The success of the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme encouraged the government to provide a new addition called the Australian Agriculture Visa Program (AAV). This is a new visa stream that will be offered under the existing Temporary Work (International Relations) subclass 403 visa. The AAV option aims to alleviate worker shortages in the agricultural sector by building on existing government programs like the PALM scheme. The PALM scheme will however, remain the primary avenue for meeting agricultural workforce shortages, as well as the range of other visa options available through the Department of Home Affairs.
The AAV stream is open to employees across a wide range of agricultural sectors and their various skill levels. It is a sponsored visa program, operating specifically with Approved Employers endorsed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and provides strong employee protections. The program gives workers the flexibility to move between Approved Employers without compromising workforce standards and undermining worker protections.
The program only allows Approved Employers to participate in the program. Similar to sponsorship requirements for other Temporary Work visas, these employers who are approved will be subject to the program’s firm requirements, reporting and monitoring conducted by the Department of Home Affairs.
The AAV stream is currently progressing through assessment before it is expanded and made available to others throughout 2022 in a steady opening of the program. As of April 2022, the program is in Phase 2 and being trialled with an initial group of participants to ensure systems and processes operate well. In the meantime, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continue talks with other Southeast Asian nations expand the program into other countries. To date, Vietnam have signed onto the program through a Memorandum of Understanding.
Should you have any questions about these arrangements, please contact our immigration visa lawyer.