Ministers Coleman and Littleproud have announced by media release changes to visa programs that will assist farmers access a larger number of overseas workers.
Changes to Working Holiday Maker visas
• Work and Holiday makers (subclass 462) will be able to undertake regional plant and animal cultivation work in additional priority areas to become eligible for a second visa.
• Extension of the period a WHM (subclass 417 and 462) may work with the same agricultural employer from six to 12 months.
• Introduction of a third year visa option for WHM (subclasses 417 and 462), who from 1 July 2019 onwards complete six months of regional work in the second year.
• Increase the number of places available for Work and Holiday Maker program (subclass 462) by
lifting annual caps available to a number of countries participating in the subclass 462 visa program.
These changes require a strict workforce test to be applied to ensure Australian workers are given the first opportunity for work.
Changes to the Seasonal Worker Program
• Increase work period in Australia to nine months for all workers (currently six months for some countries).
• Increase validity of labour market testing prior to recruiting workers from three to six months.
• Reduce out of pocket expenses for employers (workers repay their full travel costs except for the first $300; a reduction from the previous $500).
Published on 5 November 2018