Ministers Coleman and Littleproud have announced by media release changes to visa programs that will assist farmers access a larger number of overseas workers.
In the announcement, the Ministers have stated that farmers in regional and rural areas around Australia will now receive more support to resolve labour shortages with new changes to two visa programs. We don’t want fruit rotting on the vine or crops left in the field and it’s vital our farmers maximise their hard work and economic returns.
Significantly the changes will mean the possibility of a third Working Holiday (subclasses 417 and 462) granted for those who have completed 6 months of regional work in their second year. This, together with the increase of the age limit to 35 years (which has already come into effect for Irish and Canadian citizens with other nationalities to follow), will likely lead to higher numbers of Working Holiday Makers in Australia.
The changes as announced will be:
- Introduction of a third year visa option for Working Holiday (subclasses 417 and 462), who from 1 July 2019 onwards complete 6 months of regional work in the second year.
- Work and Holiday visa holders (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 Working Holiday visa holder (subclass 417 and 462) may work with the same agricultural employer from 6 to 12 months.
- Increase the number of places available for Work and Holiday program (subclass 462) by lifting annual caps available to a number of countries participating in the subclass 462 visa program.
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