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AU: New horticulture industry labour agreement increases access to migrant workers

​From 1 January 2020, businesses in Australia’s horticulture industry will be able to apply for the new Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement. The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement increases access to skilled and semi-skilled migrant workers for the horticulture industry, where appropriately qualified Australians are unavailable.

The Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement can be used by Australian employers for the following:

  • Sponsor overseas workers for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) visa for a total of 31 approved occupations.
  • Sponsor overseas workers for permanent residency under the:
    • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) (subclass 494) visa program with a permanent pathway to a Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) available after three years; or
    • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visa program after a three or four year transitional period on a TSS visa—three years for approved Skill Level 1-3 occupations and four years for approved Skill Level 4-5 occupations.
  • Access the following concessions to standard skilled visa requirements:
    • Discount of up to 10% on the Temporary Skill Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) where it is demonstrated that equivalent Australian workers do not receive annual earnings of $53,900.
    • A broader range of monetary payments (e.g. regularised overtime) and non-monetary benefits (e.g. accommodation) can be counted as guaranteed earnings.
    • For the TSS visa—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.0 in each individual component score. For the ENS and SESR visas—overseas workers must score at least IELTS 5.0 overall, and at least IELTS 4.5 in each individual component score.
    • Overseas workers can be up to 50 years of age when they apply for an ENS or SESR visa.

Horticultural industry employers will be able to submit an application to the Department of Home Affairs. Online labour agreement request forms are available in ImmiAccount.

To read the full list of terms and concessions of the Horticulture Industry Labour Agreement, click here

For more information: 
Australian Government Dept. of Home Affairs

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