be available to workers from countries where there is a bilateral agreement in place.
- The ag visa will be operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, leveraging their experience managing the successful Pacific Labour Scheme.
- The Department of Home Affairs and Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will provide operational support to ensure a high degree of integrity and that the needs of the agriculture and primary industry sectors are being met.
- An independent review of the program will be undertaken after two years.
- Further details and a fact sheet are available here.