An Agricultural Visa was being demanded by National Farmers’ Federation in Australia for several months now. This was for easing the shortages in the labor market. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has catered to this demand by profound changes to the Backpacker Visa.
The Agricultural Visa will entitle the worker to reside for the second year after the first year of farm work. This will offer them time to locate a 2nd farm employer for the 2nd year. Similarly, 2nd year of work will entitle them to reside for the 3rd year of work with a 3rd employer.
The latest Agricultural Visa is more than what was demanded by the National Farmers’ Federation. No ceiling, no need to go home after 1 year and then come back, and no authorization requirements for farmers.
Perhaps, there are 3 limitations, nevertheless. First, the worker must identify a fresh employer every year and work maximum for 3 years. Secondly, after the worker has completed the work needed for Visa extension they need not work on a farm. This is 3 months in the first year, and 6 months in the second year. Thirdly, there is an age limit of 30 years that is being raised now to 35 years, as quoted by the Dev Policy.
None of the above is likely to obstruct widespread usage of the reformed Backpacker Visa as the Agricultural Visa. One year is too long to identify as 2nd or 3rd job. Moreover, employers will look for workers who really want to work on farms in Australia. This includes workers with a rural backdrop with modest English.
Australia will soon have a pool of skilled agricultural workers. They will be from overseas already present in Australia and will seek farm work.
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