How to apply for Farm Work in Australia

 Farm work in Australia include jobs in horticulture, aquaculture, cropping, livestock, poultry, meat processing and more. Depending on the season and your skill set, you could even find work in a fishery or a horse breeding operation. As a foreigner, you need a work visa that suits the work you intend to do. There are over 20 different types of visas related to work you can get in Australia. As a result, it can be quite daunting trying to decide which one is the best fit for you when there are so many. What type of visa is needed for agricultural workers?

How do I get a farm visa for Australia?

A range of temporary visas allow visa holders to work in the agricultural sector, including the Working Holiday Maker program, the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, and the Student, Temporary Graduate, SHEV and TPV visa categories.

Working Holiday Makers program (subclass 417 and subclass 462)

If you are aged between 18 and 30 years, and your country has an agreement with the Australian government, you may be eligible to apply for a Working Holiday visa. This visa lets people 18 to 30 years old (inclusive) have an extended holiday in Australia and work here to help fund their trip. It is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries.  

Working Holiday (subclass 417) visas are open to people with passports from Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas are open to people with passports from: Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, People’s Republic of, Czech Republic, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

If you are interested, you can read more about the WHM visa here.

Student visa

The Student Visa subclass 500 allows successful applicants to participate in an eligible course of study in Australia for up to 5 years. This visa allows you to work for up to 40 hours per week if you are enrolled in a course of study in Australia.

Benefits: Easiest visa to get, suitable for students older than 6, you can bring a family member.

Requirements: Providing a Confirmation of Enrollemnt (CoE) and other requirements.

You can read more a bout the student visa here.

Graduate visa

This visa is for international students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications that are relevant to specific occupations Australia needs. It lets you live, study and work in Australia temporarily.

Benefits: It allows you to work full time for at least 18 months. You can bring your family with you.

Requirements: Be under 50 years of age. You must have held a student visa in the last 6 months.

Skilled visa

The Skilled visa is a type of visa offered by Australia for skilled workers and whose professions are within the most demanded by it. If you have enough points and meet the requirements then you may be eligible to apply for a Skilled visa. There are many different types of skilled visas but the most common visa options includes subclass 482, 491, and 494.

Benefits: It can be permanent, but it is quite hard to get this visa. Higher salary.

Requirements: There are many different types of skilled visas, but generally:

  • under 45 years
  • have the right skills to do the job
  • meet the relevant English language requirements

If you’re interested, you can read more about the Skilled visa here.

Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme

Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) visa holders can work in Australia under the PALM scheme in the agriculture sector, and other sectors. Countries currently participating in Pacific labour mobility are Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the PALM scheme here.

How do I get a farm job in Australia?

Once you have completed all of the aforementioned, visit online job search engines specific to Australia. Online search is a quick and easy way to find jobs across many industries, and agriculture is no exception. Rather than searching the vast collection of internet search results, candidates can find industry-specific, compliant job opportunities via the site such as SEEK Australia, Workforce Australia, Indeed Australia, WikiFarms Australia, and more.

How much does farm work pay in Australia?

The average salary for a farmer can vary depending on many factors, including where you live, what products you produce and the size of your farm. While some farmers grow food and raise livestock, other farmers produce raw materials for textiles or products, such as cotton. Most work is paid on an hourly basis or according to the amount of fruit and vegetables harvested. Workers are usually paid on a weekly or fortnightly (every two weeks) basis.

The average farm salary in Australia is AU$23.80 per hour ($52,500 per year). An Entry Level Farmer with less than three years of experience can expect to earn an average compensation of AU$19.86 per hour. A mid-career Farmer with 4-9 years of experience earns an average compensation of about AU$23.50, while an experienced Farmer with 10-20 years of experience makes on average AU$34.30. Farmers with more than 20 years of experience earn AU$38.80 per hour on average. Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for complete details on minimum wage and workers' rights.

Where is best for farm work in Australia?

Queensland is rich in farm work opportunities, being home to produce-rich locations like the Atherton Tablelands, Bowen, Ayr and Stanthorpe, where avocados, mangos, vegetables and citrus are in strong supply. Alternatively, if a trip to New South Wales or Victoria is on your mind, for example, you may find work picking grapes, citrus fruits or stone fruits. Meanwhile, the Tasmanian aquaculture industry is swimming with opportunity, and the cherries and berries are ripe for the picking.

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